Ha! Mucky. Really, it is good to slam ideas back and forth with my fellow fans here.
As for this offseason, wow. I'm totally amazed at how Brian Gutekunst and his staff have completely transformed this Packers team in just two years... and I don't think they are done. I would not be surprised to see another FA addition or two once rosters begin to get hacked.
Going into the draft, I was thinking our primary weakness overall on this team was OL depth. As many of you friends know, I'm a F'ing geek about the personnel side of the NFL and the Packers. I take in as much info as I can from the confines of a keyboard like most of my brothers here, and try to couple that stuff with what I actually see. Honestly, we've got extreme talent added to this team, all up and down through every pick, R1-R7. I mean, like I've never quite seen before. Add to that, the raw VALUE they received with each selection. Just remarkable to me. You friends know I study the F outta this sh!t. Well, if you don't mind, let me share some thoughts:
Gary freaked me out at #12 in a bad, bad way. I was completely deflated, but also by nothing but my own error in not having watched him as a legit possibility there. My views on him have completely flipped after watching every Michigan game available on the interwebs, not just highlights. I wanted to see what they saw in him to make him such an important and vital selection there at 12. Well, this dude is going to be a F'ing marauder. My biggest mistake was taking the draft "experts" consensus views, by most all but a handful, that Gary was not a team player, didn't have a consistent motor, didn't love the game, had an attitude problem, was severely injured.... did not have production through his 3 years... blah, blah, blah. We all read the stuff, and I fell hook line and sinker, immediately ignoring the man. My bad. Gary is none of those things. None. In fact, quite the opposite from what I was able to glean watching his film. This dude had at least 80% of opposition plays being run away from him, in EVERY game I watched. He was double, triple, quadrupled an average of more than 55% of the time. And, this is from EVERY team he faced. Also, Gary played with amazing power, balance, speed, instinct and drive. Didn't realize how many times he was able to manhandle his OT, yet, every play by the opponent was evasive, went the opposite direction of where he was lined up. No one is going to light up the stat pile with that happening. Teams that took Bush and Winovich might have their anus pucker working mid season. Gary is the real deal, was Michigan's #1 player, and no one is going to be able to give him the same treatment as Michigan's opponents did. I believe Gary is going to get his production numbers in a GB uniform, and they might really surprise.
Savage, he was the ONLY player I wanted. I'm not even going to say anything on him, as it is really not necessary. You'll see. The only comment I'll share, is I believe him to be a Nick Collins clone, but not the rookie Nick Collins, rather the Nick Collins with 3-4 years of NFL experience. We'll see.... I should say one more thing, "THANK YOU, Brian Gutekunst! Awesome trade to secure the best Safety for your team."
Ha! The OL. We landed another TRUE steal at #44 with Elgton Jenkins, who was ranked by PFF as their #1 overall C in the draft. Allowed just 5 pressures on 369 pass blocking snaps last season, and just 19 pressures over 3 years with ZERO sacks. (* I don't carry PFF's water, but they are good in evaluations of ability in my eyes). Jenkins was #26 on their Top 250 Big Board, and Savage was #29 (*also should note, Savage was their #1 overall DB in the draft). At 6-4.5 315, this player has the strength, ability and football smarts to jump right in immediately as a starting OG. Great pick.
#75 R3, Jace Sternberger. Another steal for GB. At 6-4 252, he has nearly identical size to Hock, who went #8 overall, has the TOP rated hands of any TE in his draft class, and has vastly better YAC than Fant. Great value pick there. Again. Donning Jordy's old 87, I somehow think this kid is going to enjoy being a target for Rodgers and vv. I never got the Hock/Fant hype, but, I like that we somehow snagged Jace in the third round. Great, precise route runner who is quick into his breaks. I think Rodgers will love this kid as a go-to. Not an ideal in line blocker, but a great blocker in space, and he CATCHES the F'ing ROCK.
At #150 in R5 Gutey again lands another super high value pick with Kingsley Keke. At 6-3 288, Keke will fit right into Pettine's versatility wheel, and I do believe this kid could start, if not for the mass of talent in front of him. He can play the 1, the 3 and the 5 tech on our DL, and after studying his game films like I did with the Gary selection, my biggest takeaway was, "We just drafted a young Santan Dotson!" No sh!t. We're gonna love this kid. Exceptional depth for our DL. Please, have some fun watching his tape.
#185, Ka'😉ar Hollman, 6-0 196. Another 4.3 burner CB, one I knew ZERO about. I'm just going to have to trust Gutey and his staff on this, as there is virtually nothing in terms of film to evaluate. Gutey has earned his street cred as far as I am concerned. I am glad they bolstered the CB position though.
#194 Dexter Williams, 5-11 212. He's a freaky RB. Most of his TD runs at ND he went untouched... what does that mean? He's got a tremendous feel for the hole, and vision for the running lanes. Dexter has an innate ability to draw defenders in at the line, change his trajectory, and hit the gas. Talk about "Run To Daylight!" That's Dexter, and I think we will have fun seeing him play with a vastly upgraded line in LaFleur's scheme. While he doesn't have a great 40, he does have uncanny acceleration. He also has the patience to allow the blocks develop and then make his cut and go. He's not elusive. Not a tackle breaker. But crafty as F. I think he will be a very, very pleasant addition to our RB depth, and this dude will break a ton of runs for scores if given the opportunity.
#226 R7 Ty Summers, 6-1 241. If you really want to see a steal, look at this kid's film, and compare his stats to the 2 ILBs who were drafted ahead of Gary at #12. Unbelievable. Talk about VALUE. He had more tackles than either of Devin Bush or White, and is far superior in coverage. Did you hear that? It is no joke. The guy is super instinctive, a phenomenal tackler, and he's 6-1 compared to both of the Devs who are 5-11. He's got a motor too. NON-STOP. Heady player, one who would be a perfect complement either to Martinez or Burks at ILB. Ty Summers' SPARQ of 9..71 puts him in the "ELITE" category along with Rashan Gary 9.95, the only two Packers draftees to hit that elite status.
Fair to Decent draft... Ha! WOW.
Back to the OL depth, and what I considered a top area of weakness prior to the draft. Add Yosh Nijman to our pile of riches as what I believe to be our TOP UDFA, and GET THE HELL OUTTA TOWN! Ho-ly crap! How did Brian Gutekunst land this piece of pure gold as a UDFA? Seriously. 6-7 324 34"arms, insanely heavy 10" hands. He has an 81.7" wingspan...!!!! Arguably the best measureables of any OT in his draft class. This man is powerful. All he needs is more NFL level coaching on his footwork and hand placement. Yosh is going to be a phenomenal addition to this Packers team, and I guarantee he makes our 53 man roster.
Yosh didn't run the 40 at the Combine, as he wanted more time to prepare for the drill on his Pro Day in front of scouts, where he ran a 4.81, which would have placed him at #1 in the OL class. His 114" broad jump tied for #5 overall, his 4.51 20 yd shuttle as well as his 8.07 in the 3 cone were tied for #2 overall, and had 27 reps on the bench. 30.5 vertical. There is a vid of him benching 415 floating around somewhere...
A 3 year starter, 22 at LT 10 RT, Nijman's experience is in the ACC, playing for Virginia Tech, Power 5 Conference, in 2018 he had 639 pass sets, allowing just 12 pressures and 1 sack. Previous 3 years he had 1844 pass blocking snaps with similar results. Nijman is a perfect developmental OT for us, with both LT and RT experience. Take one look at how he did blocking Clelin Ferrell when they played Clemson, and you will be able to see. He faced 4 ACC 1st Round picks at DL in his time at VT putting up those numbers, amongst many others. He STONED Brian Burns as well. TOTAL STEAL.
People might wonder, "Why wasn't he drafted?" 1. He played on a bad Hokies team. 2. He had metal rods inserted in his legs when he was younger because he grew too fast to support his weight. That certainly has not affected his abilities, as his SPARQ placed him at #6 amongst the entire OL draft class, falling just short of that "elite" status, into the "very good" status along with Savage, Hollman and Williams. though his RAS of 9.8 placed him in the "elite" class. The SPARQ (speed, power, agility, reaction, quickness) and RAS (relative athletic score: ratings are ranked based on the skills required for each position) ratings are very similar, nearly mirroring each other.
I'm certainly enthusiastic, and not ignorant to the negatives, but I keep an awareness of them all as best as I can. Personally, I just don't dwell on the negatives. Every player has their weaknesses, but, I have to say, we added a F ton of talent this offseason, and we have a lot to be excited about. Slow time of year, thought you guys might dig another perspective, and... holy hell, I got work to do! Happy Saturday! Bing.