Danno's pre-combine thoughts

dannobanano

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We are roughly about 40 days from the start of 2020 free agency. The Packers have decisions to make on several key players who have contracts that will be expiring on March 18th.
Who should they keep? Who should they let walk?
As for me, here's who I would like to see stay.
UFA's
Extend - Mason Crosby (even at his age he's still money. Had a career best % wise in 2019), Jared Veldheer (Not as dominant as Bulaga, but he's reliable, and if he's affordable he makes a good bridge for a longer term solution), Marcedes Lewis (still a reliable run blocking TE and could have value as a veteran mentor to a very young group), Ibraheim Campbell (He knows the system and should fit into the budget), Tyler Ervin (For ST's alone, he should be brought back. Can't imagine ML not having some great ideas in how to use him in 2020), Will Remond (Has versatility and could be affordable as well).
Kenny Clark get's an extension before TC.
RFA's
Tender - Malcom Johnson (Could have versatility as an FB/H-Back. Give him a chance to show out in TC).
ERFA's
Keep - Chandon Sullivan (Surprise player this year. Hope he kicks it up another notch), Robert Tonyan (Need so see more out of Tonyan, but no denying his athleticism), Tyler Lancaster (Back up/rotational guy, but that's about it), Allen Lazard (Took advantage of his opportunities. Not a dynamic guy, but showed more than most folks expected), Jake Kumerow (Packers control Kumerow, so bringing him back to compete makes sense, but he's a looong shot to make the team in 2020.)
Salary Cap Cut's:
Jimmy Graham and Lane Taylor. Their releases have been discussed at length. I won't bore anyone.

Who didn't get a contract extension?
Bryan Bulaga - The Packers will make an attempt to extend Bulaga's tenure in Green Bay, but they will get outbid by the market. This situation shapes up a lot like TJ Lang's did, and I think it's very possible it could play out in a similar manner as well, with Bulaga retired and out of the league after 2 more years.
Blake Martinez - This writing has been on the wall for more a while. Quality person, but he's just not a good fit for what Green Bay needs from an ILB, and the way other teams have exploited the middle of the field demostrates why.
Kyler Fackrell - There's always a chance he stays, but I think the market will offer him more than Green Bay will offer.
Danny Vitale - I got sucked in by all the "Super Back" rah-rah stuff that was said about him. Only want him if it's for a minimum contract.
Tramon Williams - I think he would come back if they offered a multi-year deal, but I have my doubts they would consider that. His age, rather than his ability, will be the determining factor.
B.J. Goodson - I'd bring him back if the market for him is real soft and they can get him cheap. He could have value as a back up in case of injury.
Geronimo Allison, Jason Spriggs, Ryan Grant - No interest, whatsoever.

Possible Free Agents of Interest
ILB
- Nick Kwiatkoski; The Bears have a lot of UFA's to deal with and a fairly tight salary cap. This is one player the Packers could swipe from Chicago like they did last year with Adrian Amos. Like Za'Darius Williams was last year, Kwiatkoski is an ascending talent who could really impact the Packer defense in a positive way.
DL - The Packers need to find another player to provide help to Kenny Clark on the DL. Stopping the run needs more emphasis, but also need to keep the pass rush a high priority as well. Depending on the draft to fix this isn't efficient enough, since DL usually take 2-3 years to blossom and Green Bay doesn't have that kind of time if they want to win another SB in the Rodgers era.
Two players stand out to me. If Gute can get one of them, it would be fantastic.
Vernon Butler from CAR and Derek Wolfe from DEN are two players that could catch Gute's eye. Both can play the run and get after the QB. Pairing either of them with Kenny Clark could make a significant difference in team performance from what we saw in the NFCC game.
Slot WR - While this is a position that need attention, I think Green Bay may take a wait/see attitude regarding filling this need (by either free agency or the draft) for the time being. I think Gute/ML will want to get a look at what Malik Taylor and Reggie Begelton can offer at Slot-WR before they go looking elsewhere. Both Taylor and Begelton have the attributes to be effective playing out of the slot. If it still looks shakey during TC/Pre-Season, they could look to add a veteran Slot as cutdowns begin. Not ideal, but it's an option.

Initial thoughts on the Packers Draft:

Round 1
(#30)
Tee Higgins / WR / Clemson; 6-4/200#'s
Basketball attributes help his game. Long strider, but not particularly fast. He runs good routes, has very strong hands, and a ridiculous wing-span/catch radius that make off target throws look great. He would make an early impact at the #2 WR spot.

Round 2 (#62)
Hunter Bryant / TE / Washington; 6-2/241#'s
He should be used strictly as a Flex-TE. He will be great playing out of the backfield, the slot, or out wide. He can threaten all 3 levels of the field and will be a mismatch over the middle. Long speed, excellent quickness, and RAC skills will make him an early contributor.

Round 3 (#94)
Evan Weaver / ILB / Cal-Berkley; 6-3/240#'s
Very good in run defense, especially in the box. Rarely misses a tackle in the box because he stacks/sheds well and is a solid striker. High football IQ, a motor that never stops, and an excellent team leader as well.

Round 4 (#136)
Anthony Gordon / QB / Washington St.; 6-3/210#'s
In 2019 he followed a pretty tough act from 2018, in Gardner Minshew who put up almost 4800 yds and 38 TD's. But Gordon answered with nearly 5600 yds and 48 TD's. Good developmental prospect with decent arm strength, good accruacy, and great touch. Can drop long balls into a bucket. Has good touch and can make throws from varying angles to utilize narrow throwing lanes/windows. A bit of a gunslinger at times, but that may, in part, be due to the style of offense he was in at WAZZU.

Round 5 (#176)
Tyler Clark / DL / Georgia; 6-4/305#'s
Very good run defender who can shock blockers with powerful jabs and stack/shed to get to the ball. Shows good power coming out of his stance and controls his gaps very well. Large/strong hands, long arms, and great body mass make him a great addition.

Round 6 (#192)
Ezra Cleveland / OT / Boise St.; 6-6/310#'s
Athletic frame with room to add more good weight. Good first step and lateral quickness. Good pass blocker, outside zone blocker, and in space at 2nd level. Decent arm length to play Tackle. Has a tendency to overset and play with hands too low in pass pro.

Round 6 (#209)
Patrick Taylor, Jr. / RB / Memphis; 6-3/227#'s
Great balance after contract with leg drive and power to spare. Is a great fit for wide zone and power concept sytems. Has enough twitch and long speed to hit the home run. Is also very effective as a pass catcher, both out of the backfield and in the Slot. While at Memphis he scored 32 TD's in less than 500 touches of the football (1 TD for every 15 touches). He missed almost all of the 2019 season with an ankle injury very early in the season.

Round 7 (#219)
Marquez Callaway / WR / Tennessee; 6-2/190#'s
4-star recruit coming out of high school. Has not had the best of QB's throwing him the ball at TEN. Very fast WR with good body control and ability to make acrobatic catches. Can return punts. Has score a TD in each of the last 2 seasons. Averaged over 21 yds/catch in 2019. Developmental speed prospect.

Round 7 (#240)
Tino Ellis / CB / Maryland; 6-1/195#'s
Former WR converted to CB. He's a man cover/cover-3 outside CB. Can play physical when necessary. Has good long speed. Still needs work on techniques, but has the size, attributes, and physical skills that make him attractive.

Round 7 (#247)
Ray Lima / DL / Iowa St.; 6-3/305#'s
Keeps great pad level when attacking OL. Consistently gets under their pads.Strong base that holds up well at poit of attack/LOS. Good against the run, but has shown an ability to push the pocket back to the QB and create pressure.
 
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GBP4EVER

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Can't see Packers taking a tight end in 2nd round after drafting Sternberger in round 3 last year.
 

realitybytes

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Sternberger in the 3rd was FP(

honestly, i felt that way about most of the packers draft. i realize that we did get a couple of good players like savage and jenkins, but we could have done much better. hopefully gute will be able to get at least three starters out of this year's draft. especially since he says we won't be as aggressive in free agency this year.
 
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