Cardinals vs Packers: Arizona’s First Primetime Game

Michael Chow-The Republic

The Arizona Cardinals will get their first opportunity to showcase their talent in primetime on national TV tonight in Cardinals vs Packers. The game is at State Farm Stadium with kickoff set for 5:20 AZ time.

Injuries

The Packers are missing star CB Jaire Alexander and now WRs Davante Adams and Allen Lazard this week with COVID, but the Cardinals will be lacking key pieces themselves, in Rodney Hudson and JJ Watt (supposedly for the rest of the year). Hudson’s backup Max Garcia is also questionable, possibly leaving AZ with Sean Harlow to start at Center tonight (can we get Lamont Gaillard back?). Both teams will have their hands full overcoming deficiencies on a short week.

Packers Outlook


For Green Bay, I expect LaFleur to lean on his Aarons. Aaron Rodgers will still be Aaron Rodgers and distribute the ball all over the field. In fact, under Matt LaFleur the Packers are 5-0 without Davante Adams in the lineup. Aaron Jones is also still Aaron Jones. He’s averaging 4.5 ypc this season and slowing him tonight will be key.

On the other side of the ball, Packers will have their hands full with arguably the best group of pass catchers in the league. Even without Jaire, their defense has been impressive ranking 7th in yards and points allowed. Creating pressure to force turnovers will likely be necessary for GB’s defense to slow Kyler Murray.

Cardinals Outlook

 
For Arizona, they’ll need young DL to step up and fill the void of JJ Watt. The development of Zach Allen, Rashard Lawrence, and Leki Fotu will be important for this team’s success tonight and going forward for the rest of this year. DL Jordan Phillips also needs to stay healthy and continue to make an impact especially in the run game. And although Watt will be missed on the field, his presence will still be felt in the locker room and on the sideline as Coach Watt.

“The Trees”, young LBs Zay and Zaven will need to be disciplined in their run lanes and constantly aware of Jones out of the backfield. Cardinals need to stop the run first and foremost, and then make sure Rodgers doesn’t have all day to throw. On the offensive side, kind of like the defensive side, AZ needs to continue what they’ve done all year. The Packers are 6th in passing yards allowed but 22nd in rushing. And many probably don’t know it, but even without Kyler running as much this year the Cardinals are still a Top 5 rushing team.

Overall


The run game will be crucial for both teams, and how well they run will affect how effective their play-action shots will be. Whoever runs the ball better, will likely throw the ball better, and whoever throws the ball better will likely win the game.

Establishing the run on offense, and stopping Aaron Jones on defense will be keys. Tonight will be an opportunity for Kliff and the Cardinals to show the rest of the league that they really are contenders this year. What are your keys to tonight’s game? Give us your thoughts on Twitter @Cardinals_ATB.

The Packers Offensive Line’s Future

Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Packers offensive line’s future is something that has been talked about in recent weeks amongst Packers fans. With Jon Runyan Jr. taking over at left guard, Jenkins playing well at left tackle, and Newman playing solid at right guard. Going forward what is the Packers plan on the offensive line? Because it seems like they have 7 guys who could all be starters in the NFL. So I will attempt to lay out what their plans going forward probably are by looking at them as an organization and their history. I’ve come up with three potential scenarios all will include a couple obvious picks. Bakhtiari at left tackle and Josh Myers at center. Also Lucas Patrick is not coming back and Billy Turner probably gets cut, I think most of us know that. Now lets get to it!

Option 1(everyone’s favorite one):

So the first option seems to be most fans favorite. The Packers move Elgton Jenkins over to right tackle and everyone else stays where they are. So the offensive line would be Bakhtiari-Runyan-Myers-Newman-Jenkins. I understand why a lot of fans like this plan; Jenkins can play all five spots and your tackles tend to be your better offensive linemen. LaFleur has also said he wants his best five guys on the field and objectively these are probably the five best linemen on the roster. I do not feel like tackle is Jenkins best spot and I think LaFleur would want guys at their best positions. To me this is still probably option 1A or 1B to Brian Gutekunst and LaFleur.

Option #2(My favorite):

The five best offensive linemen on the roster going forward are Bakhtiari, Runyan, Myers, Newman and Jenkins. I think most Packers fans would not debate that. Bakhtiari when healthy is a top 2 left tackle in the league, and he ain’t #2. Myers has looked like a three year vet at center, he can still improve of course. Runyan has looked good two years in a row and does have some of his dad in him. He plays hard and is physical like his dad, and is a better athlete than him. He could play either guard spot. Jenkins of course can play anywhere and at a high level. And last but not least Newman did beat out both Runyan and Patrick for the right guard spot. He has had some troubles of course and hopefully continues to improve as the season goes, but he is still one of the five best linemen. He needs to add some strength and mass in the off-season.

With all that being said how I feel they should line up next year would be Bakhtiari-Jenkins-Myers-Runyan-Newman. The thinking behind this is putting each guy at their best position. While Jenkins can play any spot, Its shown in the film that he can be an all pro left guard. Runyan has looked solid at both left and right guard so that wouldn’t matter either way. Newman though physically looks more like a tackle. Long arms, long body, and quick feet. Off his college film he looked better and more stout at tackle. He has had trouble with anchoring at right guard so far in the NFL and I feel would hold up better outside.

Option 3(The wild card):

This is one that had not talked about a lot amongst fans, but I know it is a scenario the Packers have talked about or worked though. Inset Yosh Nijman in at right tackle. He played well against the 9ers, and coming out of Virginia Tech he was an athletic freak. His RAS score was a 9.81 at 6’6 6/8ths and 314 pounds with 34 1/4″ arms. I tweeted this out yesterday. The reason he went undrafted is that he was a four year starter at VT and his technique and hand usage was a complete mess. Exactly what happened there to cause this? who knows. But scouts saw that as a sign that he didn’t have it, that he was a “looks like Tarzan plays like Jane” type player. Yosh also wasn’t the most aggressive player.

He has changed that. Nijman still has work to do. He can still get a lot better, but he has shown enough growth that he looks to have starter potential. Then of course everyone else kind of easily slots in Bakhtiari-Jenkins-Myers-Newman-Nijman.

Bonus option #4!

The fourth potential option would be an easy one. The Packers take a right tackle early in the 2022 draft and slot him in there as a rookie. Jenkins moves back to left guard. They let then let Runyan and Newman fight it out for the right guard job and the loser backs up both guard spots and right tackle.

So what do you guys think is the Packers offensive line’s future looks like?

Mock Packers Off-Season 1.0

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the 2021 NFL Season just started, it is never too early to talk about the offseason. Here is a mock Packers off-season for your reading pleasure.

Most of us know that teams do this stuff all through out the season. They work many different scenarios to prepare themselves for the offseason and also to work out their plan A, B, C, etc… Now obviously these change throughout the season due to injuries, trades, resigning’s, etc… So I will periodically update this through out the season and the coming off season to give you guys an idea of what the Packers are probably planning. Its too soon to go through the probably 50 plans they have right now so I will just go over what I think are the top two.

The cap numbers I will present in this article are not exact. They are ball park/rounding up or down. This is just to give an idea what the plan could be. I did use cap numbers from overthecap.com. You could also look up Ken Ingallas on twitter at twitter.com/keningalls

Heading into the 2022 season the Packers are projected to be about 40 million over the cap. So to get under here are the moves I feel the Packers will do.

Trades:

Trade Aaron Rodgers post 6/1. This will give them a cap relief of about 27 million.

Cuts:

Preston Smith pre June 1 which saves 7.25 million. Billy Turner post June 1 which nets them another 3.14 million. Kevin King post June 1 as well, which saves them another 750k. Marcedes Lewis which saves 2.08 million. Dean Lowry which takes off another 2.1 million and Randall Cobb which saves about 2.8 million.

Extentions:

I feel the Packers will extend Jaire Alexander, Adrian Amos, and Za’Darius Smith to the maximum salary cap savings for 2022, than take a big hit on ’23 and ’24 when the cap is expected to go up a lot. The most they can save on Z is 12.2, Jaire would be 10.64, and Amos would be 6 million.

Free Agents:

I feel in this scenario they let Issac Yiadom, Tyler Lancaster, MVS, Lucas Patrick, Oren Burks, De’Vondre Campbell(he is technically under contract), Dennis Kelly, Robert Tonyan, Will Redmond.

They resign Davante Adams, Allen Lazard(who is a restricted free agent) and any other lower tier free agents and or restricted free agents like Bojorquez, Nijman, Malik Taylor, Dafney, Black, etc…

Before those signings they would have about 26 million in cap space, which seems like a decent amount; but its not. You need space for your draft class, undrafted free agents, your practice squad, and any restricted free agents as well. You also want to leave yourself a few million of space in season in case you need to sign a free agent due to injuries or move a few guys up from the PS to the active roster. Davante and Lazard would take up most of the space. There would probably be a few million let to sign one or two lower tier free agents like a Dennis Kelly or De’Vondre Campbell level player. They would not have the space to sign Tonyan or MVS unless they did more restructuring.

Draft:

With that being the roster entering the draft this would be how I would think Gutekunst would approach the draft.

29. Zion Nelson, OT, Miami-Fl

Right tackle of the future. His style of player. Young, athletic with tons of upside. Could move to left tackle down the line.

61. Deslin Alexandre, DT, Pittsburgh

Clark needs more help. Slaton helps against the run. They need more help getting after the QB.

93. George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Pickens is MVS’ replacement. He’s not not as purely physically talented, but he has higher upside. Way better hands. He needs a lot of work on his release package. Perfect guy to learn from in Adams. If he develops he’s a #1 receiver.

129.Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State

Replacement for Tonyan. Similar skill set. Great hands. OK blocker. Good route runner. Decent athlete.

161. Amari Gainer, LB, Florida State

Athletic freak to replace Campbell as the weakside backer. He could be the dime backer by year two.

196. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Perfect fit for the star spot. He can play inside, outside, safety, defend the run, can even blitz a little. Has good size too. Like a poor mans Charles Woodson.

224. Zamir White, RB, Georgia

Freakish explosion. Could return kicks and is just a value pick.

Second option:

Everything is the same as above but Davante walks and they resign both Lazard and MVS.

28. George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Lazard and MVS are both great #2/#3 receivers but neither is a true #1. This mock draft didn’t fall the way the last one did. Receivers went a lot earlier.

60.Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

Similar to Nelson. Athletic freak with tons of upside. Last year was his first as a starter.

92. Amari Gainer, LB, Florida State

Same as above

130. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State

another athletic freak with upside. Packers will need a 3rd pass rusher.

135. Bubba Bolden, S, Miami

Packers finally get their 3rd safety. High RAS guy. Lots of upside, still a bit inconsistent.

170. LaRon Stokes, IDL, Oklahoma

Similar to Alexandre. a DL to help with the pass rush.

206. Jammie Robinson, CB, Florida State

South Carolina transfer that has upside.

219. Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

Blocking TE with some receiving upside to replace Marcedes.

248. Zacch Pickens, IDL, South Carolina

Another DL with upside

The Weekly Brief: Week 1

We finally made it. The NFL is back after eight long months and it did not disappoint. Everything is officially right with the world for the next 22 weeks. Each week I want a way to summarize the games, discuss the biggest storylines and look at the betting trends. So here is the first-ever Weekly Brief.

Packers season in jeopardy?

Aaron Rogers, former Jeopardy! game show host, had one of the worst games of his career. Coming off his MVP season, Rodgers and the Packers’ offense looked completely out of sync. Rodgers finished the day with 133 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. It didn’t stop there; essentially, the entire Packers team was outplayed on a neutral site The team wound up losing, 38-3, the biggest loss as a franchise since 2006. While this was just one game, the general flow and preparedness of the team are a cause for concern. Looking to next week, the Packers have a Monday night showdown with the Lions. I expect them to look a lot more like the team of 2020, with Rodgers and the offense proving yesterday was a fluke for one of the league’s best.

Steelers break the table

Pittsburgh went into Buffalo and dominated the Bills, outscoring them 23-6 in the second half. Most NFL pundits were expecting a down season for the Steelers but the defense came out and showed they are still among the best of the league. Buffalo looked all out of sorts, with Josh Allen looking more like his 2019 self compared to the player we saw last season. The main takeaway from this game was more about the Steelers’ defense than the Bills’ offense. If TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick play the way they did on Sunday, Pittsburgh will be one of the teams still playing football in mid-January.

NFC Best?

The NFC west once again looks like the best division in football. All four teams won yesterday, and each finished with a top 10 offense and defense in DVOA. Each team showed promise as they took on new looks and adjustments for the season. Seahawks’ new offensive coordinator, Shane Waldron, had the team rolling. Russell Wilson started hot with a 4-touchdown game. The Cardinals’ new-look defense received help from a familiar face- Chandler Jones. Jones missed most of the previous season but had the best game of his career yesterday with five sacks. Jones is on track to finish with 85 sacks, breaking the current single-season record of 22.5. The 49ers looked fantastic to start the game, before almost blowing a 24-point lead with 7:50 to go. The 49ers reminded the rest of the league that Kyle Shanahan is still among the league’s best play-callers. Last but definitely not least, the Rams and new quarterback Matthew Stafford put on a Sunday night show. Stafford quickly showed why the Rams traded for him hitting Van Jefferson for a 67-yard touchdown on his second pass of the game. The NFC West will once again be a bloodbath, and we are likely to see three of these teams in the playoffs.

Learning Curves

It was a fun day for NFL rookies – the top three receivers in the draft all showed out. As Ja’Marr Chase silenced any and all critics with a 100-yard, 1 touchdown day. DeVonta Smith also had a nice day as he scored an early touchdown and showed the route running prowess we saw in his Heisman campaign in 2020. Jaylen Waddle looked great in his first NFL game scoring the go-ahead touchdown as the Dolphins beat the Patriots. While the receivers played great, the rookie QB’s did not fare as well with Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Mac Jones all facing some rookie struggles. The Jaguars offense gives me more cause for concern than the two others as Urban Meyer has not looked the part. The Jaguars need to make sure the development of Lawrence is done properly, and by the right people.

Have a day Underdogs

Betting Underdogs finished the day 11-4 against the spread, with eight of them outright winning games. Week one was full of surprises, and for those of you who bet on the Texans to go 0-17, my condolences. This goes to show that 2021 looks to have more parody, and taking the points might be the move to winning your slate.

The Injury Report

Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, and while X-rays were negative, he’s likely out for a couple of weeks. Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to have suffered a hip subluxation; it’s a serious injury that will keep him out for a while. San Francisco cornerback Jason Verrett tore his ACL, he has had issues staying healthy throughout his career. The 49ers also lost Raheem Mostert and Dre Greenlaw to minor injuries. Other notable injuries to 2020 first-round offensive tackles, Mekhi Becton and Jedrick Wills. Becton was carted off with a knee injury, while Wills left the game with an ankle issue. Saints corner Marshon Lattimore will need surgery on his thumb and agreed to a 5-year extension after the game and is considered week to week. Also, Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah ruptured his Achilles tendon, so his season is over.

Viva Las Vegas

The Ravens come to town as the NFL shows off its shiny new stadium in Vegas. Baltimore is (-4) favorites tonight against a new-look Raiders squad. The Ravens should dominate this game as Lamar Jackson is at his best in primetime. Take the Ravens with the spread and don’t look back. For player props, Henry Ruggs was the first receiver taken in last year’s draft. I expect him to get on track to start the season, and I am taking him to have over 34.5 receiving yards. With Marcus Peters out for the season, the Ravens will need help opposite Marlon Humphrey who usually follows bigger receivers like Bryan Edwards or Darren Waller. Ruggs is the best deep threat for the Raiders, who I expect to throw the ball lots in garbage time.

Was The 2021 Draft Another All-In Move by The Packers?

Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The 2021 draft seemed to throw a lot of knowledgeable Packers fans and bloggers for a loop. It seemed to deviate from the “typical” Packers draft. Many Packers bloggers cited previous draft statistics to help other fans identify potential Packers draft picks heading into the 2021 draft. For example, 22 of 25 plays that had a RAS score taken by Brian Gutekunst had a score of 8.0 or above.

These players tended to be somewhat raw with a lot of upside. These players were usually going to take a year or two to develop. The Packers were able to afford this because they usually drafted players a year before they were going to need that player to play an important role on offense or defense. Rashan Gary and Jordan Love are recent examples, further back guys like Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson. Players like David Bahktiari, Elgton Jenkins, and Corey Linsley were expected to sit out at least a year but were forced in early due to injuries.

Also, there were long-held thresholds the Packers held at certain positions. Whether that be a height minimum, weight minimum, certain positional experiences, or athleticism standards. hFor example, the front office never drafted receivers under 5’11. Randall Cobb is the only exception to that rule. Another similar one was at cornerback where since Ron Wolf they hadn’t drafted a cornerback under 5’10 ½ until of course Jaire Alexander who was 5’10 ¼. Outside of Corey Linsley, Caleb Schlauderaff, and Jake Hanson, every offensive lineman drafted by Ted or Gutekunst had tackle experience in college. But the interesting thing here is Gutekunst deviated from the Packers’ previous draft strategies in 2021. This is what is going to be delved into in this article and why. 

Pick #29:

First, let’s start with the Packers’ 1st pick. Eric Stokes from Georgia. With the selection of Stokes, he was not a deviation from the Packers’ usual MO. It is easy to see why. Stokes is 6’0 5/8th 194 with a RAS score of 9.37. Just from an athletic standpoint, he fits perfectly. He also went to a power five conference. Gutekunst seems to like to take players from those conferences with his first-round picks. Even more, Stokes played for a big program in Georgia that constantly is a good team and puts players in the NFL every year.

Another less talked about threshold that the front office seems to place on first-round picks is age. They do not take players in the first round older than 22 and prefer them to be 20 or 21. Stokes fit this as well. The only thing that stands out about Stokes was his agility testing. He tested poorly in the short shuttle and was very average in the 3 cone drill. The packers tend to prioritize these tests in all positions. They must have let it slide a little due to the rest of his testing being so good.

Stokes was the outlier in this group in that he fits the Packers’ usual draft pick. The rest of their picks fall out of their usual purview one way or another.

Pick #62:

Next would of course be Josh Myers from Ohio State. He had no athletic testing due to recovery from offseason surgery. But based on his film he was not an elite athlete. It is highly doubtful he would have scored at 8.0+ on the RAS scale. A lot of fans though were surprised by his selection. The consensus among most draft experts was that either Landon Dickerson from Alabama or Creed Humphrey from Oklahoma was the top center in the class. Dickerson went at pick 37 to the Eagles. But when the Packers pick came up and Humphrey was there people assumed if the Packers were going to take a center that they would take Humphrey. He fit their usual approach to the draft. The former Sooner scored an epic RAS of 10. He had a lot of upside to his game as well.

But the Packers surprised everyone and took Myers. People didn’t understand it. They felt the Packers screwed up in taking the “lower-rated” Myers. But the truth is there was a reason for this. Myers was a better fit for the Packers to come in and slide into the starting center spot. Firstly, he has a very high football IQ. Which gives him a pretty high floor. Also, he spent his career at Ohio State playing in a similar zone blocking scheme. So it would be a smoother transition to Green Bay’s system. Maybe his upside wasn’t as high as a Creed Humphrey, but that was not important to the packers right now. They were going to need him to hit the ground running.

Pick #85:

Now to their 3rd pick. Amari Rodgers from Clemson. He again did not fit the Packers’ thresholds. He was even shorter than Randall Cobb at 5/9 ½. His RAS score was even a low (for the Packers) 5.36. Another thing with Rodgers is he was not a receiver with much of an upside, which the Packers usually love. He mostly played out of the slot at Clemson. Like Myers, there was an exact role that they drafted him for. Of course, this was all before the Cobb trade. But the role that was planned for him was similar to Cobb. Play the slot, return some punts, and maybe get a few gadget plays here and there.

They knew his upside was limited. Rodgers’ size, athleticism, and short arms limit that. That is not why they drafted him. Rodgers will probably never be anything more than what he was drafted to be. While he can break some tackles due to his size and his savvy. He is not going to go out there and break 20 tackles and put up 900+ yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in a season. Rodgers may not even put up 800 yards in a season. But that’s not the role they will be asking him to fill, and they wanted him to be able to slide into that role as a rookie with minimal effort.

Pick #142:

With Green Bay’s 4th pick they took Royce Newman out of Ole Mississippi. Newman was taken to compete for a starting spot at guard and to offer tackle and guard depth if he couldn’t win a starting spot. Newman’s athletic testing did not scream Packer. His agility grades were kind of just OK. He did poorly on the 3 cone drill. Which has been said before the Packers value highly. His positional versatility did fit though. Newman is already 24 years old. The Packers usually don’t take guys that are that old. It usually speaks to them not having much of an upside. They have usually physically peaked and had minimal growth potential.

On film, he reminds you a bit of Mark Tauscher. In that, his technique isn’t perfect and he is not the greatest athlete, but he just somehow gets the job done. He does not look like the typical Packers offensive lineman who has the athleticism of a tackle in the body of a guard. He was just a two-year starter at Ole Miss so there is some upside there. The point is that he was drafted to see if he can compete for a starting job, if not though at least the Packers would have a decent depth lineman who could play guard or tackle.

Pick #173:

With their first pick in the 5th round, the Packers took defensive lineman TJ Slaton from Florida. Slaton is another departure from the Packers’ usual draft pick. First, he is 330. The Packers do not usually draft linemen that big. The last time they drafted one that big was BJ Raji in 2009. Slaton also right now is more of a run-stuffing nose tackle. They do not usually draft those types of guys. They either draft pass rusher types like Kingsley Keke or guys who can do both like Kenny Clark.

Slaton does have some upside in that he could develop his pass-rushing skills. But even if he doesn’t they at least have a guy who can come in and take 10-20 snaps a game during obvious run downs. Due to his subpar agility scores and his lack of playing agility his upside as a pass rusher is not high. They took him to fill that role because they have had trouble defending the run. So again they took another guy who has a high floor who can fill a specific role as a rookie.

Pick #178:

The second pick in the 5th was Shemar Jean-Charles a corner out of Appalachian State. Shemar again is another pick that didn’t fit the front office’s usual defensive back pick. First, let’s start with his size. He is 5’10 /8ths below their 5’10 ½ threshold. He also only weighs 184 pounds. The Packers like their corners bigger. They like them bigger so they can play physical with receivers late in the season when it gets cold in December and January. Jean-Charles did not test out well at his pro day. He scored a RAS of 4.27. The last time they drafted a corner with that low of a score was Quinten Rollins in 2015 who had a score of 4.71. Going back to 1999 they have not drafted a defensive back with a score below Rollins 4.71.

Going into even more detail is his agility scores were bad. Jean-Charles 3 cone score of 7.15 was the slowest out of any draft pick since Tyrone Culver in 2006. All that adds up to a player with minimal upside. Which again historically is not something the Packers do. Now he was drafted to fit a specific role. SJC was a very good special teams’ player at Appalachian State. The Packers needed help on special teams and that is why he was drafted. Watching him in preseason you can see his subpar athleticism in coverage. The Packers have switched him to the slot. At Appalachian State, he exclusively played on the outside so there is a little bit of a learning curve. Even still his upside is at best a decent nickel back in a few years. But for this season he will only play special teams outside of some injuries happening.

6th and 7th round picks:

When it comes to the 6th and 7th rounds though those picks are just the team taking the best available player on the team’s board. Even with that being said Isaiah McDuffie was drafted for a specific role. Similar to Shemar Jean-Charles. He was drafted for his ability to help out the underperforming special teams group. McDuffie is an undersized speedy linebacker. Going back to 1994 the Packers have not drafted a linebacker as light as him. McDuffie lacks size and strength and may never be able to be anything more than a sub-package linebacker and special teamer. But again he was drafted to fill that specific role, not the usual Packers MO of drafting a player with upside who could grow into something much more.

Pick #214:

With the Cole Van Lanen pick though. That pick was classic Packers. Van Lanen was a college left tackle who the Packers have moved to guard and right tackle. He had a good pro day. He only started a total of 19 games at Wisconsin so there is some untapped potential there he could develop into a starter down the line or he could end up as a career journeyman.

Pick #256:

With the Packers’ final pick Kylin Hill, he fit with this year’s drafts strategy. To get a guy who can fill a specific role this year. Hill was drafted to be the team’s 3rd down back. Hill is filling in the Jamaal Williams role in other words. He can carry it, he can play in the passing game, and he can pass block. He is a little more dynamic than Williams though.

Final Thoughts:

Out of 9 picks, 7 were drafted to fill a specific role this season and possibly beyond. Players who may not have the high athletic upside of the Packers’ usual drafts, but guys who the front office and coaches knew could come in right away as rookies and fill that role. The reason is they needed to find guys to fill those specific positions. Due to either a departed free agent (see: Corey Linsley, or Jamaal Williams), a weakness in a position group (Special Teams), or due to injury (Bahktiari being out and Jenkins sliding out to left tackle). This is another example of this team being all in for this season.