Tag Archives: Green Bay Packers

2017 NFC North Draft Grades

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Green Bay Packers

First-Round Pick: (N/A)

Best Pick: Round Seven-Malachi Dupre-Wide Receiver-LSU

Grade: B

The Green Bay Packers are hardly ever in contention when it comes to signing the top-tier free agents which means that their focus is always on the National Football League Draft in regards to making roster upgrades. That was once again the case this year as Packers general manager Ted Thompson sought to make things happen for his team at the NFL Draft and maintain their status as the team to beat in the NFC North.

After making a deal with the Cleveland Browns, the Packers traded out of the first round, but they would obtain the first selection of the second round which is where Thompson began to go to work.

After the Packers secondary was torched in their NFC Championship Game loss to the Atlanta Falcons, upgrading the unit became a top priority here in the off-season. The Packers used their first choice of the draft on Washington Huskies cornerback Kevin King which was followed by using their second pick of the round on North Carolina State Wolfpack safety Josh Jones. The Packers would keep the defensive theme going in the third round when they selected Auburn Tigers defensive tackle Montravius Adams, but they may have found a steal in the fourth round when they selected Wisconsin Badgers outside linebacker Vince Biegel.

Vince Biegel

At Wisconsin, Biegel played opposite of outside linebacker T.J. Watt who went on to be a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But Biegel has a motor like no other, and that determination should see him crack the Packers linebacker rotation rather quickly.

Later in the fourth round the Packers selected BYU Cougars running back Jamaal Williams who won’t completely solve Green Bay’s issues at running back, but he can provide them with a player who will be good in short yardage situations as he continues to familiarize himself with the nuances of the team.

The Packers got themselves a steal in the seventh round when they selected LSU Tigers wide receiver Malachi Dupre. Dupre entered college as one of the nation’s top prep players, but a stagnant passing game at LSU didn’t allow him to shine. And now it will be interesting to see if Dupre will be able to take his game to the next level in the National Football League in the same fashion that former LSU Tigers wide receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants and Jarvis Landry of the Miami Dolphins are currently doing.

If you want to question how and why the Packers have made the playoffs in each of the last eight years, just look at what Thompson has been able to consistently do at the draft as he goes in with a plan of attack, and more importantly he sticks with it.

Detroit Lions

First-Round Pick: Jarrad Davis-Linebacker-Florida

Best Pick: Jarrad Davis

Grade: C

It was going to be interesting to see what the Detroit Lions would do to build off of their surprising trip to the postseason last season as all signs pointed to them attempting to fix the defense. But the Lions main issue on defense in 2016 were a lack of sacks as they were only able to tally 26. And when the Lions were ready to make their first choice of the 2017 National Football League Draft, they had both Missouri Tigers defensive end Charles Harris and Michigan Wolverines defensive end Taco Charlton sitting there for the taking. However Lions general manager Bob Quinn decided to taking Florida Gators inside linebacker Jarrad Davis. Davis does fill a need for the Lions at middle linebacker, but if Davis was their guy they probably could have gotten him in the second round, while still being able to pick up a pass rusher in the first.

Teez Tabor

Three of the Lions first four picks in the draft were used on defense which included taking Davis’ college teammate in cornerback Teez Tabor in the second round. Tabor had first-round potential, but he slipped to the second and only time will tell if the Lions got themselves a steal.

The Lions didn’t take a pass rusher until the sixth round when they selected Arkansas Razorbacks defensive end Jeremiah Ledbetter which is not going to help their issues as far as getting to the quarterback. And until the Lions find a way to consistently put pressure on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, they will continue to play second fiddle to them in the NFC North.

Minnesota Vikings

First-Round Pick: (N/A)

Best Pick: Round Two-Dalvin Cook-Running Back-Florida State

Grade: B

After the Minnesota Vikings acquired quarterback Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles last year, they knew that they wouldn’t be picking in the first round of this year’s National Football League Draft. But that didn’t prevent Vikings general manager Rick Spielman from coming out of the draft smelling like a rose. The Vikings watched the first round train pass them by, but they struck it rich in the second round with their selection of Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook.

Dalvin Cook

Cook enters the National Football League as a two-time All-American, while also being one of the most decorated ball carriers in the history of the Florida State program. The Vikings needed to replace running back Adrian Peterson who joined the New Orleans Saints and their rushing attack shouldn’t skip a beat with Cook as the feature ball carrier.

This draft was all about getting better in the trenches for the Vikings which saw them make a run through Big Ten country as in the third round they would select Ohio State Buckeyes center Pat Elflein, while taking Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson and Michigan Wolverines inside linebacker Ben Gedeon in the fourth round.

In all the Vikies made 11 selections in the draft as they added depth. And whereas that Cook will rightfully grab the headlines of this draft class, there will be other impact players who’ll emerge from this group.

Chicago Bears

First-Round Pick: Mitchell Trubisky-Quarterback-North Carolina

Best Pick: Round Four-Eddie Jackson-Safety-Alabama

Grade: F

The last three years have seen the Chicago Bears combine to lose 34 games and after their performance at the National Football League Draft, they aren’t any closer to turning things around. This off-season has already seen the Bears sign former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon to a three-year deal that is worth $45 million with $19 million guaranteed. The Bears entered the draft with the third overall pick with all signs pointing to them improving their defense. However Bears general manager Ryan Pace got trigger happy when he made a trade with the San Francisco 49ers to move up one slot to select North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

Mitch Trubisky

In making the deal the Bears sent three additional picks to San Francisco this year, while also parting with their third-round pick next year for a player in Trubisky who some people feel might be a one-year wonder. The Bears bet against themselves since there wasn’t going to be another team that was seeking to move up to select Trubisky and have now mortgaged their future in the process.

The Bears failed to address their issues in the secondary until the fourth round when they selected Alabama Crimson Tide free safety Eddie Jackson who missed the majority of the 2016 college football season due to an injury.

In all the Bears only had five picks as they failed to properly address their needs on the offensive and defensive line, as well as in the secondary. And thus it could be another long season in Chicago for the Bears and their fan base.

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2016-2017 Conference Championship Picks

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In the final football game at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has a date with destiny.

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Respect The Greatness

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The Green Bay Packers organization has been around for nearly 100 years and they’ve had some good quarterbacks play for them. This list includes Bart Starr, Brett Favre, and Lynn Dickey. But here in the early stages of 2017, Aaron Rodgers is emerging as the best to have ever done if for the green and gold.

This isn’t Rodgers’ first time around the block as the Packers starting quarterback as he has led Green Bay to the postseason in each year since 2009. Rodgers’ record as the Packers starting quarterback is 90-45 with him being a two-time National Football League MVP and the MVP of Super Bowl 45. This season saw Rodgers throw 40 touchdown passes in the regular season to just 7 interceptions, while passing for 4,428 yards. Rodgers also completed 65.7 percent of his passes and the Packers needed every bit of it.

After 10 games the Packers had a record of 4-6 and it appeared that they would miss the postseason, however neither the Minnesota Vikings or Detroit Lions could put them away in the NFC North. The Packers would reel off six consecutive wins to end the regular season which included victories over the Vikings and Lions. And when it was all said and done, Green Bay had once again won the NFC North. Over the Packers final six regular season games Rodgers threw 15 touchdown passes while not throwing a single interception. But even with that Rodgers has somehow found a way to take his game to new heights this month.

In two playoff games the Packers offense has clicked on all cylinders as they’ve scored 72 points. After the Packers offense was shutout in the first quarter of the NFC Wild Card Game by the New York Giants, Rodgers got it going just before the first half ended with a pair of touchdown throws. Rodgers would finish the game 25-of-40 passing for 362 yards and 4 touchdown throws as the Packers would defeat the Giants 38-13.

This past Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, Rodgers didn’t have the services of his top wide receiver in Jordy Nelson who is recovering from a rib injury that he suffered against the Giants. But that didn’t stop Rodgers from leading the Packers on a trio of touchdown drives in the first half as Green Bay took a 21-13 lead to the dressing room at the half. The Packers would extend their lead to 28-13 after Rodgers connected with tight end Jared Cook on a six-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the second half before the Cowboys would rally to knot the score at 28-28 late in the fourth quarter. But as usual Rodgers was totally undaunted as he put the Packers in field goal range which paved the way for kicker Mason Crosby to connect on a 56-yard field goal with 93 seconds left in regulation to give Green Bay the 31-28 advantage. The Cowboys would rally to tie the score at 31-31; however they made a huge mistake in the process.

Once Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey matched Crosby’s 56-yard field goal with a 52-yarder of his own, Dallas kicked the ball back to the Packers with 35 seconds left which was more than enough time for Rodgers to add to his growing legend.

After Rodgers got the Packers a first down when he connected wide receiver/running back Ty Montgomery on a 17-yard pass which put the football on the Green Bay 42, the Dallas defense stiffened. The Packers then found themselves in a third-and-20 situation which would have been too much for some quarterbacks to deal with. But Packers head coach Mike McCarthy had complete faith in Rodgers and his offense as the two-time MVP who led Green Bay to a Super Bowl Title on the same field six years ago scrambled out of the pocket to find Cook on the sidelines for a 36-yard connection. And after a brief debate between the officials, they deemed that Cook was able to get both feet down in bounds while maintaining possession of the football for a catch.

Mason Crosby

Rodgers improvisation would give Crosby another chance to put the Packers ahead. And after Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett attempted to ice Crosby by calling a timeout, he calmly stepped up and made a 51-yard field goal to send Green Bay to the NFC Championship Game for the second time in the last three years.

But the flair for the dramatic is nothing new for Rodgers as in recent years he has made the “Hail Mary” and other unbelievable throws seem like a routine pass as the Lions, Giants, and Arizona Cardinals can all attest to. No lead is safe for a Packers opponent as long as Rodgers in under center as he has done the impossible which is to make the folks in Green Bay forget about the legends of Starr and Favre.

Rodgers once again has the Packers on the threshold of the Super Bowl as all that stands in his way of getting back to the big game is a victory over the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday in the final football game at the Georgia Dome. There isn’t anything flashy about the receiving core that is on the receiving end of Rodgers’ brilliant passes as they are simply along for the ride. But like other great quarterbacks before him such as Joe Montana and John Elway, along with current stars such as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Rodgers has that innate ability to make those around him step their game up as he always seems to rise to the occasion.

This was a Packers team that after losing to the Washington Redskins 42-24 in Week 11 had surrendered at least 31 points in four consecutive games as they appeared to be a beaten team. But Rodgers is the same guy that told us all to “R-E-L-A-X” a few years ago, and in the Packers last six games they have scored at least 30 points in each contest.

Rodgers is only 33-years of age and even though it appears that he still has plenty of football in the tank, he is well on the fast track to joining Starr and Favre in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as performances like the one we say this past Sunday against the Cowboys are what make legends.

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2016 Week 17 NFL Picks

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Week 17’s showdown against the Green Bay Packers could be a defining moment for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

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2016 Week 16 NFL Picks

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The New England Patriots can see the finish line in regards to getting home-field advantage in the playoffs.

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