One more to add for now. Note that all of my previews are complete through April 5th. My focus now is on final grading for all the NFL draftees. It is in the last 72 hours before the draft that I shift back and fill in the final spots of each team's preview.

As with the other previews, various colors did not show up in transfer, so just know that in the '17 draft grid below the final sentence for each player was the part added this March.


Green Bay Packers - Season Summary

From each of the past three seasons: Itís the same sad story almost every year. The Packers look good early, lose a key game that knocks them out of one of the coveted playoff bye spots, rebound in a big way and then watch as their point defense absolutely implodes in late December and early January. Aaron Rodgers sure looked good, but he doesnít play defense, and doesnít misuse the talented Clay Matthews either. Something in this broken record scenario needs to be changed. Well, Packer fans, something is changing for í18. With several new coaches and a new GM, expectations are that GB will finally be participating in free agency. This offseason could actually be interesting!

What went right: GB drafted three RBís last year. The foundation is there to have excellent run-pass balance with a healthy Aaron Rodgers after the RBís got their feet wet in í17. The Packers have drafted a plethora of blue collar ďtry-hardĒ guys on defense. While I donít like to see an organization focus solely on drafting these types of players, thereís no question the Blake Martinez, Jake Ryan and Kenny Clark have the tools and smarts to make the defense better. Little else went right last season although the return game (offense and defense) was above average.

What went wrong: In í15, the Packers were top five in pass defense (58.3%) and had 16 interceptions. They regressed badly in í16, to nearly 65%. They got worse in í17, allowing a record 67.8% through the air. The QB passing rating vs. their defense was the highest in their history. The Packers allowed 30 pass TDís while securing just 11 interceptions. Itís unfair to discuss WR Jordy Nelsonís performance in this spot as much of the problem was inaccurate QB play once Rodgers went down. At least the Packers (finally) discovered that Brett Hundley is not NFL material. In his extended stint as the starter Hundley had a well below par yards-per-completion figure, with 12 interceptions and 29 sacks taken.

2017 draft recap: I stated last year in this spot how tired I was of GM Ted Thompsonís needless trade backs on draft day? The Packers ended up with 10 selections but why not just take Kevin King at 29? Once again they settled for some vanilla early in the draft (picks 93, 108). I applauded the trio of RBís chosen but said that Dalvin Cook could have rendered the other choices mute. Taking Cook would have freed this team to take care of their other needs.
Round Name Pos-RANK School Comments
2-33 Kevin King CB Ė 9 Washington Draft range 30-45 as CBís deep. Zone CB. Asset in the red zone. Can play safety. Can play the run. Burned occasionally in man coverage. Looked good but season cut short with shoulder injury.
2-61 Josh Jones Safety Ė 9 NC St FS and SS. Too aggressive (burned). Strong, fast and productive. Freelancing gets him in trouble. College coach says box safety. Played a hybrid role with mixed reviews from analysts, but was productive.
3-93 Montravius Adams DL - * Auburn 4-3 DT had a solid senior year but was so-so vs. run. Played with his head down at times and would have trouble vs. double teams. *** rating verified with so-so contributions as a rookie.
4-108 Vince Biegel LB - * Wisconsin Occasional blitzer with solid instincts. Not a cover LB. Overachiever, but a bit undersized and on the ground a little too much. Role player.
4-134 Jamaal Williams RB Ė 12 BYU High YPC guy has to stay healthy. Hard running style. Lacks breakaway speed. Seldom used in pass game. Blocking needs work. Just 3.6 per carry but overachieved as rookie and caught 25 passes!
5-175 DeAngelo Yancey WR Ė 21 Purdue Stretch the field WR with major upside but the drop rate was terrible. Cut, placed on their practice squad.
5-182 Aaron Jones RB - * UTEP Steady college career as GB drafts three with solid per-carry averages. Solid 5.5 per carry but couldnít stay healthy.
6-212 Kofi Amichia OG Ė NR USF OL a need but this weak OL is the longest of shots to make an impact. Waived, then returned to practice squad.
7-238 Devante Mays RB - * Utah St Another injury prone RB with NFL requisite YPC. Early fumbles/benched.
7-247 Malachi Dupre WR Ė 22 LSU Athletic with solid ball tracking. Career at LSU never took off. Fits here as a guy who can go deep for a team with a big arm QB. Waived.
UDFA Justin Vogel Punter - * Miami Fla. No blocked punts. Not a kickoff guy. Good hang time. Combine issues. Won job and produced nicely as a rookie.

Early outlook for 2018 (4/5): From a metric standpoint I have nothing to report but with the new GM on board (see below) there will be some interesting personnel moves. More importantly, there will be noticeable offensive and defensive changes with the new coordinators. Last year I noted how surprised I was that Dom Capers returned. This year I think GB may make some positive noise on the defensive side of the football. With that in mind, Iím cautiously optimistic about this team for í18.

FREE AGENCY ANALYSIS AND STAFF NOTES (Short Version): Itís a new era as GB is now trading players as well as finally participating in free agency. They added back-up QB DeShone Kizer (trade), TE Jimmy Graham, DL Muhammad Wilkerson and DB Tramon Williams. They cut WR Jordy Nelson and lost Jeff Janis. TE Richard Rodgers left via free agency. They traded DB Damarious Randall and lost Morgan Burnett. Former GB coach Joe Philbin replaces Edgar Bennett as offensive coordinator. Mike Pettine replaces Dom Capers as defensive coordinator. This is a solid hire! Green Bay hopes their new staff members have as strong a season as the new staff members had with the LA Rams a year ago. Last year the point D was 26th. GB fired its ILB and DL coach from a year ago.

2018 DRAFT NEEDS: LB, OG and RT, cover CB, WR, impact DE, decisions at RB. The LBís need to make more splash plays. Adding a pass rusher would free Clay Mathews up a bit. Jake Ryan is a try-hard guy who should be replaced as a starter. Upgrades along the OL are essential. Kevin King is the player to watch, especially with the new coordinator but the pass D% was awful in í17 and CB Davon House doesnít seem to be the answer. Can someone I once liked, Quinten Rollins step up his game? GB is unusually thin now at WR. Is free agent signee Wilkerson a DT or DE? I asked this team to go get Delvin Cook a year ago. The three rookies could step up, but the Packers need to sort the position out.

RECENT DRAFT HISTORY AND TENDENCIES FOR 2018: Ex-GM Ted Thompson made mistakes in the early years by trading down too often, ignoring glaring needs. His latest two drafts were pure vanilla and a step in the wrong direction. I donít mind when a playoff type team with a great QB such as GB trades UP for talent, but that hasnít happened much. Their recent lack of positional focus has been very disturbing. Iíll be very curious to see how the new GM handles this draft.

DRAFT PICK OVERVIEW: Picks in 1st 3 rounds: 14, 45, 76. Green Bay has twelve draft picks, most in the NFL. They essentially traded decent DB Damarius Randall for a potentially better back-up QB in DeShone Kizer as long as the staff and coach him up and make him forget about his disastrous rookie debut. More importantly, the trade also included moving up 12 and 13 spots in round four and five. The Packers now have MY coveted 1st spot on day #3 of the NFL draft!

ROUND ONE PREVIEW: Coming 4/25.

REST OF THE DRAFT: Coming 4/25. Like with the Lions I had good day three Intel that I shared in this spot a year ago.