2017 was a disappointing season in Green Bay. When Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone in Week 6, the situation was made even worse by it happening against our biggest rivals, the Minnesota Vikings.
It would have seemed that Rodgers going down was an opportunity for Brett Hundley to step up. Though we hadn’t seen much out of Hundley (players second to Rodgers rarely will, except in the case of extreme emergency), we’d heard great things.
However, there was nothing exciting or hopeful for the Packers’ season once Hundley took the field. In the 10 games that Hundley started and played in, the team made only 21 red zone trips, Rodgers made those same 21 trips in only six games. Of those 21 red zone trips, “the team was able to move the ball inside the 10-yard line only 42.8 percent of the time,” according to Fansided.
The 2018 NFL Draft has been over for a few days now, and it’s given me a bit of time to research players I hadn’t known coming into it, and time to think about what our picks mean. We got to see new general manager Brian Gutekunst at work, and the draft gave us a bit more of a glimpse into his plans for our favorite team.
At the start of the draft, the Green Bay Packers had a league-high 12 picks. They made two trades in the first round and ended the draft with 11 picks that included: two cornerbacks, three wide receivers, one offensive lineman, one defensive lineman, one edge rusher, a punter and a long snapper.
So who ARE these new guys? Let’s take a look:
Jaire Alexander, cornerback, Louisville: EXCELLENT pick. The cornerback position is what I was hoping the Packers would draft first, and this is perhaps the best pick Gutekunst made this year. I think Alexander has the potential to become one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Jackson is big – he’s tall and has long arms, which helped him complete eight interceptions last year. A very close second in terms of ability to Alexander. I expect him to see the field this season.
Oren Burks, linebacker, Vanderbilt: The Packers traded up in round 3 to get Burks. Starting as a safety, Burks has the potential and skill to play either safety or linebacker for Green Bay. I’ve read that there is concern about his consistency as a tackler, but he will most likely see a lot of action as a special teams player this upcoming season.
J’Mon Moore, wide receiver, Missouri: To be honest, I’m not sure the Packers will end up keeping Moore. While he had 10 touchdowns last year for the Tigers, I’m not entirely convinced he’s ready for the NFL just yet.
Cole Madison, offensive lineman, Washington State: I like him. I predict Madison will make the team as a starter on the right side of our offensive line this season.
JK Scott, P, Alabama: Let the competition begin! Scott was definitely the best punter in the draft. Who do you think will ultimately win the spot between Scott and Justin Vogel?
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, South Florida: Here’s another player that I’m not sure will end up on the team. He seems to need some work on running routes and passing. What grade would YOU give this pick?
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame: My favorite of the three wide receivers the Packers drafted. He’s FAST and I like that for Green Bay. I’m not sure he’s ready to be a starter, but I think we very well MIGHT see him in a game this season!
James Looney, defensive lineman, Cal: He’s fast which I like, but I’m not sure he’s NFL ready just yet.
Hunter Bradley, long snapper, Mississippi State: The best long snapper in the draft. Green Bay has Brett Goode, but we definitely saw issues early last year with the LS position. There were other positions I would have rather seen get filled at this point in the draft, but he’s a solid player, no doubt.
Kendall Donnerson, Edge, SE Missouri State: Another player that I don’t think is NFL ready at this point. Hopefully, he can become one during preseason workouts, because he is FAST and has great hands.
Overall, I give the Packers an A- for their draft picks. The excitement isn’t over yet though! Up next is undrafted free agency. Follow along with me on Twitter and here as we stay up to date with all the reported signings!
Talk all things Packers with Lucy on Twitter @Lucyrk78
My father passed away on October 25th, 2016. That’s a date I will never forget. He was a Cowboys fan and we used to spend Sundays together, religiously watching as many football games as we could handle in a single day and with a single screen. When I discovered football and the NFL, seven years ago, he was a bit surprised but happy to tag along for that ride.
He had watched the game before when my older brother was a kid, and both the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins were huge in Mexico. Now, he would listen to every story I told about the Green Bay Packers. He would care about the statistics, the changing rules, the name of every wide receiver, cornerback and backup quarterback that I mentioned. He would look around and try to buy for me any piece of Packers merch he could find in Mexico City stores. Scarves, tumbler cups, action figures, plushies, gloves too large for my own hands.
Then he got sick, went to the hospital, and died. And I almost quit football.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2018, was announced this past weekend. As always, my favorite selection is the one from the Senior Committee. These gentlemen have been over-looked and under-appreciated when compared to the modern-era players. And, most importantly, they are the heart, soul, beginnings of this game I love.
They wore leather helmets and pads that were a puny excuse for protection. They got paid so little that most had second jobs during the offseason. They played because they loved the game.
While it was before my time, my dad would tell me stories about these great men and they’ve always stayed with me. This year I was very excited to see that Jerry Kramer from the Green Bay Packers would finally be admitted into this great hall.
AND they did it AT Lambeau. It could be said that the Packers did well at only keeping the Vikings to 16 points, but that would be one of those statements where you’re really stretching to find something positive to say about this game.
I think my breathing might JUST be returning to normal today. Some people like close games, but if you’ve been reading my column for anytime, you know I can’t stand them! Two weeks in a row winning in overtime? NOT fun for me!
Sundays OT win was the third overtime win of this season – never before has that happened in Green Bay franchise history. Never before have the Packers won more than two overtime games in a single season. Another record? Sunday was the first time in Green Bay history that the team has won back-to-back games in overtime.
The Packers got a walk-off win for the second straight game when wide receiver Davante Adams ran for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime after first tying the game with 17 seconds left. At this point, Adams has to be one of the best receivers in the entire league.
I hate to say this because just a few weeks ago I said that the Packers had a great chance to turn things around for the rest of the season. Alas, they haven’t. And from the looks of it, they won’t.
So, what went wrong? It’s hard to tell, but besides quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone, things never quite picked up on the turf for the Green Bay Packers. Heck, they even lost tight end Martellus Bennett back to the New England Patriots. He started seven games and then the team played a very odd game of injury-waive-goodbye with him.
It’s odd to me that the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have almost an even record against each other. Going into Sunday’s game, the Packers were just one game ahead in one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL. Thankfully, that number went up one with the Packers now winning 14 of their past 16 games against Chicago.
This was the first time I’ve ever been nervous when facing the Bears. The Packers have been on a three-game losing streak since quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, and the way Green Bay had been playing, it seemed like the Bears (favored to win this game) would get the win.
One dimensional. That is how Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews described the Chicago Bears offense after a poor performance in yesterday’s 23-16 loss.
The Bears were coming into this game off a bye, so they should have had fresh legs and a fresh perspective. Instead, the Bears came in sluggish, unprepared and downright confused. And the score would have been even worse if Aaron Rodgers were healthy and on that field.
Ask any Chicago Bears fan what was their favorite game against the Green Bay Packers, and they will say the Thanksgiving game. On November 25th, 2015, then quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 200 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers on a rainy night. The Bears defense was clutch on a final goal line drive as former Bears defensive back Tracy Porter intercepted quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Bears won 17-13.
Ever since Rodgers replaced Brett Favre, he has been the thorn in the side of the Chicago Bears. It has been a running joke for the Packers with how easy it is to defeat their rivals. Well, the last time the Bears and Packers collided was in Week 4, in a horrible shellacking by Rodgers and company.