This is the first part of a three-part series going up on the page of my grades on the Packers, and if they need to add to that position in the offseason.
An Aaron Rodgers down year is still an elite quarterback in the NFL, and the stats back it up. DeShone Kizer is a young backup quarterback who is good enough for that position. Tim Boyle lit up the preseason but didn’t play a snap in the regular season. The Packers probably do not need to assess this position just yet, but next year might be the year to look for a Rodgers successor.
Le’Veon Bell has been linked to the Packers multiple times this season already. While he is a good player, the Packers probably shouldn’t make that move. Aaron Jones did amazing once he became the full-time RB1, and he should do even better next season with a better system. Jamaal Williams is an okay backup RB, but Packers could do better. They should draft a running back on day 3 of the draft. Myles Gaskin, L.J Scott, Rodney Anderson are the best options for them. If they want to sign somebody, they should go after Tevin Coleman and not Bell.
Davante Adams is an elite WR but he needs help on the other side. Cobb is a free agent and the Packers should let them walk. Geronimo Allison was having a great year before he got injured, and with him being RFA they should bring him back. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St.Brown both have good potential, but the Packers shouldn’t bank on them taking the year two jump. Kumerow should also come back on a cheap deal. J’Mon Moore is the wild card here, as he does everything right except catching the ball, almost like a young Davante. This position should be addressed early in the draft, with somebody like Hollywood Brown, N’Keal Harry or Deebo Samuel with the Saints pick. Devante Parker is also somebody they should look into in free agency.
Jimmy Graham should be back and should have a better year in an offense that uses TE more. Marcedes Lewis was signed to be a run blocking TE, but for some reason, McCarthy never used him that way. Robert Tonyan has huge upside but is also a huge project. This upcoming TE class is loaded, and can be addressed early with somebody like Noah Fant, T.J. Hockenson or Irv Smith, or could be addressed in the middle rounds.
David Bakhtiari is one of if not the best tackles football and holds down Aaron Rodgers blindside. Bryan Bulaga also is very good but he is rarely healthy. Packers should look to draft somebody to replace him in this draft. Dalton Risner is the perfect pick for them, start him at guard this season and move him to tackle when Bulaga retires. If they don’t do that, they should still look to add depth late in the draft.
Guards and Center: B
Corey Linsley is the most underrated player on the Packers offense and didn’t miss a snap all season. The guard position, however, needs to be addressed early and often. Lane Taylor played well down the stretch at LG, but was often injured and also played poorly at the beginning. RG was constantly changing between Justin McCray and Lucas Patrick, and neither could stay healthy or play well consistently. This isn’t the best guard draft, but they can still get an upgrade.