Doubling Down in Free Agency and the Draft

The Packers have signed free agents and drafted the same position high before, will it happen again?

In the 2019 off-season, the Green Bay Packers were looking to reshape their defense. So, they decided to spend a bit of the money they had available to them at the time and sign Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith as their edge rushers and they also signed safety Adrian Amos. Holes in the new defense filled and on to the offense right? Not so fast. With two first-round picks in the 2019 draft, they selected another edge rusher in Rashan Gary and also in the first round drafted Darnell Savage, a safety. It was met with a bit of criticism at the time. Why would they sign a starting player in free agency and then draft at that same position in the first round? 

Well, I hope five years later that question has been answered. Rashan Gary at first was a bit of a project player. It ended up that a perfect situation for him was to sit between these two experienced veterans at the same position, learn the defense along with them, and get better with their tutelage. Now Gary is considered one of the best edge rushers. Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage essentially reshaped the Packers' secondary together. Now, it looks like the Packers could be at it again.

Whether it be the first round or the second round, the Packers are expected to use one of their top picks in the draft on a safety. With it appearing as if they are re-vamping the position, a high safety pick seems very likely. And when you look at the roster, you realize none of the current candidates are guaranteed to be a starter in week 1. So, it just makes sense to dive into the position with free agency as well, if not for just a little competition. Similar to Rashan Gary or Darnell Savage, having a good mentor at the position could help them hit the ground running very quickly so that they can produce at a high level even in their rookie season. 

So, who could be the candidates?

Xavier McKinney: I've already expressed my desire for the Packers to go after Xavier McKinney here. I believe McKinney has youth on his side as well as team leadership experience. He's also almost as close to a sure tackler as you can get and he has some nice closing speed from mid-field to sideline. He could come with a large price tag, but he's exactly the type of safety I would want them to pay if they end up doing so. 

Kamren Curl: Curl could be a strong starter for the Packers. He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Also Curl is a much better tackler than we've seen at the position in recent memory. 

Jordan Fuller: Fuller could be an inexpensive option. He's 25 years of age and can be a great asset in run support. He hasn't been a sideline-to-sideline defender, but he has shown the experience to be a capable starter. 

The Rookies

Tyler Nubin: Tyler Nubin has been a bit of a ball-hawk in his time at Minnesota recording 13 career interceptions and even more pass breakups. He's also been a line-of-scrimmage nuisance with two tackles for loss and a sack to his credit. 

Cooper DeJean: Also a bit of a ball hawk, DeJean could be a weapon wherever he lines up. He possesses elite athletic skills that could help him move from sideline to sideline and be the best at it they can be.

Kamren Kinchens: Kinchens can play single-high safety as he has the closing speed to move sideline to sideline. He too can be a ball hawk registering five interceptions.  

The ideal tandem

If I were to choose a free-agent safety and a rookie safety to pair together, I would pick Xavier McKinney and Cooper Dejean. They are each very athletic safeties that will rush to the ball as soon as it's within their sights. Safety play has been dismal at times in the last few years. To have two ball-hawking athletic safeties making plays at the line of scrimmage or in the defensive backfield would be a dream come true.

Until then, Go Pack Go.

 

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHEESEHEAD NATION WEEKLY NEWSLETTER HERE.

__________________________

Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to CheeseheadTV as well as PackersTalk. Follow him on Twitter @gmeinholz for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.

__________________________

12 points
 

Comments (89)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
jvole's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:18 am

Unless there are some other, better testing numbers for Kinchens, I think he is off the board for the Packers. What about McKinney and Rudy Ford with DeJean in the slot (for now) ? Later DeJean, if he shows the aptitude, moves to safety?

3 points
3
0
mrtundra's picture

March 10, 2024 at 08:07 am

I'd wait to see Kinchens, at Miami's Pro Day, before I cut him loose. DeJean was off the board, by the time GB picked at #25, in recent mocks I've seen.

2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:32 am

There were questions about his sideline-to-sideline ability prior to the Combine, but I think that GMs have pretty much made their assessments prior to his testing.

0 points
1
1
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:05 pm

I wonder how they assessed Fuller and McKinney? Their 10 yard splits were both slower than Kinchens and 40 times were all with in 2 hundredths of a second.

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:27 am

I don't think there's a bit of doubt the Packers NEED to double dip this year. Whether it's McKinney, Curl, Fuller, or anyone else the Packers need to sign someone at the Safety position this year in Free Agency. The position is saturated this year in FA which is great news for the Packers. That should help keep the cost down somewhat, hell maybe enough to double dip.

I like DeJean, love his versatility.Bullard or Georgia and Bullock of USC are also guys I'm starting to like more and more. Nubin didn't run at the combine so I'm curious what he'll do at his pro-day. IMO Kitchens is OFF the Packers board. He didn't run a good 40, had a MEH vertical, and his broad jump was atrocious.

The Packers can FIX the safety position in one offseason much like the did OLB a few years ago. Gutes got a plan, hopefully just like the one from a few years ago.

8 points
9
1
stockholder's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:18 am

But the plan turns out to be the quick fix.
Then we let Douglass go - Campbell talk?
After all the Safety releases in the NFL.
The safety choice must be through the draft.
Don't spend the money if it hurts another position.

-7 points
2
9
PhantomII's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:50 am

How about we look at it like what part of the team has hurt the team the most....Safety ..SLOW TO READ AND REACT (and ) OL needing to be bailed out by TE's and RB blocking and not enough pass catchers fielding passes by our QB...... That's reality..... Moving on from Douglas...THE ONLY HEALTHY / COMPLETELY DEPENDABLE SECONDARY MEMBER ...YEA< THAT WAS DUMB GUTE>. Better and younger, now. FA-FS AND FA-SS....Draft 1-OT and 3-IOL and a good RB at our high #2 Pick.

-3 points
2
5
dobber's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:03 am

...and, yet, they went from 2-5 WITH Douglas (22.3 ppg) to 7-3 and a playoff bid--and that was with Ballentine and Valentine playing a lot--without him (19.3 ppg).

Move on already.

5 points
8
3
PhantomII's picture

March 10, 2024 at 05:17 pm

Well we were 2-5 with love also...so. Yea, we had a very weak schedule in 2023=PPG is low=poor teams. Douglas is a good player= dumb move. 22.3 vs 19.3 against bad teams= dumb comment. Moving on.

-3 points
2
5
jannes bjornson's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:46 pm

An Epic Fail...

0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:09 am

And every time there is a failure.
You'll keep looking.
Since 2010. !!!

-2 points
2
4
Untylu1968's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:11 am

We were 2-5 with Douglas. He's an OK player, but he wasn't coming back anyway. Gute did what he should've done in getting a decent pick instead of nothing.

3 points
5
2
NickPerry's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:26 am

I agree, they need to draft a safety. But how is adding a safety like Fuller or Curl just as examples hurt this team? All the safeties being released actually HELPS the Packers. With every safety being released it drives the price down a little bit further because of the number of safeties now available.

Hell, I finally felt like the football Gods were on the Packers side because of the number of Safeties available.

2 points
2
0
PhantomII's picture

March 10, 2024 at 09:51 pm

LOL, Thank you Lord...May I have another...

1 points
1
0
LambeauPlain's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:28 am

DeJean and McKinney and Johnson, Jr and another day 3 drafted Safety sounds like a good core group for Coach Haf and his assistants to teach.

And another consideration: Call me crazy, but maybe Hafley believes he can reclaim the Savage of his first two years and erase the downward slide while playing Barry Ball. It is more than coincidence Savage began to slip in 2021 upon Joe Barry's arrival. Several players were slipping and sliding under Barry.

6 points
7
1
GregC's picture

March 10, 2024 at 07:36 am

And yet the defense was about as good as it was under Mike Petine. Basically average. Seems like if the players were slipping and sliding, the defense would've been worse than it was with Petine.

-4 points
1
5
dobber's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:11 am

In all honesty, with how iffy and undermanned the S position was in GB, it's remarkable that the defense was still average, overall.

It makes you wonder how much better they could have been with even one higher-end S.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:21 am

Barry’s D never saw a S thrive. He asked players to do too many things. We never had that level of versatility. Situational versatility is one thing, but permanent true interchangeability without drop off is rare. There are only a handful in the league who excel both in the box and in deep coverage. Barry made that worse after changes in years 2 and 3.

I’ve long said that it would take two Woodsons to really make a Barry D work through the safety position and was about that unlikely. He didn’t adjust for his player capabilities at safety or elsewhere. Hopefully Hafley is very different in that respect.

3 points
3
0
Leatherhead's picture

March 10, 2024 at 09:34 pm

Look at who we had on the field at DB. Alexander, Stokes, and Savage all missed a lot of time so it was Valentine, Ballantine, Ford, Nixon, Owens That doesn’t even look good on paper.

1 points
1
0
egbertsouse's picture

March 10, 2024 at 07:41 am

OK. You’re crazy. Savage stunk before Joe Barry and he stinks now. Slaps at the ball instead of tackling and gets a rare interception because he is out of position. HHCD ‘s little brother.

5 points
7
2
GregC's picture

March 10, 2024 at 12:13 pm

Yeah, I was thinking of HHCD. Another Packer safety whose career started off fast, and then he went downhill--even more than Savage did. And HHCD had the same defensive coordinator the whole time. It's actually not all that uncommon of a career arc for NFL players. There could be a variety of reasons for it. Undisclosed injuries. The opposition figuring them out. Failure to dedicate themselves to their craft enough to continue to reach an NFL standard of play.

0 points
1
1
LambeauPlain's picture

March 11, 2024 at 09:43 am

I feel quite sane. I am not advocating for Savage's return, but Hafley may, then you can call him nuts.

Savage's first two years, the 2nd team All B1G Safety and NFL All Rookie team member had his best production with his 2nd season his best, by far.

He averaged 65 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 INTs and 8.5 passes defensed during those first two seasons.

Thereafter, under Barry, he averaged 57 tackles, 0 forces fumbles 1 INT, and 5 passes defensed. So whatever you are smelling from him was more odiferous after Barry arrived.

Hafley may see Savage's athleticism and relative youth plus experience as a player he can coach up. If he does, then he will have to convince Gutey he is worth the price. And he may not be. But don't go crazy if Packers bring him back.

0 points
0
0
mrtundra's picture

March 10, 2024 at 08:10 am

I've heard a scenario where they move Savage from Safety to Slot CB--a position he played in college. He may be better suited there. His lack of tackling was a problem, last season. So, he will have to do better this TC, or he may get cut.

0 points
1
1
dobber's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:54 am

That's been the primary criticism of how they've used Savage.

That said, Savage is already a FA and, while he might be back, I think someone else will throw more money at him as a reclamation project than the Packers will be willing to give. With his void money, he's already costing the Packers. They apparently made no effort to try to save that money.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:15 am

His tackling has always been dubious. He’s not an obvious Hafley slot candidate for that reason. He is a less obvious guy at SS. He profiles athletically as a FS, but he does his best things nearer the line. There are systems he may suit. However, Hafley’s sounds like one as ill suited to him as Barry’s if for different reasons. I was on the fence on him on a cheaper deal till they opted for Hafley. After that it seemed likely best for both sides to move on.

3 points
3
0
stockholder's picture

March 10, 2024 at 09:01 am

How much can we spend-?
IMO the best Free Agent is out of Reach.
And after the decline of Amos.
I'm just not seeing value for the buck.

Rebuilding the back 7 is for the future.
Restocking a position will pay more dividends.

I'm for the guys that made the play-offs.
Not some FA guy that will have to renegotiate
his contract. So we can keep spending.

Whats the right thing to do?
Keep kicking the can down the road.
And have a signing that makes a splash.

Or a team that gets to play care free ,
and have it's own way.?
The Packer way.

-6 points
3
9
jannes bjornson's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:55 am

The guys that made the Playoffs gave up the Game in Santa Clara. Missed tackles, out of position, dropped INTs, no thanks. Reload. He moved Douglas for squat and now he's down a Playmaker. Stokes will remain a question mark until Summer Session. The reason I push for Kendall Fuller to come onboard. Not a big expenditure; otherwise, move Up for Q. Mitchell. If you want blue chips, you have to play the game.

-2 points
4
6
stockholder's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:01 am

Hold on here- Tom was out.
And maybe you have to sign a
guy that can make a field goal instead.
Savage was a veteran -
The trade up doesn't work

-3 points
1
4
jannes bjornson's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:33 am

Translation: Tom was injured during the 49rs game and there was no OT taken with a high pick in 2023 to secure the left flank/depth. Carlson should have been supplanted by the big push in December, ( see: 2020, 2021, Sp. Teams disasters and bodies from the morgue playing the OT spots for static analysis). Savage was a veteran who never should have seen the 5th year option. Two four picks wasted to grab a slot CB. If you want DeJean, you will have to move UP .

2 points
2
0
golfpacker1's picture

March 10, 2024 at 12:51 pm

Trading up is the easiest way to destroy this ultra-important draft for GB. Let the draft fall to us and either choose from 3 players that fill our biggest needs @ # 25, or trade back for more day 2 picks in the strongest part of the draft.

Day 2 Available CBs: Melton, Jackson, Tampa, Rakestraw, James, Carson, Hart, etc

Day 2 Available Safeties-Everyone but DeJean

No reason to trade up.

4 points
4
0
stockholder's picture

March 10, 2024 at 01:04 pm

Trading back= Fine OK - Just don't
take a cb before the 3rd rd.
Take the safties /OL/ LBs
And don't trade up for one in rd.1.
You'll lose everything you gave away
in Douglass. Trying to get the 90 pick
25 Cooper DeJean S. Iowa.
41 Tyler Nubin. S Minn. Bet Lions grab him.
58 Payton Wilson ILB NC.
88 Christian Jones. OT Texas
91 Cole Bishop. S Utah
125. Javon Soloman Edge Troy

1 points
2
1
jannes bjornson's picture

March 10, 2024 at 02:57 pm

Sunday Mourning, coming down, waiting for Gutey, not Godot: DeJean has been snagged btw #14-22, Q #10-15. Players, not Plays: Nubin gone at #33.

#41 Jordan Morgan LT Arizona.( Walker to RT. He leaked six sacks and 9 penalties.
in 15 games. Get better. Tom goes inside, or stays put).
#48 T. Sweat DT Texas ( STOP the Run).
#58 Max Melton CB Rutgers ( Brotherhood)
#71 Cole Bishop SS Utah
#88 M.Kneeland Edge W.Mich
#91 Bucky Irving RB Oregon
#96 C.Bullock S USC. ( He put on 10lbs, OK)
#113 Coleman OG TCU ( he will go higher).
#115 Jalen Ford LB Texas
#168 Guerendo RB Badgers
#210 H.Nourzad OC Penn State
#219 Kimani Vidal KR Troy
#245 Easton Gibbs LB Wyoming
#255 Ike Williams WR Illinois ( 1st team All_Big Ten and the PR. do not sacrifice Reed's career).
Kendall Fuller Free agent CB/FS.
Willie Gay to enforce the middle.

-1 points
0
1
stockholder's picture

March 10, 2024 at 03:22 pm

I'd take Nubin.
You never leave the football player
you need, when he won't be there at #41.
I would take Wash OT before Morgan.
If Morgan doesn't play LT. He won't be All-pro.
You must get a S early. Before Melton.
Don't rule out Hicks! Bullock is a steal at #96.
And I'll bet both go before Bishop.
Sweat at #58 seems more logical.
He's not KCs Jones or Clark.
He's a NT. Who won't play every down in the NFL
But I would grab him 3rd rd.
Because Slaton will leave.
And your FAs only replace Savage.

-2 points
1
3
jannes bjornson's picture

March 10, 2024 at 07:07 pm

This is how the Mock fell. Not taking Nubin @ #25. Took the draft capital in the Trade Down. Kendall Fuller can be the FS. Morgan is the LT. Nobody wants him anywhere else. Go get some 4th -5th rounders to turn into guards, or waste a high pick on a boat anchor who plays like Meki Becton. CBs will go before these safeties. Bishop's testing and three Years of Film will keep him in the Lower 2nd/upper third. I always back Jaden Hicks. I watched Bullock fly around in their Chaos version of defense. He put on some weight since last fall, otherwise he gets knocked around. Sweat will go in the upper 40s. He may seem to be a slob, but the combine olympics proved otherwise. You have to PLUG the middle. He knocked your U WASH OTs and Guards ass-backwards during the Playoff Series. They have three techs. Clark will be Extended, not replaced. Fautanu will be moved to guard. Rosengarten was schooled by the Texas and Michigan pass rush, stiff hips. He was flagged 3 times for holding vs. Michigan.

2 points
2
0
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:11 pm

Kris Jenkins is a better run defender than Sweat, weighs 55 lbs less and doesn't have to come off the field on 3rd and long. His own teammate Murphy is a better run defender. What is the disconnect here? In this defense bigger doesn't equal better unless it comes in a much better athletic package.

0 points
0
0
golfpacker1's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:15 pm

Sweat isn't even in Wisconsin anymore, let alone on the Packers board. The Packers will look for Clarks replacement in the 2025 draft.

Guerendo is gone 40 picks before that.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:55 pm

Tell the Fans when the opponents grind the ball down their throats in the fourth quarter. No SB 4 U.

0 points
0
0
PhantomII's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:55 am

Which is a heartbreaker loss. When we win the SB, we will have a map of how to field a special team, until then let's work on the obvious that is not getting it done. ST/OL/no FS on the team and no SS either.

4 points
4
0
Fubared's picture

March 10, 2024 at 09:42 am

2019 was a crap drfat imo. Gary was a second round prospect we took him at 15. Amos and savage were okay but hoth lacked serius speed and tackling ability. It was the Emiths who saved the day.

-7 points
3.5
10.5
Untylu1968's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:15 am

Keep beating that horse!

0 points
1
1
dobber's picture

March 10, 2024 at 02:46 pm

The horse is purple and yellow with braids.

2 points
2
0
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:13 pm

Probably craps itself whenever someone yells Skol or when it hears that horn!

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:29 am

One thing to say to you there Vikings fan....SPELLCHECK!!!!!!!

0 points
1
1
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:13 pm

I think he realized Savage was going to sign with the Vikings and stroked out a little ñ

0 points
0
0
murf7777's picture

March 10, 2024 at 09:54 am

I wouldn’t doubt the Packers double dip and maybe triple dip on the Safety position. But, don’t expect them to take one of the top day 1 safeties in FA. Even if you include the 2019 anomaly year where the Packers spent a lot in day 1 of FA, historically are the lowest expenditures in FA. If you look at the last 4 years the Packers have spent, by far, its not even close, least amount in FA’s.

IMO, other than developing QB’s, not spending wildly on FA’s is the most important reason for being a consistent winner in salary cap era. Buyer be aware, there are winners in FA spending in day 1, but there are many more wasted money on the big contracts. In other words, majority of times, the players get more money than their value. Fortunately, there is an abundance of FA safeties, I expect them to find value and take one or even two, while doing the same in the draft for a triple dip of safeties. Most likely, it would be two in the draft and one in FA.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:37 am

When a position group is essentially empty, it’s obvious that a team will acquire people to fill it. We are not going to acquire 4 free agents before the draft, so it’s pretty obvious that we will be drafting safeties. We could perhaps make a splash signing, but it’s as likely we find one or two competent ones.

Even if we do sign 2 starters, there is no guarantee that they are long term solutions and we still need more. Draft to surpass is strategy that is much more likely to work than draft and pray that the draftees both live up to expectations and do so this year.

Yes we will draft and probably sign one maybe two free agents. The question is what strategy and priorities are applied. That depends on what we really think of the draft class and how free agency shakes out.

If the market is depressed or is after then we’d be wise to capitalize on that. If the top echelon price out, there’s still a good chance the second tier price is decreased this year. Like the draft, let FA come to us, don’t try to force it and hone our tactics from there.

2 points
2
0
Matt Gonzales's picture

March 11, 2024 at 12:27 pm

I agree strongly with this. If there are potential bridge players out there in the defensive backfield and at off-ball linebacker, I would rather see them come in than breaking the bank for one or two impact signings. GB is still unwinding a ton of dead money from all of the restructures done at the end of the Rogers era and any further cap gymnastics are going to make it difficult to retain guys coming up on the end of their rookie deals - Doubs and/or Watson, Rasheed Walker, and Zach Tom all come to mind, but there are quite a few more current starters or key depth guys that GB needs to decide on as the cupboard is going to start looking pretty bare again at the end of the 2025 season if they can't get these figured out.

I am also assuming Stokes, Meyers, and Kenny Clark are all going to be gone at the end of their current deals unless Clark is willing to accept less than top tier pay.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:51 am

There's no going out on a limb with this article: Gute year after year will sign mid-range and lower FAs to cover glaring holes in the roster and to free up his hand on draft day. He'll sign someone, but I don't expect--with all the work they've done to clear cap (more to come this week)--that they'll blow the wad on McKinney or Simmons. I suspect that Fuller will probably even go for more than we all anticipate.

If I had to guess, the Packers will pursue a FS they can sign for low guarantees and not need to put 4 years on the table. That probably means an older guy...a Tashaun Gipson or a Jordan Poyer. You can't throw a rock without hitting a free agent box safety...they might bring back a guy like Owens, but at backup money and primarily to play STs. I think they'll give Johnson plenty of opportunities to show he can step into a key role, but they'll draft at least one safety, in part because the cupboard is almost completely bare, but also because those guys are key STs contributors.

1 points
2
1
PhantomII's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:09 am

There are "SO MANY" good Safeties dumped now...I'm pretty sure one of the top guys will sign right away if it's a decent offer with a decent term. I would hope GB would be on it fast. people generally don't want to be unemployed for long.....Teams have the leverage at this point. GB is on the upswing so I would think it would be an attractive fit in a team aspect. GB itself not as attractive. Being wanted is a powerful motivator though.

3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:28 am

This is what gets me--a true CF is a very valuable guy. So it makes you question just why teams are turning them loose rather than re-doing deals or extending them, even in the face of expanding caps. If some of these guys have anything to show, I think they're still going to get paid...especially younger guys like McKinney.

But I think you're right in that the Packers can't leave the FS position undermanned, especially if the initial indications--that they might want to play a fair amount of single-high--actually come to fruition. Have they actually SAID they want this or are we extrapolating based on Hafley's tendencies elsewhere? Coming out and saying too much about that makes you look like a cash-cow to agents.

I think that while GB itself isn't a destination, for older vets who have families, the social life is less of an issue. They might be more concerned with the lower endorsement/marketing opportunities...unless you're Troy Polamalu selling your glorious locks.

1 points
1
0
PhantomII's picture

March 10, 2024 at 12:07 pm

I think we get a top 3 FS available. I do not remember tha last good one we had...I have been wanting one for years. Jaire is a playmaker when he wants to be....Gute moving Douglas was unwise. Now we have to go Elite at Safety. I really thing Gute pulls that trigger. Imagine a ball hawk seeing the play taking great angles and making plays...INT's..Pass breakups..3 n outs. Glory be...GPG

3 points
3
0
Leatherhead's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:11 am

This is Murphy's last year. He was a football player in school, then in college, then in the pros. Then he became an AD, and finally the Prez of the Packers. This season is the culmination of his lifetime as a football guy, he'd love to go out with The Trophy, and the Packers will do what they have to do to ensure they have a team that can win it this year. Not 2025, not 2027. This year, Murphy's last.

I also think people have a very distorted view of our safety play, especially Savage. He missed 7 games, so if we had safety problems in those games you need to look elsewhere. We were the #10 scoring defense, and we were in Top 10 in fewest passing yards and fewest passing completions. People are expecting me to believe that this was accomplished despite having a bad DC and very little talent in the secondary, and I'm having a hard time swallowing that.

Rewatch the Dallas playoff game and tell me how bad Savage is. I also think that all of these guys....Owens, Ford, Savage,.....are testing the FA waters but could be resigned by the Packers for the right price.

There's a very real chance we'll draft a corner at #25.

-3 points
3
6
Coldworld's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:40 am

Savage versus the 49ers was as bad as he was good against Dallas. That’s Savage in a nutshell.

Who would you deem worthy of a selection at corner at 25? Other than DeJean, I don’t know I see one worth not trading back if we can if that’s the best option.

DeJean for me is a no at 25 till he either shows he can test or we get some clarification of his health prognosis. We may not find out but teams will, which makes him a lottery. I’m not keen on taking a guy 25 with possible Stokes-like questions on recovery or the need to view as a pick for 2025. We need actual depth now.

7 points
7
0
Leatherhead's picture

March 10, 2024 at 02:26 pm

If Savage was that bad, and Barry was that bad, how did we hold the best team in the NFC, on their homefield, to 24 points? (yeah, that's under their average?)

I think when you look at players, you're measuring them against perfection. I look at Savage and I don't see perfection, but he's clearly no worse than an average safety. Savage in a nutshell? We're something like 50-15 when he's on the field. I'm sure you feel that's despite him, not because of him in anyway.

As far as a CB at #25....this is a small group of no more than 3 or 4 guys......DeJean, Kool-aid, Wiggins, Quinyon. Some of those guys,maybe all of them, will be gone at #25. I've probably done 100 simulations in a row now without taking a CB at #25.

-3 points
2
5
Bitternotsour's picture

March 10, 2024 at 03:28 pm

Savage is going to get a contract somewhere for around the average money for a safety, perhaps more (though with all the salary related cuts of safeties so far, that number will likely fall) - Savage is a pro. He's a starter in the NFL - there are only about 50 of them on the planet, and he's neither at the top, nor is he at the bottom of that list.

There is sadly a contingent on this site who feel like they're entitled to pro bowlers at every position and that it's a personal affront when the Packers have guys who are "average".

It's the same group who can't appreciate Myers and his anchoring the line every year since he was a rookie.

-1 points
1
2
Leatherhead's picture

March 10, 2024 at 03:43 pm

Yes, I think so too. Thank you for reminding me.

0 points
2
2
Coldworld's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:48 pm

I’ve always said I think that Savage will get a decent contract. I was openly on the fence in writings here about what we should do with respect to him before we hired Hafley. It’s because I really don’t see his talents matching what Hafley described and has looked for at SS or in the slot that I don’t think he or the Packers gain by repeating for a 6th year.

Myers, now in his last year of his rookie contract, his 4th, is a whole different prospect. He’s got a year on the roster to prove he can get above replacement level. If not, he will be. Whether that’s this summer, in season or this time next year, absent a massive improvement he’s either not here or on a cheap back up deal. Yes, you love him, always have. That’s an ever smaller cabal of faithful though.

0 points
0
0
Bitternotsour's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:14 pm

If they don't have a replacement strategy for Myers the front office are not who I think they are. Myers has been better than serviceable. He has been the one consistent piece on the line, he makes all the calls in a complex blocking scheme, and let's face it, they kept Jordan Love clean and healthy all year. Does he deserve a big money second contract? I am not qualified to make that call. All I know is that he shows up, he does his job, and he KEEPS his job, so he likely has the support of his coaches. The one thing that I'm certain is that Myers play will improve with more consistent guard play. Jenkins recovery should be complete in '24 and hopefully whomever steps up at right guard performs better than what happened this past year.

1 points
1
0
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:20 pm

You really need to say goodbye, shed a tear for Savage and move on with your life. He's not good in deep coverage and he's a bad tackler. Where would you like Hafley to play him? I think he goes somewhere where they think he can be their slot defender but Hafley expects those guys to tackle. Savage doesn't fill holes and tackle, he's a catcher. We've seen what that looks like for 5 years and I'm glad it's in the rearview.

0 points
0
0
Matt Gonzales's picture

March 11, 2024 at 12:57 pm

I definitely have no issue with Savage and/or Owens coming back if the contract makes sense. Savage would be a good candidate for a one or two year modest deal to build up some value for a long-term contract likely elsewhere, and we could certainly do much worse than Savage as a #2-3 option.

EDIT - welp, looks like somebody with a bunch of cap space was willing to take a flyer on Savage.

0 points
0
0
splitpea1's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:31 am

It's highly likely the Packers are going to double down at safety. The trio of Savage, Ford, and Owens played nearly 2000 snaps at the position and none of them have been re-signed as of yet. So somebody(s) gotta do it...and better than it's been done previously.

I would definitely throw Calen Bullock into the possible rookie mix. Many of the scouting reports are glowing and would seem to describe the player Hafley was dreaming about in previous statements. According to most draft boards, Bullock is likely to be available in the early part of the second round; so if for some reason Gute doesn't address the position earlier, here's our man.

1 points
1
0
PackyCheese500's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:19 pm

Bullock can't tackle. Maybe that's a coaching issue. But I like DeJean, Tykee Smith, Bullard, Hicks, and Mustapha better

3 points
3
0
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:35 pm

Bullock can't tackle is a lazy statement made by lazy analyzers. I watched two whole game tapes of that shitty defense just to watch him and I saw him have a couple decleaters. Also some big whiffs. Washington had over 300 rushing yards against USC and he led them with 10 tackles because the front 7 was pure trash. The next highest tackler had 6. How does a guy that can't tackle have 10 in one game?

His tackling needs work but Hafley is supposedly a DB whisperer and Bullock turns 21 two days after the draft is over. There's a lot to work with there. The 1st thing they'll need to do is erase whatever they put in his head last year because in '22 he was an AP 1st team All American.

0 points
0
0
PhantomII's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:52 am

I remember a dropped pass right to him in SF AND SF TE schooling him for a TD in the playoffs.....That's single handed spotting SF 12 points. But more than that we need a 5 man OL be able to hold the fort against a team like SF 4-man rush AND be able to move their 4 DL on run plays...Until we can do this, we are always going to have problems against Elite defenses.

2 points
2
0
golfpacker1's picture

March 10, 2024 at 01:12 pm

DeJean had a broken leg, a fracture actually. It's not like a torn ACL, so healing 100% is not an issue.

If Cooper falls to us, great. If not, we can get a great Safety in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. And we fill a need.

If Cooper is gone, that means some really good OL has fallen and we fill a need.

Maybe a QB is still there @ #25 and some QB needy team trades up and give us multiple reasons to move back. I also read that the Chiefs really love Jordan Morgan and want him badly. They have multiple 3rd round picks they could trade. Maybe a 3rd and a 5th. And then we fill 3 needs.

We are sitting really good in this draft. The only thing that would ruin it would be a trade up.

4 points
4
0
Duneslick's picture

March 10, 2024 at 02:11 pm

How old is this article Pre combine ? Kitchens is slow 4.65 40 and small. Should not even been on their board

2 points
3
1
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 02:28 pm

So is Xavier McKinney and people would be overjoyed if they signed him. I guess it comes down to timing.

2 points
3
1
CoachJV's picture

March 10, 2024 at 03:44 pm

I think Xavier McKinney is worth betting the farm on, just like Wolf did in the 1st year of Free Agency and went and got Reggie White. I believe XM can be that valuable of a player. For the other Safety, I hope we draft a stud... Cooper might fit that S/Slot that Hafley wants.
I also think that we should spend a little to find a great off-ball LB... if we can find somebody that is good enough to carry Warner's jockstrap, it would be a good buy. I do not know enough about the crop of draftees to know if there's a good one there.
But we really need to be serious about getting XM if we do nothing else in FA.

0 points
1
1
Starrbrite's picture

March 10, 2024 at 05:18 pm

I like your thinking coach.
I don’t like sitting on our hands during FA.
I know the cap worriers don’t like my thinking but that’s ok.

0 points
1
1
PackyCheese500's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:18 pm

Usually, I don't like spending big in FA, but I would go after McKinney because he's good and he's only 24. He could be a staple of the Packers secondary for years to come.

Campbell was just released. We currently have a WLB in Quay and a SLB in McDuffie. We need a MLB. I'd target Broncos LB Josey Jewell in free agency. Not too expensive, solid all-around, and a good defensive communicator. If not him, I'd target the Browns' Anthony Walker. A good player and excellent tackler, but has some serious injury issues. He'd be good on a 1-year deal.

Another intruiging FA at LB is Willie Gay of the Chiefs. Super duper athletic, and perhaps, under Campanile, he could really break out. He and Quay would be the most athletic LB duo in the NFL.

As far as the draft, I think Edgerrin Cooper will be over-drafted, so I wouldn't try to get him. I have concerns over how well he'll transfer to the NFL in the run game. I really like Washington's Edefuan Ulofoshio. Great story and great player. Cedric Gray and Junior Colson are okay, but Gray's limited in coverage and Colson isn't great in run D. I really hope the Packers stay away from Payton Wilson. Too many red flags; injuries, age, strength, and tackling. I don't think he'll translate to the NFL at all.

One late-round steal at LB could be Indiana's Aaron Casey. His tape is awesome; always flying to the ball. He could be a great player in the league, and I hope the Packers can steal him.

1 points
1
0
golfpacker1's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:30 pm

Packy, if you are considering Josey Jewell, who I like a lot and I am from Iowa, and Anthony Walker, who the Packers should have drafted out of Northwestern.

Why not try to sign Bobby Wagner-Seahawks, who led the ENTIRE NFL in tackles with 183 last year. He makes the tackle on 25% of all the plays he is on the field for. He made a whopping $4 million last year for that and is projected to get $6 million per year for 2 years. All of the free agent evaluators love the guy and he still plays at a high level.

I do like Willie Gay, and he will get the same money as Blake Cashman @ $4 million per.

My favorite for the Packers to sign though is Devin White. 4 years @ $8 million per, and we have the offense wrecking MLB we have needed for 20 years.

0 points
1
1
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:39 pm

Because Wagner got roasted in coverage last year?

0 points
0
0
golfpacker1's picture

March 11, 2024 at 09:43 am

That's your opinion LL. And I have mine. Wagner would improve our run defense 100%. I am sure you have complained about that. Wagner is a really good LB option who happens to be cheap compared to the other options. He would make the entire LB group better with his play and leadership.

0 points
1
1
Starrbrite's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:43 pm

Great post Packy

0 points
0
0
Starrbrite's picture

March 10, 2024 at 10:45 pm

I’m with Golf regarding Wagner —better than Jewell; but I’d take either.

-1 points
0
1
HammertimeSince’89's picture

March 10, 2024 at 04:39 pm

After seeing Dejean’s snaps broken down by position I believe we need to start viewing him as a CB 1st, versatile enough to play boundary or slot but a CB…I still want them to draft him at #25 because I think he could be a day one starter at any of the 3 interchangeable slot/safety roles BUT ignoring that he had 0 snaps at safety in college is something I’ve never seen with other prospects

0 points
0
0
PackyCheese500's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:08 pm

I would start DeJean at Nickel and train him at Post Safety. I believe he already has a sizeable amount of snaps in the box.

0 points
0
0
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:43 pm

I'd start DeJean at outside corner and see if he has the athleticism to redirect in press. I don't think he's the fastest guy but neither was Richard Sherman. I do agree that other than that slot would be his next assignment.

1 points
1
0
NoNonsense's picture

March 10, 2024 at 04:49 pm

I'm gonna trust that whoever they decide to pursue in free agency that all the coaches are on board. If it's a younger guy like XM, Fuller or Kurl than great, shouldn't need to draft multiple safeties then. If it ends up being a wily vet like Byard or Simmons then I would like to see them grab a couple guys for now and the future.

I don't feel like they will be able to land Cooper DeJean at 25 so not holding my breath for that but I would really like to see them land the other Cooper I really like and that is LB Edgerrin Cooper. At safety I would be happy with Nubin in the 2nd, Kitchens in the 3rd and then start looking to double dip later with guys like Vaki or Mustafa on day 3. Havent had as much time to deep dive into this draft class but I did dabble into LBers and S's since those seem to be bigger needs.

The crop of athletic OL in this draft is pretty deep so I think we can still get a good interior guy in in the 4th or 5th round, that seems to be a sweet spot for OL for GB. Really like McCormick at G or Bartolini at C. just no OCs over 6'4" please. If they decide to draft an OT that could come at any point even at 25 should a good one be there for the taking.

Another guy I think would a great pick is CB Mike Sainristil, he's seems like a perfect slot guy for this defense. I'm seeing him anywhere from the 2nd to the 4th round but seems to be rising so he may just end up in the 1st hard to say.

At RB it's tempting to try to get a beast like Barkley or Josh Jacob's to add to the offense but the draft will provide plenty of options to pair with Jones if he sticks around. Would love to see a guy with lots of speed like Guerendo or a bruiser like Allen but I assume it will be somewhere between one of them.

On the DL I could see a Chop Robinson or a speedy guy because he's different than what GB has at DE. At DT the behemoth Sweat would be a force in the middle but I also really like Kris Jenkins a lot at DT.

So many ways they can go with all the picks they have, so I'm just hoping for another draft like last year no matter who they pick. We all have our favorites I'm sure but I'm gonna trust the guy that killed it last year (Gute) and hope for the best.

3 points
3
0
HammertimeSince’89's picture

March 11, 2024 at 10:50 am

The foot speed in Guerendo’s film is impressive he times his steps well to avoid ankle tackles which is gonna cause modern day NFL DB’s problems leading to explosive plays…lots of RB in this draft Ray Davis and Wright from TN have nice film too

0 points
0
0
HammertimeSince’89's picture

March 10, 2024 at 05:09 pm

Double Dip Dream Scenario
Post Safety
McKinney/Fuller/Simmons (whichever can be hired for the most team friendly deal)
DeJean/Bullard….I said in another post I believe we need to start viewing DeJean as a CB due to his snaps in college but my dream scenario is actually a triple dip…hear me out DeJean at#25 but playing boundary CB across from Alexander and drafting Bullard who has slot CB versatility while 1 of the above FA’s play the Post Safety
Box Safety
Chinn…versatile LB/Safety
Bishop/Hicks…However the draft shakes out but I feel this is a realistic rebuild of our secondary taking into salary cap and draft projections

1 points
2
1
PackyCheese500's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:03 pm

Go get McKinney and DeJean. Whatever it takes. McKinney and DeJean both can play post, box, or nickel. McKinney should be easier to secure due to the safety market tank. if he's medically cleared, do whatever it takes to get DeJean, even if it requires a trade up. He is "that guy."

Then, draft a day 3 safety (I like Mustapha of Wake Forest a lot in the 4th) and have him compete with Johnson for the #3 safety spot. Let Valentine and Stokes compete for the outside CB spot opposite Alexander.

Other guys I like: Tykee Smith of Georgia (box/nickel), Jaden Hicks of Washington St. (box/nickel), and Javon Bullard of Georgia (post/nickel). Bishop I also like, but his arms may be too short for the Packers and he misses too many tackles.

If you can't get McKinney in FA, I'd have Julian Blackmon as a plan B.

-1 points
0
1
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:49 pm

Mustapha had almost the same missed tackle rate as Bishop and Hicks' rate was 21%. Big nope on Hicks. The biggest drawback to Bishop IMO is he's not a playmaker with three INTs in three years.

-1 points
0
1
golfpacker1's picture

March 10, 2024 at 06:33 pm

What about Fuller from the Rams. He is another "perfect fit guy" for the Packers.

1 points
1
0
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:54 pm

Not all that athletic and played mostly two high with the Rams. I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up with the Packers but if he does I hope they grab a playmaking FS like Bullock or Taylor-Demerson on day 2.

0 points
0
0
golfpacker1's picture

March 11, 2024 at 01:13 pm

Is it better to have a Safety who has a much smaller sample size of tackles that has a smaller % of missed tackles? Or is it better to have a Safety who has a lot of tackles that misses more? I guess I would like the more aggressive player that gets his nose in the action more of the time.

Malik Mustapha had 80 tackles in 2023, 45 solo. He is also 5'10 210 lbs and runs low 4.3s. He also plays multiple positions. I will take that guy over the 30 tackle Safety that is never in the action.

Any Safety that gets compared to Bob Sanders might have a chance.

0 points
0
0
harleycops's picture

March 10, 2024 at 07:18 pm

Now da'Bears sign Byard and resign Johnson. They're building their DBs in this passing division. Hate to say it, but what has Guter done? Crickets - crickets - crickets! All this hype for FAs, trades, and drafts. Hope something gets going cuz I hate crickets!

0 points
2
2
LLCHESTY's picture

March 10, 2024 at 11:56 pm

Byard is a good tackler but had a PRA of 103 last year. No worries.

0 points
0
0
golfpacker1's picture

March 11, 2024 at 01:23 pm

What does everyone think about Tyler Owens-S-Texas Tech? As a late round flyer Safety? He is an athletic freak who blew up the combine drills. 12' broad jump and 41 in vertical and was projected to run 4.3 but got hurt. He is 6'2 216lbs and started his career at Texas as a 4 star player.

He has some strange views on religion but I just want a good player. 7th rounder or UFDA. GB should be all over the UFDA marker for players at PON.

0 points
0
0