Green Bay Packers Team Overview 2020

Green Bay Packers Team Overview 2020

Packers Team Overview 2020

Green Bay Packers Team Overview 2020

Owner:

 They are the only franchise in the NFL to be publicly owned by stockholders.  The last time they sold shares were in 2011. 

They were grandfathered into the NFL’s 1980 rules that said that each NFL team had to be 30% owned by one person. 

There are 5 million shares as of 2020 and no one person can own more than 200,000 shares.  They are also a non profit organization. 

They call themselves the Green Bay Packers Inc. 

They have a 7 person executive committee and a president named Mark Murphy.  Murphy goes to league functions and is the voice for all of the stockholders. 

This system of stockholding for the Packers is what has allowed them to stay in Green Bay in such a small market.

General Manager

Brian Gutekunst.  Gutekunst has been with the Packers as a scout and an administrator since 1998.  He just became the General Manager in 2018. 

As his first year as GM, he fired longtime Packers head coach Mike McCarthey in the middle of the season.  Gutekunst in the 2020 draft took QB Jordan Love in the first round and RB AJ Dillon in the 2nd round. 

Both are baffling draft picks in that they have a QB in Aaron Rodgers that can easily play another 4 years.  They also have 2 great running backs in Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams.  I guess they are preparing to let Aaron Jones walk in free agency.

Anyways, it doesn’t show a commitment to winning in 2020 since they have improved their defense to a respectable level of play. 

In 2018 Gutekunst drafted 2 cornerbacks and 3 wide receivers.  The only problem is that these 3 wide receivers haven’t panned out and were taken in the 4th round or later. 

If you don’t know the stat by now, Aaron Rodgers has only thrown 1 or maybe even 0 touchdowns to a 1st round skill position player. 

It’s something along those lines.   Gutekunst has hired head Coach Matt LaFleur in the beginning of 2019. 

LaFleur did a good job last season in taking his team to the NFC championship but his offense is still run dominant and he and Aaron Rodgers are not in the best alignment. 

With everything considered, it looks like Aaron is going to want to get out of Green Bay as soon as he can. 

Rodgers told previous Green Bay QB Brett Favre that he was very upset that the Gutekunst and LaFleur drafted QB Jordan Love in the first round. 

It will be very interesting to see how Rodgers behaves this year if the Packers hit a little bit of a losing streak and if the offense is not performing well. 

I honestly think it could possibly get ugly and that this team could derail.  We will see.  They need to start hot to keep Rodgers engaged.

Head Coach:

Matt LaFleur.  LaFleur joined the Packers in 2019 and he was a first time head coach.  LaFleur started out under the Shannahans in Washington. 

He was also working with Sean McVay at the time in Washington too.  He bounced around to Notre Dame and Atlanta after working in Washington for 4 seasons. 

Then he joined the Rams in 2017 as the Offensive Coordinator for his buddy Sean McVay.  The Rams had the number one scoring offense in 2017 but McVay was the offensive play caller. 

So it’s hard to see how much influence and expertise LaFleur had on that offense.  In 2018, LaFleur got the OC job with the Tennessee Titans. 

He had a very good running game that season but his passing game with Marcus Mariota was non-existent. 

As his first season in Green Bay, his offense was 15th overall in scoring offense.  The offense did not look smooth or consistent all year long. 

With very little changes on offense in terms of personnel in 2020, it is going to be interesting to see if Aaron Rodgers and LaFleur can get this offense into the top 10 in scoring.

Fantasy Outlook for the Packers

QB: Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers is currently being mock drafted around the 7th or 8th round.  As incredible as Aaron has been.  He has only thrown over 30 touchdowns 6 times in his career.  He also has not thrown over 4,700 passing yards in one season either. 

We know that Aaron hasn’t had the best offensive coaching or play makers around him so this obviously contributes to these statistics.  I say all of this because in terms of fantasy it gives us a perspective of what his ceiling is going to be in 2020. 

It’s not a very good looking ceiling.  The Packers drafted Aaron’s back up by trading up in the 1st round to take QB Jordan Love.  In the 2nd round they drafted a RB in AJ Dillon.  They have yet again ignored drafting a wide receiver in the 1st round when this 2020 draft was considered very deep with wide receivers. 

The thinking behind this draft was to fit in players that match head coach Matt LaFleur’s personnel scheme.  In the 3rd round they drafted a tight end his is used like an half back.  This goes back to Matt’s days in Washington using Chris Cooley and also in Tennessee when he had Delanie Walker. 

Kyle Juszczyk is used like this in San Francisco under Kyle Shannahan.  Shannahan and Matt LaFleur coached together in Washington.   Matt LaFleur like’s having personnel that creates mismatches, as does Shannahan.

  Using 2 or 3 running back personnel scheme is what LaFleur looks to be doing by drafting both AJ Dillon and Deguara, the 3rd round tight end.  What does this all mean?  Well it obviously signals that the Packers will be running the ball a lot in 2020.  LaFleur has said this offseason that they want more explosive plays. 

It looks like they will be leaning on play action in order to achieve these explosive plays.  It also looks like Aaron Jones could be used like Alvin Kamara.  Dillon was a really good running back at Boston College and Jamaal Williams showed how valuable of a player he was last season. 

Nobody knows for sure but it looks like Aaron Jones could play more in the slot this season.  Ok, ok, that’s all of the speculation I will do on the roster and offensive scheme.  What does this mean for Aaron Rodgers fantasy value in 2020.  I’m going to say not great.  Rodgers finished as the 10th best fantasy QB last season and his numbers were average.  He threw for over 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns. 

Rodgers will be 37 years old this season but last season he still scrambled 40 plus times.  He didn’t rush over 200 yards like he normally does so he probably doesn’t get over 200 yards rushing this season either. 

This means in order for Rodgers to have a great fantasy season, he will need to throw over 30 passing touchdowns.  This could happen but isn’t very likely with his 2nd receiver options being Devin Funchess and Allen Lazard. 

They also only have Mercedes Lewis at Tight End.  Carson Wentz, Josh Allen and Drew Brees are all being drafted around where Aaron Rodgers is being drafted.  All 3 of those QB’s are safer and more reliable options at your fantasy QB position in 2020.

RB: Aaron Jones

I was all in on Aaron Jones until I realized that the Packers drafted the hammer that is AJ Dillon.  Dillon was the Packers 2nd round draft pick in 2020 and he is a big boy at almost 250 pounds. 

College scouts say that Dillon played a little fullback in college so maybe LaFleur is targeting Dillon to play a little half back like Kyle Juszczyk does for the 49ers.  I have no idea what to think about Dillon. 

He was a very good runner at Boston College so this has to mean that Dillon should dip into Jones carries in 2020.  The other back up is Jamaal Williams and he had a very good 2019 season. 

Williams is also a really good pass catching running back and he averaged 4.3 yards a carry in 2019.  Jamaal had 107 carries and just about 40 receptions in 2019.  Aaron Jones had 236 carries and just about 50 receptions. 

Now add in Dillon and you would definitely think that Jones will probably only get 200 carries at the most in 2020.  However, the potentially exciting thing is to see how Jones is used in the passing game.

Jones dropped a couple wide open passes last year and his hands aren’t the best but maybe the Packers play him in the slot more often like they did when Davante Adams was hurt last season.  Jones lined up 80 more times in the slot in 2019 compared to 2018. 

The most telling thing to look at when considering to draft Aaron Jones is what head coach Matt LaFleur said this offseason.  LaFleur said in March 2020 that he felt the Packers needed another running back. 

Then in April during the draft they used a 2nd round pick on a RB AJ Dillon.  LaFleur has always said that he wants a running back by committee system.  The only upside for Jones in my eyes is that he is used in the passing game more in 2020. 

I think Jones ceiling would be around 70 catches.  Maybe potentially 80 but that would be pushing it given that Jones isn’t a natural route runner or pass catcher. 

Jones showed he was a really good goal line runner so I don’t think Dillon necessarily trumps Jones on the goal line.  I think it will be more of a situation where who ever started that drive will finish it at the goal line. 

With all of this said, and I know it’s a lot, Jones should be considered a RB2 in 2020.  If you think Jones will be a top 10 running back then you are basically banking on him in the passing game.  It could happen but I don’t love it to happen. 

My best case projection for Jones is 200 carries for 900 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.  In the passing game I will say 62 receptions for 600 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.  That will be good for being around the 6th best fantasy RB. 

That will be Jones ceiling in 2020.  It’s realistic but I’m not banking on it.  I would only draft Aaron Jones if he fell to me in the 2nd round.  There are safer picks at running back around where Jones is being drafted.

RB: AJ Dillion/Jamaal Williams

I would say that Jamaal Williams was a good choice this year as a backup for your fantasy team.  I had Williams on my team last year and he came up big for me. 

Now the Packers drafted AJ Dillon and Jamaal Williams fantasy value is basically nothing.  The only time you should pick up Jamaal off of waivers is if either Dillon or Aaron Jones is injured.  Especially pick up Williams if Aaron Jones is injured.

Same story with AJ Dillon.  Some people love the idea of Dillon getting a lot of goal line touches.  This could be true but I don’t think it will happen. 

Aaron Jones was really good at getting into the endzone from a couple yards out.  I think AJ could have a nice rookie season but not one worth having on your fantasy team.

WR: Davante Adams

It’s pretty much a tie between Adams and Michael Thomas as to who will be the safest wide receiver to draft in 2020.  There was a lack of targets to Adams in Matt LaFleur’s offense in the beginning of the season in 2019. 

Then Adams and Rodgers got on target, literally, but then Adams got hurt shortly there after.  When Adams came back from injury, he returned to form and still managed to have 997 yards receiving off of 83 receptions and 5 touchdowns in 12 games. 

He most likely would have finished the season as the #2 fantasy WR if he wasn’t hurt.  In 2020, I like Rodgers and Adams to hit it off from the start. 

I do think Rodgers will play angry and be more focused than ever before by pushing LaFleur to make sure LaFleur’s offensive scheme works in 2020.  Adams is also the only reliable WR on the roster. 

The Packers added Devin Funchess but he isn’t amazing.  Adams will definitely get doubled team but if the Packers are able to run the ball as well as LaFleur would like to then this will allow Adams to have great one on one matchups. 

The Packers run defense looks to be bad in 2020 again so this means that the Packers will probably be in close matchups all season and potentially be playing from behind a lot. 

This means that they would have to spread the formation and throw more which would favor Adams.  There is no situation that scares me from drafting Adams unless Rodgers gets so upset with LaFleur that he basically checks out and isn’t able to focus during games. 

It could happen but Rodgers is a pro and cares about doing well for his team mates.  In terms of Fantasy, I never draft a WR in the 1st round but if Adams fell to me at 10, 11 or 12th overall I might seriously consider taking him this year.  However, I still would likely take a running back.

WR: Allen Lazard

Allen came on a little bit during the end of the season.  He still isn’t somebody I would draft. 

He is being drafted around the 13th round in mock drafts.  I’m staying away from Lazard.  There are much more reliable and exciting options in the 13th round.  Try looking for guys like Henry Ruggs III or Justin Jefferson.

Packers Offensive Preview 2020: 

Matt LaFleur is the play caller and Nathaniel Hackett is the Offensive Coordinator.  They really should come up with a different name for people like Nathaniel Hackett.  What is he coordinating? 

If LaFleur is calling the offensive play calls then I guess Hackett prepares the game plan and then sits back on Sundays and gives advice. 

Anyways, I already touched on LaFleur a little bit in the head coach section.  It’s hard to evaluate how good of a play caller he is in general.  He didn’t call plays when the Rams had there number 1 offense in 2017. 

Then he went to Tennessee and couldn’t solve Marcus Mariota and the passing game.  He had a good run game with the Titans but his offense wasn’t anything special.  In Fact in Tennessee they struggled to score points. 

Now last year in Green Bay, with the 2nd most talented passer in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers, LaFleur had only the 17th best total passing yards in the NFL. 

If you are wondering who the 1st most talented passer is, that would be Patty Mahomes.  Back to the Pack, now a lot of that had to do with Davante Adams being injured for 4 games of the season but the blame easily goes on LaFleur and Gutekunst. 

Tyreek Hill was out  a couple games for the Chiefs but the Chiefs didn’t miss a beat.  This is because they have a better offensive play caller in Head Coach Andy Reid and a GM that drafted WR’s and signed WR’s in free agency. 

The Packers drafted a TE in the 3rd round in the 2020 draft and they also signed WR Devin Funchess in free agency.  Funchess missed the 2019 season with a broken collarbone.  Funchess also isn’t an amazing WR. 

He is a good WR and provides Rodgers with sure hands and a big body but I don’t consider Funchess a game changer. 

It looks like LaFleur is trying to get his offensive personnel to look like what it did when he was in Washington with Kyle Shannahan. 

Shannahan in Washington had an H-back in Chris Cooley.  Shannahan now has one in San Francisco and his name is Kyle Juszczyk.  LaFleur has compared his 3rd round TE draft pick, Josiah Deguara, to Kyle Juszczyk. 

The drafting of RB AJ Dillon in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft could signal that Aaron Jones will be used like Alvin Kamara.  It looks like jones could play a lot in the slot in the passing game.  By bringing in bigger personnel, this forces the defenses to keep bigger personnel in the game to try and stop the run game.

However, this could be a great advantage for LaFleur to split Jones out wide and have Dillon in at running back.  This could create a “light box” for Dillon to run the ball or it could create great passing matchups for Aaron Jones. 

Whatever way LaFleur is leaning will be interesting to see.  However, it is clear that he feels that he has the personnel he wants in place this season.  LaFleur has mentioned that in 2020 that he needs to have more explosive plays. 

These are plays of over 10 to 15 yards.  It’s very funny that he says this because the only explosive player he has in the passing game is Davate Adams. 

I guess you could classify Aaron Jones into this category as well but there really isn’t anybody else at WR that you can count on to make explosive plays. 

The other concern is whether or not the defense can stop the run this year and stop opponents from scoring a lot of points.  Matt LaFleur’s offensive concepts and new personnel to fit his concepts are great ideas.  It is a proven system in 4 other offenses that run the same offensive scheme as he does. 

However, if the Packers are down 21-3, how does this offense go into shotgun and move the ball down the field with this current group of receivers.  Everybody has an offensive plan until you’re down 20. 

In order for this offense to work this season, Aaron Rodgers needs to move on from being upset about the draft and free agency and trust LaFleur’s offensive scheme. 

That’s the first part, the second part would be for the defense to not put this offense into bad situations.  The last part would be on LaFleur calling great plays that makes this offense humming. 

Is it possible that this offense is a top 10 offense, yes for sure.  However, even if this offensive scheme is effective, it is hard to see this offense be a top 5 offense with its tight end and receiving talent.

Packers Defensive Preview 2020:

Mike Pettine.  Pettine is most known for being the head coach of the Cleveland Browns for 2 seasons in the mid 2010’s. 

Before being the Browns head coach, he was a defensive coordinator with the Jets and Bills for a couple years.  He spent 1 year out of football and then 1 year in Seattle as a defensive consultant before joining Mike McCarthy in Green Bay in 2018. 

The 2018 and 2019 drafts and offseasons were focused on defense and giving Pettine better personnel.  The defense has definitely gotten better but there were still big problems last year. 

The biggest problem was that the Packers couldn’t stop the run last year.  They were 23rd in the league in giving up rushing yards per game. 24th in yards per carry.  They didn’t get much better throughout the year either. 

The reason they lost the NFC championship game was because they gave up 220 rushing yards to Raheem Mostert. 

Linebackers

In order to improve this run defense, GM Gutekunst signed ILB Christian Kirksey to a 2 year 13 million dollar contract. 

The Packers let last years top tackler in Blake Martinez walk in free agency.  Martinez was a great tackler but not great in coverage and lacked the athleticism that Kirksey brings. 

The only problem with Kirsey is that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy the last 2 seasons.  Kirksey only played 9 games the past 2 seasons but he is only 28 years old. 

The Packers medical team looked at Kirksey and said that no long term damage was done in his torn pectoral muscle that he did in 2019.  There is also no sign of injury history prior to 2018 either. 

Defensive Line

So the Packers are taking a major gamble on Kirksey to stay healthy.  The defensive line has talent so there is hope that this unit can stop the run in 2020. 

The starting Nose Tackle is Kenny Clark and he is a pro bowler and is also playing on the final year of his contract.  Playing next to Clark is his friend Dean Lowry.  Lowry and Clark were in the same draft class and work out a lot together. 

Lowry signed a 3 year deal in 2019 for 20 million dollars but didn’t stand out last year.  The GM, himself and his D-line coach all described Lowry as “Steady Eddie”.  The Packers are going to need more then “Steady Eddie” in order to stop giving up 4.7 yards per carry. 

Lowry is essentially a good technique guy that brings his lunch pail to work everyday.  I don’t think this is going to improve the run any more in 2020.  The other D-linemen is Tyler Lancaster. 

He signed as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and is really only good as a run stopper.  However, he lacks the athleticism to rush the passer. 

Lancaster really is only good for line depth but will be counted on to play a lot to stop the run.  The back up D-lineman is Montravius Adams. 

Adams was a 3rd round pick out of Auburn in the 2017 draft.  Adams has underperformed in Green Bay.  Adams was also arrested in May due to having less than 1 ounce of weed on him and driving on a suspended license. 

He got off on almost $3,000 bail.  Pettine has said that Adams has to step up this year.  The GM Gutekunst did bring in 2 free agents on the D-line in Treyvon Hester in Gerald Willis but both of these players have don’t pretty much nothing. 

They will compete for a spot on the 53 man roster.  This D-line is nothing special outside of Kenny Clark.  The other D-linemen next to Clark in this 3-4 defense are not athletic enough to make tackles for loss. 

Unless Pettine gets creative in moving Rashan Gary to the D-line instead of playing backup OLB, this D-line will most likely allow a lot of rushing yards. 

Linebackers Continued

This brings us to the outside linebackers in both Preston Smith and Za’darius Smith.  They are not related but are referred to as the Smith Bros. 

Both of them had sensational years rushing the passer in 2019.  They both had over 10 sacks and Za’darius led the NFL with over 90 QB pressures. 

They are also pretty good at playing the run.  However, they did get man handled by George Kittle in the NFC championship game. 

But I guess so did every other defensive end who faced George Kittle. Playing backup to the Smith Bros is Rashan Gary, who was the 2019 first round draft pick out of Michigan.  Gary needs to play better in 2020. 

There are rumors already of him being a bust.  I personally think that Gary needs to move inside or maybe even Preston Smith. 

The 3-4 scheme is not working well for this run defense and I think it is a lot of the personnel and the scheme combined that is hindering this run defense. 

Lastly, the other inside linebacker is most likely Oren Burks.  If it is not Burks then is a bunch of other inexperienced back ups. 

I just don’t see how this front 7 finishes any better then 15th in the NFL against the run.  Seeing Pettine’s run defense history the last 10 seasons as either the HC or DC, doesn’t make you have any more confidence in the same front 7 that they are bringing back. 

The only difference is Christian Kirksey who was more athletic then Blake Martinez.  The big problem with Martinez is that while he made a lot of tackles, very few were for losses.  They are hoping the Kirksey can stay healthy and make tackles for loss. 

Cornerbacks

Now to the bright spot of this defense.  They hired a former defensive coordinator in Jerry Gray to coach the defensive backs.  They also probably hired Gray if they wanted to fire Pettine that they have a former DC on staff. 

The secondary however was already pretty good without Gray.  They were 3rd best in interceptions and the Packers as a defense were 7th in the NFL in takeaways.  The cornerbacks are Jaire Alexander and Kevin King. 

I have watched both of these corners last season and they are pretty talented and definitely above average.  Jaire has the ability to make a big leap in 2020.  He had the 4th most pass breakups in 2019.  Jaire is only 5’10 but King is taller at 6’3” or 6’2”. 

King had a pretty good season last year recording 5 interceptions and 15 passes broken up.  However, King was inconsistent.  He is entering his contract year in 2020 so his motivation to play well and consistent will be there. 

Safeties

The safeties are Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage.  Savage was a 2019 first round draft pick out of Maryland.  Savage is very fast and aggressive. 

He also plays physical even though he is only 5’10”.  Amos is a better coverage guy and center fielder then Savage. 

The two of them complement each other nicely.  Overall these 4 players will have this secondary playing well. 

Defensive Conclusion

The Packers key to 2020 is stopping the run better with the same personnel and also finding more of a pass rush outside of the Smith Bros. 

This responsibility will be left up to the DC, Mike Pettine.  My opinion is that this defense does not improve in stopping the run or generating a better pass rush outside of the Smith Bros. 

Pettine’s track record is really bad in stopping the run.  It has to be a scheme issue.  This doesn’t bode well for the Pack.

Fun Facts About Coaches:

Luke Butkus is the assistant offensive line coach and he is the nephew of hall of fame linebacker Dick Butkus.

Jerry Gray is the defensive backs coach and he has been a Defensive Coordinator in the NFL.  If Pettine’s defense isn’t performing well you could see Gray replacing Pettine before the season is over.

Depth Chart:

Contract Year Players:

T: David Bakhtiari

G: Lane Taylor

C: Corey Linsley

DT: Kenny Clark

CB: Kevin King

RB: Aaron Jones

WR: Allen Lazard

WR: Devin Funchess

Packers Offensive Line Preveiw

The Packers have a very good offensive line.  It starts with Left Tackle David Bakhtiari.  Bakhtiari only gave up 2 sacks last year but also had 11 penalties. 

He is really good in pass protection and a little above average in run blocking.  Packers need him to cut his penalties in half this season. 

The Left Gaurd is 2nd year pro Elgton Jenkins.  Jenkins was the Packers 2nd round draft pick in 2019 out of Mississippi State.  Jenkins was phenomenal in 2019. 

He didn’t give up a sack all season long.  Jenkins run blocking isn’t as good as his pass blocking but it is still above average.  The center for the Packers is Corey Linsley. 

Linsley is a top 10 center in the NFL.  Linsley, like Jenkins and Bakhtiari, is great at pass protection.  Linsley did give up 5 sacks last season but only had 2 penalties. 

Linsley and the Packers would like to see his sacks number go down in 2020 and for him to also improve a little in his run blocking.  But all and all, Linsley is a very good starting center and has a great relationship with Aaron Rodgers. 

The right side of the line is where the question marks come in to play.  Billy Tuner was the right guard last season but he was up and down all year.  Turner signed with the Packers in the offseason on a 4 year deal worth $28 million. 

Turner was pretty good in 2018 so the Packers hope to have him play better in 2020.  Last year’s left guard was Lane Taylor but he was injured in week 2 that gave way to the rookie Elgton Jenkins. 

Now Lane Taylor looks to compete with Billy Turner for the right Guard spot.  Taylor could compete for the right tackle position too. 

The Packers signed Rick Wagner in the offseason to play right tackle but Wagner’s play in 2019 has not been what he usually produces.  Wagner is also turning 31 this season and hasn’t played in all 16 games in a season since 2015. 

Overall, this is a serviceable right side of the line.  It isn’t awful and they will have Taylor either starting or backing up Wagner and Turner. 

This unit will be a really good pass protection offensive line.  Run blocking won’t be too bad either.  Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams both averaged over 4.3 yards per carry.  This group should finish as a top 10 NFL line in 2020.

Eric

Thank you for reading my post. Dominique and I hope you find our website helpful. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments!

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