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Offline RT

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Position look: WR
« on: May 18, 2019, 07:31:01 AM »
Every year the WR group seems to be one of the more difficult groups to draw a final conclusion on and this year looks to be no different. To many fans disappointment the Packers didn't add a WR in the draft, but this is still a deep and talented group none the less. I view the WR's in three sets of players,

Locks - Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown

This set of 4 are all ascending players that are young and versatile. Adams is becoming one of the truly elite WR's in football, his quickness and cuts in and out of his breaks are second to none. I have always been down on Allison in his first few seasons, but he proved in the first 4 games last season that he can be a solid WR2 for the Packers. I don't know who will get the first chance between Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown, but there is probably room to use both of them a bunch. The WR group appears to be in a good position for the next couple of years with this foursome in the room.

In the hunt - J'Mon Moore, Trevor Davis, Jake Kumerow

This is a hodgepodge set of three in that they will all state their cases in very different ways. Moore is the high potential draft choice who must flash enough in pre season that the Packers will want to keep him to see more as time progresses. Davis may be the return guy only (what may surprise most is that the new offense probably fits his skillset perfectly) who will probably need to be much the best to hold onto his roster spot. Kumerow is the journeyman, small school guy who has become a fan favorite.

Longshots - Darius Shepherd, Allen Lazard, Teo Redding, Jawill Davis

The deck does seem stacked against these 4, but stranger things have happened. Shepherd would be a great story if he made it. Small school guy who impressed enough as the only tryout player to get signed as a UDFA. Lazard fits the profile (6'5"/227) of most of the Packers WR's, but will need to impress with his limited opportunities to climb over so many ahead of him on the depth chart. Redding is the smallest guy on the Packers roster at a 176 pounds, but if a completely different body type is something the Packer are looking for then he would be the guy. Jawill Davis is a returner only who will have a punchers chance if he can pull off a few long returns in preseason, was OK on kick returns last season and below average on punt returns.

Like every year, the big question is how many WR's will be kept on the 53? 5,6 or 7? Does the redheaded stepchild Trevor Davis find a spot on the 53 because of his punt return ability and ability as a gunner? Is Kumerow again the guy left on the outside looking in? Does Moore show enough improvement to hold on to a backend of the roster spot?

As usual there are many interesting angles to the WR group.   

Offline RT

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 05:09:09 PM »
Thought this would of been a little hotter topic here as it is most years. Maybe not adding any in the draft has cooled some on the position. Here one writers opinion.


Zachary Jacobson


 
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Since it’s apparently a topic of conversation and I just dropped my 53-man roster prediction on Thursday, this is what I think the Packers’ WRs look like on opening day:

Davante Adams
Geronimo Allison
Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Equanimeous St. Brown
J’Mon Moore
Trevor Davis


Offline dannobanano

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 06:20:43 PM »
First of all, I appreciate all your work on these positional outlooks RT. A lot of thought, back ground and fact checking done by you. Props!

Just finished my 53 man roster at Packersnews.com roster builder.

My WR's were:
Adams
Allison
ESB
MVS
J'Mon Moore
Kumerow

Went with Kumerow because I think he has AR's confidence more than Davis.
KR (as we know it) is something that is heading towards extinction.
PR will be a question mark without Davis, but they tried several there last year (Alexander, Jackson), T-Will has done it in the past. He won't make any big returns, but he won't muff any punts either. Maybe one of the group of MVS, ESB, or Moore can step into that role?
Finding the right PR could be a work in progress, but I just didn't feel that doing just one thing justified a roster spot for Davis (my 2 cents).

Offline B

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 07:55:31 PM »
I too appreciate your contributions. I'm very interested in this and other threads you've generated. I was traveling in Ireland for three weeks and have been keeping up, researching and posting from my phone when opportunity arises. I'll certainly take time to respond in this thread ASAP
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
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Offline rock county

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 08:23:31 PM »
Not sure how Trevor Davis made it this long

3 seasons, 8 receptions total, 94 yards total, even though he only played two games last year.

Good punt/kick return guy, though.

IMO, that's not enough.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 08:24:10 PM by rock county »

Offline happycrawfish

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2019, 04:48:19 AM »
Trevor Davis made the roster for special teams. He is a decent returner and a solid gunner if needed. If u don’t think special teams are important then maybe you need to watch the 2018 season again. At a minimum there were several games lost in part due to poor special teams play. Had Davis been the returner against the rams it could have changed the complexion of the entire season. Also Davis is a much better fit for Lafleurs scheme. Motion offense with bunch formations better utilize physical tools and can minimize the need for technical and mental understanding of defenses which McCarthys scheme relied on

Offline B

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2019, 05:28:18 AM »
Davis does flash and tease as a returner (especially as a punt returner), but he also often makes boneheaded decisions at critical times. In fact Montgomery's poor decision to bring the ball out against the Rams reminded me a lot of Davis' decision-making. As a gunner his speed is his only asset - I believe he only has two career tackles.

Special teams are important and Davis is in the mix, but at best he is a bubble player who will have to earn a roster spot IMO.

The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
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Offline dannobanano

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2019, 05:59:26 AM »
I think we will be able to better tell what chances Davis has by who else and how many players are taking reps in punt return practices.

Offline dannobanano

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Offline craig

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2019, 07:12:31 AM »
Will be interesting to see.  To some degree, there is a lot of definition. 
1.  I think every pre-camp prediction will have to assume same front five:   Adams, Allison, ESB, MVS, J'Mon Moore
2.  Kumerow and Davis the two obvious lead competitors for the 6th spot. 

 Other thoughts:
1.  I assume every prediction will include 6 guys.  But they've sometimes carried more.  Between injury and other position groups that may not need volume, it's not implausible to carry 7.  Particularly if Davis is better viewed as a ST specialist competing with other ST-only guys. 
2.  A lot of these guy play ST.  I tend to think of a "target number" for a position group; but there are always a bunch of mish-mash guys from different position groups who are really better viewed as ST-position-group.  So hard for me to figure where Davis and Kumerow and JMon stack within the ST room?
3.  I think Crawfish makes an interesting point, that Davis might perhaps surprise... as a receiver?  With the collection of long, not-so-quick-or-shifty body types, Davis as a short, quick+shifty guy might perhaps be a total misfit, unable to fit into any of the standard plays.  Maybe undesirable to have a depth guy who can't next-man-up and fit any of the plays designed for the rotation regulars.  But, maybe being a different kind of guy will make him a unique fit for certain packages and plays?  And perhaps Crawfish is right, and somehow the revised offense will somehow scheme hiim open a little differently, and once given a step open then his speed will be able to keep him open?  I also think that while he's had 3 years, he was really undeveloped as a rookie, and then missed all of last camp and most of last season, including all but about 3 practices (they only get a few practices in-season, and MM usually used most of those front half...).  So in terms of WR-development/practice, last year was basically a totally lost non-factor.  So, maybe he was just starting to figure things out late year 2, and suddenly this camp and season we'll see that?  (Obviously not likely at all, presumably the guy just has no instincts and no real skills as a WR, doesn't read/feel zones, doesn't know how to set up and freeze defenders, and doesn't have great hands or the body balance that top receivers have.....  But it would be really fun if he did emerge.  And sometimes having unlikely candidates like this emerge and provide key contributions is kind of the unexpected thing that goes right for teams that end up having great seasons.) 

4.  It's routine to assume that Moore will make it based on his draft stock and some of his physical attributes, and on some report that he's motivated and worked hard this offseason.  (Don't all bubble guys?)  But I wonder whether, assuming he doesn't have a great camp, and continues to have the combination of bad hands and bad decision-making that he displayed last year, whether he might not then be perfectly safe to clear to practice squad?  **IF** they still like the tools and potential, but he's still not actually game-ready, I wonder whether practice squad might be both a fit, AND that his chances of going unclaimed might not be pretty good, so that the risk of trying to send him there might be negligible? 

5.  There is talk about bunching and different schemes to get guys open etc., we'll see whether any of that actually "works".  But to some degree, might some of the differences actually place a HIGHER value on football-smarts and "feel"?  I guess I'm wondering whether actually Kumerow might work well within the system, he seems to have good balance and feel for seams and zones and soft-spots etc..  MIght he actually have a shot to get some snaps and be a good, reliable workman? 

6.  There are exceptions, but in a group like WR, injury is opportunity, and those opportunities come often.  Last year Davis lost his opportunity to injury, and Allison's injury really opened up opportunity for ESB as well as MVS.  Whoever the top 6 guys are right now, pretty good likelihood that by opening day, at least one of those six will be hurt and the 7th guy will have a much wider window of opportunity. 

Offline craig

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2019, 07:24:21 AM »
A tidbit from the morning news.
https://www.packersnews.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2019/05/21/packers-jmon-moore-foresees-fresh-start-matt-lafleurs-system/3744804002/

I wonder if moving to a new system isn't actually a disadvantage for Moore?  Yes, it's a clean slate for everybody, so that's good for him. 
But, assuming he's got less instinct and aptitude to pick up new stuff and new responsibilities than many of the other guys, might not a new scheme and new concepts/formations/responsibilities put him further behind rather than closing the gap?  Being perhaps both on the slow end class-room wise and perhaps kinda slow for on-field instincts and understanding of how to actually apply classroom stuff, that can't help a guy (*IF* both of those apply to Moore, I have no idea.) 

My sense is that ESB is very classroom quick, and may be quick at translating classroom-coaching to onfield-application.  I kind of have the sense that he might pick things up and adapt more quickly than either Moore or MVS?

Offline RT

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2019, 08:07:07 AM »
Trevor Davis made the roster for special teams. He is a decent returner and a solid gunner if needed. If u don’t think special teams are important then maybe you need to watch the 2018 season again. At a minimum there were several games lost in part due to poor special teams play. Had Davis been the returner against the rams it could have changed the complexion of the entire season. Also Davis is a much better fit for Lafleurs scheme. Motion offense with bunch formations better utilize physical tools and can minimize the need for technical and mental understanding of defenses which McCarthys scheme relied on

Spot on all the way around 'fish. Williams made several blunder as a punt returner last season, but oddly no one ever called him out on it. The mental error again the Rams changed their season, just get in Shields way and the Packers go to the half with the Rams having very little life and chance to win that game. As I also noted in the original post on this thread, I agree with you that he may well be a good fit offensively for MLF. Davis is not the new toy the fans wanted, but he is a new toy to MLF and I would not be surprised if he likes him.

Offline RT

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2019, 08:24:57 AM »
Davis does flash and tease as a returner (especially as a punt returner), but he also often makes boneheaded decisions at critical times. In fact Montgomery's poor decision to bring the ball out against the Rams reminded me a lot of Davis' decision-making. As a gunner his speed is his only asset - I believe he only has two career tackles.

Special teams are important and Davis is in the mix, but at best he is a bubble player who will have to earn a roster spot IMO.

Yes he will need to earn his spot, but you are selling short how good he was as a gunner. I crunched those numbers last off season on this forum and the 2nd half of the 2017 season when Davis and Janis teamed up as the gunners the Packers were the number one punt coverage unit in the NFL and no other team was even close. I am not going to re-do that exercise because it was time consuming and it is not that important for me to fight for Davis here, the parts I remember was something like 26 total return yards and over 60% forced fair catches. That is a lot of hidden yardage saved that most people are oblivious to.

Fans see great athletic numbers like Josh Jones and just assume he will be a great STer, but it is not always the case. It takes a different mind set to play ST's and be good at it and most don't have it, Davis does.

Offline RT

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2019, 08:48:10 AM »
Will be interesting to see.  To some degree, there is a lot of definition. 
1.  I think every pre-camp prediction will have to assume same front five:   Adams, Allison, ESB, MVS, J'Mon Moore
2.  Kumerow and Davis the two obvious lead competitors for the 6th spot. 

 Other thoughts:
1.  I assume every prediction will include 6 guys.  But they've sometimes carried more.  Between injury and other position groups that may not need volume, it's not implausible to carry 7.  Particularly if Davis is better viewed as a ST specialist competing with other ST-only guys. 
2.  A lot of these guy play ST.  I tend to think of a "target number" for a position group; but there are always a bunch of mish-mash guys from different position groups who are really better viewed as ST-position-group.  So hard for me to figure where Davis and Kumerow and JMon stack within the ST room?
3.  I think Crawfish makes an interesting point, that Davis might perhaps surprise... as a receiver?  With the collection of long, not-so-quick-or-shifty body types, Davis as a short, quick+shifty guy might perhaps be a total misfit, unable to fit into any of the standard plays.  Maybe undesirable to have a depth guy who can't next-man-up and fit any of the plays designed for the rotation regulars.  But, maybe being a different kind of guy will make him a unique fit for certain packages and plays?  And perhaps Crawfish is right, and somehow the revised offense will somehow scheme hiim open a little differently, and once given a step open then his speed will be able to keep him open?  I also think that while he's had 3 years, he was really undeveloped as a rookie, and then missed all of last camp and most of last season, including all but about 3 practices (they only get a few practices in-season, and MM usually used most of those front half...).  So in terms of WR-development/practice, last year was basically a totally lost non-factor.  So, maybe he was just starting to figure things out late year 2, and suddenly this camp and season we'll see that?  (Obviously not likely at all, presumably the guy just has no instincts and no real skills as a WR, doesn't read/feel zones, doesn't know how to set up and freeze defenders, and doesn't have great hands or the body balance that top receivers have.....  But it would be really fun if he did emerge.  And sometimes having unlikely candidates like this emerge and provide key contributions is kind of the unexpected thing that goes right for teams that end up having great seasons.) 

4.  It's routine to assume that Moore will make it based on his draft stock and some of his physical attributes, and on some report that he's motivated and worked hard this offseason.  (Don't all bubble guys?)  But I wonder whether, assuming he doesn't have a great camp, and continues to have the combination of bad hands and bad decision-making that he displayed last year, whether he might not then be perfectly safe to clear to practice squad?  **IF** they still like the tools and potential, but he's still not actually game-ready, I wonder whether practice squad might be both a fit, AND that his chances of going unclaimed might not be pretty good, so that the risk of trying to send him there might be negligible? 

5.  There is talk about bunching and different schemes to get guys open etc., we'll see whether any of that actually "works".  But to some degree, might some of the differences actually place a HIGHER value on football-smarts and "feel"?  I guess I'm wondering whether actually Kumerow might work well within the system, he seems to have good balance and feel for seams and zones and soft-spots etc..  MIght he actually have a shot to get some snaps and be a good, reliable workman? 

6.  There are exceptions, but in a group like WR, injury is opportunity, and those opportunities come often.  Last year Davis lost his opportunity to injury, and Allison's injury really opened up opportunity for ESB as well as MVS.  Whoever the top 6 guys are right now, pretty good likelihood that by opening day, at least one of those six will be hurt and the 7th guy will have a much wider window of opportunity.

Excellent job craig.

One of the things that gets lost every year with constructing the 53 man roster is the depth at WR. The last couple of years of Jeff Janis most would have him cut those years, but he was close to a roster lock for his ST's play. Teams are not keeping 6th or 7th WR's on the roster for their play from scrimmage, they are keeping those players if they excel on ST's. When teams cut their rosters to 53 there will probably be a 100 or more WR's floating around that can play from scrimmage. We see it in the draft every year, there were probably 20 draftable WR's in the draft this year that went undrafted and we will see bus loads of WR's released at cutdowns that can play effectively from scrimmage, those WR's are a dime a dozen. The ones that will be making the backend of rosters are the ones doing the little things, the dirty work on ST's.   

Offline craig

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Re: Position look: WR
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2019, 10:10:50 AM »
....Locks - Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown

This set of 4 are all ascending players that are young and versatile. Adams is becoming one of the truly elite WR's in football, his quickness and cuts in and out of his breaks are second to none. I have always been down on Allison in his first few seasons, but he proved in the first 4 games last season that he can be a solid WR2 for the Packers. I don't know who will get the first chance between Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown, but there is probably room to use both of them a bunch. The WR group appears to be in a good position for the next couple of years with this foursome in the room.

In the hunt - J'Mon Moore, Trevor Davis, Jake Kumerow.....As usual there are many interesting angles to the WR group.   

Think it's natural for us, in these off-season discussions, to speculate about roster questions, which naturally focus on back-of-the-roster candidates.  (Davis, Kumerow, Moore).  And appropriately so; we all understand how back-of-roster guys often improve and become key, heavily-used players.  And we also all understand how in the National INjury League, guys who we project as "back-of-roster" guys who will see few targets even if they do make the roster, that injuries often necessitate back-of-roster guys to play more than we ever anticipated.   

But to large degree, the real success of the offense hinges much more on the actual health, usage and effectiveness of the four locks.  They will dominate the snaps and the targets.   
1.  How will their snaps get distributed? 

2.  How often will it be 3 vs 2 WR on the field? 

3.  Will they all start from all over, or will some be used boundary mostly?  Between MVS, Allison, and ESB, and Adams too, how will the distribution of slot versus wideout/boundary go? 

4.  Many posters have hopes that MLF's system will somehow benefit both WR and the QB:  will there actually be noticable differences, and will it actually help? 

5.  With the new system, will the players be playing slow and making constant system-adjustment mistakes for the first half of the season? How long until the "adjustment" excuse is gone?
 
6.  How different versus interchangeable will be the work of bigger WR playing "slot" versus TE split out into slot?  For example, in a particular formation maybe Adams and MVS are boundary "wide" receivers; and somewhere split out but not wide could be any of Allison, or ESB, or Graham, or Tonyan, or Sternberger.  Will snapping a "TE" there versus a "WR" make any difference in terms of play design or responsibility?  or will play design and positional responsibility in those sets basically have identical responsibilities regardless of whether it's Allison/ESB/Graham/Tonyan/Steinberger lining up there?   

7.  How much "bunching" will there be, versus lining up with two wideouts? 

8.  How quickly will receivers adapt to MLF's offense?
 
9.  How much pre-snap movement and repositioning of guys will there be? 

10.  Will they throw deep very often?  If so, how might some of those vertical routes be distributed among the four locks? 

11.  Obviously Adams is really good and Rodgers trusts and respects him supremely.  How many of the other three will gain trust and confidence as guys who can make plays and make tough catches?  All three?  ESB and Allison?  Just Allison?  (I'm not convinced MVS has very good hands; but ESB and Allison I think both have a shot to be really good-hands pass-catchers.) 

12.  Will they have many designed plays to utilize MVS and his speed, whether vertical, slants, or screens? 

13.  Will there be more over-the-middle throwing than in days past?  I've never thought Rodgers threw over the middle as often as most QB's, for whatever variety of reasons.  But I'm curious whether we'll have more middle-of-field crossing and slant and I'm-just-taller-and-longer-than-you completions over the middle of the field.

14.  Will any of Moore/Davis/kumerow break into the rotation and make catches?