The Packers end of season, full roster stock report is upon us. Below are over 2,300 words of insight, analysis, opinions and nonsense about every player currently on the Packers roster.
Read closely and enjoy, because many of these players likely won’t be around in 2013.
I incorporated each player’s performance from this season, and their future outlook while categorizing. Please agree or disagree in the comments.
As always, thanks for reading the weekly stock reports. Onto the last one:
It wasn’t as great as his MVP campaign, but it was still damn good. With chaos and injuries swirling all around, Rodgers kept the Packers offense moving forward and limited mistakes. A fine all-around performance and no reason to think it won’t continue in 2013.
With Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson hobbled most of the season, Cobb broke out and turned into the Packers most dangerous weapon. I worry a little about his durability, but his production when healthy was great. Oh, and he needs to drop fewer passes.
Is this too much praise for the 5-foot-7, 210-pound rolling ball of butcher knives? Maybe. But if I’m buying Harris stock, I want in right now. I think he’s going to stick with the Packers and get a chance to make some noise.
Lost in the disastrous playoff loss and grumbling about the Packers lack of physicality was Hayward’s dynamic rookie season. I don’t care if the read-option sticks or not, stopping the pass will still be a defense’s top priority and Hayward can do it.
He’s on the rise now. Will he remain on the rise if the Packers pay him? Or will he morph back into the timid and non-aggressive cornerback of 2011? There’s no denying his raw talent, and I’d like to see him develop that talent as a member of the Packers.
Microsoft. Apple. TRowe Price. Fidelity. With the contract that Matthews will get from the Packers, he’ll be able to buy all the stock he wants.
How can a guy who was hurt most of the season land in this category? The same way Matthews landed in the rising category when he was injured. The Packers can’t afford another season with Erik Walden as the primary outside linebacker opposite Matthews. Perry is rising by default.
When was the last time the Packers had a bad snap on a punt or field goal? I honestly can’t remember…
I’ll make the same case I made for Harris for Dietrich-Smith: If you want in on Dietrich-Smith stock, buy now. I think he’s going to get a shot to claim the starting center slot in training camp and his stock will go up if he wins it.
I thought Marshall Newhouse improved late in the season, but his overall numbers were about the same as the season before. If the Packers really want to get more physical, they might move Bulaga to left tackle and keep Barclay at right tackle. I could also see Barclay working in at guard if Ted Thompson can get a decent draft pick out of trading T.J. Lang. Either way, I like Barclay’s future. It’s maybe a stretch to call him rising, but this is another one of those buy low situations.
No questions about this one. Sitton was healthy this season and was the Packers best offensive lineman.
Powered by his sleeveless turtleneck, Jones took his game to another level. I always thought Jones was too passive for how big he is. Not this season. He was aggressive and made a few leaping catches in traffic.
I’m allowed one sentimental pick, ok? I’m going to miss Driver on this team. Many great memories.
He’s no Andy Lee, but he’s not bad for a ginger. I don’t like it when he trots on the field, but since Mike McCarthy insists on punting most fourth downs, Masthay isn’t a bad guy to do it.
The quarterback praises him and he made a nice catch in week 17. From what little we saw of Boykin, that’s enough to put him in the steady category.
If the Packers want to get more physical, McMillian’s development will help. The rookie from Maine didn’t make any major gaffes (that I can remember, anyway) and only finished with a negative run defense grade three times according to Pro Football Focus.
If only Bush could cover receivers…or tight ends…or running backs…or fullbacks. Seriously, I love Bush’s attitude on special teams, and I wish we could transfer that attitude to others in the defensive backfield. As long as he’s not asked to cover anything besides punts and kicks, Bush is steady.
The fullback dives and draws got old, but Kuhn is solid in pass protection. As long as he holds up in that area, he’ll be a steady contributor.
Here’s a guy who needs to make the leap to rising. He showed signs of becoming a riser, but never quite established himself as an up-and-comer. A dynamic safety could transform this defense. Is Burnett the guy? I don’t know…
He’s small, but I like Jennings as an extra pass defender. The jury is still out on him, but I don’t see where else I can put him besides steady.
A solid special teams contributor, probably the second best special teamer behind Bush.
Did Smith do enough when he was healthy to whet our appetite for his return in 2013? You’d have to think he would have fared better chasing after Colin Kapernick and Adrian Peterson than Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk.
I don’t think Moses did quite enough to become a riser in the same way Barclay and Harris did. He had a good rookie season, especially for an undrafted free agent, but I’d buy low on the aforementioned Barclay and Harris before Moses.
Came back after an illness in training camp to become a decent special teams player.
Another good special teams player. Can he contribute at linebacker? He needs to get stronger inside.
I must say, Jones played better at inside linebacker than I thought he would. If he’s your starter, though, you’re in trouble. Like, having-a-quarterback-set-records-for-rushing-yards-in-a-single-game trouble. I see Jones more as a versatile backup at all linebacker spots instead of a starter on the inside.
He’s not a road grater, but he’s tries to act like one. Despite a few nagging injuries, Lang contributed and held his own opposite of Sitton. A tough player with an attitude.
I think we kind of know what Newhouse is at this point: A decent pass blocker who is weak run blocking. It’d be nice to have a stronger run blocker at left tackle, which makes me think moving Bulaga to the left side could be on the table. Of course, Derek Sherrod is the wild card.
There’s a noticeable dropoff between Daniels and guys like Ryan Pickett (and even C.J. Wilson), but Daniels has youth on his side. The rookie was a little better than I thought he’d be and we’ll see if can further develop.
The epitome of steadiness. Pickett takes up space on every single snap, no questions asked.
A decent enough guy to have around.
A long TD catch? A fake field goal TD? In addition to his good enough blocking, Crabtree busted out these plays earlier in the season.
Too many injuries for Nelson, but I’m still confident that he’s a go-to receiver in this league. Hopefully he gets back to rising in 2013.
Most fans probably view Finley as falling, but he’s solidly in the steady category if you ask me. We should know what Finley is at this point: an athletically gifted player who is prone to inconsistency. Once you readjust how high you set the bar for Finley, you realize he had a steady season, especially down the stretch. I think he’s back next season unless Thompson can get a haul for him.
Here’s another guy who needs to make the leap to the rising category. Just when you think Raji is ready to take the next step, he goes into hibernation. More consistent effort from snap to snap should make Raji better. Basically, Raji needs to spend the offseason studying how Pickett plays each and every down like it’s his last. Yes, Raji has more responsibility than Pickett, but there’s no reason Raji should disappear as often as he does.
A lot of you probably wrote Neal off after getting suspended, but he ended up contributing. The Packers need anything they can get in the pass-rushing department from their defensive line. Look for Neal to get another shot.
I refer to Wilson as Ryan Pickett-lite. Wilson has some athleticism, but doesn’t seem capable of generating a pass rush. He’s a perfectly serviceable player, though, and should occupy blockers into the future.
The sound of Crosby’s field goals doinking off the uprights will haunt me until September.
Poor Harrell. He had a chance to cap off a touchdown drive against the Saints after Rodgers got poked in the eye. Instead, he fell over and fumbled the ball away. Poor Harrell…
Yes, this is me being cruel (and maybe unfair). Ross showed something on returns late, but you can’t muff a punt and turn the ball over in the postseason. You just can’t.
With Harris bursting on the scene and Starks healthy again (at least for a little while) next season, where does Green fit? I’m not sure, so that’s why I have him falling.
When it is very likely that you will no longer be a member of the Green Bay Packers, you are falling. If you are gone, Charles, thanks for the memories.
When it is very likely that you will no longer be a member of the Green Bay Packers, you are falling.
Man, who is grading these guys? I thought House showed a little something this season. He did, but injuries and getting passed by Shields equals falling. Although, I still don’t feel very good about it…
When it is very likely that you will no longer be a member of the Green Bay Packers, you are falling. Do you think Benson is gone next season? I do. I can’t see Thompson bothering with an aging running back who missed most of the previous season with an injury.
When it is very likely that you will no longer be a member of the Green Bay Packers, you are falling.
Greg Van Roten
He didn’t do anything wrong this season, but I don’t think he’s big enough to stick around.
I didn’t put Williams here to be bold or try and generate cheap online debate. I put him here because he’s not playing like a No. 1 cornerback on a consistent basis. You can’t have a No. 1 corner who 1) refuses to tackle and 2) shrinks from contact in big games. Whether it’s bringing down a ballcarrier or mixing it up in coverage, Williams won’t do it. He’s given up 26 plays of 20 yards or more the last two seasons. That puts you in the falling category, folks.
Where else can you put Starks after another season filled with injuries? I guess the good news is he has nowhere to go but up at this point.
Oh, A.J. I never know what to do with you. I try to give you the benefit of the doubt and not judge you based on skills you don’t have. But then I think about Kapernick running for almost 200 yards, Adrian Peterson going for almost 600 in three games, and have a hard time believing that would happen if you played better.
It’s probably time to bid farewell to the guy with the cool last name.
I still think it was a good idea to bring Saturday in. It just didn’t work out. I also don’t get why a few people are second-guessing Ted Thompson for not re-signing Scott Wells. That would have been a big multi-year commitment to an older player. Plus Wells missed most of this season.
Here’s another one that could turn some heads. Bulaga has missed games each of the last two seasons. When he was healthy this season, he had his struggles (remember that first half against Seattle?). Perhaps Bulaga could be a buy-low candidate, but he needs to stay healthy and productive for a full season.
It’s sink or swim for Sherrod next season.
He supposedly had a good training camp, but didn’t do much once the real games started. Perhaps it was simply lack of opportunity and Williams will get better if the traffic jam at TE lightens in 2013.
Unfortunately, Jennings’ days as a Packer are probably over, so he’s falling. I hope he gets paid, and I hope he extends his career. He seems like a genuine guy and he deserves it.
When a guy who should not be a full-time player is forced into a full-time role, it usually catches up with him. After a hot start, Walden faded again as his snaps piled up. I’m not sure I can handle another season of Walden losing contain on running plays.
Who knows what Worthy’s status is after blowing out his knee against Minnesota? He didn’t seem all that impressive when he was healthy, but it can take defensive linemen a season or two to get rolling.
Desmond Bishop (needs to be rising)
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .