If Jennings leaves, Wide Receiver Becomes a Pressing Need

Packers WR Greg Jennings
Packers WR Greg Jennings
Packers WR Greg Jennings

Most expect wide receiver Greg Jennings to leave the Packers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Jennings has spent the past seven seasons in Green Bay after being drafted in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. And after 425 catches, 53 touchdowns, two Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl, Jennings’s time in Green Bay appears to be over.

When the Packers played the Minnesota Vikings in week 17, the wide receiver’s sister was critical of quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Twitter, suggesting that Jennings should “take (his) talents to South Beach and get paid.”

Miami is certainly a potential landing spot for Jennings. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was the Packers’ offensive coordinator from 2007-2011. And whether it’s with the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings or another team, Jennings is likely in line for a healthy payday this offseason.

In which case, one of Green Bay’s strongest positions in recent years could become a pressing need.

The Packers saw a preview of life-after-Jennings in 2012, as he only appeared in eight regular season games. In his absence, James Jones and Randall Cobb emerged as key playmakers for the Packers. With Jordy Nelson on one side, Jones on the other and Cobb in the slot, the Packers have a talented trio of wide receivers even if Jennings signs elsewhere.

But having three talented receivers does as much good as having one great quarterback. If the all-too-popular injury bug bites, the team could suffer.

And beyond Nelson, Jones and Cobb, the Packers face a great deal of uncertainty at the position. Undrafted rookie Jarrett Boykin was a pleasant surprise in the preseason and cracked the final 53-man roster in August. Jeremy Ross showed promise as a return man late in the season, but he didn’t make an impact on the team offensively.

Donald Driver was used sparingly in 2012 and is reportedly leaning towards retirement.

At tight end, the future of starter Jermichael Finley is up in the air. Packers beat writer Bob McGinn wrote Dec. 15 that the Packers appeared to be finished with Finley, but the much-maligned tight end improved down the stretch. Following the article’s publication, Finley caught 18 passes in the Packers’ final three regular season games. Finley signed a two-year, $14 million contract last February, leaving the team with a tough decision on what to do with the five-year veteran.

If Finley returns, Rodgers will have four of his core targets at his disposal again next season. Otherwise, Green Bay’s offense could look very different in 2013.

With the 26th overall pick in this year’s draft, the Packers could look to add another playmaker to their already dangerous offense. A game-breaking receiver or a well-rounded tight end would hardly mask Green Bay’s defensive deficiencies that were on display in the playoffs, but the Packers may be a stronger team defensively than offensively when it comes to personnel.

There isn’t a clear-cut, No. 1 receiver in this year’s draft class. Tennessee’s duo of Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter could both crack the first round, as could California’s Keenan Allen. Patterson, Hunter and Allen are similar players, around 6’3″ 200 with the ability to go up and get the football. Tavon Austin, of West Virginia, is undersized but has a good chance of going in the first round based on athleticism alone.

Perhaps a more likely scenario would be for the Packers to address the wide receiver position in the second round. Historically, Ted Thompson has struck gold in round two, where he selected wide receivers Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

There’s certainly a flood of talent among the second-round wide receiver prospects. In fact, I think the value in the second round outweighs the first-round value this year.

Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins, Baylor’s Terrance Williams and Southern Cal’s Robert Woods all put up big numbers at the college level and are currently projected to be second-round selections. Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton is slightly undersized at 5’11” 182, but he should run well and help his stock at the combine.

But perhaps the most intriguing of the bunch is Quinton Patton of Louisiana Tech. Patton has stood out this week at the Senior Bowl, even drawing comparisons to Greg Jennings. He isn’t a burner, but he’s a terrific route runner and makes plays after the catch.

Patton caught ten or more passes in four games this season. Against Texas A&M on Oct. 13, Patton caught 21 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns. No, it wasn’t on a video game. And yes, that Texas A&M.

Over at DraftTek.com, Jersey Al currently has Patton as the Packers’ second-round selection.

Under Thompson, the Packers haven’t been very active in free agency. And if they’re unable to spend the necessary money on Jennings, it’s highly unlikely that they’d throw a big contract at any of this year’s premier unrestricted free agents. Wes Welker, Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace are scheduled to hit the open market this offseason.

The Packers will most likely look to the draft to address the position or they’ll roll with who they have. Boykin was terrific in the preseason and made an impressive catch at a critical time against the Minnesota Vikings in the regular-season finale. Ross is explosive enough in the open field to get a look as a wide receiver during training camp.

But in all likelihood, the team will draft another young receiver to groom behind their established trio of Jones, Nelson and Cobb. It may not be until April, but the wide receiver position figures to be addressed this offseason.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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  • http://allpackers.com nick perry

    I love Jennings, would love to see the Packers sign Jennings but like most, I don’t think it will happen. I think Jennings is the guy that makes this offense a top 5 opposed to #13. Some team is going to throw him a ton of money that the Packers just won’t/can’t match. One avenue I never hear talked about is if the Packers franchised Jennings. Does anyone think that’s a possible move that would make sense? Instead of receiver, could the Packers draft either the Tight End form Stanford or Notre Dame and run more of the two TE sets like New England? That might not be a bad thing to consider. If for nothing else, a new twist to M.M. offense. One of those two TE’s along with either Finley, D.J. Williams (Who I still think can be a excellent TE), or Quarless. Two good TE’s and Cobb, Nelson, and Jones might be really interesting. No matter what, I guess the Packers still have to grab a WR in the draft at some point. Just wanted to see what everyone else thought.

    • zac5

      If TT trades out of the first round and picks Tyler Eifert early in the second, that would be acceptable. A TE in the first is unlikely and a reach in my opinion. If that were to happen, it would send a message to MM a truer west coast ball control should be considered (wishful thinking).

      • Dobber

        I’ve always thought that “subtle messages” from TT were non-existent. I don’t think there’s much subtle about him.

    • zac5

      As far as Jennings being franchised I think he doesn’t, not that he is not worth it, only that it may cause some angst between Greg and TT. However if he is franchised TT may look to trade him for a second round pick.

      • Dobber

        I guess the question is: are you willing to pony up the cash to Jennings on a one-year deal that you’re promising with a franchise tag? Certainly you’re hoping to sign for much less or deal him, but you’ve got to be ready to take that hit.

        • jay

          If he signs elsewhere, they take that hit, but that’s the risk of course. Usually that one year payment gets spread out in the course of the new multi-year contract TT won’t do it unless there’s a deal in place.

          Maybe this is just me but if “pressing need” means we should strongly consider taking a WR in the first 3 rounds, I don’t agree. This WR would be a 4th option on this team. I think that pick would be better spent on a lineman or some defensive reinforcement. I also want to see Boykin and Ross develop (not falling into the trap of thinking they’re locks to make it ala Gurley/Borel last year, but still)

      • Oppy

        If there is anything TT has proven to the Green Bay Packers (players and fans alike), it’s that he is not concerned with creating angst or outright anger when it comes to doing what’s in the best interests of the GBP..

        See: Brett Favre Trade, Not Drafting for need/what fans want, etc.

        • Barutan Seijin

          Kinda disagree with that. I think TT was sensitive to how fans would react to Favre leaving, and there seemed to be a lot of angst about Favre playing for a divisional rival. If TT really didn’t care, he could have just released Favre. Instead there were the retirement machinations & then the trade with the no NFC North clause. To me that indicated some PR anxiety on TT’s part.

          If you think Rodgers is better, roll with it! So what if Favre’s playing for the Bears or Minnesota?

          • Stroh

            Its not PR angst, its some good commonsense. You don’t trade a Good/Great QB to a division rival that was missing just that one piece to be a SB contender. The old adage is you simply don’t trade players w/in the division if they can still play! The Packers and Thompson aren’t in the business of making division rivals better, it makes it more difficult for you to win the division! Not too hard to figure out when you think about it.

          • Oppy

            Stroh gets it.

            Rodgers could be twice as good as Favre, but Favre might be twice as good as the QB for one of your division rivals, you don’t just hand your division rivals a huge, instant upgrade at a pivotal posititon.

            Second, if you are ultimately concerned with doing what’s best for your franchise, you don’t just give away a player with worth without compensation.
            I’m not saying you should tag every player who you don’t want to resign and attempt to trade them; but a guy who is still under contract that you have no inclination of playing or keeping with your team? Trade him if you can and get something for his contract.

            This is EXACTLY why I think the Favre situation proved TT is all about what’s best for the Packers. Yes, he respects Favre’s legacy and understands what he means to the organization- but he didn’t let fan opinion force his hand and let Brett walk just because that’s what Brett wanted to do.. TT did what was in the best interests of keeping the GBP viable and healthy long-term.

            TT & MM for that matter knew they were entering a shit storm of bad PR from the fans’ perspective, and they never blinked.

      • http://allpackers.com nick perry

        That’s what I was thinking zac5, for Thompson to franchise him and then trade him. Last year we didn’t want to do it with Flynn because of the risk getting stuck with him. With Jennings I would think a trade would be much easier.

  • http://allpackers.com nick perry

    Do we still have Dale Moss on the Practice Squad or did we not even add him after camp last year? I don’t remember what ever happened to him.

    • zac5

      He is on the Bears Pactice Squad via Buccs Practice squad.

  • Stroh

    It is NOT a pressing need! Jennings is a very good WR, but I don’t see how you can call it a pressing need when you have Nelson, Jones and Cobb at WR. And that doesn’t include Finley who still might be in GB, Boykin who can be a more than serviceable #4 WR and Ross who has terrific size and running ability. WR becomes a position that could be addressed and I would be on the lookout for a good one, but it isn’t close to being a Pressing Need.

    • Lucas

      I agree. And some sometime inactives (in favor of more WR?) in TE that can catch. Finley may take on more of a WR role, which will greatly affect his salary for the following season.

      • Lucas

        WR is still a “need” in this offense, but we have primarily pass catching TEs that will be able to replace them on O. To say WR is a “pressing need” is a little strong. Just like the special teams improved with more TE/LB types, I think the offense could see an improvement from more TE-minded sets.

        • Lucas

          Yeah…I deserve the dislikes. Increased TE may allow for more running formations. This could balance the offense more. By no means am I saying that our current TE can fill the offensive void Jennings would leave.

  • Stroh

    Oh and Finley improved greatly when he began meeting w/ Rodgers every week the night before a game and he and Rodgers got on the same page and recaptured the chemistry they had lost. It had nothing to do w/ what a reporter wrote.

  • Ron LC

    Pressing need = Oline and Dline, and OLB. WR comes later. Patton at #2 might be just right. The WR they need is the guy who’ll catch over the middle without fear. I like the idea of a possession receiver.

    • Dobber

      I would argue that TT has drafted a lot of these guys already…the Jones and Cobb and Jennings (likely gone) types. They aren’t field-stretchers, but are underneath types who can get deep on occasion.

      TT hasn’t drafted many of the field-stretching guys…stopwatch players with iffy hands who just “go long”.

    • mark gast

      I couldn’t agree more! For the last two years we have been hearing about how great the Packer receivers are and yet our team lost in the divisional round to teams with better lines. Football is still about blocking and tackling. I hope that our favorite gets better at that and we get back to whipping the 49ers and Giants.

      • Bob W.

        Totally agree. O-line and D-line are the biggest priority. I hate to see Jennings leave , but we have shown that we can win without him. AR would love to see him stay but not possible.

  • Dobber

    The thought of finding a second threat at TE (whether it’s through the draft, or someone like Andrew Quarless returning from injury), is intriguing. Is it any coincidence that the Patriot running game has improved since running more of those sets? Umm…I think, no. But getting the impact in the passing game that you get from Gronk and Hernandez from Finley and Quarless (or a drafted TE) sounds like a bit of a stretch.

    Still, you can’t expect to fully replace a Jennings with a Boykin or Quarless. Such a move requires a significant change in offensive philosophy.

    This guy Patton sounds like a TT receiver…good route runner, has some elusiveness, but not a prototype size/speed guy. Sounds good as a #2 pick. Value, value, value.

  • Lucas

    If it’s a pressing need, we’re done for next season. Very few WR taken in the draft contribute in the rookie year. Given TT FA record, WR help is not coming from there either.
    It’s not a pressing need. It is a situation that will be addressed through current personnel and scheme.
    That being said, TT will consider the team beyond 2013, and that will need to include the thought of a WR.

  • Greg

    lol, “pressing need”? this guy is on crack. we already got cobb, jones, and nelson. whether or not finley returns has nothing to do with it. WR is the LEAST “pressing” need on the team besides quarterback. it’s like the opposite of a pressing need.

    pressing needs:
    RB>starks can’t stay healthy, green is bad, though he may still be recovering, harris is promising
    C>saturday was a major weakness & now retiring. evan d-smith was ok filler but we have no depth
    D-line>Raji has a bad game or 2 but is pretty good, Pickett is ok but getting old. Neal had decent yr but nothing special. Worthy & daniels may help
    OLB>matthews is a stud, but was a major hole, perry should help
    OT>newhouse faded after a strong start and bulaga fell off after a stellar 2011. sherrod may help.

    lesser needs:
    ILB>hawk is avg, jones graded in top 10 at position despite not playing in the 1st 5 games. bishop
    S>Burnett is avg, woodson is ok for a #2 safety, but old. Mcmillian is promising
    TE>Finley struggled at first but came on strong and probably played at a top-10 level over the final half of the season and playoffs

    non-needs:
    QB>top 3 qb
    WR>nelson & cobb show top-10 talent, jones is one of the best #2 receivers in league
    CB>(shields, hayward, & house all in top40 in league. even williams is at least avg

    • Oppy

      Just nit-picking, but do you really feel that House/Hayward/Shields are all truly good enough to win one of two starting jobs on a team somewhere in the NFL at this point?

      I can guarantee that Williams would; Shields would be even money, but Hayward and House at this point I’d say would be long shots to steal a starting job somewhere in the league. They are both immensely talented, but I think it’s a stretch to say that either of them are better than 24 of the current NFL starting CBs across the league.

      • http://allpackers.com nick perry

        Yes, I would say Hayward could start on quite a few teams.

      • Greg

        I’m confident Shields would grab at least the #2 cb spot on most teams in the league. he graded as the 12th best cb in the league despite missing 7 games. Hayward has been fantastic, especially in the slot (top 3 grade) and would likely earn a starting spot on at least a few teams. I’m not sure about House, but he played well in limited snaps despite having a bum shoulder.

        • Stroh

          Where do you get your ratings? Not disagreeing just would like to see them myself. I thought Shields played much better than Tramon, but he usually had the easier assignment too.

          Paste a link if you would please.

        • Oppy

          Missing seven games wouldn’t necessarily hurt your grade, and it could actually help you out.

          CB’s get beat in this game, and less snaps = less times thrown at = less opportunity for a big play to get over your head. It works the other way, too, of course.

          Ultimately, missing 7 games just means smaller sample size, which can translate to a less accurate assessment.

          • Greg

            odds are it would have helped his grade. the rankings just compare the cumulative score of each player for all the games they played. it’s not an average, so unless a guy is averaging a score of 0.0 a game or negative, he’d likely add to his score. shields averaged 1.4 a game including playoffs, so I think it’s safe to say his score was hurt by his missed games. shields score is based on 600+ snaps so I wouldn’t say it’s that much less accurate than other scores. I’m not saying he’s the 12th best corner in the league, but he’s definitely one of the best #2 corners in the league and could earn one of two starting spots on many teams.

      • Oppy

        Wow, ton of hate on my post, lol.

        If you were the best nickle back in the league (#3 CB), that would still plant you as the 65th rated CB in the NFL (going strictly by depth chart, of course, and I understand that some teams may put a stronger CB in nickle for schematic reasons at times.)

        If Hayward could get a starting position somewhere in the league… There’s 64 starting CB’s in the NFL. To crack the top 40 would suggest that he could win a starting position on at least 12 different teams and up to 24 teams..(Yes, this is also overly simplified, but you get the point.)

        Hayward had an awesome rookie campaign playing the slot, no doubt. He looks like he may develop into starter material- playing the slot is no joke. But there’s a whole other level of speed and talent on the edges that has to be accounted for.

        I think you have to be a serious homer to believe Hayward/House are top 40 CBs at this point in their career. Shields might not even crack top 40 yet.

        Don’t hate me because I’m grounded :P

        • Lucas

          To a point that makes sense. Other teams move their best to slot like GB does too. How often? IDK.
          It was refreshing to watch a GB DB in a position to knock the ball away or pick it off with almost every pass in his direction.

        • Greg

          I had no problem with your post. I was refering to their grading, not necessarily whether they one of the 40 best cbs. they contributed positively on the snaps that they were asked to contribute on. it’s pretty obvious that at the very least, hayward and house are some of the best #3 and #4 cbs in the league. house’s grades came when he was playing as a #2 cb (shields was hurt). they are also all paid less than williams.

  • FireMMNow

    I agree with your article completely. The WR class is deep this year. Second round is the perfect place to grab one.

    So far, from what i have seen the front seven defensive players in this draft are really bad. There will not be a single difference maker in the group after the top 15 picks. The lineman are more of what the packers already have. Guys that are not build to be 5-techs. Lots of guys that are 6-3 and 290 that want to shoot gaps and get sideways in the hole.

    OLBs do not look great after werner, jones and damontre moore(who i am not that high on) guys like acho and buchanon are okay, but nothing special.

    There may be value at ILB at #26 with ogletree or minter, but that would mean cutting Hawk most likely and taking the cap hit.

    This is why WR makes sense. Jordy and Jones both signed short deals the last time they re-signed.

    Jones is a FA after 2013 and Nelson is a FA after 2014. If you draft a WR now they will be ready to be big time players by the time you have to get rid of Jordy or Jones. Probably will not be able to keep both.

    It would not surprise me to see the packers go TE in round 1 and WR in round 2. I wish there were defensive front 7 players worthy of being taken in those spots but there is not.

    • ThomasMagnumPI

      I guess the nice thing about not having a clear need at any position frees TT up to do most anything with his picks this year from trading up (seems unlikely) to trading down and taking a couple of long-term contributors to trading for future picks. Of course, he could be boring and just stand pat and take the BPA but where’s the fun in that?

      • Scott 1956

        “Not having a clear need”? You have seen both offensive and defensive lines? There are many needs before drafting a WR.

        • ThomasMagnumPI

          I never said anything about drafting a WR.

          Which position is so clearly devoid of talent that it forces TTs hand to find an upgrade before training camp?

    • Stroh

      The DL is generally considered really a deep class this year, along w/ OL. I don’t know if the DL guys are very good fits for a 34 D tho. They seem alot more like 43 DE and 43 DT or NT. Don’t really need NT w/ Raji and Pickett who I expect to be back beyond next year. I would pass on the DL in this draft for the Packers till later in the draft. Maybe 4th round or later… Look OL, Safety, ILB, RB as the most likely high draft picks for the Pack. Maybe a WR if one falls thru the cracks and he’s clearly a better player than anyone else, but I still doubt WR is necessary. No way I see a TE and WR in the first 2 rounds!

      We still need a playmaker or 2 on D so thats still the place to start.

      • ThomasMagnumPI

        What about drafting a NT to free up Raji and Pick to play the DE spots? That seems like a formidable D-Line and should give the LBs room to roam.

        • Stroh

          Pickett doesn’t have the mobility to play DE anymore. THats why he’s playing NT all the time. He’s great stopping the run and taking on blockers, but at 34 DE you have to be able to move laterally a little bit to extend the boundary and keep the RB moving laterally. Raji is OK, as a DE, but its far from what he is best at. Raji can hold gaps, and can get upfield to collapse the pocket. That makes him a good NT and DT in pass rush. Neither one should really be playing much 34 DE IMO. We could use a good run stuffing 2 gap player for DE for sure, but I don’t like either Pickett or Raji at DE. Find a Jolly in the mid late rounds thats good as a run stuffing 34 DE is whats needed for the DL, you can get that later, in the top couple rounds you get guys that can pass rush. Thats whey we have Raji, Neal, Worthy, Daniels, but none is really a very good 34 DE.

          • ThomasMagnumPI

            Interesting that PFF rated Raji very positively at DE and not-so-well at DT. I’m not saying that they’re right and you’re wrong but that is what I’m going off of when I suggest Raji and Pick at DE in run situations.

          • Oppy

            Pickett is flat out built to play NT in a 3-4. It’s like God put him here to play the position.

            He simply excels at it. He’s immovable against the double team, and he has the vision and ability to disengage + tackle while two-gaping. That’s a NT.

            I am of the opinion Raji’s talents are being wasted in the 3-4. That fella is a one gap penetrating DT, probably 3 tech, if I ever saw one. He’s inconsistent vs. the double team and he’s not great at playing two gaps. That kid needs to find a 4-3 team that will let him just shoot gaps and be a disruptor.

            • Mark

              Some PFF Rankings:

              http://www.packershome.com/yaf_postsm231205_Not-scheme-or-Talent–problem-is-Attitude.aspx

              This seems to suggest that Raji is just fine at DE, Pick is not that great at NT, and if Worthy and Neal can stay healthy, they can be effective at DE as well.

              • Oppy

                I think you linked to the wrong page, but maybe I’m just missing the numbers? This isn’t PFF?

              • Oppy

                Okay, found the post where someone mentions the PFF rankings. Two things:

                1) Pickett’s ranking of 37th out of 85 defensive players….

                It is a generic ranking of ALL DT’s an NTs- not JUST 3-4 NT’s. This would, for instance, rank Pick’s performance as not only a 3-4 NT, but also in the rare occurrences where he lined up as a DT in sub packages, vs. any defensive player lining up as a DT (or NT) in any alignment/formation. How would you judge the production of a NT vs., say, a player like Warren Sapp? Apples and oranges, the focus on that ranking is not nearly tight enough.

                2) I Raji being listed as #7 as a 3-4 DE is great, but I didn’t comment on Raji playing end, I commented on Raji playing NT. I still stand by my assessment that he’s being wasted as a NT in a 3-4. Also, 3-4 DE’s aren’t asked to be play makers for the most part, they’re tasked with occupying OTs and TEs so the OLBs can stay clean and make plays. Raji may be great at it, but I stand by my assessment it’s a real shame he’s not shooting gaps as a DT in a 4-3 scheme- he’d be a monster, IMO.

  • Wagszilla

    You don’t need a WR when you have Andrew Quarless on your team.

    Seriously.

    Just wait, you’ll see.

    • Oppy

      I like AQ, I think he has been under-appreciated by many Packers fans, but dude, you’re banking on a guy whose knee completely went SPLAT! in all possible directions at once.

      I really hope he’s able to fully recover, but I think it would be a real long shot that he will ever be able to become the player he may have once been… That knee probably won’t ever be the same.

      • Stroh

        What has Quarless ever shown on the field to think he is a good TE? IMO, he’s a good inline TE lined up next to the OT. He’s a good blocker, but he lacks the athletic ability of Finley. Remember the fake punt? he was wide open and Flynn threw his a perfect pass and Quarless did nothing but fall all over himself trying to run to the ball. He was given the starting TE job when Finley was hurt all of ’10 and had about 20 rec for the entire year. He can run a little but isn’t very coordinated when in space and his hands are not very good. THe guy had a full year as a starter and looked as bad at the end of the year as he did at the beginning. Even before his knee blew up he didn’t look good.

        I like him as a good inline TE and blocker but he’s not a very good reciever.

        • Bird Dog Uni

          I agree Stroh, AQ is too much like Finley… I haven’t seen one TE on the roster that has actually impressed me. I wouldn’t mind starting over from scratch at TE position… I know you love 88, and I can’t stand him… I’ll go with TT in whichever direction he goes, but, I haven’t seen one TE I’d seriously want to keep. Including 88!

          • Stroh

            You must have misunderstood… Quarless lacks the athletic ability of Finley is space, but is a good inline TE. Thats basically the opposite of Finley. Finley isn’t good inline but is very good in space. All the TE are role players, even Finley. Finley’s role is more of a recieving TE, Quarless is good as a traditional TE blocking, but doesn’t have good recieving skills nor the ability in space to get open. Crabtree, Williams and Taylor are all the H-Back types that can block in the FB role but not so good inline. Williams was supposed to be a good reciever but he hasn’t shown that in the NFL yet. The TE entering the NFL now are like Finley, almost all recieving and no blocking. The standard for TE blocking has gone down dramatically. No longer are they supposed to be able to block DE like they used to (Bubba Franks was great at it), now TE are only expected to block LB a little on the move not inline.

            If we start from scratch we’ll be getting players more and more like Finley. Your longing for days that are long gone w/ the TE that can line up as traditional TE and be great blockers and recievers. They’re one or the other, rarely both! You can’t judge them like you used to.

            • Oppy

              Here’s my Quarless pitch:

              1) He’s actually MORE athletic than Finley by the measurables when looking at combine numbers. He’s larger, faster, jumps higher. (He ran a 4.59 at his pro day, pretty impressive) He did skip Cone drill at the combine. Generally speaking, Quarless was considered 1st round talent, as talented as any TE in the draft, but a major character issue risk (which he has not been in the least as a pro, thank god.)Comparison of combine numbers:

              http://nflcombineresults.com/playerpage.php?f=Andrew&l=Quarless&i=8609

              http://nflcombineresults.com/playerpage.php?f=Jermichael&l=Finley&i=7924

              2) You ask what Quarless has done to make anyone think he’s a good TE. Thank you! First off, he went from the worst blocking TE on the roster to the best in one off season, simply because he put his mind to it.. That speaks to his ability and POTENTIAL. Second, there’s this clip, which I will post as often as I can, because it’s completely awesome, and it shows Andrew doing EVERYTHING you’d ever want your TE to do, all in one play:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z46PLpbhAXE

              Lines up Wide? Check.

              Goes in motion, lines up as SE? Check.

              Trap blocks Jarred Allen, puts his mullet in the dirt? Big time CHECK.

              Aware that the QB is in trouble and breaking the pocket? Check.

              Gets downfield, finds a hole in the zone, gets open for the catch, turns it upfield and drops his shoulder to finish for a hefty chunk of yardage and the first down? Check.

              That’s the talent, and it’s a real shame he was lost to that knee injury, he was really coming into his own. He was a big-time receiver in college, and all he really needed to do was refine his route running, which he was starting to do, to find his niche in the pros.

              Finley/Quarless could be a very, very dangerous two TE set.

  • Scott 1956

    Concentrate on both lines. When you have a good O-Line and a good D-Line, you can pretty much do what you want.

    • Pete Kliman

      AMEN

  • Rob

    I would hate to see GJ leave as well but I think his sister is forgetting something ‘kind of’ important…..I can not name the starting qb in Miami…..pretty sure it aint Marino any more…..best of luck GJ, thanks for bein’ a Packer!!

  • Toch

    keep Jennings! the guy is a star. anyone relying on Finley or Crabtreee to stretch the D is fooling themselves. GB has been thriving bcuz of their WR’s not bcuz of a TE.

  • Shavager

    I don’t see Packers taking a WR till late round if at all–I’m sure they’ll pick one late for camp competition but don’t think the position is high on NEEDS list right now. IF nothing else, they can always pickup a cheap street FA or even bring back DDriver out of retirement if extra bodies on roster is the goal. I look for biggest focus to be on both lines and LB, secondary,TE and RB–Thompson may not look at QB or WR till very late. I’m hoping he’ll take several picks and use to move up to get some quality talent for both lines–drafting at bottom of the list doesn’t leave many top choices around.