Green Bay Packer Most Likely to Have the Best Season of Their Career in 2011
(Be sure to place your vote in the poll below.)
Adam: Nick Collins — Collins is already good, but I still think he’s still on the upswing. Look for him to go from good to great in 2011.
Al: B.J. Raji — I think year three will be the breakout for B.J. Raji. After an injury hobbled first season, Raji played a ton of snaps last year and his improvement was accelerating in the post season. That trend continues, Jersey Boy Raji gets stronger and opposing centers feel the pain.
Chad: A.J. Hawk — This is a tricky one. When you talk about the best season of a player’s career, you’re talking past, present, and future. So to hit this category, you’ve got to find the player that’s hitting their peak and not currently too early or too late in their careers. That being said, I think this is the year A.J. Hawk hits his high point. His production dipped a bit when the Packers switched to the 3-4 under Capers, but after finally taking the reins of the defense last year, I think Hawk’s sixth season will be his best ever.
Kris: Aaron Rodgers — Call me crazy but I’m going with Aaron Rodgers. 30 touchdowns and only 7 picks may be near impossible to beat, a career high in yardage isn’t out of the question. I will even call my shot now and say he is the league MVP. That would be a career year for Rodgers.
Thomas: Jordy Nelson — In my opinion he’s already the number 2 receiver after Jennings and that will only increase his production as that becomes more apparent. I think he has better hands than Jones (who is probably going to leave anyways) and Driver has declined to a point where Nelson is probably better. Add that to the fact that Nelson has had pretty paltry numbers since being drafted (not his fault, there was just so much talent ahead of him), and there’s no way he doesn’t have a great statistical season.
Zach: Jordy Nelson– This is the year Nelson takes off. He should be brimming with confidence after his performance in the Super Bowl, and James Jones is likely heading out of town. Add in the fact that Donald Driver is slowing down, and you get a perfect storm for Nelson having a big 2011. Would it really be unrealistic to think that Nelson could make up half of Jones’ production in 2010 (50 catches) next year? I think he certainly could push 70 catches.——————
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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.
23 thoughts on “Packers 2010 Yearbook Awards: Player Most Likely to have the Best Season of their Career in 2011”
I’m going to use Chad’s parameter of entire career not just career year to date (If we used the latter criteria all the rookies would win it) and also pick AJ Hawk.
Plus it gives me a segway to go on a rant. As of now, Hawk is projected to start at LB for almost a decade and leave as the Packers career tackle leader. Pretty good for a player maligned by some fans to the point they wanted to trade him last year for Marshawn Lynch. And can we stop putting in the qualifier “the 5th pick in the draft” when discussing him? Do you ask your doctor where he ranked in his class? Your accountant? Mechanic? Do people ask you where you ranked in your class? I don’t think so, they usually evaluate you on your merits. In Hawk’s case he rates pretty well.
I initially agreed, but something didn’t sit right. I don’t think we ask the doctor, accountant, etc., but we do think about it. You buy name brand material and expect to out-perform generic. We do judge performance based on what is spent on it. G.B. spent a 5th pick. It’s only natural to expect a 5th pick performance in return. We want those we entrust with our materials to have credentials…and their performance to match up. It is very upsetting to spend a lot of money to get the same quality that could be gotten with less.
Your et al argument isn’t congruent from the opposite end. If Donald Driver drops a pass or Mark Tauscher allows a sack I never hear “what do you expect from a 7th round pick.” Do you say “oh well” if UDFA’s Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, or Frank Zombo make a mistake. No, you say the NFL stands for Not For Long if they keep making mistakes. It’s all about merit, not where they ranked coming out of college.
We do with their general level of play. I agree with you about the individual plays. Those names that made it as UDFA will always be referred to as UDFA that made it. I’m also not extending my argument to decision time regarding keeping a player or even playing a player. I’m simply stating that a player’s draft history will be used in describing the player. Listen during the next season for the number of times each player is spoken of by their draft position, either as a 1st-7th rounder or as an undrafted. Are you telling me that spending $250K on a car shouldn’t be expected to perform as well on the corners as a $10K? My argument is simply…we expect a return from the investment…Justin Harrell.
I feel that if you think of an NFL roster in broader terms… let’s say, for example, as broad as a G.M. or front office exec may look at a roster, the focus is much less defined than “we paid “player x” “y amount of money”, so he should produce more than “player Z” who was paid less.
To be sure, you always want to get the most bang for your buck out of a player. That said, I think the wider focus on a roster is something like this:
*Do we have all the talent and all the pieces of the puzzle to make a run at the Superbowl, while remaining within the confines of the salary cap this season, and without jeopardizing the financial stability of the organization in the years to come?
Again, if a player is clearly eating up huge amounts of cap space and isn’t getting on the field or isn’t significantly contributing, he’s not going to last long. But if he’s a valuable piece of the team at large, what he’s paid probably has much less to do with the organization’s expectations compared to that of the fans.
Let’s not forget, there’s the opposite side of the spectrum: For every solid-but-not-spectacular player earning a higher wage than fans are comfortable with (Perhaps an AJ Hawk?) there may be a street FA making huge plays for rookie minimum (Sam Shields).
Just food for thought.
I’ll put my money on Finley. He was on his way
last year until an injury sidelined him.
I’m actually surprised at least one of us did not pick Finley. For me it was almost a toss-up between him and Raji, but I almost expect it from Finley, so I went with the less obvious choice.
Finley’s knee worries me. You can’t predict injuries, but he’s had some trouble staying on the field.
I like the finley choice as well. My reasoning is that after this season he will either be disgruntled because he was franchised, or take the money and move to a team with a less talented QB. Finley is fantastic, but his greatest attribute is his hands. He does not get a ton of seperation much of the time. He also uses his body well to shield defenders, but he needs a QB that is willing and able to squeeze the ball into tight spots. He is not an antonio gates type of player that is going to run away from safeties. I expect Finley to have a great year and battle different issues for the rest of his career. Just my take and a shot in the dark.
Negative, Finley gets as much seperation on DB’s and LB’s as anyone in this league!!!!!! Are u kidding me?!? Just b/c he makes ridiculous/acrobatic catches so often near or over defenders dont discount his ability to seperate. I CLEARLY dont know what tape you’ve watched!!! lol
Chris, I have watched every game Finley has ever played. He does not seperate as well as you would think. He is just not extremely fast. Sorry he is not. He has great timing, great hands, great body control. I love the phrase “watch tape” when it is used for the common fan. Do you have a coaches tape Chris? Maybe you sneak into MMs office, maybe you work for NFL films. Watch tape…funny stuff. Just because he does not get great seperation does not mean he is not good. He is a fantastic player. It is just not his strength.
There are so many options on this young team!!! The only ones you could probably guess would NOT have their best season would be Woodson, Pickett or Clifton as they are winding down… Which leaves a lot of deliberation as any other position may be BETTER than last season!
This being said, I think I would look at a player in their prime & not a very young one when I decide the BEST season of their CAREER…
I would go with AJ Hawk as he has no one looking over his shoulder this year, he defines the word “Steady” & he has improved a bit each season.
My second choice would be Nick Collins.
I thought about Jordy and FA but figured he’s young and their is a very good chance he get’s resigned after the year and has plenty of chances to top this upcoming 2011 season!!!
Go Pack Go!!!
That was a problem as I was putting together the poll and wanted to add a few other players – just too many options…
I agree with Lucas’ (inadvertent) vote for Harrell.
Another option could be a guy like CJ Wilson, who could get more opportunities to get on the field with CJ’s contract being up in the air and the fact we’re not going to get Jolly back.
Of course, it’s easier to have a career year when you’ve only played one season.. 🙂
I’ll throw one out there no one’s mentioned yet. Desmond Bishop should be starting for a full year for the first time in his career. He just seems to be a playmaker … like a Woodson.
However, if it were a life or death decision I would lean towards Finley. The dude is looking for a big payday and has the talent to get him there.
Going with the throwing it out there idea, why not Woodson? Sure, he’s coming back from injury, but Dom has a very solid idea of what the individuals offer and can put even more plays in place to take advantage of his versatility. More confidence = more creative play calling.
I’m with Kris. AR is poised to have a record breaking year. We’ll find out how high up is.
Finley. Contract year, coming off another injury, he needs a huge year to max out his next contract. He was on his way LY before getting injured.
I’ll have to go with CM3 simply decause I feel that Elmore is going to offer Capers much more for the table.
i would have a hard time picking rodgers or CM3 for this list. both of those guys have ceilings that no one can really find, and if all of the stars align CM3 could break the sack record one season, and rodgers has the ability to have a brady like season from a couple of years ago. their talent is just too great to ever predict which year will be the best of their career.
I agree with the ceiling aspect of both,but I’m taking the post to mean best season of a career…to date.This leaves open the door to future career seasons.
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