Packers Stock Report: Bouncing Back Edition

Before the season, beat reporter Bob McGinn ranked the Green Bay Packers roster in order of importance to the Packers success for the upcoming season. Now that we’re five games into the season, let’s do something similar.

If the Packers are going to build off their recent success after a shaky start, which five players are going to have to remain healthy and productive? No, it’s not a full roster ranking like McGinn’s, but it gives a good overview of which players the Packers will need in order to have a shot at succeeding in January.

  1. Aaron Rodgers. An obvious No. 1.
  2. Mike Daniels. He was No. 2 on McGinn’s list and he’s No. 2 on mine. The defensive line needs all the production it can get.
  3. Jordy Nelson. One of the best in the game.
  4. Randall Cobb. Might seem high for Cobb, but if either he or Nelson gets hurt, this offense will sputter.
  5. Tramon Williams. The Packers secondary is legit and Williams is a big reason why.

A couple of notes on my rankings:

  • Clay Matthews didn’t make the list because the Packers have more depth at OLB now with Julius Peppers. Mike Neal is also holding his own and Nick Perry is even showing signs of life.
  • Williams made it because 1) he’s playing so well, 2) the secondary has been a strength of this team and needs to keep it up and 3) Williams has developed a nasty attitude, the type of attitude the defense needs.
  • No Eddie Lacy, not because Lacy isn’t important, but because the Packers can win without a running game and often do.
  • No offensive linemen, for many of the same reasons I didn’t include Lacy.

Now that we have our top 5 out of the way, on to the Packers Stock Report:


Tramon Williams
One of the Packers beat writers needs to go in-depth with Williams and do a story about the veteran’s transformation into one of the toughest players on the team. After the Packers Super Bowl season, Williams seemed to openly run away from contact and was a feeble tackler, at best. Starting at about the halfway point of last season, he started sticking his nose into the middle of everything and became totally fearless. Now he’s a capable tackler and his pass coverage has also been elevated a notch. Perhaps Williams’ shoulder from 2011 is finally fully healed. Or maybe the light went on one day and he realized he needed to play tougher. Either way, I love it and the Packers defense is better because of it.

Jordy Nelson
Anyone else have flashbacks to 2011 when Aaron Rodgers rolled out off of play action and hit Nelson deep on Thursday against the Vikings? That play was a staple in the Packers’ offense during that glorious season. If it makes a comeback, may God have mercy on the rest of the NFC.

Julius Peppers
Peppers, 6-foot-7, 285 pounds, and in his mid-30s, was outrunning Vikings backs and receivers on his way to the end zone after picking off a pass on Thursday. A guy I know who covered Peppers when he was in college at North Carolina said Peppers was the best athlete he’s ever seen. No kidding.


Corey Linsley
I think the center position is Linsley’s job to keep once J.C. Tretter is healthy. Looking ahead, the Packers will have a solid stable of players inside with Linsley, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang and Tretter.

Josh Sitton
What else is there to say about Sitton at this point? He’s been good when the Packers offensive line was bad. Now that the line is showing some promise, Sitton is still good. Actually, he’s the best player the Packers have up front.

David Bakhtiari
Another week where the steady category is occupied by offensive linemen. If this keeps up, the Packers offense will be tough to stop.


Matt Flynn
It was garbage time, but you don’t want your backup QB to come in and throw a pick.

John Kuhn
After chipping Peppers and sending the Packers to the playoffs last season, Kuhn probably as a Packers roster spot for life. That’s fine, but he’s really not doing much with it at the moment.

The NFC North
Cutler is still Cutler. The Lions are really beat up. Half the Vikings roster is in prison. Now is the time for the Packers to make a run and build a lead in the division.


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 .


19 thoughts on “Packers Stock Report: Bouncing Back Edition

  1. In all fairness to Kuhn, “Falling” is probably a bit tough given that he’s not getting many chances. Just by his nature and history, I think he get’s a minimum of “Steady” for life to go along with his roster spot.

    1. That is a fair comment on Kuhn. I am also wondering about Dujuan Harris. I would like to see him contribute and add another dimension to the offense. MM just can’t extend this offense much beyond Rodgers vertical game and Lacy between the tackles.

      We’ll see how well we do against Philbin. He knows Mike’s vanilla tendencies and may tune their defense accordingly.

      1. Good point on Harris. I would have to say that Dujuan’s career is in the doldrums right now. Problem isn’t the no huddle so much (though it doesn’t help), but he is not a good blocker when asked to stay in.

  2. It would be nice if Vikings upset Lions… Than it will count even more all of this movement up and down of category!

  3. How can Burnett and HH not make the list after their last 2 games? Perhaps Tramon became a hitter by osmosis, just by hanging out with those guys.

  4. How about a “hope we never have to see them on the field again” category?
    Sherrod, Jones, Flynn, etc…

    1. I never want to see Garth Gerhart or Lane Taylor. That would mean an injury, and the drop-off in talent and play would be immense. Hope Tretter makes a full recovery ASAP.

  5. RE: The NFCN – This IS the time to make some hay. These next 3 games before the bye are all winnable. Win them all and the NFCN (barring a Rodgers injury) is sewn up and a bye is within our grasp.

    The Bears still suck.
    The Lions are still the Lions.
    Oh – and the line about 1/2 the Vikings being in prison – I literally LOLed. Great stuff!

  6. Maybe extend Tramon by two years to see if you can still keep on the “contract year mojo”?

    This is a good stretch for the defense to continue to trend upward. Who is left on the schedule that is going to run at the Packers weakness in the middle of the defense? Maybe just Chicago in week 10, and the rest of the schedule is looking far less daunting than it did in May.

    1. My guess is that many teams, including GB, will offer him 3 years, and that some might even offer 4 years, although the 4th year structure might be team-friendly. I would love to have Tramon back. I think House is a big tease. I don’t have a handle on the market for House.

  7. Regarding the NFC North’s stock, I found this little news item rather amusing: After beating the Lions at Ford Field in week 5, the Bills carried Buffalo defensive coordinator and former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz off of the field on their shoulders… a move that somehow managed to be a source of extreme humiliation to BOTH teams.

  8. I’d also like to add Morgan Burnett, Tim Mashtay, Davante Adams, and Mike Pennel as rising. Burnett is playing like Ronnie Lott the past couple games. Mashtay is keeping the ball inside the 20 a ton. Adams has now officially taken over the no. 3 spot and Rodgers is starting to trust him. Finally, Mike Pennel is helping stuff the run. The Packers are also 3-0 when Mike Pennel is activated. Pennel off the record is being compared to the young Albert Haynesworth by mentor B.J. Raji. High praise.

  9. I think Tretter gets the job back, the coaches have been very high on him. Linsley’s been good, no doubt, but all it takes is one bad game to lose confidence in him, and Tretter’s back in there.

    The Lions refuse to win the division at all costs.

    1. This will be interesting to watch. If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have said that Tretter gets the job hands-down. Now I’m not so sure.

      As for the Lions, it’s getting to the point that Stafford is just as much of a choke artist as Cutler. Gonna have to start calling him “Cutford” or “Staffler” maybe…

    2. I very much disagree. Linsley should be in the rising category. He played easily his best game of the year. He appears to be getting better. I think Linsley is already better than EDS. That being said, if Tretter BEATS out Linsley when he returns, well and good.

    3. It will be very hard for Tretter to take the center job back! Linsley has played above expectations and keeps getting better every game. I like Tretter and his work ethic but I believe he goes back to being a back up for all positions or even maybe taking over a starting job at tackle.

  10. You did not even mention HHCD he is the reason Williams has stepped up his game because he knows HHCD is up and coming and will take his job in a heart beat if he don’t play well.

  11. I agree with the commentary on Tramon Williams. I think the time he had playing alongside Charles Woodson really impacted him as a player, and your starting to see him take on that leadership role that Woodson brought to the secondary, and backing it up by playing at a high level.

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