NFL PREVIEW: 2020 GREEN BAY PACKERS
BY ADAM GREENE
Key Additions: WR Devin Funchess (free agent), RT Ricky Wagner (free agent), OLB Christian Kirksey (free agent), DE Treyvon Hester (free agent), DE Jamal Davis (free agent), DE Gerald Willis (free agent)
2020 NFL Draft: QB Jordan Love, Utah State (round 1), RB A.J. Dillon, Boston College (round 2), TE Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati (round 3), LB Kamal Martin, Minnesota (round 5), OG Jon Runyan, Michigan (round 6), C Jake Hanson, Oregon (round 6), OG Simon Stepaniak (round 6), S Vernon Scott, TCU (round 7), LB Jonathan Garvin, Miam (round 7)
Projected Offensive Starters: QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Aaron Jones, WR Devante Adams, WR Allen Lazard, WR Devin Funchess, TE Jace Sternberger, LT David Bakhtari, LG Elgton Jenkins, C Corey Linsley, RG Billy Turner, RT Ricky Wagner
Projected Defensive Starters: LDE Dean Lowry, NT Kenny Clark, RDE Tyler Lancaster, WLB Preston Smith, LILB Christian Kirksey, RILB Oren Burks, SLB Za’Darius Smith, LCB Jair Alexander, RCB Kevin King, SS Adrian Amos, FS Darnell Savage
K: Mason Crosby
P: J.K. Scott
Head Coach: Matt LaFleur
2019 Record: 13-3, 1st place NFC North
A Look Back: Matt LaFleur’s first season with the Packers was a breakout, with the lack of an NFC Championship at the end the only negative mark to be had. They opened the year 3-0 and came into November 7-1 with their only loss coming against the Philadelphia Eagles. They even claimed a road victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in that span (though it did happen when Patrick Mahomes was out with an injury).
Aaron Rodgers finished with pretty much the same numbers he always manages to put up, completing 62 percent of his passes for 4,002 yards, 26 touchdowns and four picks. For the second straight season he led the NFL in interception percentage (that’s a good thing), posting a 0.7 mark. While you might have expected a numbers boost with an actual competent playcaller in LaFleur running the show, that didn’t happen. But the team did win more games than any season since 2011. So, you know, there’s that.
2020 Projection: There’s plenty to be concerned about as the Packers open their 2020 campaign (let’s hope). First, the team didn’t add any real game-changing talent in the offseason, barring a break out from a draft pick like Dillon or Deguara. The team that took the field last season is pretty much the same, plus or minus a few guys, that will take the field this year. If anything, they’re worse off on the offensive line as they were content to let right tackle Bryan Bulaga and his 77.8 PFF grade walk, replacing him with Ricky Wagner, who graded out considerably lower at 59.0.
Adams is a good receiver, but no one would have him in the NFL’s Top 15 (or even 20, maybe) and the other guys are just that, guys. Other than Rodgers, no one in this Packers O unit scares anybody.
2020 Projected Record: 11-5. With this schedule, anything over 10 wins is a solid season, which explains why the books are so down on the Packers. Their over-under of 9.0 wins pays the same, -115, but 10-14 victories pays at +110. While I don’t think there’s a Super Bowl run in this team, I do still believe they’re the best team in the NFC North.