Winner: Randall Cobb, WR: The second round draft pick from Kentucky was electric in his first game as a professional, hauling in three passes for 60 yards and returning two kickoffs for 29 yards apiece. Cobb is built in the mold of a young Donald Driver/Percy Harvin and adds a new dimension to the Packers’ offense.
Loser: Pat Lee, CB: The biggest loser of the night was Lee, who was burnt early and often. He looked slow covering both Josh Cribbs and rookie Greg Little, and the outstanding play of fellow cornerback Josh Gordy may have cost Lee a roster spot. He is most likely on the outside looking in after tonight’s performance.
Winner: Morgan Burnett, SS: After missing all but four games in 2010, Burnett returned in a big way. On back-to-back plays in the first quarter, Burnett blew up an inside run on second down and made an open-field tackle on tight end Evan Moore to force a fourth down. His time was limited, but he sure made the most of it.
Loser: Second string offensive line: For the most part the starters on the offensive line were stellar, giving Aaron Rodgers plenty of time to stand in the pocket. But for as good as they were, their backups were just as bad. Marshall Newhouse (see below) looked lost at right tackle and T.J. Lang was just as bad at left tackle. The second group will need work.
Winner: Derek Sherrod, OL:
The Green Bay Packers released their first unofficial depth chart of 2011 Tuesday, four days before their preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns.
With four preseason games and just under a month before Week 1, take this depth chart with a large grain of salt. Plenty will happen between now and Sept. 4, meaning plenty of names will be moved around.
Here is a look at the depth chart, via Packers.com:
QB: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Graham Harrell
RB: Ryan Grant, James Starks, Dimitri Nance, Alex Green/Brandon Saine
FB: John Kuhn, Quinn Johnson, Jon Hoese
WR1: Greg Jennings, James Jones, Randall Cobb, Brett Swain/Diondre Borel, Kerry Taylor
WR2: Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, Chastin West, Tori Gurley/Antonio Robinson, Shaky Smithson
TE: Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, Tom Crabtree, D.J. Williams/Ryan Taylor/Spencer Havner
LT: Chad Clifton, Marshall Newhouse, Theo Sherman
LG: Derek Sherrod, T.J. Lang, Adrian Battles
C: Scott Wells, Nick McDonald, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Sampson Genus
RG: Josh Sitton, Nick McDonald, Caleb Schlauderaff
RT: Bryan Bulaga, Chris Campbell, Ray Dominguez
Right. Through. His hands.
Chances are if you are a Packers fan and were watching Super Bowl XLV this past February, you uttered those exact words (or something like it) when wide receiver James Jones dropped what would have been a 75-yard touchdown to put Green Bay up 28-10 early in the third quarter.
That phrase may have been a repeat (potentially with added expletives) of what you said when Jones, now a free agent, dropped another would-be touchdown in the Wildcard game against the Eagles. Or his fumble against the Bears in Week 3 that cost the Packers a chance at completing a fourth quarter comeback.
It’s true. Jones has provided more than his fair share of, “What?!” moments in his four seasons with Green Bay, and many would have no problem to see him join another franchise. But are we selling No. 89 short? Will the Packers miss him more than fans think if ultimately he decides to leave Green Bay?
Aaron Rodgers thinks so.
Have the Packers found their answer at punt returner?
It sure looks that way after they reportedly agreed to terms with undrafted free agent Antoine “Shaky” Smithson, a wide receiver from Utah, on the first official night of free agency.
While Smithson will not be able to sign with the team until tomorrow morning, Smithson indicated on his Twitter account that he indeed would sign on with the World Champions.
There was no one better in college football at returning punts in 2010, as Smithson averaged 19.1 yards per return (572 yards) and scored twice. He was named a Walter Camp first team All-American punt returner for his record-breaking season, while also starting four games at wide receiver for the Utes.
He ended the season with 25 catches for 383 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver, but Smithson is going to make his living as a punt returner, if anything.
Twitter has quickly become the most efficient ways to follow the off-the-field lives of one’s favorite athletes, and the Green Bay Packers are no exception. While most fans are aware of the usual tweeters like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Crabtree and Jermichael Finley, the newest members of the Packers can also be found on Twitter. Here’s a list of the Packers’ rookies along with links to their Twitter accounts.
Derek Sherrod, LT, Mississippi State (@dsherrod78): Offensive Lineman for the Green Packers, Mississippi State Alumni, and I like to work hard and play even harder.
Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky (@rcobb18):
The makeup of the Packers’ 2011 roster could look very different than it does right now, considering that the NFL lockout has halted free agency to this point. Players such as defensive end Cullen Jenkins, wide receiver James Jones, and running back Brandon Jackson still do not know whether they will be wearing a Green Bay jersey on Opening Night.
So for now, we can only project what the ten Packers’ 2011 draft picks will do this season. Here’s a look.
Derek Sherrod, LT: Chad Clifton rebounded nicely in 2010 and was selected as an alternate to the Pro Bowl, and it looks as though he will be back protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blindside again this season. If the Packers truly believe Sherrod can be the left tackle of the future, then Bryan Bulaga will stay at right tackle and Sherrod will learn for a year under Clifton.
Randall Cobb, WR:
The Green Bay Packers entered the 2010 NFL Draft with few needs, allowing them to select for value instead of need. Here’s a look at their picks.
Round 1, Pick No. 32: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State: Chad Clifton is one or two years away from retiring and the Packers are thin at the tackle position, so Sherrod was a no-brainer here. The pick allows the Packers to mix and match with last year’s first round pick Bryan Bulaga, who could stay at right tackle if Sherrod pans out as the left tackle of the future. Da’Quan Bowers, Akeem Ayers and Brooks Reed were all tempting options, but Sherrod fills a need and can learn for a year behind Clifton before taking over as Aaron Rodgers’ blindside protector.
Round 2, Pick No. 64: Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky: