One of the many things people say about the NFL draft is that teams can’t lie with their picks. while font offices can put out all the smokescreens and obfuscation they want in the build-up, when the clock starts ticking and they’re on the clock. decisions have to be made and those calls tell everyone what you really think.
If you subscribe to this theory, then the Green Bay packers unfurled a massive middle finger right in the hang-dog face of their quarterback Aaron Rodgers last week.
A matter of hours before last Thursday’s first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. the 35-year-old QB was talking about how much he hoped his team would take one of the numerous ball-catching stars said to be contained in this year’s crop of new pro players.
But Green Bay’s management did not draft a single wide receiver. Instead, they picked up a battering ram of a running back – despite possessing Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams already – a so-so tight end prospect, and, apparently, used their very first pick to take the QB they want to succeed Rodgers.
They even traded other picks to move up and get him!
Are you getting the message, Aaron?
Naturally enough, there has been plenty of talk since that this is a wise move, that Rodgers will start and maybe his putative replacement, Jordan Love, will be flipped for future picks at some date in the future. And anyway, Rodgers’ massive contract makes moving on from him any time soon a near impossibility.
These are fair points to make, but the reality is that the Packers and Rodgers have a very limited Super Bowl window unless Rodgers goes on the nuts-n-berries diet Tom Brady credits his longevity to, so not making a move to bolster their extremely shallow receiving pool with at least one prospect from this talent-laden class speaks louder than any number of “Packers sources” ever will.
The Green Bay Packers – in desperate need of a second viable target for Aaron Rodgers – took ZERO WRs in maybe the greatest WR draft in NFL history.
Instead they took a bruising RB, a new OL, and a project new QB.
They might as well have just slapped Rodgers in the nuts.
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) April 25, 2020
Only Davante Adams on the current Packers roster would be truly coveted by other NFL teams from the Packers target group, and even he is elevated by Rodgers’ play. The Panthers and Colts have already decided Devin Funchess isn’t up to it as a top NFL receiver, but Rodgers now has him as his #2 receiver.
The Pack also cut ties with the shell of Jimmy Graham this offseason – the Bears, of course, decided to kick the tyres on the crocked former Saint – while names as extravagant – if not celebrated – as Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling fill out the receiver room.
Obviously there’s a scenario where the Packers management feel they’ll get greater production thanks to reinforcements along the offensive line, and they hope to be better on defence this coming season thanks to their rookie class – who can forget how they were blown out by the Niners in the NFC title game in January – but this plan is not playing to Aaron Rodgers’ strengths.
Coach Matt LaFleur earned the Packers job for his work in Tennessee as OC under Mike Vrabel. the emphasis was on running the ball there, and, if this draft and much of last season’s scheme was anything to by, that’s the way the Packers are heading too.
It all means that Aaron Rodgers to pass for under 3,900 yards (5/6) in the 2020 season could be a very shrewd selection at the end of next season. Rodgers crept past the 4,000-yard mark last season, but these signals are not encouraging for his prospects.
It’s a direction not many would’ve predicted when you’ve one of the greatest quarterbacks ever leading your team, and it should mean the Pack (20/1) slide from the Super Bowl picture sooner rather than later in 2020.
Super Bowl Odds:
*All odds correct at time of posting