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Packers Must Overhaul The Defense To Make A Serious Run

Brandon Murchison Staff Writer April 26, 2017 1:55PM EDT

The NFL Draft Fantasy Preview Series : Cleveland – Chicago – San Francisco – Jacksonville – LA Rams – Tennessee – Jets – Chargers – Panthers – Bengals – BillsVikings – Cardinals – Saints – Eagles – Colts – Ravens –Redskins – Lions – Buccaneers – Broncos – Giants – Texans – Raiders – Cowboys – Seahawks – Steelers – Patriots – Falcons – Packers

Team Needs: CB, DE, RB

Projected Top Three Picks:

First Round- Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State

Second Round- Tre’Davious White, CB LSU

Third Round- DeMarcus Walker, DE Florida State

There will be two things that this Green Bay Packers team will be after in the 2017 draft. First, they must find a way to establish a running game. Second, they need to slow down opposing passing attacks and give Aaron Rodgers more time to go through his reads. Right from the get go they can accomplish one of those goals with the selection of RB Dalvin Cook. Cook, who was a star at Florida State, has seen his draft stock fall due to poor showings at the combine and his pro day. However, believe me that this is a perfect marriage of offense and the player’s skill set. He is more of a gameday player, and his size and quickness will fit seamlessly into the Packers spread attack. In what could be a draft day steal, look for Cook to start from day one and immediately become a dual-threat in this backfield. He has what it takes to total 1,100 yards rushing with 35 catches and eight TDs. That’s not bad for a rookie, and it could result in a high-end RB2 finish. You may be able to snatch him up on draft day at a RB3 price tag, but look for owners to reach for him if he falls towards the end of the first round.

In the second round, I have the Packers adding depth to their secondary with the pick of Tre’Davious White. White plays more like a finesse style at cornerback, but he excels in coverage which could suit this team perfectly. He likes to play in mostly man coverage, which is how the Packers typically operate, but he will rarely move in for the tackle on a running back. With his skill set, he has what it takes to jump in and start right away in this defense. But this unit as a whole will still be in the bottom half of the league, which will make them irrelevant for Fantasy owners. Look for the Packers defense to be waiver wire fodder for most of 2017.

What can stop Aaron Rodgers from being the top scorer in Fantasy again in 2017? (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)

What can stop Aaron Rodgers from being the top scorer in Fantasy again in 2017? Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

Aaron Rodgers returned to glory in 2016, leading all quarterbacks in scoring in what was a dominating season. Since the Packers all but abandoned the run game, the offense ran through Rodgers, and boy did he respond. Look for somewhat of a repeat of this in 2017, as the Packers know that their defensive issues require them to put plenty of points on the board to win games. Rodgers will definitely be up to the task, as he has weapons galore on the outside to keep defenses on their toes. Rodgers will be the first quarterback off the board regardless of format, and he will likely be selected before the end of the third round.

With a receiver group of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams, it is hard for opponents to determine which side to roll defensive coverage, which leads to plenty of single coverage and lots of scoring opportunities. Nelson heads this group as the go-to receiver for Rodgers, and he is the guy to get most of the targets and receptions. He typically scores on plays outside the 20 yard line, making him an all-around talent in both PPR and standard scoring formats. Nelson will see his stock rise in drafts this year and he’s likely to come off the board early in the second round. Adams and Cobb will undoubtedly flip-flop in drafts depending on the scoring system, with Cobb being the preference in PPR, and Adams’ TD potential making him the guy to grab in standard scoring. Both players will be selected sometime between the fifth and sixth, respectively. After the departure of TE Jared Cook, the Packers brought in Martellus Bennett to play tight end, and he should be in store for a big year. He’ll be drafted as a Top 10 tight end, but could very well finish the season inside the top five. So, be prepared to jump on him early if he is your guy.

This running game is in a state of flux as we enter the 2017 draft. As it stands now, Ty Montgomery and Christine Michael are the top two on the depth chart. But, I fully expect to see the Packers make a move at this position early in the draft with Dalvin Cook. However, if they decide to go with what they have, they will likely employ a hot hand approach. Montgomery will be the guy on most first downs and passing situations, with Michael filling in here and there in a complementary role. Montgomery will be the player to own between the two, as Mike McCarthy seems to like his skill set. Montgomery should be viewed as a RB3 in the event the Packers do not draft Cook or another back, with Michael likely going undrafted in most drafts in 2017.

Team Ranks:

Passing Offense- 262.4 YPG (7th)

Running Offense- 106.3 YPG (20th)

Points Per Game- 27.0 PPG (4th)

Top Fantasy Performers:

QB- Aaron Rodgers, 378 points

RB- Christine Michael, 115 points

WR- Jordy Nelson, 208 points

Play Fantasy Football, CFL Style! Visit the Canadian Football League’s Fantasy page for info on how to get in the game for 2018! RotoExperts.com provides winning tips and insights for the 2018 season. . 

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