Hot Takes on the Combine and Packers Free Agency

It’s time to dissect the past few days of the NFL combine and the offseason shockwaves reverberating from the Packers in the NFL world!

There’s a new 40 yard dash record, and it means virtually nothing.
John Ross from Washington probably earned himself a nice raise from what he was projected to earn. However, Adidas backed out on giving him an island. In true 40 yard dash fashion, this is fast becoming the most overrated event in sports. If the 40 truly translated onto the field, then there would have been more than one Bob Hayes in the past several decades. The best thing about Ross’s sprint was this tweet from Barstool Sports.

The T.J. Watt train is gaining steam, but should it be?
If he’s still available in round three, then he may be a decent pick for Green Bay. Yes, he’s from Wisconsin and related to J.J. Watt. It’s a cute story, but not a reason to draft him 29th overall. Here’s a list of his strengths from one scouting report:

    Motor runs constantly
    Highly competitive
    Good size and great arm length
    Reliable tackler
    Plays with keen awareness
    Takes on blocks as well as he sheds them
    High character and work ethic

In other words: he’s white. There must be a law somewhere that states white guys who play defense must be described as playing with a high motor. Maybe he’ll be a good linebacker, but there’s nothing extraordinary that he has shown. He is supposed to fit better in a 4-3 defense that actually defends the middle of the field anyway. He is not a round one fit for the Packers.

The Packers pounced on retaining the 27th ranked punter from 2016.
The market must have been hot for the guy who finished 27th in punting average in 2016. Fortunately, the first move at retaining a player was for Jacob Schum. Tim Masthay had a higher average in every season of his career than Schum did last year. Is this a twisted way of motivating the offense to never stall on a drive?

Jared Cook is getting lowballed by the Packers.
Had he finished the year ranked as the 27th best tight end, the ink on a new contract would be long dry. Instead, little progress is being made in negotiations.

Geronimo will be back.
Geronimo Allison gained a bunch of fans late in the year. If anything, he definitely has the best name on the Packers, maybe even the league. The hope is he’ll progress to a spot in the rotation that was long thought to be reserved for Jeff Janis.

Julius Peppers wants to suit up in 2017.
The big question is where he will do this. There appears to be mutual interest between him and the Packers. For a reasonable price, nobody would seem to complain about having #56 back out there for one more campaign. Or, maybe the Packers will go with the new Peppers from Michigan via the draft.

In Conclusion
Rumors were circulating of the Packers making some progress with re-signing their own free agents over the combine weekend. We probably should have known the first deal would have been for their totally underwhelming punter. Okay, no more ripping on Jacob Schum. He’s probably one of the nicest guys in the league. Either way, the weekend didn’t provide a whole lot of what Packer Nation was probably hoping for, but there’s no need to panic. It’s a LONG offseason, and plenty can happen.

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John Piotrowski is a UW-Eau Claire alum, spending most of his life in western WI. He makes the trek east to Lambeau whenever possible. Follow him on twitter at @piosGBP.

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  • James C. Drumheller III

    Jabrill Peppers would really look nice in the Packers secondary. Draft a corner to go with him and problem solved.