Packers vs Vikings: Trade Deadline Audition?

The Packers performance against the Vikings in week one set the standard for the entire season. The offense was sharp and deceptive, and the defense was disruptive and forced turnovers — save for a few lackadaisical garbage-time possessions. In order for Matt Lafleur to maintain his unblemished divisional record, the Packers will have to replicate their dominance from week one — Rinse and Repeat.

The Packers have already been involved in numerous trade conversations to improve their roster. In this piece, I highlight four Packers whose performances may impact how aggressive GM Brian Gutenkunst is at the trade deadline.

Marques Valdez-Scantling

Marquez Valdez-Scantling has been given constant opportunities to be productive and successful in Lafleur’s offense, but the returns are sporadic and underwhelming. With the trade deadline right around the corner — and Allen Lazard and Equanimeous St. Brown regaining form — the MVS hourglass is losing sand fast. The matchup against the Vikings is as juicy as it gets — 1720 yards (29th) and 14 TDs (28th) allowed through seven games. MVS took advantage of the young, porus secondary in week one, and he will need a similar performance in week seven to convince Gutenkunst not to make a deal for a WR. The Packers signed Seth Roberts, but they have also been in conversations for Will Fuller and Zach Ertz.

Dean Lowry/Tyler Lancaster

Kenny Clark is a certified stud at NT, but coming off a groin injury, he has been unable to play every down. Keke Kingsley has shown flashes of having some pass-rush juice, and Montravius Adams has mucked up the running game in small samples. However, neither of these guys are refined enough to start demanding more snaps immediately. Therefore, Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster are called upon for rotational duty more often than not. These guys are very adequate at their duties — give Clark a break and don’t get pancaked. In order to turn the corner from Super Bowl contenders to Super Bowl favorites, Gutenkunst may look to add some veteran talent to a suspect Dline. Some cheap options would be Quinnen Williams, who was made available via trade by the Jets, and Dontari Poe, who was just released by the Cowboys. Both of these veterans have struggled mightily for bad teams and could use benefit from a chance of scenery.

Preston Smith

Preston Smith thwarted the Texans comeback big with a sound play on Deshaun Watson’s read option attempt. Other than that, week six was much like the rest of the season for Preston. Stymied at the point of attack, washed out of run plays and just an overall diminished impact on the game. The talent is there, we saw Preston’s abilities on full display in 2019. But we have only seen flashes so far this year. Preston’s job isn’t on the line, but if the pressure numbers stay stagnant, Gutenkunst may be forced to make a deal for a pass rusher. You can never have enough pass rusher, so do not be surprised by a deal for a veteran pass rusher.

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Kirien is a big fan of the Packers, Beer, and Battlestar Galactica. You can follow him on twitter at @KirienSprecher.

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