Packers Twitter was lost in the drama of the same old story for the past few days. A (former) all-pro was released or demanded a trade and his agent used the Packers as leverage to get more money out of the actual destination. In this case, Odell Beckham was able to glean a possible $4.25 million contract from the Rams. We don’t know exactly how much interest the Packers had in Beckham, but we do know the roster is good enough for a Packers super bowl already.
Let’s look at each position group midway through the season.
Rodgers hasn’t been close to having his best season this year, but he has still been well above average and is easily playing at a super bowl level. Look for him to keep improving during the stretch run.
Aaron Jones has looked like the rare running back worth a second contract while AJ Dillon has looked like the rare running back worth a second-round pick. There’s an argument to be made that the Packers could have created the same type of production while using less capital, but who cares?
Jones seems like a guaranteed three yards at times, he always falls forward, he’s the quickest player I’ve seen at RB for the packers, and he can run routes from any wide receiver spot. Meanwhile, Dillon is getting more and more snaps leading to opposing safeties making fewer and fewer tackles – and he can run some pretty good routes as well.
This has been the Davante Adams show for most of the season. I still think MVS can breakout over the second half of the year and Lazard looks ready to take the next step as well. I’m not sure Randall Cobb is ever going to be a truly impactful player on the offense outside of some key third down and red zone conversions, but that’s enough.
The O-Line has been a rare combination of disappointing and encouraging this season. Disappointing that Bakhtiari has missed the entire season so far, disappointing that a fourth-round rookie was thrust into a starting spot and the center is out too. But encouraging that both tackles have played like top 10 players at their position and the whole line should get significantly better as Bakhtiari and Myers return. With those two back, the line has five legit guys starting with three very capable of a pro-bowl nod. The whole offense could take a massive leap forward as the line solidifies.
The d-line has done a lot better than anyone could have expected this season. Rashan Gary has taken the leap. Preston Smith has been the best run defending edge in the league. Kenny Clark is still a top pass rushing nose. Dean Lowry and Kingsley Keke have shown sustained flashes over the past month. The d-line should only get better when Za’Darius Smith comes back, and TJ Slaton settles into a role.
This could be the best linebacker group the Packers have had in this century. De’Vondre Campbell is playing like a legitimate all-pro. Krys Barnes is playing just as well as AJ Hawk or Blake Martinez ever did. Even Oren Burks has a role and is making an impact. Who knew we would ever know what it was like to have competent linebacker play.
It’s becoming a trend in these paragraphs to talk about how much better the group will be when the star comes back, so let’s focus on the guys there now. Eric Stokes has played better than anyone expected out of a rookie corner and is the number one guy now. Rasul Douglas is probably Gutey’s bets in-season pick-up. Adrian Amos is the same guy (which is a great thing). And Darnell Savage is that close to making the leap. The biggest question is how the team will allocate cornerback snaps when Jaire returns.
Of course, I also waited all week with bated breath to see if Odell would sign with the Packers. And I would probably be writing about how great of a fit he is right now if he had. But now that he joined this year’s dream team in Los Angeles because they can pay him more, it’s important to recognize that this Packers roster is already Super Bowl level. Every position group has guys at the top of their position and every position group has up and coming players making the leap.
Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.