Thursday Thoughts: Round 3

The last time I went into a season feeling good about Green Bay’s defense, Barack Obama was in his first term as president, Esperanza Spalding was named Best New Artist at the Grammys, and The King’s Speech won an Oscar for Best Picture. Yep, it’s been a while. Here are three more Packers-related thoughts that ran through my mind recently:

1) From 2011 to 2019, the Packers’ best third-round pick was Richard Rodgers, a journeyman tight end. That seems hard to believe until you look at the other names on the list: running back Alex Green, edge rusher Kyler Fackrell, defensive linemen Khyri Thornton and Montravius Adams, wide receiver Ty Montgomery, linebacker Oren Burks, and tight end Jace Sternberger. Talk about bad luck (or bad drafting). So as I watched 2020 third-round pick Josiah Deguara suffer a concussion on Sunday in his very first game back after ACL surgery last October, I could think of only one thing – somebody needs to get rookie Amari Rodgers the name of a good exorcist.

2) The Saints ran all over the Packers last Sunday, but don’t be too upset with defensive linemen Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, and Tyler Lancaster. They played very hard; they just didn’t play very well. Instead, be upset with the person who forced a couple of late-round picks and an undrafted free agent to be on the field for nearly 100 snaps against one of the best offensive lines in the National Football League. General manager Brian Gutekunst has all but ignored this position in his three-plus years on the job. In fact, the Packers are one of only three teams that haven’t drafted a single defensive lineman in the first four rounds since 2018. Think about that the next time you get frustrated watching a Day 3 pick like Lowry get worked over by a Day 1 pick like perennial All-Pro Ryan Ramczyk.

3) Adam Stenavich is a good coach, but he’s not a miracle worker. No offensive line can lose two All-Pros and not be negatively affected in a big way, especially when those stars were replaced by rookies. The Packers struggled to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers and open holes for the runnings backs against a Saints’ defensive line that isn’t very strong in the middle. What’s going to happen when Lucas Patrick, Josh Myers, and Royce Newman are going to have to deal with the talented front fours of the 49ers and Steelers in a few weeks? Matt LaFleur better figure something out because the cavalry (All-Pro David Bakhtiari) ain’t coming for at least another month and a half.

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Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.
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