Elgton Jenkins Jersey

As the Green Bay Packers found themselves on the clock, they had a variety of players that were worthy of being drafted. Tight end Irv Smith Jr. was still on the board as were receivers Hakeem Butler, A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf amongst others. Even top safeties Chauncy Gardner-Johnson and Nasir Adderley would have made some sense for Green Bay at this pick.

However, Green Bay went with the unsexy pick and selected interior offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins to help give this team depth along the line and possibly start in 2019.
On paper, the Green Bay Packers offensive line appears to be set but there are question marks. Last year the unit gave up 3.3 sacks per game, which ranked as the second most in the NFL. Bryan Bulaga is solid when on the field but can’t be relied upon to play in all 16 games. Lane Taylor struggled in 2018, allowing eight sacks and while we hope he bounces back, we don’t know that he will for sure. Even newly signed Billy Turner has just 25 starts in five seasons.

Regardless of all the changes that have taken place in Green Bay amongst the coaching staff and the roster, this team still goes as far as Aaron Rodgers takes them. And for the remainder of his time in Green Bay, they must keep him upright.

Enter Elgton Jenkins who is the exact type of offensive lineman that General Manager Brian Gutekunst has wanted to add to this team. During his time at Mississippi State, Jenkins displayed his versatility by playing center, guard, as well as tackle and is a very athletic player, scoring a 9.34 on the Relative Athletic Scoring table. One of the best amongst interior offensive linemen.

For the Green Bay Packers, Jenkins will likely play guard and will compete with Lane Taylor for his starting job. Jenkins is an ideal fit for new head coach Matt LaFleur’s zone running scheme. He moves well in space and is able to control his opponent at the point of contact, steering them away from the runner. There is a real possibility that this new scheme could present an issue for Taylor and prior to this selection, Green Bay doesn’t really have any reliable options behind the starting five.

Darnell Savage Jersey

The University of Maryland may not be considered a powerhouse for producing NFL talent, but the program has had success in recent years with the likes of Stefon Diggs, Yannick Ngakoue and DJ Moore all making names for themselves at the next level.

Now, it seems as if Darnell Savage, Jr. is the next Terps ready to produce in the NFL.

Selected by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Savage’s rise to prominence has been a meteoric one.

Just a few months ago, there wasn’t much discussion as to where Savage fit in with other NFL prospects. That all changed with the NFL Combine, where Savage ran a blistering 4.36 40-yard dash and put his name on the map. From there, the safety continued to impress teams, as reports continued to surface that Savage had a legitimate chance of becoming a first or second round pick.

On Thursday night, that came to fruition.

Savage will help a Green Bay secondary get even stronger. With the addition of Adrian Amos in the offseason, Savage gives the Packers another athletic piece to help limit opposing passers.

No matter what his role may be with his new team, Savage believes he has plenty to offer. In NBC Sports Washington’s “I Am The Prospect” series, he detailed the traits he posses that makes him a solid addition.

“You get a smart, talented player with instincts and a passion for the game like no other,” Savage said. “I just make plays.”

Rashan Gary Jersey

Rashan Gary was drafted with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and has received mixed reactions since the move was made. Some fans are a bit wary of him due to his low production at Michigan, while others see his insane physical ability and could not be more excited to see him play.

No matter what the fans think, Gary is ready to put in work. He was already in the weight room at Michigan on Saturday morning and is ready to prove the Packers right for giving him a chance.

NFL.com had a very intriguing comparison for Gary. They believe that his best comparison is Ezekiel Ansah, who has been a great pass rusher in the league and is currently a free agent searching for his new team.

Ansah has put together a great career in the National Football League. He has racked up 48 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in his six seasons. If Gary can become that kind of pass rushing threat, the Packers will be very happy with their decision to take him.

Brian Gutekunst made it clear that Green Bay had been targeting Gary for quite some time. He was the guy that they wanted to take all along. Being able to get their top target is a rarity and the fans will come around to this pick if he develops the way that the franchise thinks he will.

It will be interesting to follow along over the next couple of years as the Packers see Gary grow. He will fit in nicely alongside Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith rushing the passer and could be used in the unique role that Julius Peppers had during his time with the Packers.

All of that being said, Gary is more than ready to start his NFL career and the Packers could not be more excited to have him on board.

Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey

It was the last offseason when the Green Bay Packers decided to sign the recently cut, Muhammad Wilkerson to a one year, $5 million contract on a “prove-it” deal, after disappointing 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Green Bay was hoping that a change in scenery and the familiarity with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s defense from his time with the New York Jets would give Wilkerson a spark and they would see similar numbers to what he produced in 2015.

During the 2015 season, Wilkerson made the Pro Bowl and recorded 64 total tackles, 28 quarterback hits, 12 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

Unfortunately for Wilkerson and the Green Bay Packers, he suffered a gruesome ankle injury in week three against the Washington Redskins that would land him on injured reserve. In those three games, Wilkerson made five total tackles. It’s a very small sample size to truly know how the season would have turned out for him had he stayed healthy.

Although we don’t have much to go off of on the field in regards to Wilkerson’s time in Green Bay, he is quite familiar with Pettine’s system as well as his combination of size and quickness make him very versatile on the defensive line.

During training camp last summer, it was talked about by other players on the Green Bay Packers team how easily Wilkerson had transitioned into the defense after coming from a different team. Often times that familiarity and confidence in the scheme will lead to production on the football field.

Given his size at 6’4″, 315 pounds, coupled with his agility, Wilkerson has the ability to play anywhere on the defensive line. This is a quality that Pettine and really any coach adores in a player, as it allows them to switch up the looks that they are giving the offense and to create mismatches.

The Green Bay Packers have a fantastic duo on the defensive line in Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels, but at this point, we still haven’t seen enough from Tyler Lancaster and Montravius Adams to know what kind of production we will see from the two on a regular basis. Retaining Wilkerson will give the Packers added depth and someone with proven playmaking potential on the defensive line.

Wilkerson will enter the 2019 offseason as an unrestricted free agent, which means he is free to sign with whichever team he desires. With that said, Wilkerson should consider that playing under coach Pettine could give him his best chance at a successful season.

As of now, it is unknown how interested the Green Bay Packers are in bringing Wilkerson back for the upcoming season, but if they do, it will most likely be on another one year deal and once again at a reduced price given his injury in 2018.

On the free agent market, there aren’t a plethora of options at defensive end but the group is headlined by Dante Fowler and Cameron Wake. Both of which should be on General Manager Brian Gutekunst’s radar but will end up being more expensive than Wilkerson.

Considering the Green Bay Packers have a number of other positions to address, perhaps that money could be better spent elsewhere, rather than at defensive end.

Muhammad Wilkerson still has to prove he can have a career resurgence but at 29 years old, there should be plenty of gas left in the tank. As for the Green Bay Packers, taking another flyer on Wilkerson for a few million dollars and a one year deal is something that they should do.

Jimmy Graham Jersey

Earlier this year, there were talks surrounding Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham and his future with the team. Graham will be the starting tight end for the Packers in 2019, but it’s clear this upcoming season is crucial for him.

Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report named the 10 veteran NFL players who have most on the line in 2019 and Graham made the cut. Here’s a look at what Moton had to say about Graham.

“In 2018, Graham finished with 636 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Typically known for his pass-catching and red-zone talents, the All-Pro tight end didn’t fully showcase his skill set with the Packers last year. Green Bay signed him to a three-year, $30 million deal last March, but the investment fell short in a disappointing season.”

“Next offseason, Green Bay can release Graham and save $8 million, per Over the Cap. He’s headed into his age-33 campaign and there’s a possibility the front office drafts a player at the position in April. With quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the ninth-year veteran must provide more on offense to avoid a potential early-contract termination.”

The NFL Draft takes place on Apr. 25 and the Packers have 10 picks. Make sure you’re in the loop

It was all but confirmed that Graham would be back with the team last month as he earned a big roster bonus on the third day of the league year. The All-Pro tight end earned a roster bonus of $5 million so it wouldn’t make sense for the Packers to cut him. Also, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported earlier this year the Packers are going to keep Graham and see what he does in the new offense led by head coach Matt LaFleur.

“I’ve heard the comments of him not being a blocker (but), if you really go back and look at the tape, he did a nice job as a blocker for us last year – much more than people would understand unless you watch the tape,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said. “Obviously, Jimmy, he’s a Hall of Fame-type talent. He probably didn’t have the year he was quite expecting last year, but he still was a pretty productive player for us. … I thought he was really good for our locker room and I expect big things from him this year.”

Graham was the top free agent addition for the Packers last offseason as he signed a three-year, $30 million back in March. However, it’s only a one-year deal worth $13 million because he will get his base salary and bonuses which will be worth $1.45 million and $11 million of the $30 million is guaranteed money. So the Packers could have cut Graham after the 2018 season if they wanted to and they would have saved salary cap space for the next two seasons. Graham finished the 2018 season with 55 receptions for 636 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers are similar to what he had in 2015 when he posted 48 receptions for 602 yards and two touchdowns in his first season with the Seattle Seahawks.

Tramon Williams Jersey

If all goes right this offseason, veteran Tramon Williams will be back playing cornerback for the Green Bay Packers to start the 2019 season.

General manager Brian Gutekunst said Monday that the team views Williams as a cornerback first, although his versatility allowed him to fill in as a free safety to end last season.

“I think naturally Tramon is more of a corner, but he can do it all,” Gutekunst said, via Michael Cohen of The Athletic. “He’s such an unselfish player and such a pro that I think he’ll (go) wherever he fits in or whatever makes the team best. I think naturally he’s more of a corner. I think we all thought with Tramon’s skill set he was able to play the post, but we signed him as a corner.”

The next step for Gutekunst will be finding legitimate options to replace Williams at safety. The Packers signed Adrian Amos away from the Chicago Bears, providing at least one new starter, but Gutekunst must also find a capable free safety to team with Amos at the backend of Mike Pettine’s defense.

The roster just doesn’t have an obvious solution.

Josh Jones is much more of a strong safety/linebacker hybrid than a traditional free safety, and Raven Greene, Tray Matthews and Jason Thompson all lack game experience.

The position is in the middle of a significant transition. The three main safeties to start last season are all gone: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was traded to Washington, Jermaine Whitehead was released and Kentrell Brice signed in Tampa Bay.

Signing a veteran or dipping into the draft to find a new free safety to work with Amos makes the most sense.

If safety is adequately addressed, the Packers would have the opportunity to send Williams back to cornerback, potentially to slot cornerback. Bashaud Breeland, who ended last season playing mostly in the slot, departed this offseason, signing a one-year deal in Kansas City.

Williams would join Kevin King, Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson and Tony Brown in a potentially exciting young cornerback group to start 2019.

Gutekunst’s preference for moving Williams back to cornerback highlights the need to get another safety or two this offseason. Expect the Packers to be aggressive in finding one, whether it’s during the final stages of free agency or during the first couple of days of next month’s draft.

Antonio Morrison Jersey

Former Packers linebacker Antonio Morrison had a rough month of March.

A week before being released by the Packers, Morrison was cited for interfering with a flight from Milwaukee to Las Vegas.

Via Michael Cohen of TheAthletic.com, a flight attendant questioned passengers about the placement of a bag under a vacant seat. Morrison, who later admitted that he placed his bag there because someone else had placed a bag under his seat, initially refused to acknowledge whether the bag was his.

“F–k you,” Morrison allegedly said. “You don’t own this plane. I can do whatever I want.”

The pilot took the plane back to a gate at the airport, and Morrison exited to speak to a Deputy Sheriff.

“Morrison stated he did not feel he needed to explain why his bag was under an empty seat and thought the explanation [about] whose bag was good enough,” the police report states. “During this time Morrison was cursing casually with me and could not complete a sentence without the word f–k.”

Morrison arrived in Green Bay last year, via a trade with the Colts. He appeared in all 16 games, starting eight.

Cohen writes that it’s unclear whether the Packers knew about the citation before cutting him. A no-contest plea was entered last week.

Jermaine Whitehead Jersey

Jermaine Whitehead earned more than a slap on the wrist for his slap of a Patriot.

The Green Bay Packers safety was ejected from Sunday night’s game in New England after slapping Patriots center David Andrews in the face with an open palm in the second quarter.

Whitehead earned a personal foul penalty and Green Bay was penalized 15 yards. The Patriots were in the end zone three plays later.

Whitehead was filling in for recently departed safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who Green Bay traded to the Washington Redskins this week. He had played 14 snaps at the time of his ejection.

The Packers are replacing Whitehead with cornerback Tramon Williams and safety Kentrell Brice.

Whitehead (back) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Whitehead started the week not practicing but was able to put in limited sessions Thursday and Friday. If healthy, the 25-year-old should serve a key rotational role in the secondary that is now without the recently traded Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Tramon Williams is shifting from cornerback to safety, but Whitehead should still have a significant role defensively after playing 75 snaps against the Rams.

FOXBOROUGH – Packers safety Jermaine Whitehead was ejected in the second quarter of the Patriots game Sunday night after he slapped center David Andrews after a play.

The slap, which came in the aftermath of a 10-yard run by Cordarrelle Patterson, mostly brushed Andrews in the face mask. It was clearly unnecessary though not particularly dangerous.

“In #GBvsNE, Jermaine Whitehead was ejected from the game for striking the head of an opponent. The ejection was confirmed by NY,’’ the NFL explained on its officiating Twitter account.

Decisions to eject a player often come from the league’s refereeing headquarters in New York. Referee Brad Allen’s crew in Foxborough didn’t offer up the reasoning behind the ejection after it happened.

Za’Darius Smith Jersey

Za’Darius Smith is one of the new members of the Green Bay Packers and he’s expected to make a big impact in the pass-rushing department. But how many sacks will Smith earn in 2019?

Mike Clay of ESPN recently released his 2019 projections for the Packers and it looks like Smith will be one of the best defenders on the Packers roster. Here’s a look at the projected stats for Smith.

According to Clay’s projections, Smith will be the team’s leader in sacks which means they will not have a player earn double-digit sacks. However, the Packers are projected to get 40 sacks this upcoming season which should be good enough to rank them in the upper half of the NFL (Packers had 44 sacks in 2018).

The NFL Draft takes place on Apr. 25 and the Packers have 10 picks. Make sure you’re in the loop

Smith was drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round back in 2015. In his rookie season, Smith notched 30 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He took a step back in 2016, recording 20 tackles, four tackles for loss and one sack.

Last year, Smith had a breakout season, tallying 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He finished with a Pro Football Focus grade of 71.7 which was the 33rd-best grade for all edge defenders.

The Packers getting Smith was not a real surprise since they were linked to him earlier in his career. Peter King of Pro Football Talk/NBC Sports mentioned the Packers tried to trade for Smith at one point, but they could not get a deal done.

“The Packers once tried to trade for Za’Darius Smith, the Baltimore edge rusher,” King wrote. “Now, with a crying need on the edge, Green Bay could be a match with Smith in free agency.”

The Packers were always high on Smith and it’s clear he was on top of their free-agent board. But it was one person who really sold the Packers on Smith. Milt Hendrickson, who is the Packers new director of football operations, was a longtime scout for the Ravens and he was able to be around Smith a lot. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst spoke to reporters about Hendrickson’s role in getting Smith and he talked about how Kentucky alum was in the locker room.

“(Hendrickson) knew him through and through, so he knew the kind of locker room guy he was going to be, he knew the character of the man,” Gutekunst said at the NFL Annual Meeting in Arizona this week (via Packers.com). “You worry about those things because when you sign guys to big contracts like that, (you wonder) what their motivation is and those kinds of things. Those things are important for us to know because you want to know what you’re getting.”

Smith and fellow teammate Preston Smith are taking over for Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. Matthews was signed by the Los Angeles Rams and Perry was cut by the team once free agency began.

Billy Turner Jersey

GREEN BAY – Billy Turner knew that entering free agency he’d probably be on the move again.

But now that he’s with his fourth team in six years, he’s welcoming the thought of potentially settling in somewhere for a while.

“It’s definitely a positive to this – having an organization behind you, backing you all the way and compensating you in a way that makes you feel comfortable to walk into the building every day and comfortable knowing that you’re wanted here…,” Turner said shortly after signing a free-agent contract with the Packers.

“So it’s definitely nice to be in a place where I’m wanted, and at the same time I’m not too far from home.”

The Minnesota native and versatile offensive lineman has played for both Miami and Denver in his career, with an ultra-brief stop at Baltimore in between. He has started games at four different positions in his career, but the majority have come at guard, where the Packers have an open starting spot on the right side heading into 2019.

Turner isn’t taking anything for granted as he joins the Packers. He’s focused on being one of the team’s “best five” linemen and taking it from there. But Green Bay also didn’t sign him at the dawn of free agency just for depth.

His film from starting the last seven games of 2018 for the Broncos at left guard generated interest early in the process, so he wasn’t on the market long despite the journeyman label.

The Packers’ head coaching change and Matt LaFleur’s offense definitely factored into Green Bay’s desire to bring him aboard. Coming out of North Dakota State five years ago, Turner clocked a 5.16-second time in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, impressive for a lineman weighing 300-plus pounds. It played into the FCS standout getting drafted in the third round by the Dolphins.

Turner remains the same big guy who can move, and he’s eager to show it in LaFleur’s outside zone run scheme that requires its linemen to move laterally in swift but powerful fashion. It’s the first blocking scheme Turner was introduced to as a pro in Miami, so he has established roots in it.

“I’m an offensive lineman, but I don’t think that I move like an offensive lineman,” Turner said. “I use my athleticism to my advantage, and it works well for me. So being able to move in space well and to run off the football and move guys around in the run game, I think, was part of the reason why Green Bay liked me.”