2012 Player Ratings
The scale is based on 'Replacement Priority' in a scale of 1 to 10.
-A rating of 1 means that he would not be replaced, even if the team had the 1st overall pick and the hottest blue-chip prospect in the draft played the same exact position.
-A rating of 10, meanwhile, means that just about any street Free Agent you could pick up could do the job as effectively as him.
-Out of fairness for those who don't see much PT, the usage of 10s up to 8s are limited.
Aaron Rodgers: 1
-I think we'll look at 2013 as the litmus test for how properly rated Aaron's grudges are. Given the frequent references to the chip on his shoulders, ideally he should come out swinging next season.
Graham Harrell: 7
-Backups at Quarterback typically get a raw deal. Either they are the old vets who aren't good enough to start, the green youngsters who need to learn the playbook, or the career backups who are tried and true stop-gaps. No backup can truly be considered irreplaceable, because they'd be starting at that point. Harrell hasn't proved anything one way or another yet- that miserable fumble aside- which means someone could come along and take his spot.
BJ Coleman: 7
-Seems silly to give a grade for a backup who has been on the practice roster all season long.
Alex Green: 6
-Basically Brandon Jackson, but ran run just a bit better. Youth and relatively cheap cost make Green a viable piece, though I doubt he'll become a bona-fide workhorse.
James Starks: 7
-Once upon a time he provided a spark in the running attack during the Super Bowl run in '10. Essentially he was the spiritual successor to Ryan Grant. However he has taken a step backwards and looks once more like just another cog on the bench.
Cedric Benson: 10
-Given a 10 mainly because he's an Unrestricted FA and didn't prove remotely enough to bring him back. Not a bad career by any stretch, but you can tell he didn't have the tread in the tires anymore.
DuJuan Harris: 5
-Gets the highest grade in the backfield by virtue of being the lone running back who offered anything explosive at the end of the year. That said, he only gets a cautionary grade due to his inexperience and the fact we've been down this road already.
Ryan Grant: 10
-Like Benson, he's an Unrestricted FA and unlikely to return. Still, kudos are in order for filling in on such short notice, even if he proved he never re-found his edge.
Jon Kuhn: 6
-Designated as the Fullback, either as a lead blocker or a swing pass out of the backfield, Kuhn is actually paid more than you really want from a Fullback, which requires fantastic production as a blocker, reciever, and even short-yardage runner. Kuhn to date seems to be regressing in almost all fields. Still, it's been years since Management dared look for a FB out of the draft or FA.
Greg Jennings: 8 (5 if re-signed)
-Unrestricted FAs- unless absolutely irreplaceable in production- will get a high grade. This includes Jennings, who can thrive as a Home-Run hitter and dirty worker but had the misfortune of getting hobbled early on in the season and never quite jumping out of the pack. Really sad, because letting him go will downgrade the unit regardless.
Jordy Nelson: 4
-In short, Jordy didn't quite prove he's deserving of #1 status. And while that doesn't seem all that important given the diversity of the arsenal the Packers have, you can't beat an unquestioned #1 who will show up game after game. Even with that in mind, Jordy still is a Home-Run hitter in his own right and a strong sum[BLEEP] for his position.
James Jones: 3
-Like Nelson last year, Jones had a monster campaign- all the more vital due to how unhealthy the recieving corps was overall. And with Jennings likely gone, Jones is the frontrunner for the #1 job. Still, you have to have some concerns about his long history of spotty performances, and how his upswing in production seemed to happen immediately AFTER Rodgers cussed him right out after an Interception against Chicago.
Randall Cobb: 2
-You wanna know how the multi-position stars in football are alike? They usually are on teams that lack complementary talent (See Devin Hester and Chicago's attempt to make him a wide reciever). Cobb right now is a more dangerous reciever(and intriguing option out of the backfield) than he is as a returner (jukes and jives too much and has handling issues).
Donald Driver: 10
-Here's to a fantastic player and career... but it's time to hang em' up.
Jarret Boykin: 7
-Gets some props for lasting two years(I recall him having a strong pre-season before '11), but ultimately will have to prove himself next year.
Jeremy Ross: 7
-That horrible punt whiff aside, Ross has at least proven to me a more decisive returner than Cobb most of the time- and more to the point, his presence prevents Cobb from risking injury, which will help a great deal on the offensive side of the ball.
Jermichael Finley: 8 (5 if re-signed)
-Polarizing and Enigmatic describes him, on the field that is, not his personality. All the talent in the world to be the next Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates, but often plagued by inconsistant production(or maybe just being one of the pieces has something to do with it). But while you may think you can get by without him because of said consistancy, it might just turn out that his presence alone may have made opposing defenses honest.
Tom Crabtree: 9 (7 if re-signed)
-Blocking Tight-Ends by definition shouldn't be rare, simply because the Professional Ranks are littered with many TEs who could break out as recieving threats and therefore had to learn how to block. Crabtree is a designated blocker/occasional H-Back, but you could find more of him if the right player and the right price came along.
DJ Williams: 7
-One of several potential candidates for the starting TE job if Finley leaves. In truth, probably the front-runner, if only because he's one of the most talented, and the most healthy to boot.
Ryan Taylor: 7
-Taylor makes more noise as a consistant Special Teamster than as a Tight End, but he's a bit like Crabtree in the blocking mold.
Andrew Quarless: 7
-Quarless was supposed to be a weapon much like Finley, but then he got injured near the end of the '11 season and has only recently returned to the active squad. Even with small lingering questions about his recovery and his role on this team, he remains one of the front-runners for the starting TE spot if Finley leaves.
Marshall Newhouse: 7 (5 as a backup)
-You tended to see Newhouse when he was getting burned by the better DEs he lined up against. Nothing against him, he wasn't supposed to be the Starting LT to begin with. Bryan Bulaga ended up on the right side instead, and Derek Sherrod broke his leg and still hasn't come back yet. So Newhouse has had to fill a gap. As a backup who could cover both sides at Tackle and maybe even guard, he offers valuable versatility but as a genuine starter he's run-of-the-mill.
TJ Lang: 6
-He's not Daryn Colledge (remember him?), but he's not immovable either. Lang was originally a Tackle but moved inside for a lack of overall athletic gifts(arm length I think was the primary culprit). He'll never be the best part of an offensive line, but he's pretty dang decent in his own right.
Jeff Saturday: 9
-I was cringing when I first heard Green Bay signed him and knew his age was 37. I forget if Scott Wells had already left by that time, but my initial impression was, 'We'd better draft a Center'. It didn't happen. Then there was nothing to do but watch him repeatedly get pushed around inside until he was finally and mercifully benched. Wasn't a pretty sight. As an emergency backup though, he's a highly capable brain for running the no-huddle, so there's that.
Josh Sitton: 3
-Probably the best lineman on the roster, though maybe his score here is a little too high(does get a fair share of the penalties, and his blocking may be just a tad overrated). Either way it would take two genuine blue-chippers at Guard to unseat Sitton(Lang would go first, naturally).
Bryan Bulaga: 5
-As Tackles go, even those on the right side, Bulaga isn't spectacular. He's not the second-coming of Forrest Gregg by any stretch. But he is capable and holds his ground well enough. He can be beat just like Newhouse at times, and he can be penalized a good deal, but you'd have to work to do better.
Evan Dietrich-Smith: 7 (5 as a backup, 6 if re-signed as a starter)
-Is Dietrich-Smith a genuine starter at Center? As much as I wanna say so just to sleep better at night, I say he'd have to prove himself next year (and knowing Ted, that'll happen). For now, I still think he's worth more as a backup at Center and Guard, though I will admit he didn't have much of a problem running things at Center and the running attack did improve with him there.
Don Barclay: 7
-You couldn't ask for a harder situation to be put in. Having to take over at Tackle for an already leaking unit, Barclay actually provided a better punch in run blocking, though he had his predicted headaches in pass coverage. It's to be expected, and as long as there's a roster spot available he deserves to be a part of it.
Greg Van Roten: 7
-I half-expected him to end up as an Emergency Starter at some point. He really only spent time at Special Teams and as an 'Eligible Blocker' in short-yardage situations. Time will tell, if he remains.
Derek Sherrod: 5
-As far as I can tell, Sherrod is still expetced to be the LT of the future. Whether he can fully recover from his broken leg is another matter entirely.
Andrew Datko: 7
-So far just a part of the Practice Squad.
BJ Raji: 3
-Shocking grade. But this season, Raji did not prove capable of generating production as a NT- even though supposedly it gave him better chances at rushing the quarterback. That and it often seemed like teams who could run the ball were doing so with precious little trouble- and that includes this last game against the 49ers. I would propose moving him back to DE if I knew Pickett could truly shoulder the responsibility of NT.
Ryan Pickett: 5
-As a key cog in the DL, Pickett represents probably the best run defender on the line. And since he's 33, that isn't neccesarily a good thing for the team. While he led the DL in tackles, somebody else will have to be ready to step into his shoes later on.
CJ Wilson: 7
-Usually the 'starter' on the other position in the DL, Wilson at the very least has demonstrated an ability to produce, collecting 2.5 sacks for the year. A useful part of the rotation, having earned that in prior years when actual intended successors would be on the Injured List.
Jerrell Worthy: 4
-So far so good for the rookie, who didn't embarass himself before his Injury. Would probably be the successor to Pickett's job in the future.
Mike Daniels: 7
-Got a lot more PT than initially intended, and made the most of it. Probably deserves a spot in the rotation.
Mike Neal: 5
-Finally started staying on the field and displaying the talent which made him a high draft pick and the appointed successor to Cullen Jenkins. If he continues developing and remains healthy, the sky is the limit.
Jordan Miller: 7
-Not sure how much PT he got during the season, but there are no statistics to show for it.
Clay Matthews: 1
-I'm not sure you'd call him a 'Complete Rusher' (he has a tendency to get stuck an awful lot for a destructive rusher), but Matthews certainly has the mindset for the role. I would describe his coverage skills as ranging from okay to solid (in all fairness the days of Linebackers being great pass defenders are probably over with this offensive revolution). His run defense roughly the same (you can overpower him at the point of attack). In short, he plays just a bit more like a specialist than a complete player, but he's still the best the team has on Defense.
AJ Hawk: 5
-Since his rookie year- and especially since he was moved to Inside Linebacker in the 3-4- people have been looking for Hawk to be removed from the team. Either it was a salary concern (only Woodson earns more on Defense) or athleticism (In Baseball Terms, Hawk had AAAA-Level Athleticism which on the right day could approach Major-League caliber... more glaring when compared to his partner on the inside). People touted keeping Nick Barnett and Desmond Bishop over Hawk. Barnett went to Buffalo and plodded along at a Replacement Level. Then Desmond Bishop got hurt and DJ Smith and Robert Francois stepped in. Then Both of THOSE guys got hurt and Nick Jones shifted inside. And Hawk remained a starter. Sure, he's not a genuine pass defender, and maybe his run defense is overrated (doesn't help that the line in front of him can't seem to contain runners), and his rushing ability never reached its potential, but all in all you could do a lot worse for a guy often penciled in as a goner.
Brad Jones: 8 (6 if re-signed)
-Earns accolades for stepping Inside when injuries decimated that part of the unit. Always had genuine athleticism (and even better, actual pedigree in college as a 3-4 linebacker), but never could lock down an OLB spot. Maybe he's better suited at ILB. Or maybe somebody will put him in a 4-3 and he'll jump up a notch.
Erik Walden: 7 (6 if re-signed)
-At first glance, he's probably the linebacker free agent that will be re-signed, based purely on his athletic gifts and ability to rush the passer- a quality really valuable as far as a 3rd OLB in a 3-4 goes. But with that ability comes inconsistancy and lapses (a recurring problem I've seen as early as the NFC Championship in '10 is his tendency to lose outside contain and get gashed for long runs out out on the edge. This was repeated several times in the 49er game).
DJ Smith: 6
-Most likely a partnership of Desmond Bishop and DJ Smith, once they are both healthy, will be touted as the Inside Linebackers for next year. Smith's athleticism plays a great role in this opinion, while his ability in coverage isn't really better or worse than Hawk's is (and he's a LOT cheaper too, so there's that). But first he needs to return to full health.
Dezman Moses: 5
-A big winner as a fill-in at OLB. Moses ended up 3rd in total sacks and solidfied his position as a backup OLB on this roster. Not too much unlike Walden back in '10, come to think of it.
Nick Perry: 4
-Give credit where its due. Perry looked like the dream partner to Matthews on the edges for 6 games before his season ended to injury. He'll still be penciled in as a starter come next season, provided his health holds up.
Robert Francois: 9 (8 if re-signed)
-Worth more as a Special Teamer than an actual starter, Francois did give a good account of himself in a hapless situation in '11. That said, he's a Restricted FA and likely low on the priority list.
Frank Zombo: 10 (9 if re-signed)
-I had this observation during '10; Combine Zombo's instincts and Walden's athleticism and you'd have an uber-linebacker alongside Clay Matthews. Zombo had the better awareness though significantly less physical ability. Unfortunately Zombo's usefulness may have run out with Free Agency looming, as its unlikely Green Bay will challenge anyone who actually takes him.
Jamari Lattimore: 9
-Special Teamster all in all. If there's anything special about this kid, he hasn't yet shown it.
Terrell Manning: 8
-Has some worth mainly as a mid-level draft pick, but so far hasn't been called up enough to make a difference.
Charles Woodson: 1
-Finally transitioning to Safety, Woodson is probably in place to extend his career by a couple of years, unless he calls it quits now. Either way Woodson is still the surest tackler in the secondary, and while he's not the athlete he was even two years ago, he's still the 'Wild Card' in whatever defensive formation Green Bay throws out there.
Morgan Burnett: 4
-He'll never have the range of Nick Collins, but he has actually shown an improvement in his coverage reads. That said there were still multiple lapses, even more so when Woodson went down for an extended stretch. Burnett is one of the estalished starters, which means the only ways he loses his job are by a very talented prospect drafted high or by injury.
Tramon Williams: 6
-I actually think Tramon has regressed since '10. Gave '11 the benefit of the doubt because of the lockout screwing things up, but right now, Williams hasn't made any real improvement in his game. He can get beat on a consistant basis and he seems especially tackle-averse. Or maybe he wasn't meant to be the #1 CB on his team.
Casey Hayward: 3
-Rookie mistakes aside, Hayward's nose for the ball made his selection worthwhile. Within a year or two, it stands to readon he'll be the star of the secondary.
MD Jennings: 6
-It's a little too soon to tell, but Jennings at least looks like he can pull a Charlie Peprah and become an okay starter at Safety but even better as a backup.
Sam Shields: 6 (5 if re-signed)
-If there's one player Green Bay will probably take back on the RFA list, it's Shields. Originally only meant to remove Jarrett Bush from the equation as a Gunner on ST and as the occasional dime back, Shields unexpectedly became a starter in '10 and despite a number of setbacks and injuries, still remains a great part of the unit with his devastating speed. His time as a returner was thankfully brief.
Jerron McMillian: 6
-Will probably be in contention with MD Jennings for the other safety spot in the near future. So far hasn't run himself out of the league.
Davon House: 7
-Finally returned to provide quality depth in the secondary, an often sore spot in years past. Will likely retain his spot unless he suffers a complete meltdown.
Jarrett Bush: 6
-Week 1 aside, Bush has typically only been a Gunner on ST, showing solid tackling skills but having his greatest worth in downing punts. Finally removed from extensive Secondary duty, Bush has achieved his true potential. That said, he'll need to maintain his excellence as a Gunner to remain on the squad.
Sean Richardson: 9
-Basically a backup, then injured. Not likely to be any more than that.
Mason Crosby: 5
-As far as his accuracy was concerned, he was more Chris Jacke than Ryan Longwell. That said, the vast majority of his misses were beyond fifty yards and while he was spotty there to begin with, this year looks much more like an aberration than anything truly wrong. Next year will probably show how long-term his lack of confidence will be.
Tim Masthay: 3
-Seems like we haven't had a quality punter since Craig Hentrich, doesn't it. Maybe Jon Ryan, but why'd we let him go then? Either way Masthay stopped the terrified and frantic breathing on fourth downs.
Brett Goode: 1
-Long Snappers typically earn 1 as a grade if they are never mentioned out loud- because when you mention a Long Snapper out loud, 99% of the time it starts with 'THAT [BLEEP][BLEEP] PIECE OF [BLEEP] WHY CAN'T YOU SNAP THE [BLEEP]ING BALL YOU [BLEEP][BLEEP][BLEEP]!!"
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