Everything about this offense lends itself to tailback Aaron Jones having a terrific season. The acceleration, anticipation and vision that Jones has shown to be his best traits are the perfect attributes for the wide-zone system LaFleur installed. That LaFleur’s offense also affords running backs plenty of opportunities in the passing game — a proclamation reinforced by plenty of receiving drills in practice — should only boost Jones’ productivity in 2019.
In his first two years in the league, Aaron Jones posted a combined 1,404 yards and 13 touchdowns, while missing four games per season. His receptions went from a mere nine in 2017 to 26 last season, gaining more looks in the passing game even as his sophomore season wore on. Jones put in the effort to revamp his diet in the hopes of maintaining durability for the 2019 season and should get the bulk of the backfield load in this new Matt LaFleur offense, which allows for plenty of work for RBs in the passing game.
John Paulson has Jones ranked as RB15 heading into the 2019 season with a third-round price tag.
Expectations are high for Jared Cook and the tight end did nothing to disappoint teammates, coaches or fans during the New Orleans Saints three-day minicamp this week. He looks primed for a big season.
During the three mini-camp practices I watched, no one caught more passes for explosive plays than the veteran free agent.
He routinely beat linebackers and safeties in coverage and showed a reliable set of hands. He used his height advantage to snare a pass over his head against tight coverage from 5-11 rookie safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and finished the play through contact. It was an impressive display of elite skill and athleticism, something the Saints haven’t had at the position since Jimmy Graham was traded in 2014.
Drew Brees has shown love for TEs in the past, as Jimmy Graham was TE2 in 2014 in PPR points and Ben Watson checked in as TE7 in 2015. Graham posted double-digit touchdowns in three of five seasons with the Saints and led the NFL in targets inside the 10-yard-line in 2013. There have been rumors of breaking out some old Graham plays for Jared Cook, who is the perfect guy to bring the strong TE back to the Saints. He averaged 12.1 PPR points per contest last year in an awful Raiders offense and managed to finish fifth among TEs in total PPR points.
Cook currently being drafted as TE8 in the sixth to seventh round and is an excellent choice for those not wanting to pay up for the top tier of TEs this season.
On the second day, Valdes-Scantling was there again.
Whether first-year coach Matt LaFleur sent out his base personnel or a three-receiver set, the man known around Lambeau Field as "MVS" was part of the package during this week’s practices.
If the mandatory minicamp revealed anything about the Packers’ new offense, it’s that the second-year pro is a starter. In fact, he probably is the No. 2 receiver behind Adams. with Geronimo Allison likely slated as the slot man in the three-wide look.
We were assuming Allison would serve as the No. 2 option until we heard differently. Well, now we're hearing differently. We've flipped MVS and Allison in the projections. He's looking like a nice value in the double-digit rounds, and recently went 9.01 in one of our 4for4 mock drafts.
The Detroit Lions are trading tight end Michael Roberts to the Patriots for a future, late-round draft pick.
Roberts' a fourth-round pick in 2017, flashed some potential at various points during his two-plus years here, but couldn't seem to maintain his momentum, often due to injuries. Lions added four TEs this offseason while overhauling the room. Overhaul complete.
Roberts caught just 13 balls for 146 yards and three touchdowns in his two seasons in Detroit and was sidelined for the end of 2018 due to a shoulder injury. He showed flashes of solid ability both years, but just never reached his NFL potential. With a good camp and preseason, Roberts could push Matt LaCosse for snaps during the suspension of Ben Watson.
“There’s nothing wrong with having a go-to guy (like Davante) who’s that dynamic and trying to find ways to get him the ball, but I think obviously we need complementary pieces in place,” Rodgers said. “I think [Marquez Valdes-Scantling] has had a fantastic spring and really stepped up as a guy who can be an every-down player.”
Heading into 2019, it was Geronimo Allison who was believed to be the Packer's WR2 after an impressive 2018 campaign where he was on pace for a 76-catch, 1156-yard, eight-touchdown output before being sidelined with a groin/core muscle injury. It will be interesting to see how the rest of camp plays out for this talented WR corps as different guys begin to fight for their place on the depth chart.
Valdes-Scantling is currently being drafted as WR61, leaving boards in the 14th round in redraft leagues and WR63 with a 13th-round ADP in best-ball formats. Allison's ADP is six rounds earlier in redraft as WR37 and three rounds sooner in best-ball leagues as the 52nd WR being selected. Both wideouts present solid value and could see their draft spots climb as training camp rolls on.
Packers HC Matt LaFleur said running back is one of the more violent positions in the league with the punishment those players absorb. He believes a committee approach is the most effective regarding Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.
This is not necessarily a death knell to Aaron Jones' value, though LaFleur's usage of both Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis last year limited the upside of each until LaFleur began to feed Henry late in the season. Lewis finished with 214 touches to Henry's 230, so it was a near-even split.
When the Packers prepare for the offseason, they do so with the belief that TE Jimmy Graham will be back for 2019, source said.
Graham had just two TDs last year with the Packers and now he’s due a $5 million roster bonus on March 15, Rapoport's tweet went on to say. While things could change, Rapoport said the expectation now is they pay it and he returns and gets another season with QB Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers' season started with a knee injury and ended with a concussion.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback left Sunday's season finale against the Detroit Lions after just three series. He took a hard hit on his first dropback of the game, got sacked by linebacker Jarrad Davis and lost his helmet on the play. He stayed in for two more series before he walked to the locker room with a member of the medical staff.
It's at least the third known concussion of Rodgers' NFL career. He suffered two during the 2010 season, the year in which the Packers won the Super Bowl. He did not miss a game after his first concussion, which occurred in Week 5. He missed one game later in the year after he sustained a concussion in Week 14 at Detroit.
Dec 28, 2018
Packers WR Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion, doubtful)...