Green Bay Rookie Reviews, Dev Predictions, And Player Comps Part 1
After a couple trades leading into the NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers sat at 10 draft picks and then signed an undrafted free agent to complete their roster. Now, with all 4 weeks of the preseason played and the rookies set to be assigned development traits here is what they seem to be and a player comparison for each rookie based on their playstyle throughout the preseason.
QB Bryce Young- Alabama: Superstar
He may not have the college accolades but the quarterback prospect comes from Alabama, a legendary football school, had a stellar preseason with 17 total touchdowns to 5 interceptions, 262 total yards per game, and he was the #2 overall pick in the draft filling the Packer’s huge gap after trading Jordan Love for the pick. He also has the raw skills to be a superstar and fits the team’s scheme very well as shown by his completion percentage of 77% and a passer rating of 115.0. If only he started in college, he could have been an X-Factor, but Green Bay can still pray he gets the superstar dev he deserves. Bryce Young’s preseason playstyle player comparison is Russell Wilson as his arm strength leaves something to be desired but still hits on the majority of his throws and has a nice moon ball when he does go deep. Young also uses his speed and agility wisely like Wilson instead of scrambling as much as he can, he’ll escape the pocket and find receivers open after the defense collapses and the majority of his production on the ground is off of designed quarterback runs. However, unlike the Seahawks and Wilson, the Packers have given Young a talented offensive line and he was only sacked 3 times all preseason.
CB Tyreke Johnson- Ohio State: Superstar
The best defensive back in his whole draft class, Tyreke Johnson also didn’t do much his senior year at Ohio State, but the Buckeyes frequently produce elite defensive talent (and offensive) so the Packers took him 4th overall and Johnson looks to be the next superstar product from Columbus. Following in the footsteps of the Bosa brothers, Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, and more, Johnson looked amazing in the preseason as he fit in the Packers scheme perfectly across from Jaire Alexander as another lockdown corner. He put up 3 interceptions (tied 2nd most for rookies), one of them he returned for a touchdown, 5 pass deflections (1st for rookies, tied 3rd for all NFL), a bunch of hard hits including one that forced a fumble, and was flying around the field tallying 21 total tackles as a cornerback (tied 3rd for rookies) and 2 of them were tackles for loss. Tyreke Johnson is a superstar in the making and if any defensive back gets an X-Factor it should be him. His player comparison is Charles Tillman as they both are man-to-man corners who make game-changing plays frequently but can occasionally struggle in press coverage. Maybe Tyreke Johnson can take a page from Tillman’s “Peanut Punch” and create the “Reke Rip”.
TE Michael Mayer- Notre Dame: Star
One of the best tight ends taken in the draft, although not one of the fastest or flashiest, Mayer comes from the ultimate historical football school in Notre Dame. He was a solid part of the Fighting Irish’s offense that had a great year and ultimately lead to Green Bay selecting him with the 2nd pick of the second round. He isn’t a perfect fit in the Packers’ offense but he blocks, catches, and runs routes well. The main goal of drafting him was stability at the tight end position and they seem to have found it. With so few tight ends on the roster and Mayer being the clear starter, he only played meaningful snaps in the first three preseason games and put up 12 receptions for 122 yards and 1 touchdown. Nothing flashy but a consistent target for fellow rookie Bryce Young and the potential to be a long-term solution that defenses have to prepare for. He is no superstar but he also isn’t your average football player. His player comparison is Jason Witten, a legend who gets the job done by any means necessary but isn’t an athletic beast and doesn’t make many flashy plays. Witten and Mayer are also primarily 3rd down and RedZone threats, helping the team beyond what the stat sheet may show.
WR Treylon Burks- Arkansas: Normal
A great wide receiver and an even better kick returner, the Packers got the wideout prospect that led the Razorbacks receiving core to a solid season and a bowl win. Arkansas may not be known for tons of amazing players, but they have produced steady starters consistently, and it’s worth noting he fits Green Bay’s scheme as another tall, physical wide receiver who looks to improve his route running and be a great 3rd option this year and if he’s good enough, the Packers will let Tyler Boyd walk and make Burks the receiver across from Davante Adams. Burks showed flashes but had a pretty underwhelming preseason for how much playing time he got, tallying a team-high 14 receptions for 177 yards and was the only Packer with 2 receiving touchdowns. Burks was confusing as he was just as good against the opposing team’s starters as he was against backups. He is sure to be a target the Packers try to get involved in the regular season for Bryce Young to develop and we’ll just have to wait and see how he turns out because it doesn’t feel like he did enough to be a star. His player comparison is Courtland Sutton as they are both 6’3″ and physical threats that excel at making contested catches and can make plays after the catch, too. They also both are inconsistent route runners, Burks does have the ability to kick return in contrast to Sutton but Jamal Agnew is doing that job and teaching Burks for now.
DT Keondre Coburn- Texas: Normal
After trading away Kenny Clark, the second-best defensive tackle in the league, the Packers needed a big hit to fill that huge gap in the center of their 3-4 defense. They missed on an instant fix and instead found a promising project player in Keondre Coburn out of Texas. The Longhorns have produced great players in the past but they aren’t currently as good as they once were. Nose Tackle is never a flashy position that racks up stats but is an important one, and while you can look at Coburn having just 4 tackles in 4 preseason games he played the majority of and think he’s bad, he isn’t. He just isn’t a game wrecker or a stat sheet stuffer like Kenny Clark was. The more comparable stat to look at is the Packers were top 5 in run defense last year and still were throughout this preseason. There may have been less pressure from the defensive tackle position with Coburn, but the pair of Smiths, Micah Parsons, and Rashan Gary should take care of that in the regular season. Unfortunately, there’s no real chance he gets seens as a star just yet, but Coburn can do what Green bay wants him to do. His player comparison is Dalvin Tomlinson, a consistent and solid role player who primarily run stuffs but can always get the occasional step and get a big sack. Coburn and Tomlinson thrive in the center of a 3-4 defense and are big bodies who do their jobs well. Both primarily use bull rushes and other power moves when they do pass rush but also have plenty of room to improve in that aspect of the game.