Acme Packing Company’s 90-man roster breakdown rolls on with the next group of players, those ranked from 15th to 12th by our staff of writers.
In this grouping, we see the Packers’ marquee free agent acquisition of 2018 plus a player who saw action in only five games last year but whose absence took a toll on the entire offense.
15. Geronimo Allison, wide receiver
In order for the Packers to make their offense go, quarterback Aaron Rodgers needs to trust his wide receivers. With the departure of Jordy Nelson in free agency, that left Green Bay with the remaining trio of Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and third-year man Allison.
During Allison’s first two seasons, Rodgers went out of his way to praise “G-Mo” for his work ethic and what he brought to the offense. In 2018, with Cobb struggling, Allison only played in five games thanks to a groin injury that required surgery and landed him on injured reserve in November. The offense sputtered the rest of the way as Rodgers struggled to develop chemistry with then-rookies Equamineous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. If that doesn’t show the importance of the former undrafted free agent, we aren’t sure what does.
14. Jimmy Graham, tight end
When general manager Brian Gutekunst inked Graham as the first free agent sign of his tenure as GM, fans were excited that the Packers finally found the tight end that Rodgers could rely on as a reliable target and could stretch the field, even if Graham had become more of a red zone threat than a deep threat during his time in Seattle. Many though the Seahawks had just misused the All-Pro tight end.
It turns out that former coach Mike McCarthy may have done the same. Graham put up decent-to-solid numbers (636 yards on 55 receptions) but he only scored two touchdowns. Was this a result of Rodgers being off or a result of McCarthy underutilizing tight ends in goal-to-go scenarios? The Packers are banking on the latter and Graham could see a bit of a renaissance in new coach Matt LaFleur’s offense.
13. Mike Daniels, defensive lineman
2018 ended in disappointing fashion for Daniels and despite some calls for him to be traded, he enters a contract year with a lot to prove and would anyone really bet against him at this point?
Daniels is the heart and soul of the defense, but he also is the machine that made the Green Bay defensive line go. That mantle is now being challenged by emerging star Kenny Clark and perhaps even someone like Jaire Alexander could challenge Daniels for being the heart of the defense. Daniels can still be a very good player, but after missing six games last year due to a foot injury the clock is ticking to prove he can still be a disruptive force along the line. As we said earlier, anyone care to doubt him?
12. Aaron Jones, running back
One of the great mysteries of the 2018 Packers season will always be wondering what McCarthy was thinking in greatly underutilizing the talented Jones. Each Sunday Packers Twitter would sarcastically cheer that “hey Aaron Jones IS alive” whenever he would be in the backfield. When he did see action, Jones was borderline electric and really helped the offense at a time when the quarterback was out of sorts.
With LaFleur now running the show, Jones could be in for a breakout season in 2019 given the new coach’s decision to marry the run with the pass. Jones might be slightly undersized for a feature back in the LaFleur/Shanahan/McVay offense (Jamaal Williams is closer to Devonta Freeman and Todd Gurley in Atlanta and Los Angele’ offenses, respectively) but he is a gifted athlete that someone like LaFleur will not he able to resist putting on the field often.