The Packers head into their Thursday game with the 49ers infested with terrible diseases, and with no valuable skill position players outside of Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. Okay, fine, and Bob Tonyan. The only reason they might not get destroyed is that all of San Francisco is hurt, including, most recently and importantly, Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle. All San Francisco has going for them is Kyle Shanahan and his big, beautiful brain, which has absolutely owned the predictable Mike Pettine forever.
In the NFL, you are allowed to trade for players, and some teams even do so. You are allowed to do this right up until the trade deadline, which is now. The Packers have no depth at receiver, and no ability to stop the run, and one might think they would attempt to attack those issues what with their Hall of Fame quarterback playing like a Hall of Fame quarterback. There was even a credible rumor that they almost acquired Will Fuller from Houston, but let it fall apart over draft compensation and money.
The following things are true:
- Fuller would replace Marquez Valdes-Scantling, turning Green Bay’s deep non-threat into a deep threat, as it should be.
- Fuller is 3rd in DVOA. MVS is 64th. That is what we call a “significant upgrade.”
- One of the reasons Green Bay is improved this season is the upgrade from Allison/MVS to the hyper-efficient Allen Lazard. Given that it worked once, you should maybe do it again?
- Teams tend to overvalue draft picks. Most second round picks do not turn out to be as good as Will Fuller. If that was the hang-up, that’s just bad evaluation.
- The money I understand a bit more. Fuller is injury prone over his career, and if a new deal was required, there is cause for concern.
- That said, young players (Fuller is just 26) at positions of need (field-stretching receiver) generally work out pretty well.
- If not Fuller, perhaps someone else? We have been banging the drum for Kenny Stills for some time. He would have cost nothing. There are plenty of similar options out there.
Green Bay has a long and proud tradition of being hard negotiators behind Russ Ball, who generally does a good job. Green Bay has a less proud, more recent tradition, of screwing up drafts and leaving the team with huge holes at important positions. Their best chance at fixing those holes inseason just passed. If Kyle Shanahan crushes them with a skeleton crew on Thursday, I hope they regret their passivity with appropriate weight.