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Cheese Curds, 7/12: Packers’ promising young exec, player rankings, & punting habits

Today’s grab bag of curds examines a number of intriguing questions for the 2022 packers.

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Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

15 days from now, the Green Bay Packers will suit up for their first practice of training camp. Until then, it’s arguably the slowest period for NFL news in the entire calendar year, so we hope you’ll enjoy a grab bag of random news items regarding the Packers for today’s curds.

Who’s the most promising up-and-coming non-player in the organization under 40 years old? That description no longer fits Matt LaFleur or Brian Gutekunst, who make up a fairly young brain trust atop the organization but who are both over that mark. Instead, we turn to another member of the front office whose efforts helped find last year’s breakout players and who will quite possibly be a general manager in a few years.

Who on this defense is deserving of consideration as a top-ten player at his position? According to a group of NFL executives, not many Packers defenders are, even despite clear evidence to the contrary (an All-Pro season from a certain linebacker, in particular).

What will Matt LaFleur’s approach to fourth downs be in 2022? Will the Packers continue to be among the most aggressive teams in the NFL, or will they ease off the gas just a bit? That answer likely depends on the improvement of the defense and special teams, as those factors probably will play into LaFleur’s decision making.

Check out the more thorough answers to all of those questions and more in today’s curds!

8 players with the most to prove for Packers in 2022 | Packers Wire
Not surprisingly, Amari Rodgers tops the list, with Josiah Deguara and a host of other good candidates present as well.

NFL Executives’ Player Rankings for Show Packers’ Defense Might Be Overrated -
The rankings put out in recent days by ESPN gave very little love to the Packers' defensive personnel. Only Jaire Alexander, Kenny Clark, and Adrian Amos made any of the positional top-10 lists -- not Rashan Gary, not even All-Pro De'Vondre Campbell. So while this could be seen as an indictment of the defense for not being as talented as many Packers fans believe, it also seems inconsistent with what several of these players actually did a year ago.

NFL 40 under 40: The top young coaches, execs, agents and other rising stars - The Athletic ($)
The Packers are represented on this list by director of pro personnel Richmond Williams, who was responsible for finding Rasul Douglas last season and who seems to be viewed as a future NFL GM.

Maybe it’s time the Packers start punting the football again | Packer Report
The Packers have been very aggressive on fourth downs under Matt LaFleur, and for good reason, as they have consistently ranked in the top ten in conversion rate. But if the offense slips a bit and the punt coverage improves, perhaps we'll see fewer attempts moving forward.

FMIA Guest: 30 Ideas On Improving NFL, From New Rules To Relegation - Peter King, NBC Sports
Peter King's Football Morning In America column is written by fans this week, as they present 30 ideas on improving the NFL. Of course, one of them is hosting a Super Bowl at Lambeau Field.

Strong finish catapults Aaron Rodgers into top 10 in Lake Tahoe |
Rodgers hit a long putt for eagle on the 18th green to give himself a 9th-place finish, one spot behind his best final ranking of 8th back in 2017.

Steelers' home field renamed Acrisure Stadium |
A perfect local food/drink company bails on naming rights, only to be replaced by a faceless insurance company? Where have I heard this before? *glares at Milwaukee*

How a New Hampshire distillery is fighting invasive green crabs — with whiskey : NPR
No, they're not getting the crabs drunk; they're using them as an ingredient in to flavor the spirit. Whiskey distilled from crab stock is not what I had on my bingo card for today.