Re-Grading the 2014 Green Bay Packers Draft Class
Green Bay Packers fans may be disappointed that they didn't make the Super Bowl after finishing 13-3 last season, but that was a great bounce back from a pair of third-place finishes in the NFC North in 2017 and 2018. Expecting consistent greatness, the team will look to use the 2020 NFL Draft to reload for the year ahead.
The Packers have had mixed success in the draft in recent years, but one of their most notable was in 2014. CBS Sports gave them a modest B grade, while NFL.com gave them a B+.
With the benefit of six years of hindsight, let's take a look back and re-grade that 2014 class.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, No. 21 Overall
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix spent four and a half seasons as a mainstay of the Packers' defense, not missing a single game. He racked up 378 tackles and 14 interceptions in Green Bay, contributing everything you'd want from a first-round safety. He was traded for just a fourth-round pick in 2018 when he was about to hit free agency, but the pick was still a solid one.
Davante Adams, WR, No. 53 Overall
It's not that long ago that Davante Adams was being talked about as a bust. Through his first two NFL seasons he had caught just 55.0 percent of his targets, averaging an ugly 5.8 yards per target. He flipped a switch in 2016, though, and in the last four seasons he's averaged 8.0 yards per target with a 64.2 percent catch rate, scoring double-digit touchdowns in three of the four. It took some patience, but Adams is a true No. 1 wideout.
Khyri Thornton, DT, No. 85 Overall
Khyri Thornton never played a regular season snap in Green Bay, sticking around for a few years with the division rival Detroit Lions before fizzling out. His biggest contribution for the Pack was working his way into six starts for the Lions in 2016, when he received an awful 45.5 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
Richard Rodgers, TE, No. 98 Overall
Richard Rodgers only had one big offensive season (510 yards, 8 touchdowns in 2015), but he was a solid contributor in his four years in Green Bay, with a total of 120 receptions. He also contributed over 100 special teams snaps in both 2016 and 2017.
Carl Bradford, LB, No. 121 Overall
Carl Bradford didn't quite do as little as Thornton, but with just 10 defensive snaps and 70 special teams snaps played in his lone season with the Packers, his contributions were underwhelming even for a fourth-round pick.
Corey Linsley, C, No. 161 Overall
Corey Linsley was a serious steal. He started all 16 games as a rookie and has gone on to make 86 career starts in Green Bay. Still under contract for the 2020 season, Linsley continues to serve as an anchor on the interior of the Packers' line.
Jared Abbrederis, WR, No. 176 Overall
Jared Abbrederis never really caught on in the Green Bay offense, with a career 10 receptions in the regular season. He did start one playoff game due to injuries, but he only caught 4 of his 12 targets for 55 yards as the Packers fell to the Arizona Cardinals.
Demetri Goodson, CB, No. 197 Overall
Demetri Goodson contributed about what you'd expect from a sixth-round pick. He served mostly as depth, making three starts in three seasons as an injury replacement. Nothing to write home about, but certainly a fine pick.
Jeff Janis, WR, No. 236 Overall
Jeff Janis' entire claim to fame comes in that same game Abbrederis started. Janis was far more productive, exploding for 7 receptions, 145 yards and 2 touchdowns on 11 targets, forcing overtime with a touchdown as time expired. Because of penalties, Janis had over 100 receiving yards on that drive alone.
Overall Grade: B+
It's hard not to be happy with this haul. Sure, it would've been nice to get more years out of Clinton-Dix, but Davante Adams more than made up for that in Round 2, now producing the way you'd hope a first-round WR would. The Packers didn't land a ton of depth later in the draft, but that again was made up for by locking up a long-term starter in Linsley.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.