Packer Draft Report: Path to #1

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Draft SZN has come early this year.

Embrace the suck.

The simple tri-word mantra, used most notably by those in the military, describes accepting or appreciating a situation that’s extremely unpleasant, but ultimately unavoidable. It’s a situation the Green Bay Packers currently find themselves in after extending their losing streak to 5 games Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers looks like his game was taken to help a group of plucky aliens defeat the Looney Toons in a football game. There are some (this author) who are starting to question when the reigns should be handed over to Jordan Love and see what the team has in their former first-round draft pick. This defense pulled a Suicide Squad: getting completely overhyped before we saw anything, then completely underwhelm when it counts.

If that wasn’t enough, on top of the suck casserole the first half of this season has been, the football gods decided to sprinkle on the Bacon Bits of a severe case of the injury bug. Randall Cobb, David Bakhtiari, De’Vondre Campbell, Romeo Doubs, Rashan Gary; all missing large chunks of time, or even the rest of the season. And the full list is longer than that.

It may be hard to admit, but it’s easy to see that the playoffs are not, or should not, be a goal for the 2022 Packers. They haven’t shown they can compete with even the worst teams in the league, let alone the best.

For the last several weeks, we’ve brought you the CHZCON threat assessment report, highlighting the biggest threats on the Packers road to a championship. Since that car has run off the road, through the barrier and over a cliff, we find ourselves on the path towards a new prize: the number one pick.

It’s not something that Green Bay has had the chance at much in their storied history, only twice before: Paul Hornung in 1957 and Randy Duncan in 1959. 1959, the first year under Lombardi. That’s how long it’s been. So with a season that’s been lost so early and with a chance at history, this journey towards the last weekend in April seems more fun than anything happening every Sunday.

Each week moving forward, we’ll take a look at where the Packers stand in their “quest” for this most coveted draft position among the rest of the NFL’s basement dwellers, and throw in some fun draft/non-draft related tidbits to help ease the pain of reality.

Let’s embrace that suck.

Current Draft Position

Green Bay Packers – 9th Pick

FPI chance to earn top-five pick: 1.3%
FPI chance to earn top-10 pick: 9.9%

After this past week’s debacle, the Packers sit at 3-6, along with Chicago, Arizona and Jacksonville. With tie breakers included, Green Bay sits on the wrong side of that group, good enough for the 9th pick overall. 2008 was the most recent year the Packers drafted at that position, taking Boston College DT B.J. Raji.

NFL Draft Standings
Courtesy: tankathon.com

Looking at the top teams there, it’s a murders’ row of perennial top draft pickers. I’m pretty sure Houston and Jacksonville were created so real teams didn’t have the worst record ever year. As of now, Green Bay’s chances to earn the top spot in the draft, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, is less than zero, highlighting the uphill battle the team faces over the next 8 games.

Luckily (it makes me feel dirty saying that), the Packers have the toughest strength of schedule in the NFL through the remainder of the season.

Courtesy: tankathon.com

The next three weeks could go a long way towards seeing the Packers move up that draft board. Dallas, Tennessee and currently undefeated Philadelphia.

Over that same time, the only teams currently ahead of Green Bay in draft order that play each are Chicago and Detroit who face off this week. Hypothetically, that means the Packers could be making a play for the top spot before their bye in week 14. More likely, though, they should easily be inside the top five heading into the home stretch of the regular season.

You have to go back to 2006 for the last time the Packers drafted that high. That year, they took OSU linebacker A.J. Hawk at #5.

“#1” Hit of the Week

“Look Out for Number One” – Tommy Faragher

A more successful producer, Tommy Faragher reached his pinnacle as an artist with “Look Out for Number One”, written for the Saturday Night Fever sequel and critically panned Stayin’ Alive. As terrible as the movie was, Faragher got a Grammy nomination for the song.

Speaking of firsts, it was the first movie directed by Sylvester Stallone in which he didn’t also star. We did get a double dose of the Stallone magic, though, as Sly’s brother, Frank, recorded his own song for the film. “Far From Home” peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for a Golden Globe.

Week 10 Outlook

Every week, we’ll take a look at the teams sitting ahead of the Packers in the draft order and their next opponent. Each game gets a rating of one to five tanks based on how likely they are to win, thereby clearing the way to the top draft spot.

Houston Texans: @ New York Giants – 1 Tank

Houston is going to be the final boss in terms of actually getting pick numero uno. They’re hot garbage and playing the Giants this week won’t help them.

Carolina Panthers: Atlanta Falcons – 2 Tanks

The Falcons aren’t a good team, however they’re good enough to cause trouble. The Panthers have enough troubles of their own, chief of which being they don’t really have a quarterback.

Las Vegas Raiders: Indianapolis Colts – 4 Tanks

The Colts just fired their head coach and replaced him with Jeff Saturday because apparently Jim Irsay thinks this is a 90s Disney straight-to-VHS movie.

Pittsburgh Steelers: New Orleans Saints – 3 Tanks

A classic “Spiderman Pointing” meme game. These are the same team in two parallel universes. This could go either way.

Detroit Lions: @ Chicago Bears – 2 Tanks

Regardless of what the Lions did Sunday, their defense isn’t good. A competent offense can put points up on them. Fortunately, they’re playing the Bears, but while they might not be competent, they do have true playmakers in Chase Claypool and Justin Fields.

Jacksonville Jaguars: @ Kansas City Chiefs – 1 Tank

Andy Reid will be drawing mustaches on players by halftime.

Arizona Cardinals: @ LA Rams – 2 Tanks

Kyler Murray can cause some issues for the Rams, as long as Aaron Donald doesn’t choke slam him in half first.

Chicago Bears: Detroit Lions 4 Tanks

The Bears are the only team ahead of the Packers in the current draft order that they have a win against. As much as it causes me physical pain, and in absence of any other alternatives, we’d prefer the Bears win this game. And they should.

Famous First of the Week

1st Meeting of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II and Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes in Mexico – November 8th, 1519

Just a sprinkle of colonialism and genocide for your Election Day. Go vote.

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