After an eventful week 2 of rookie action on Monday night football, the Green Bay Packers toned it down a little this week in San Francisco.
Of course the three main guys — Eric Stokes, Josh Myers and Royce Newman — all started, but we didn’t see a ton from the rest of the class. It’s still early days right now, so there’s no need to raise any alarm bells, but like… can Amari get the ball please?
CB Eric Stokes
Stats versus 49ers:
- Run Play Snaps: 21
- Pass Coverage Snaps: 49
- PFF Grade: 51.8
- Notable stats: 2 receptions for 22 yards, 2 DPI penalties
Eric Stokes didn’t play quite as well on Sunday night as he did last week, but he still looks like a really legitimate CB2 for this team. The absence of Kevin King did not matter, as Stokes completely held his own.
His physical tools shine when you watch him. Stokes can run vertically with any receiver and he has rare closing speed on the ball. There were two DPI calls on him in this game. The first one was clear enough, but on the second call — a 35-yard gain on 3rd down to Brandon Aiyuk — Stokes barely even made contact. If anything it was an incredible recovery from him after Aiyuk managed to get in behind.
Playing every snap against the 49ers, it’s clear that this is Stokes’ starting job now. He’s earned it through three games and we might just have a star on our hands.
C Josh Myers
Stats against 49ers:
- Run Blocking Snaps: 25
- Pass Blocking Snaps: 38
- PFF Grade: 52.4
- Notable Stats: 2 pressures allowed
Spearheading a very young Packers offensive line, Myers again looked like a veteran center. This was his first game in a hostile environment, and the Packers first since January 2020 in the same building.
The silent count was used occasionally and went off without a hitch all but once. On one play in the 4th quarter, Rodgers was forced to burn a crucial timeout due to Myers not snapping the ball, which would’ve led to a delay of game.
Aside from that, Myers held his own. 49ers DTs Javon Kinlaw and DJ Jones posed little to no threat to Aaron Rodgers’ pocket thanks to Myers. He also did a terrific job getting to the second level in the run game, as you can see in the clip below.
— Kyle Malzhan (@KyleMalzhan) September 27, 2021
WR Amari Rodgers
- Run Play Snaps: 1
- Pass Play Snaps: 1
- PFF Grade: 58.4
- Notable Stats: 1 punt return for 6 yards
After not playing a single offensive snap in last Monday night’s home opener, Amari Rodgers saw just two in Levi’s Stadium. We shouldn’t be worried about Amari’s lack of playing time just yet — he’s fighting for reps among a very deep group — but I would’ve expected to see some kind of involvement from the former Clemson Tiger through three games. That doesn’t include garbage time play with Jordan Love.
On punt returns, Rodgers doesn’t look great. Granted he hasn’t made any mistakes yet, but a couple of misreads and a few unflattering returns have some fans wondering if there’s anyone else more suitable for this job before a mistake does happen.
G Royce Newman
- Run Blocking Snaps: 25
- Pass Blocking Snaps: 38
- PFF Grade: 42.3
- Notable Stats: 1 sack allowed
Arik Armstead is probably the strongest opponent Newman has faced in his career so far. Armstead beat Newman on a dominant sack in the second quarter, akin to the pressure Cam Jordan forced on Newman in week 1, forcing an interception on Aaron Rodgers’ infamous “double nut shot”.
Newman is liable to get beaten bad, which is never a good thing. He also had a team low PFF run blocking grade of 42.6 on Sunday. Overall, not a great game for the 4th round pick. Things are only going to get more difficult when Cameron Hayward — one of the best defensive linemen in football — comes to town this weekend.
DT TJ Slaton
- Run Defending Snaps: 0
- Pass Rushing Snaps: 2
- PFF Grade: 72.6
- Notable Stats: 1 sack
The modest PFF grade bares little or no implications here, as Slaton played just two snaps. Even so, Slaton managed to secure a clean up sack on what little playing time he had. It technically went down as a half sack shared with Oren Burks but we can all agree that half sacks are for cowards. Happy first sack to TJ!
RB Kylin Hill
- Carries: 0
- Receiving Snaps: 0
- Run Blocking Snaps: 0
- PFF Grade: N/A
- Notable Stats: 21-yard kick return
After playing 19 snaps in the first two games, and looking relatively fine on those snaps, Hill didn’t see the field for the offense in week 3.
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon shared 25 total carries in this game, with the ball never getting offloaded to Hill. Hopefully we see more of the promising 7th round pick in future weeks.
CB Shemar Jean-Charles, DT Jack Heflin, and LB Isaiah McDuffie were all active for the first time on Sunday night.
Each of them contributed on special teams but none of them played any defensive snaps. The older players like Ty Summers, Chandon Sullivan and Tyler Lancaster all hold places above these guys, and the truth is that the later round rookie picks will be filling out the bottom spots on roster for the majority of the season.