Green Bay Packers' Most Under and Overrated Offseason Additions
Outside of the NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers usually don't make many offseason additions. However, this year was different, as they did make some moves in free agency. Some involved high-profile players like Julius Peppers, while others weren't as well known.
The problem with any addition, whether it's through free agency or the draft, is that analysts either talk them up too much or not enough. These additions either become overrated or underrated.
Today we're going to do our best to establish which offseason additions for the Packers fall in the category of underrated and which ones are overrated.
Overrated: Julius Peppers, Outside Linebacker
First, let's establish that overrated doesn't mean terrible. What it means for a player like outside linebacker Julius Peppers is that expectations have simply gotten too high for the former member of the Chicago Bears.
People hear Peppers called a "genetic freak" by teammates and instantly think he's going to solve all the issues for the Packers defense. However, they forget that he just turned 34 years old and is coming off one of the worst years of his career.
In fact, Peppers finished last year graded as the No. 40 4-3 defensive end in the league, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Sure, a change of scenery can often re-energize a player's career, but those expectations need to be kept in check.
Peppers isn't going to be a major free-agent bust, but he also isn't going to be the next coming of Reggie White. He'll definitely improve the Packers defense as a whole, but picturing him as the savior in Green Bay is what makes him overrated.
Underrated: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Safety
It might seem crazy to call a first-round pick underrated, but that's exactly what's happening with safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. What's funny, however, is that a few months ago, it would have been easy to consider Clinton-Dix a little overrated.
What ultimately changed is OTAs and minicamps took place and Clinton-Dix didn't practice with the first-team defense. No, that job went to Micah Hyde. So, of course, everyone now thinks that Clinton-Dix won't be starting as a rookie and they've completely stopped talking about him.
The problem with that is Clinton-Dix is simply too talented, and the Packers secondary was too awful last year, for him to not start in Week 1. Just because he hasn't been playing with the starters while wearing shorts doesn't mean he won't be starting once pads are thrown on.
Clinton-Dix is going to make a huge impact on the Packers defense this year, but no one seems to be talking about him. That's why he's currently underrated.
Overrated: Colt Lyerla, Tight End
Tight end Colt Lyerla is in a similar situation to Peppers. Expectations have gotten so high for him that it'll be nearly impossible to live up to them.
We all need to remember, myself included, that Lyerla went undrafted for a reason. Most of that reason was due to off-field issues, but even players with terrible personal characters and long rap sheets have gotten drafted. So, there must be other reasons why Lyerla was signed as an undrafted free agent.
One major concern with Lyerla is that he's been away from the game for nearly a year. He's been away from contact, playbooks and everything else involved with football. That's going to put him on a steep learning curve for the upcoming season.
Now, it's certainly possible that Lyerla becomes a key player for the Packers offense down the road. However, naming him the starter before training camp is what ultimately makes Lyerla an overrated addition.
Underrated: Letroy Guion, Defensive Tackle
The Packers signed defensive tackle Letroy Guion back on March 17. That also happens to be the last time anything significant was written about 27-year-old lineman.
For a free-agent signing to basically go completely unnoticed is a pretty rare thing in the NFL. However, Guion never made much of an impact for the Minnesota Vikings, so no one really thought it to be a big addition for Green Bay.
One of the reasons, however, that Guion never made an impact in Minnesota was due to being forced to play out of position. He'll play his more natural position in the Packers 3-4 defense, which should help him make more positive contributions.
Guion isn't going to blow the world up, and it's unlikely he'll take the starting job from B.J. Raji. However, don't be surprised if he becomes a major contributor off the bench for the Packers.
Overrated: Davante Adams, Wide Receiver
When the Packers drafted wide receiver Davante Adams in the second round, it was like we all forgot about the rest of the receiving corps. He was thrown into the starting lineup right next to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb without a second thought.
However, things aren't going to be that easy for Adams. Not only is he going to face stiff competition from Jarrett Boykin, last year's breakout receiver, but some other receivers are also stepping their game up. One in particular is Chris Harper, a member of the practice squad in 2013.
Harper has had an outstanding offseason so far and has been extremely impressive throughout practices. He likely won't start, but he'll definitely push Adams for playing time in the upcoming season.
While it's still possible that Adams will win that No. 3 receiver job, it isn't "in the bag" like we all thought once he was drafted. He could ultimately split time with Boykin and Harper, bringing his overall production down quite a bit.
Underrated: Jared Abbrederis, Wide Receiver
Our last player is one who has been underrated throughout his career. He was underrated during his time as a receiver for the Wisconsin Badgers, he was underrated during the draft and now he's getting the same treatment with the Packers.
All Jared Abbrederis has done during his football career is produce. And he's been able to produce in a number of different ways, too. However, Abbrederis dropped to the fifth round of this year's draft despite having sound hands and fantastic route-running abilities.
With the Packers, Abbrederis is often an afterthought behind fellow rookie Adams, Boykin and Harper. However, of the three, Abbrederis might be the most polished and ready to produce.
Look for the former Badger to make a positive impact in a number of ways as a rookie and continue to prove people wrong for doubting his talent.