Will Aaron Jones stay in Green Bay?
By: Andy Will
Superbowl champion and game MVP during the 2011 match-up with the Steelers, 3-time league MVP (2020,2014,2011), 9 pro bowl selections, 11th on the list of all-time passing yards (likely to overtake Elway if he does not retire) and 7th overall in passing touchdowns (likely to jump 2 spots in 2021 above Marino and Rivers if he plays again).
I could have continued with a list that would have taken up this whole piece, however, it is safe to say that if Aaron Rodgers does decide to a) move on or b) retire then the Packers find it almost impossible to replace him.
This is the man that everyone expects to replace Rodgers as starting quarterback. The Packers moved up from 30 to 26 in the first round of the 2020 draft to take Love in a controversial selection. He did not play during his rookie season in the NFL with Rodgers ending the year as league MVP after a fantastic season.
Key College Stats-
|Year||Passing Yards||Passing TDs/INTS||Carries/Yards||Rushing TDs|
Love had a fantastic 2018 season coming in with a great touchdown to interception ratio as we can see in the above table. From looking back on key highlights from that season a name he was drawn to on plenty of occasions -especially in the end zone- was Ron’quavion Tarver, a 6 ft 3 in wide receiver who could ‘go and get the ball’ in tight coverage situations. It was no surprise that once Tarver left, following the 2018 season the numerical difference between the touchdown total and interceptions became closer.
Green Bay have an elite wide receiver as part of their team in Davante Adams who finished the year with an incredible 18 touchdowns throw by Rodgers. If Love was to take over he would (you’d imagine) lean on Adams to move the sticks. Similarly, with tight-end Robert Tonyan, he would be a ‘safety blanket’ in the early stages of Love’s NFL career.
During the recent 2021 draft, the Packers selected Amari Rodgers in the 3rd round. Many see the rookie wide receiver as a Randall Cobb type player. Could this be enough to keep Aaron Rodgers around? Outside of Adams, the wide receiver group’s production was volatile over the last couple of seasons. If Love was to take over, the addition of Amari Rodgers will give whoever the starter is come the beginning of 2021 another offensive piece to work with.
|Standard||Half PPR||Full PPR||Games Played|
Whichever quarterback starts for the Packers in 2021 Adams will currently still be the top target. He is coming off the back of finishing as the number 1 wide receiver in every format after a 1374 yard and 18 touchdown season. Even with Rodgers as a quarterback, these numbers (especially the touchdown total) are most likely unsustainable. I likely see Adams as an Allen Robinson type player who will have 100 plus targets and be the clear top target for his team.
If Love was to take over I can still see Adams finishing as a top WR option in all formats with the numbers coming down. A mid to low-end WR1 would be my prediction assuming he manages to stay relatively injury-free.
|Year||Games Played||Standard||Half PPR||Full PPR|
|Year||Carries||Rushing Yards||TDs||Targets/Catches||Receiving Yards||TDs|
To help Love adjust, having access to a top-level running back is of huge importance. In Aaron Jones, he certainly has that. Jones is already leaned upon heavily both in the receiving and rushing parts of the offence. He was a massive part of the success of the team, especially over the previous two seasons. With Jamaal Williams leaving the team in the off-season he will likely pick up more work, although AJ Dillon should be involved in some capacity.
His previous two seasons were similar in many ways with the exception of rushing touchdowns which have moved back towards the mean.
I would expect the offence to still run through a combination of Adams and Jones. He is currently being ranked as the consensus RB9 which is about right I feel.
Tonyan had a breakout season in 2020, finishing at TE3 across all formats. He scored 11 times during his 16 games -including 3 in week 4 against the Falcons-. As impressive as that is, his yardage totals were, at times, fairly low as he only hit 50 or more yards on four occasions throughout the season meaning he was touchdown dependant as is the case for many fantasy tight ends,
What can we expect from him in 2021 if Love takes centre? Well, he could be a safety net for the young quarterback in short-yardage situations. He is currently being ranked as the consensus TE9 which seems high, especially if Love takes over. Tonyan scored on 21.1% of his catches which seems unsustainable. A low-level TE1 finish shouldn’t be too far out of the question, however, like with many of the Packers players we should plan for a slight drop off should Jordan Love take over from Aaron Rodgers.