Packers 1-90 Roster Rankings: How Valuable are Kevin King, Nick Perry and Damarious Randall?
We recently ranked the Packers roster from 90 to 1, based on their value to the team.
After working individually to craft our rankings, Jon and Gary disagree on the value of some big name defensive players.
Now, the two debate who was right and who was wrong.
Kevin King (Jon: 19, Gary: 8)
Gary: It’s really hard to decide where to rank a player who hasn’t played a single down of professional football, especially when you’re talking about their value to the team.
Jon: Yeah, and I think any disagreement here is more philosophical. I think you’re looking more at his value long term, and I think that would certainly merit a ranking in the top ten. I’m thinking more right now, and at present I don’t think he’s one of the most vital players on the team, at least among the starters.
Gary: So, what is the value of a first round (or in King’s case, a pseudo-first round) draft pick?
Jon: Well, I think for right now he’s certainly one of the 20 most valuable players on the team, which is reflected in my ranking. He’s probably one of the two or three most important second or third year players, but veterans push him down the list in my ranking
Gary: I ranked him as high as I did because he’s the only corner whose ceiling we don’t quite know yet. When engaged and healthy, Damarious Randall is a starting-caliber corner. Quinten Rollins may be limited to covering slower receivers, and Davon House is a veteran who can probably hold his own until a younger, faster version shows up. King has the greatest upside of the group, and in my mind is more valuable because of it.
Nick Perry (Jon: 10, Gary 3)
Gary: Just how much of a role does a player’s contract have when trying to determine their value to the team?
Jon: I think it’s a huge deal, and if Perry was paid less I’d have him further down my list. Currently he’s getting paid roughly a gazillion dollars for each of his career sacks (fact check me on that), which puts him as one of the top ten for me. Is that why you have him in your top five?
Gary: I will fact check you on that, Jon. The Packers have paid Perry a total of $12,427,345, and in return he’s had 30.5 sacks (7 came in the postseason). That’s an average of $407,459.93 per sack. Compared to Clay Matthews, though, Perry has been a good deal. Matthews has earned $55,661,502 for 83.5 sacks (11 came in the postseason). Matthews has been paid $666,604.81 for every sack in a Packers uniform.
I do have Perry this high because of the contract, and also because of the trust the Packers have placed in him. Not only did they give him life-changing money, but they also let two key backups at the position leave in free agency. That’s quite a vote of confidence in Perry.
We’ve said before that outside linebacker is the closest thing to a quarterback from a value perspective on the defensive side of the ball. Given what the Packers have invested in Perry (both a first-round pick and a contract extension), it’s clear he’s one of the most valuable players.
Damarious Randall (Jon 21, Gary 9)
Gary: I think trying to figure out how valuable Damarious Randall is to the Packers is like trying to drink water from a lake with only your hands. It’s possible, but it takes a lot of effort and you’re probably just wasting your time.
Jon: And it could potentially be hazardous to your health to boot!
I have Randall low because he’s kind of an unknown commodity at this point, much like Kevin King. Is he the solid enough player we saw as a rookie? Is he about to become a bust? We just don’t really know.
I do think it’s interesting that a lot more people have started to compare him to Davante Adams, which I think seems accurate. Both struggled in their second seasons after promising rookie years. Do you think there’s a bounce back in store?
Gary: He’s likely going to play better this season, but I doubt he completely transforms into a shutdown corner. Those waving Randall’s year two slump off as a result of mounting injuries (which was the case with Davante Adams in year two) should take a closer look at the cornerback.
Randall allowed 8.5 touchdown passes in 2016, the most since Al Harris in 2004. At the snap, he frequently found himself out of position and lost a step or two because of it. There’s no question Randall is confident in his abilities, and there’s no question he has ability.
I think the season hangs on whether players like Damarious Randall, Nick Perry and Quinten Rollins can stay healthy and improve even slightly. The Packers defense was good enough to get them 60 minutes from a Super Bowl appearance last year – we’re not trying to pull the Titanic off of the ocean floor and have it sail the seas again.
Jon: I think slight improvement is key. Nick Perry really wasn’t leaps and bounds better last year than he’d been in previous seasons, but he was slightly better and he stayed healthy. Boom, eleven sacks, just like that.
I agree that Randall probably isn’t going suddenly become an All-Pro, but I think he can bounce back and be a better, more complete player than he was last year.