Breaking down PFF's Packers player ratings

June, 6, 2014
Jun 6
12:00
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Three elite players, two in the next tier of NFL starters plus a handful of other above-average starters is how Pro Football Focus sees the Green Bay Packers' roster.

That helps explain how PFF ranked the Packers as the eighth-most talented team in the league.

As promised earlier, here is a complete breakdown of how PFF views the Packers' starters. It included 24 players (12 on each side of the ball to account for three receivers plus a fullback on offense, and a nickel defensive back on defense).

PFF used a color-coded system similar to what NFL scouting departments use to evaluate players. The ratings were as follows: Blue=Elite; Green=High quality; Light green=Good starter; Yellow=Average starter; Orange=Below-average starter; Red=Poor starter; Gray=Not enough information; Purple=Rookie.

Here is a breakdown of the Packers' starters:

Blue
Aaron Rodgers
Josh Sitton
Clay Matthews

Green
Eddie Lacy
Jordy Nelson

Light green
John Kuhn
Randall Cobb
T.J. Lang
Mike Daniels
Sam Shields
Casey Hayward

Yellow
Jarrett Boykin
Bryan Bulaga
Julius Peppers
Nick Perry
Brad Jones
Tramon Williams
Morgan Burnett

Orange
Andrew Quarless
David Bakhtiari
B.J. Raji
A.J. Hawk

Red
None

Gray
JC Tretter

Purple
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

PFF's Sam Monson, the author of this exercise, wrote the following about the Packers' starters: "The team has almost as many projected blue-chip starters (three, 12.5 percent) as it does below average (four, 16.7 percent), but it is the average players who may dictate the ceiling for this team. Seven projected starters (29.2 percent) grade out as average at this time, and whether those players outperform or underperform that designation will likely determine how good this team becomes."

From a salary standpoint, the Packers are paying Peppers ($8.5 million this season), Williams ($7.5 million), Burnett ($3.25 million this season after $9.573 million last season) and Jones ($3 million) to perform better than their "yellow" designation. Likewise, the Packers surely consider Raji ($4 million) and Hawk ($3.5 million) to be better than "orange" players.

On the other hand, Lacy ($559,201) should be considered a steal as a "green" player just as Cobb ($812,648), Daniels ($570,000) and Hayward ($690,901) are relative bargains as "light green" players because they still are playing under their rookie contracts.

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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