Packers stock report: Week Four

Posted Oct. 03, 2011 @ 4:29 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

PFW executive editor and resident Packers expert Dan Arkush identifies three up-and-comers and three players going the opposite direction on his Packers stock report.

Rising

QB Aaron Rodgers: After throwing for a career-high 408 yards, rifling TD passes to four different receivers and adding a pair of TD runs for good measure against the Broncos, Rodgers seems to be getting better and better, if that's possible. His best quality has been his ability to use all of his immensely talented weapons. One week after showcasing TE Jermichael Finley (three TDs vs. Bears), Rodgers switched gears and spread the ball masterfully around to his WR corps, getting everybody involved. The only quarterback in the league completing at least 70 percent of his passes, he looks like a legitimate league MVP in the making at the 2011 quarter pole.

WR Jordy Nelson: Nelson couldn't have done a better job justifying his brand new contract extension for a reported $13.35 million. He kicked things off for Green Bay's offense against Denver with a sweet 50-yard TD catch off a play-action fake and finished the day with five catches for 91 yards and a TD. He also made his presence felt in a big way on special teams, when he retrieved Mason Crosby's onside kick late in the first quarter, which led to the first of Rodgers' two TD runs.

CB Sam Shields: For the first time this season, Shields showed the impressive big-play ability that was such a factor down the stretch last season with a 60-yard interception return vs. Denver that will hopefully get him out of the funk he has been in this season, starting when he got torched by Devery Henderson for a 29-yard score in the season opener.

Falling

OT Marshall Newhouse: The Packers can be forgiven for crossing their fingers in the hopes Bryan Bulaga can recover very soon from the knee injury that sidelined him last week. Newhouse, Bulaga's replacement at right tackle, was eaten alive by Broncos rookie Von Miller, who had Denver's only two sacks.

DE Jarius Wynn: After opening eyes in Week Three with a spirited two-sack effort, Wynn was a virtual nonfactor vs. Denver, managing only one tackle for loss. The defense needs another pass rusher besides Clay Matthews to start making a difference, and Wynn would appear to be a top candidate until Mike Neal hopefully returns in late October.

DE Johnny Jolly: It's hard to imagine the suspended Packers defensive end playing another down at the pro level after he was arrested and charged over the weekend with possessing drugs and tampering with evidence. It was Jolly's fourth drug possession charge.