The Green Bay Packers will have some work to do for the upcoming Draft. There are a number of positions they will need to fill and the prospects in the draft will have to fill some of those needs. Ted Thompson, the Packers general manager, has prided himself on his draft selection but he may have to go into this season with a different strategy.
Thompson has been known to take a player whether they are needed or not on the team in the draft. He picks the best player if they are available, usually one who stands out above the rest. The reasoning he used to pick up Aaron Rodgers while the Packers were still in their prime with Brett Favre. An unusual pick for the team, but turned out to be a great pick in the long haul for the Packers.
Safety is at the top of the list for the Packers. There is a possibility of moving Micah Hyde to the position but without support, the position remains the weakest for the team. Jerron McMillian and Melvin Jennings had a tough time of it last year, leaving the position something to be desired.
The need in the linebacker position is to gain another A.J. Hawk that can support Clay Matthews. The Packers will need to find a player that is quick, rough and agile to pick up the pace on the defensive side of the team. Pressuring the quarterback of the opposing team can relieve a little of the pressure on the safety and corners. This can give the Packers a little room to wiggle when the draft comes in May.
The Packers currently have Brandon Bostick, Andrew Quarless, Jake Stoneburner, Taylor Ryan and Raymond Webber as their tight ends. Jermichael Finley is an unrestricted free agent this year but after his neck injury, it is hard to imagine him returning to the team. The crew of tight ends the Packers have has not really had much production. There have been some signs out of Quarless and Bostick that they can play the position but there was no real consistency out the TE position last year. They will need a reliable player who can show their toughness in the middle of the field.
The Packers need a little more depth in the receiver area. Aaron Rodgers can make any receiver a star with the accuracy of his passing but the more weapons he has, the better for the team. With James Jones gone to free agency, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will need some help. The prospects in the draft are plentiful and the Packers should be able to fill there need for a receiver.
With B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Mike Neal, the line needs an intricate player who can sub in and out during the game and play with the passion needed. Someone who is agile, tough and big to take up space would be ideal. The Defensive line has had a hard time stopping the run and getting to the quarterback. The ideal draft prospect would have speed and have that drive to get to the quarterback. Raji can block up the middle so the Packers will need someone who can hold their position and close the pocket. Not an impossible feat but one that will take some time and work for the Packers, whomever they decide on.
Moves this off Season
The Packers have made a few moves so far this off season by signing Letroy Guion at defensive tackle and Julius Peppers at Defensive End. They are showing the direction of their possible draft picks and needs. The Packers have also re-signed Matt Flynn QB, John Kuhn FB, James Starks RB, B.J. Raji DT, Mike Neal DE/LB and Andrew Quarless TE.
The Packers will have to take into consideration the age and health of some of their players. The team will make their roster up according to their needs but will have to be smart in the draft to get all of their needs met. Being aware of the future of the team and the direction the Packers, will be significant in their picks this May.
Commentary by Jabar Morarend