Packers Draft Needs: Time to Start the Conversation

What would Ted do? - Ted Thompson

Packers GM Ted Thompson has plenty of directions he could go in the 2013 NFL draft.

The Packers lost to the 49ers in the NFL playoffs. Badly. Embarrasingly. Frustratingly. Think of some other negative adverbs and they would probably also apply.

But in the fast-paced world of the NFL, that loss is already ancient history. We’ve dissected it to death on this site and other media outlets and blogs have done the same. It’s time to move on.

In the coming weeks, the ALLGBP.com staff will have complete reviews and grades of everyone on the Packers roster for the 2012-13 season. We will also begin breaking down prospects in the the April NFL draft that may fit the Packers needs.

This post is meant to start the discussion on what the Packers needs in the draft may be.

If everything was equal, what position group should the Packers focus on when they pick 26th in the upcoming draft? If there was at least one player from each position group on the board when Ted Thompson’s turn came up, and they were all equally talented, which position group should Thompson bolster?

I realize this is a very general and broad question, but remember, we’re just starting the conversation. There will plenty of specific prospect breakdowns and more focused discussion in the coming months. For now, let’s focus on the big picture and moving on from the 49ers loss.

Here’s how I see things.

  1. Inside linebacker: Yes, Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith should be back, but will there be lingering effects from the major injuries that ended their 2012 seasons early? The NFL seems to be cyclical. Just when we think a position group isn’t as valuable as it used to be, it makes a little bit of a comeback. With the rise of spread offenses and passing attacks, inside linebackers don’t seem as important as they once were. But then you don’t have one and you realize how valuable they can be. It’d be nice to have a linebacker on the inside that can ocassaionaly cover a tight, move well enough to deal with quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Colin Kapernick, and be a solid tackler. Another good inside linebacker would allow Thompson to cut A.J. Hawk and use Brad Jones as a versatile backup and situational player, perhaps at all four linebacker spots.
  2. Defensive Line: The Packers starting defensive lineman are big and slow. I’d like another guy like Mike Neal. Jerel Worthy was supposed to be that guy, but who knows how his knee injury will impact him next season. B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson are good for plugging holes, but they seem to have problems actually making plays when the hole is plugged. More athleticism should help the defensive line put a little pressure on quarterbacks and actually make plays on running backs before they reach the second level.
  3. Safety: I miss Nick Collins. Morgan Burnett is solid, and Jerron McMillian and/or M.D. Jennings should hopefully keep developing, but if Thompson sees a stud safety on the board, I’d be fine if he took him. Safety is another one of those positions that you don’t appreciate until you don’t have one. A stud safety can improve both the pass defense and run defense.
  4. Running Back: Thompson hasn’t had much luck taking running backs in the later rounds. Should he try something different and take a running back in the first round? I want to say no, but a guy like Doug Martin (drafted 31st in 2012) sure would look nice in this offense.
  5. Offensive Line: I like the offensive line as it is. That said, it’s not elite. If there’s a tackle that appears to be an upgrade over Marshall Newhouse or Derek Sherrod, I say go for it. Ditto for a center that would be an upgrade over Evan Dietrich-Smith.




Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.


81 Responses to “Packers Draft Needs: Time to Start the Conversation”

  1. Bill says:

    Morgan Burnett is solid ? He doesn’t cover well when the ball is in the air and he rarely makes a jarring tackle on a WR. He could be moved to SS because he’s a liability as a FS. A healthy Tramon might be better suited to play FS once Woodson is released.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Bruce says:

    NFL is constantly evolving. TT and MM were ahead of the game when they gave AR a whole fleet of quality receivers, ie. Super Bowl. Now they have to get ahead of the game on defense, ie. much more speed in the middle and taller more athletic pass rushers like Watt. Read option and mobile running QBs aren’t going away. Athletic LBs who can disrupt passing lanes, contain QBs and tackle will be at a premium, ie. college safeties!! The Ray Lewis type will be a dinosaur in the near future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. [...] started the conversation about the Packers biggest draft needs by position group on Monday. Now let’s take a look at [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Martha hess says:

    Hey Everybody: Are we going to get 1 comp pick? For a certain qb that Seattle signed? Will there be more? Indeed, should we not get an end of the 3rd round for that qb? thanks everyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. [...] in for this expanded coverage of the original Packers Draft Needs Post  and much, much [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. [...] in for this expanded coverage of the original Packers Draft Needs Post  and much, much [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0