Monday, April 27, 2015

2015 NFL Draft: What Do The Packers Need In The First Round?

The personnel man said "Ted will get a corner and a defensive lineman and a rush linebacker. It's just a matter how they've got their board stacked."
Probably the best thing you could do at this point is stop reading what I've written and go read Bob McGinn's mass of articles posted over the last few days at JS Online. But here's my two cents:

Cornerback. One of the personnel guys he interviewed said that Micah Hyde isn't a corner. I don't agree, but assuming he's correct then cornerback becomes very important. If Ted Thompson thought it was critical then he wouldn't have let both Tramon Williams and Davon House leave in free agency. They had to draft a cornerback or two anyway for depth with them gone but they don't need someone who can start now.

Defensive lineman. After Mike Daniels and Datone Jones (as a situational pass rusher) the tackle and end positions were in rough shape. Re-signing B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion plugged the holes but they don't provide any hope for improvement. There are a lot of options in the middle rounds if one of the top picks don't fall into their laps early.

Rush linebacker. I was toying with this idea since I've been underwhelmed with the options at inside linebacker. Bob McGinn got a quote complimenting LB Carl Bradford, who spent 2014 as a NFL redshirt. He played outside in college but moved inside by the end of the preseason. If Bradford can be counted on as a backup and Clay Matthews stays inside, then the key is getting a couple linebackers either inside or outside just to replace the roster spots for A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones. Maybe they're encouraged about the development of Nate Palmer, who spent the 2014 season on I.R.

Offensive lineman. This article made it seem like a bigger need, but with the starting five set and JC Tretter and Don Barclay both returning as backups, there's not much room on the roster for another lineman. They aren't going to keep more than eight on the active roster. It's a good idea to draft one every year (and they usually do) but it isn't essential to spend a high draft choice.

They will sit and wait and see who falls to them at No. 30 but if there's an available player with a 1st round grade on their draft board at each linebacker, defensive end/tackle and cornerback, they should still go for the linebacker. Except for the times when they've moved Matthews inside, they haven't had a play making inside linebacker in years and they still need one for the defense to take a step forward. If that means finding a play making outside linebacker instead and keeping Matthews inside, that's OK too.

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