Looking Ahead

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Nothing in depth yet, but in the coming weeks we’ll be looking carefully at the NFL Draft and players the Packers might take to shore up some weak spots (guard) or spots that will be weak soon enough (cornerback, quarterback). Of course, all of that time will probably be wasted when Ted Thompson trades out of the first round pick or he selects someone obscure who ends up being a quality contributor almost immediately. The Senior Bowl is this weekend and a number of the players who looked good in practices and in that contest last year went on to be quality first-year players in the NFL.

The Packers are in a very strong position regarding free agency. The most valuable unrestricted free agent this year is Corey Williams, who ranked third on the team in sacks this year. Williams made just less than $2 million this year and probably earned much more than that with his performance. Who will pay him? We don’t know, but he seems determined to play the field and the Packers seem content to let him. I think that’s a good choice.

The Packers have up-and-comer Justin Harrell at DT and given Thompson’s track record I’m eager to see what it was about Harrell that compelled Thompson to pick him earlier than many others had projected he would go. The fact that Harrell showed up at camp overweight was a very bad sign and called into question a lot of the positive attributes we had heard about him (humble, small-town guy, believes in hard work, etc).

But I won’t be terribly upset if we lose Corey Williams in free agency. He had a few very strong games but was otherwise just depth. Of course, depth is important, but I’d rather not pay the kind of money for it that he is likely to get. I’m not sure why, because most everything I’ve read about him has been positive, but I worry about the Cletidus Hunt factor, where an overperforming young gets paid and then sucks. Here is a look at Williams and the other free agents from Tom Silverstein today.

As far as this website goes, we will be posting regularly throughout the off-season — through free agency, the combine, the draft, minicamps and training camp. We are looking at the possibility of liveblogging the NFL draft from New York City and we will definitely have extensive on-site coverage of training camp next summer. At some point, we will redesign the site to incorporate additional features (including a Fantasy Football corner) and to make it easier to navigate. We’re open to additional suggestions, too, so send them our way: packergeeks@yahoo.com.

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