2009 Packer draft needs

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Here are the areas of the team I hope are addressed in the draft (in order of priority):

  1. Offensive Tackle – One of the biggest concerns I have going into the 2009 season is offensive tackle. Both RT and LT are very important positions for any offense. A shoddy player at either post can really interfere with the effectiveness of an offense. I’ve been saying for a few years now that I think Chad Clifton is pretty much done. He was very good at one time, but the last few years (even during his “Pro Bowl” year – that was a you-should-have-been-in-previous-Pro-Bowls nod), he’s been borderline bad. We may be able to squeeze another year out of him, but I’d be doubtful beyond that. And if Tauscher doesn’t come back, I have concerns about any existing players taking over. Maybe one of them would do fine but I think it would be smart to strongly consider taking a quality OT with one of our first 2-3 picks in this draft. (I’d be happiest with any of the b ig 4 – Andre Smith, Eugene Monroe, then Jason Smith or Michael Oher).
  2. Defensive Line – I’ve noticed a good number of Packer fans are lobbying for BJ Raji. I wouldn’t mind that pick, but I don’t think it’s as much of a need as OT or LB…or DE. I still think Ryan Pickett will end up doing well as THE guy in the middle of the 3-4. He was not great last year but I think he’s the kind of guy who will play better for a better coach – and I’m pretty sure Capers will be better than Sanders. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to add depth behind Pickett – I just would do it with a later round pick. I am presently more concerned re the DE position. Right now, we have a recovering-from-major-injury Cullen Jenkins and I don’t know, probably Johnny Jolly as our DEs. Jolly seemed to take a step backward last year and of course, the uncertainty with Jenkins is a concern. I think we should consider taking a DE with one of our first few picks. (I’d watch for Tyson Jackson here).
  3. Linebacker – Considering we’ve switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4, I’d also like another LB or two in the mix in case any existing players really struggle with the transition. I also just think we need a better overall selection of players because the present group is average at best. One thing I do feel better about now with Capers at the helm is the likelihood that he’ll offer a more honest assessment of the LB talent we have. I think Poppinga and Hawk got free passes last year (actually Poppinga for 3 years now) despite really weak play likely because several loyalists were being stubborn. I’m hoping Capers may be more willing to look harder at Lansanah and Bishop. Still, I think we should draft 1-2 LBs in this draft and maybe even use one of the first 2 picks for him. (Guys to watch for are James Laurinaitis and Larry English and Rey Maualuga – by the way, this post was drafted initially before reading Bob McGinn’s 4/25 article stating that these 3 guys are guys TT likes. The other guys I have to think will beĀ  tempting for TT is Connor Barwin and Clint Sintim. Barwin is the tallest LB at 6’4″ and was one of the fastest at 4.56. There is some thought that he would be an ideal OLB in a 3-4.)
  4. Running back – there are some good RBs in this year’s draft apparently. I think Grant will bounce back this year and his part of the running game will probably be good again. But I’m not dazzled by his back-ups. Brandon Jackson isn’t terrible, and it could be argued that Wynn may in fact have the most potential. But based on the decent possibility that Jackson and/or Wynn don’t progress this year, I think this group could use more competition – ideally in the form of a very fast/shifty scat back type. If Grant can wear defenses down, this guy could tire them out by making them chase. I wouldn’t be too surprised if TT drafted a RB on the first day. (Cedric Peerman or Andre Brown).
  5. Cornerback – draft for the future here. We need a another CB or 2 heading into this year because it’s possible Woodson/Harris may see a decline in their play soon – and because as olders guys, they may be more prone to injury. I’d take a CB in mid to later rounds as the CB group this year is not considered to be that great. (They apparently like Bradley Fletcher from Iowa.)
  6. Tight End – This may seem to be too high a priority for TE, but the reason I placed it here is because this is a year there seems to be major talent at the position. Donald Lee is a bit above average, Humphrey may still be good but doesn’t seem to get the chance and Finley strikes me as one of those guys who will continually frustrate. Again, I can admit that overall, TE is not a desperate need, but I think it would be smart to use a mid-round pick on TE. (People will mock, but I would take a chance on Travis Beckum. He has great hands, he’s fast and he benched more than any TE at the combine. While blocking needs help, he has the strength and athleticism to learn how. I’d also look at Chase Coffman – he was very good in college and of course his dad Paul rules).
  7. Safety – I have concerns about Bigby’s injuries from last year and his overall lack of contribution. I felt like Rouse took a step back last year when he had the opportunity to shine and Collins’ frequent injuries concern me (though he often bounces back). I have heard that newly acquired Anthony Smith has at least the physical talent to be quite good, but I wouldn’t bank on it if Pitt didn’t think retaining him for a relatively low salary was worth it. I would look for a safety in the middle rounds and I would place a specific emphasis on finding a heady player – one reputed to pick things up quickly (though Marquand Manual was supposed to be like that and he sucked). (That’s why I wanted to pick up Jim Leonhard earlier – he’s a smart player whose consistent playmaking is not a coincidence – the guy is very good.)
  8. WR – again, considering Driver and his decent contract may not have much time left in Green Bay, I can see the team looking for another Jennings-like steal at WR in the middle rounds of the draft. (Watch for 6’6″ freak Ramses Bardin).
  9. Punter – while I doubt TT would use a draft choice on a punter, we could use competition here to ensure that we don’t have another disastrous year at the position.
  10. Fullback – We could use a later round pick on FB – not convinced our two FBs do as much to help the running game as they could. (Watch for Tony Fiammetta only because his name sounds like a FB name and someone TT would like.)
  11. Offensive Guard – If McCarthy stops shuffling everyone around this year, I imagine Colledge and Spitz (or Sitton if Spitz moved to center) may end up being at least serviceable. And the addition of Duke Preston may end up being a wise, quiet move as he could find himself a starter. Still, I wouldn’t be bothered if we used a pick on an OG.
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6 Responses to “2009 Packer draft needs”

  1. Ace Says:

    I am not a fan of best athlete available drafting. Would not pick a WR in first couple of rounds. Crabtree is great but would be a TO, Randy M. type in the clubhouse. Pass on him. Needs—OT, DE and RB. Hopefully the first two of those will be taken in 1 and 2. Probably no A. Peterson’s in this draft but our passing game needs a better running game, thus an RB would be helpful again. Perhaps OL had something to do with weak running game last year but I think it may be Grant. Big contract, injury-not the same. Agree with your overall diagnosis of needs and generally your priorities-we need help everywhere but maybe WR and CB for this year. I would emphasize RB over LB unless we had an exceptional opportunity–Curry comes to mind but he will be gone in top 3.

  2. The Mouse Says:

    Being a BEAR fan if G.B. drafts anything other than OT or DL with your 1st pick I will be elated. There may be prettier options but you guys are very weak at OT. and with your switch to 3-4, you are extremely thin at D-line. Your most talented D-linemen will be out of place in a 3-4. Cullen Jenkins has no spot in that system and I truly believe it will take away from Kampman. Kampman is too good not to be above average still but I don’t see him being elite like he was in a 4-3. Ryan Pickett will were down very fast as a nose in that system too. Worst case scenario for me being a Bears fan is you getting B.J. Raji, Tyson Jackson or Michael Oher. Should be an interesting season for our great Rivalry though your new D our new QB and the season opener too boot. I would say good luck but of course that would be just wrong so I hope you lose all your games although I know your too good to do that.

  3. DaveK Says:

    at #9 – if one guy is cleary better then the rest availible then you draft him regardless of need. If you have 3-4 guys rated the same then you tade down or pick out of that three based on need. You just don’t pass on better talent early in the draft. Drafts are not just for the next year. The first couple rounds are for 4-5 years and you cannot predict needs more then a year out. So apart from a QB, TT should pick the best player avilaible at picks #9 and #41. I think of it like this – if TT compares Crabtree to Sterling Sharpe then he should pick him regardless if Raji (Gilbert Brown) or Oher (Chad Clifton) is availible. All good players but clearly you pick Sharpe over Gilbert or Clifton.

  4. The Mouse Says:

    Yeah that sucks you got Raji. I love Crabtree’s talent, I think he’s the next Fitzgerald so at least we don’t have to deal with that. Never thought G.B. would have a shot at Crabtree. Raji is the perfect fit for your needs so now I can only hope he’s a flop of gets knee problems or eats his way out of the league shortly.

  5. Kozak Says:

    Hey mouse here’s hoping Cutler discovers Da Bears are where quarterbacks go to die.

    Go Pack

  6. The Mouse Says:

    Lol wouldn’t know if that’s true haven’t seen one since well I never have but I heard stories about Sid Luckman. I’m sure Cutler will be just fine, they jst need to give him a little help at WR and improve our Defense

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