DE – With the likely loss of Cullen Jenkins and Johnny Jolly, the Packers are a bit thin at DE. The Raji/Pickett system in the middle and on the left has worked well, but we will need some more players to choose from for that right DE spot in particular. The team likes Mike Neal, Jarius Wynn wasn’t terrible and CJ Wilson had some OK games. And while Howard Green is listed as a DE, he is more of a NT – though there were times last year when we went with a Raji, Pickett, Howard line which was…solid…and good against the run. Of course, now that TT has completely vindicated himself with a Super Bowl title, wouldn’t it be something if fate now aligned with Justin Harrell and he somehow made a massive comeback, snatching that right DE position. MEDIUM-HIGH.
NT/DT – We need another body or two up front. Yes, Raji, Pickett and Howard Green are all capable of filling the traditional NT spot in the 3-4 – and we do have some huge guy named Jay Ross on the roster too – but I think we could use another huge young guy who can eat up space. Not a huge priority this year but thinking forward, it could become a bigger need in just a couple years. MEDIUM.
LB – Tempted to indicate that we have no needs for LB because we’d be fine if we only had one: Desmond Bishop. But we could use an OLB to complement Matthews. If we could pick up a fast pass-rushing guy I think that would make our defense that much scarier immediately. We do still have Chillar, Erik Walden (who was good before getting hurt), Zombo who was adequate but not great, Robert Francois who was OK and Brad Jones who was average before getting hurt. And of course we have Barnett coming back. There is some young talent that perhaps TT and MM think they can develop like Walden and Zombo in particular, but I think Ted drafts a few guys this year who could play OLB. I have to admit, despite trying not to buy into combine-hyped guys, I am intrigued by prospect Dontay Moch from Nevada. He’s a LB who apparently has run 4.4 in the 40. He also had 8.5 sacks last year – so he’s good at getting to the QB. MEDIUM-HIGH.
CB – The way Tramon, Shields and Woodson played last year, it might be easy to pass over CBs in this draft. But for the future and for depth reasons, I’m guessing TT grabs a CB or two even. Brandon Underwood and Pat Lee have not convinced me so far that they are adequate depth guys we can turn to in case of injury. I think TT may want to shore up the #4 and #5 CB guys. I’ve read several articles about this draft being a decent one for CBs. TT has probably identified a gem or two nobody else is considering. MEDIUM.
Safety – Peprah really stepped up down the stretch. His ability to come in, make plays, and importantly, not make big-time mistakes, really helped this team get to and then win the Super Bowl. But it will be interesting to see if he retains his spot as a starter. Burnett has skills and flashed them early on. And, Peprah’s play wasn’t flawless. Anthony Smith has been hurt and was iffy when on the field. I’m thinking the Pack goes after a safety or two – especially a guy who could back up Collins if he gets hurt. MEDIUM.
Special Teams – TT said in an interview with me the other day that he’s trading up in the first round for a long snapper. Seriously, special teams were pretty good last year. Crosby and Masthay should hold down their spots and I don’t expect TT to draft for either of these positions. We could always use a couple psycho-don’t-care-about-their-bodies types for the units – though we have a good number of these types already. However, one area we could improve upon is kick and punt returning. I’m too lazy to check the stats from last year but I dont’ think we were very special MEDIUM.