NFL Draft Positional Round-Up
Even though I'm still finding myself having conversations with co-workers about 'the game,' I think I'm finally coming around to accept the reality that the Packers season is over. Of course I plan on watching Sunday's game, but I don't plan on enjoying one second of it. Not even the commercials. Or the Puppy Bowl. Or the food. Okay, maybe the food.
But since the post-season is over, we now officially find ourselves in the off-season, a time where teams mold and shape their teams to give them a better shot at making a run to the Super Bowl next season. Their first shot at improvement is Free Agency, which Jon covered yesterday. After that comes the NFL Draft.
I've scoped out a few of the major sports sites and compiled a list of positions that they think the Packers need to address at the draft.
NFL.com - Inside Linebacker - Defensive Lineman - Tight End
Inside linebacker was a position of need going into the 2014 season, but was not addressed by the front office. This weakness shined brightest in the play of A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones this past season. With B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion listed as free agents this year, the Packers could find themselves with a hole or two on the d-line. Richard Rodgers showed great improvement over the course of 2014, and I'm personally not ready to write him off. I think the Packers have other positions to address than tight end.
FoxSports.com - Cornerback
This article was written days after Matt Ryan and Julio Jones carved up the Packers secondary on Monday Night Football. If the Packers choose not to or are unable to resign Tramon Williams and Davon House, they will find themselves thin at the cornerback position. Even if they resign Williams, he will only have one or two decent years left in him. Might not be a bad idea to invites in a young CB.
Bleacher Report - Inside Linebacker
The article labels Hawk as a fan favorite, but a player that has become a hindrance on the field at times due to his lack of speed. They rightfully seem high on Jamari Lattimore, but feel a new face will be brought in on Draft Day to add speed to the linebacking corps.
WalterFootball.com - Inside Linebacker - Cornerback - Nose Tackle - Rushing Linebacker - Wide Receiver
This site uses some of the same reasons for needing ILB, CB and DL. They also realize that although Julius Peppers had a fantastic 2014, he won't be around for very long. The Packers will need another linebacker able to rush the quarterback opposite Clay Matthews. They also mention a need at WR, but it seems like more of a need to sign Randall Cobb than find one in the draft.
Inside linebacker was the position that immediately came to mind before I started writing this post. If I have to sit through another game where Brad Jones draws a flag that extends the opponents' drive and results in points, I may hate the number 59 for the rest of my life. I don't mind A.J. Hawk one bit - I'm actually a Hawk jersey owner - but he either needs to stop pulling a piano around every time he chases a quarterback or he needs to thank the Packers for drafting him when he finds himself in a different team's jersey.