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Green Bay Packers Offseason Outlook

Aaron Rodgers helped lead a Green Bay Packers team depleted with injuries to a Super Bowl 45 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Green Bay had the coaching staff return and a healthier team.  With a 13-0 regular season, a perfect season looked like a potential possibility.  A loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the regular season and a playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants ended Green Bay’s season.

2012 Free Agency Recap

Green Bay re-signed Jermichael Finley to a 2 year deal at tight end.  Another key addition was bringing in veteran center Jeff Saturday to replace Scott Wells.  Saturday was a center for Peyton Manning during most of Manning’s career in Indianapolis.

On defense Green Bay added Anthony Hargrove as a replacement to Cullen Jenkins.  I am not buying the move.  Green Bay was not going to get a 3-4 defensive end to replace Cullen Jenkins in round 2 if they went pass rusher in round 1.  I like this move for the short term.

2012 NFL Draft Needs

3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Green Bay’s biggest need should be to obtain a 3-4 right outside linebacker.  Boise State’s Shea McClellin and USC pass rusher Nick Perry are both strong candidates to get selected by Green Bay at 28.

Free Safety The Packers need a free safety that can replace Nick Collins in case Collins does not recover.  This safety class is horrible after Mark Barron.  Collins will be out for 2012, and his injury may alter his career over the long haul.

Backup Quarterback The Packers will be in the market for a backup quarterback.  Graham Harrell is a 3rd stringer at best.

Backup Nose Tackle It would not hurt to spend a day 3 pick on a nose tackle that could be used behind BJ Raji for depth.

Backup Offensive Tackle The Packers had Marshall Newhouse start at left tackle.  Bryan Bulaga a 2010 first round pick and Derrick Sherrod a 2011 first round pick are both capable of starting at left tackle and right tackle if Newhouse gets injured.  I still feel like both teams need one more offensive tackle.

Backup Interior Offensive Lineman Green Bay could use depth everywhere on the interior offensive line at left guard, center, and right guard.  Adding these depth players would help in the late rounds in case injuries occur.

Cornerback To Compete For Roster Spot The Packers have strong cornerback depth.  Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams are both cornerbacks with ability to be #1 field cornerbacks.  Jarrett Bush can play a nickel cornerback role.  Sam Shields can be used as a dime cornerback.  Davon House will continue to develop for the long run as a quarter cornerback.

Green Bay could use a 6th cornerback that could give Jarrett Bush, Sam Shields, and Davon House competition for roster spots after ranking 32nd out of 32 NFL teams in pass defense when it comes to covering opposing offensive playmakers in the passing game.

Some people believe Jarrett Bush has no business returning to Green Bay’s roster.  That means Green Bay should draft a corner in the late rounds and have that cornerback compete with Bush, Shields, and House.  The nickel, dime, and quarter cornerback jobs would be up for grabs depending on how each cornerback performs in the preseason.

Running Back To Compete For Roster Spot JamesStarks has limited ability.  Starks is more of a #2 back.  Brandon Saine went undrafted even though he has a lot of upside.  Alex Green was a player that I thought Green Bay reached for in the 2011 NFL Draft.  The 2012 NFL Draft is very deep at running back.

2012 NFL Draft Strategy

The Green Bay Packers need to go with a pass rusher in round 1.  On day 2, the Packers have to go safety if Harrison Smith, Antonio Allen, or Lavonte David slip to Green Bay’s 2nd round pick.  After that the picks are up in the air.

Playoffs or No Playoffs? Playoffs Green Bay is too stacked with talent not to make another playoff run.  Losing Joe Philbin as an offensive coordinator could set the team back.  Green Bay made quarterback coach Tom Clements their offensive coordinator and their tight end coach, Rodgers new quarterback coach.  This means you need to draft Jermichael Finley in fantasy leagues this season because that will probably be Rodgers primary target with Green Bay’s tight end coach becoming the new quarterback coach.

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