GM Ted Thompson has made some of his most terrible decisions on the defensive line. This is a guy who rarely makes a mistake in the draft, but they’ve all turned out to be defensive linemen. Justin Harrell was the poster boy for this. After the 2010 Super Bowl season, Thompson allowed DE Cullen Jenkins to leave via free agency. He felt he valid replacements in C.J. Wilson and Mike Neal. Neither player has panned out.
Wilson has been decent when given the chance, but injuries have really hampered his career thus far. Neal was suspended four games this past season due to performance-enhancing drug use. Although he has world-class strength, he isn’t the finesse player the Packers need. Mike Daniels was drafted this past season, and he could blossom into the player the Packers desperately need, and showed his great potential in a week 14 match-up against the Detroit Lions.
Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji have been consistent on the line. Pickett’s age is catching up with him, and Raji has regressed since his breakout year in 2010. Pickett may be let go this training camp, and Raji could be allowed to walk if he doesn’t prove himself in 2013. I believe the defensive line should be rebuilt during these next two seasons.
It can’t be done overnight. With the right draft picks or even free agency signing’s, the defensive line could be built back into a Super Bowl defense. It would possible for the offense to carry the defense until the rebuilding process is finished. The Packers don’t want to lean that heavily on the offense though. Maybe a few low price sleeper free agents could turn the defensive line around instantly.
This process could be long and drawn out if history repeats for the Packers. Hopefully it only takes at least one season, and the offense is till intact enough to compete at a high level. You would hate to look back at this team, and say “the Packers could’ve won multiple Super Bowls if only they had a defense.” As a Packer fan, I don’t think I could handle that.
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