After Evan Dietrich-Smith signed a four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Green Bay Packers have an immediate need at the center position. Throughout their time together in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers and Dietrich-Smith became close friends. Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday had a great relationship, and the two were excellent players for years in Indianapolis. With not a lot of options left in free agency, the Packers may have to look forward to the 2014 NFL Draft to find their center of the future.
In the past few years, teams have drafted their centers towards the middle of the draft. Although, if a team falls in love with a center, they should go ahead and take them no matter what. An example of this is Travis Frederick from last year. The Wisconsin product was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys at the end of the first round last year, and he turned out to be an excellent player for the Cowboys.
The top centers in this year’s draft are Travis Swanson, Weston Richburg and Marcus Martin. The guy I like the most is Richburg. He is a great run-blocker and he brings toughness that this offensive line needs. With David Bakhtiari entering his second year in the league, the Packers could add two young playmakers along their offensive line. Also, having Josh Sitton next to Richburg would be a good scenario to make the future rookie better. Sitton is one of the premier guards in the league, and he would be a good mentor for Richburg in the next few years.
The Packers could benefit greatly by inserting a stud player like Richburg on their offensive line. In a division where the Packers have to play Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph twice a year, it is extremely important that the Packers draft a franchise center in this year’s draft. Richburg would be a nice addition to this team, and he could heighten the energy to this unit.