By Ryan Ratty @RyanRattyNFL on April 17, 2014
Ted Thompson and co. haven't been busy so far in free agency. The Green Bay Packers have the star power on offense to win a Super Bowl, but the defense needs to improve going forward. There are a still a few quality free agents out there who could be solid starters on this defense. Here are five names you should know as the 2014 NFL Draft nears.
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Evan Dietrich-Smith left in free agency, and that created a void at the center position. Recent history has told us that getting a center through the draft is the smartest route. Last year, the Dallas Cowboys selected Travis Frederick, and he turned out to be an excellent player for them. Travis Swanson is one of the top centers in this draft and he played football in the SEC, the best conference in all of college football.
Stephon Tuitt would be an interesting player in Green Bay because he's capable of playing defensive tackle and defensive end in the 3-4 defensive scheme. Tuitt had an illustrious career at Notre Dame. He went to a national championship in 2012, and he was one of the best defensive linemen in college over the next two years. Tuitt is a bit of a tweener, but he could have a solid role in Green Bay's defense.
Anthony Barr had a unique career at UCLA. He came to the college to originally play wide receiver. After his freshman year, he converted to a running back. After his sophomore year, Barr converted to defensive end. In his junior season, Barr was one of the most underrated players in all of college football. He has long arms, and he would be an intriguing player as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Calvin Pryor really came alive in his junior year as a free safety. At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Pryor looks the part. He possesses the ability to be a good center fielder in the NFL and he shows the ability to put on a big hit in the backfield. Charles Woodson left in free agency, and the Packers will need to add a player like Pryor to fill the void that Woodson left.
Perhaps the most overlooked defensive player in this draft, C.J. Mosley has not garnered a lot of potential so far in the pre-draft process. In the 2013 NFL Draft, many thought Manti Te'o was the best linebacker. If Mosley declared, he would have been the best linebacker. A.J. Hawk is a good middle linebacker, and he needs a better option next to him than Brad Smith. Mosley would be a good addition for Green Bay.
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