2011 Mock Draft Primer: The Packers
The Green Bay Packers are coming off a Championship season, and many think they are at the beginning of what could potentially become a dynasty for them.
The Packers have a lot of things going in their favor, they have a relatively young franchise QB in Aaron Rodgers, who will only be 27 at the start of this season. They have some young receivers surrounding him that he can continue to grow with in Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jermichael Finley, and Jordy Nelson. They have a solid young core of offensive linemen with Josh Sitton and Bryan Bulaga. Defensively, most of their key players are well under 30 such as B.J. Raji, Clay Matthews, Desmond Bishop, Tramon Williams, and Nick Collins.
If the Packers can add a few more pieces to the puzzle, they can solidify a team that should be a contender each and every year for the foreseeable future.
I think the piece they will look to add to that mix is Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward.
Because of their success, the Packers lack any overwhelming needs that jump out at you. Throughout most of the 2010 season, the Packers running game was weak due to an injury to Ryan Grant. But late in the year, they saw some bright spots from James Starks, enough that going forward they could be happy there.
Their main area of weakness is up front where left guard Daryn Colledge is likely to be departing. They would probably love to nab a player such as Baylor’s Danny Watkins to replace him. If not Watkins, then someone like Ben Ijalana would also make sense.
Defensively, their main weakness is in the front seven. Cullen Jenkins is a prospective free agent, and doesn’t seem like a strong bet to return at this point. The team drafted Mike Neal last year in the second round, but he didn’t play much due to injury. Adding another piece here would definitely shore up their depth since Ryan Pickett as well is on the decline. Heyward would be a nice piece there.
Outside linebacker opposite Matthews was a hodgepodge of young players such as Brad Jones, Frank Zombo, and Erik Walden. If they can add another playmaker at that position, then it would make a lot of sense to solidify that spot. Players such as UCLA’s Akeem Ayers or Arizona’s Brooks Reed would be good fits to play opposite Matthews.
The team might tinker with the idea of drafting a cornerback. Not because it’s a need with two solid young pieces in Williams and Sam Shields. But if they are serious about the notion of moving Charles Woodson to safety, they could use some depth. And a player like Miami’s Brandon Harris or Texas’ Aaron Williams would make a lot of sense to shore up that depth.