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Team has holes but no overriding needs

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    By BOB MCGINN
    bmcginn@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: April 19, 2008

    Green Bay - Quarterback Brett Favre is the only starter missing from a team that is coming off a 13-3 season, which tied for the second-best record in the National Football League.

    As the Green Bay Packers prepare for their fourth draft under general manager Ted Thompson, they have an assortment of needs, but none that's overriding or particularly acute.

    "They've turned it around, they're headed in the right direction and they've got one of the youngest teams in football," an executive in personnel for another NFL team said Thursday. "They don't have a lot of needs. They do have needs, but needs don't take the priority over the player.

    "I really like the philosophy that Ted Thompson has brought to the organization. To me, it's Ron Wolf all over again. They're a draft-driven team. They have discipline in their evaluations. The draft board. . . is their Holy Grail, and they go by it.

    "It's a proven system. I have a lot of respect for how he operates. I kind of like the way he does business."

    The executive agreed to assess the status and degree of need at each of the Packers' positions:

    Wide receiver: "I think they're all set. They've got (Greg) Jennings, (Donald) Driver and (James) Jones, and (Koren) Robinson. They're as strong as anybody in their division. Sure, you have age with Driver, but Robinson isn't old. He's only 28. They brought him in there for a reason. Jennings is their young star. He should move into that No. 1 slot."

    Tight end: "They need another one. That's a need position for them. They don't really have a true tight end. They have a big wideout in (Donald) Lee. They need to replace (Bubba Franks)."

    Tackle: "Getting a little old in the tooth. They could use another tackle. They've been finding guys a little later on and developing them. I think (Tony) Moll has a chance at right. I don't know if he has a chance at left. I don't know yet about (Allen) Barbre. If I'm the Packers, I'm looking for a left tackle type. They can always move him to guard if he's not a left tackle or to right tackle."

    Guard: "I think they're OK at guard with the combination of (Daryn) Colledge, (Jason) Spitz and (Junius) Coston. They've got Barbre and Moll. They've got lots of bodies. They're adequate and can get better. They're still young. You can only work with so many guys in the interior of an offensive line."

    Center: "(Scott) Wells is an undersized guy who plays with a high motor and looks like a leader of that group. You can get by with guys like him. Sure, you'd like a little more stout guy in there. But you also need a guy that's intelligent and understands protections and schemes."

    Quarterback: "A quarterback situation has finally developed there. I like what I've seen in (Aaron) Rodgers. My biggest concern is every time he's played he's gotten hurt. I don't know if he's durable enough. I don't know a whole lot about the 'B' team, (Dalton) Bell and (Jerry) Babb. I would have thought they would have brought (Craig) Nall back. I guess all 31 other teams evaluated him, too."

    Running back: "I thought they finished strong. I'm not sold they got a starting running back yet. But (Ryan) Grant did come through with some power. I just wasn't really impressed with the backups. I just think they're guys. I'm sure they feel a lot higher on Grant than I do."

    Fullback: "Just guys. I wasn't impressed with them."

    Defensive end: "I like them. I do think it's probably time for 'KGB' (Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila) to move on and get another guy. He's a luxury. He's kind of lost it. He hasn't been as productive. (Cullen) Jenkins is really a solid football player with (Aaron) Kampman. I think they need a third end."

    Defensive tackle: "They're a team of DTs. (Johnny) Jolly really jumped up last year before he got hurt. Maybe the (Justin) Harrell kid makes the jump Jolly did. I wasn't real high on Jolly as a rookie. I'm sure they're anticipating Harrell to make that jump. If Jolly doesn't come back and Harrell doesn't come up, I'd be more inclined to draft a defensive end because I could always move Jenkins inside. If I get the defensive end I'm covered. I liked Corey Williams. Good football player. To me, I think Jolly and Jenkins are long-term better players."

    Strong-side linebacker: "(Brady) Poppinga is a role player. I don't think he is anything special. They could definitely use an upgrade there. I don't believe (Brandon) Chillar is better than Poppinga. He's got some size to him. In the run game, if he's taking on tight ends, he's tough to block. He's your prototypical strong-side conventional run defender. But I think their problem is defending the pass."

    Middle linebacker: "I think they're fine."

    Weak-side linebacker: "They got one of the top guys in the league. I think they need another bubble linebacker with speed."

    Cornerback: "They're getting a little old in the tooth. I think they need a third corner. I think he (Al Harris) has another year left. I think Al is closer to the end than (Charles) Woodson. I think the other ones are just guys. They got a need at corner."

    Safety: "They could use a safety, no question. (Aaron) Rouse is a big-body guy. (Atari) Bigby did some nice things. They could use some depth there. I like (Nick) Collins. Speed guy. He's got range, speed. He can cover up for a lot of things that happen in terms of eliminating the big plays."

    Kicker: "I thought Mason (Crosby) did a good job."

    Punter: "I think they're probably looking for a punter."

    Return specialist: "They have a combination of people."

    Long snapper: "They got a guy named (Thomas) Gafford. We're going to find out. There aren't a whole lot of them."
     
  2. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    I have to disagree about the FBs being "Just guys," I think that's really not looking at how both Hall and Kuhn did some good stuff in the latter half of the season blocking wise. There is definitely room for improvement, but that doesn't mean we need some extra body.

    A little surprised about the Punter comment, too. I've heard from a few "experts" that the Packers will target a P late in this draft, but some other "experts" have suggested P could be a position that could be easily filled through signing an undrafted Free Agent, since there won't be a run on P this year.

    Also, I agree with the executive that was interviewed when he said we already have a combination of return people. That's why I can't figure out why so many draft rumours call for Ted wanting to draft a WR that is a KR and has potential to develop into a WR. Not to say the people who have stated such rumours are wrong, some have a high reputation for being accurate, but I just can't see why Ted would be interested in a KR.
     
  3. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

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    I slightly disagree with a few points (FB like aadp said) but for the most part this is the most accurate breakdown of the Packers' needs that I have seen written. It's nice to hear someone else say the same thing about DE that I've felt all offseason.
     
  4. packedhouse01

    packedhouse01 Cheesehead

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    As you said no serious holes, but we are seriously short on impact players.
     
  5. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    flip-side of the coin is that we're so young. i think some of last season's emerging players may be this season's impact players. guys like Grant, Bigby (i hope), Jolly, Harrell, Jennings. I don't agree that we're seriously short on impact players. I do wish we had more of them, but hey, you can never have enough impact players.
     
  6. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Heather - I like this article. Well-written.

    That's funny. I always thought JJ was the guy we brought in to replace Driver eventually but Ginn says it's K-Rob.

    For TE, it's funny that they call Lee a big wideout. He kind of is, not a true TE. We'll definitely need another TE. I love having Lee, don't get me wrong, but we need one more impact player here.

    Interesting he thinks we're ok at G. I thought it was one of our weak spots, but he sees improvement in upcoming seasons. I hope he's right.

    RB - totally disagree with Ginn. I think we're fine here. B-Jack will be a pleasant surprise in '08 and if Wynn gets his act together, we have our power back.

    DE - I think KGB still has it as long as he's a 3rd down DE.

    RS - Agreed. We're fine.

    CBs - Agreed.

    LBs - I agree with his assessment.
     
  7. TheKanataThrilla

    TheKanataThrilla Cheesehead

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    That is probably the one thing that irked me about the title. I DO think there is an overriding need at TE. Losing Bubba, who also blocks was pretty huge. I think we might see our first pick or second pick go to drafting a TE depending on how the draft unfolds. I think it is in the best interest of the team to have a versatile TE for A-Rod in his first year as a starter, to provide extra blocking or a quick outlet over the middle.

    Like yourself I still see the need for a Guard. Maybe I just don't see what the author of the article is looking at, but again we saw in many of our defeats this past season that the team that beat us seemed to always have the better O-line. Not sure if any one of Guards & Tackles available that late in the draft would be NFL ready, but it would be nice if they can push those on the roster to better themselves.
     
  8. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Bubba may have been slow as molasses, but he was a heck of a good blocker. With Bubba on my Left side, I'd feel confident I had that extra second. He needs to be replaced.

    And yes, if our OL held together against the Cows, we could have won that game. We took too many sacks and didn't get enough holes.
     

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