The Green Bay Packers are one of the most successful franchises in NFL history, but they’ve also had some moments that can be described as ‘worst to first’ stories. The team is currently looking for a new head coach after firing Mike McCarthy and with Aaron Rodgers entering his final season before retirement, this could be their last shot at reaching the top spot again. Here are three positions on which they should watch during this coaching search.
The “2010 packers” is a football team that has been around for decades. The Packers have won 3 championships in the last 10 years.
In baseball, it’s said that hope springs eternal since spring training is the one time when everyone believes they have a championship team. The NFL Draft is the NFL’s version of everlasting hope, and the NFL Scouting Combine is the first step in that process. That’s where the Green Bay Packers’ top executives and scouts are presently stationed.
General manager Brian Gutekunst and his scouts will be keeping an eye on a few key position groupings.
We’ll go through each one in detail below.
A wide receiver or two is needed by the Green Bay Packers in the draft.
The Penn State Nittany Lions’ Jahan Dotson #5 scores after catching a pass against the Maryland Terrapins | G Fiume/Getty Images
This offseason, there may not be a larger vacancy on the roster than wide receiver. Of course, some of this is contingent on what the Packers can do with their salary cap and existing free agents. But it seems like they’ll need to refill the wideout space sooner rather than later, and the draft is a perfect place to start.
Davante Adams is a free agent, and the Packers will do everything in their power to re-sign him. However, he is said to be seeking $30 million each year, so he will not be cheap. Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are both free agents. Allen Lazard will be a restricted free agent, which means the Packers have the option to match any offer sheet he receives, but he’s progressed from an undrafted free agency and practice squad player to one of the NFC’s more consistent wide receivers. It’s possible he’s priced himself out of the Green Bay market.
Regardless of how you look at it, the Packers need to invest a high draft selection on a wide receiver, particularly after Amari Rodgers’ disappointing rookie season. That doesn’t mean they have to take a first-round pick, but grabbing a wide receiver in the first or second rounds makes a lot of sense.
USC’s Drake London, Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, Alabama’s Jameson Williams, Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson, and Penn State’s Jahan Dotson are all targets.
The Packers’ pass-rush has to be replenished.
Because the NFL is a passing league, three positions will always be in high demand: quarterback, offensive lineman, and edge rusher.
The Packers are likely to part ways with Za’Darius Smith this summer in order to preserve $15.2 million in salary budget space. Preston Smith, too, might be removed, saving the Packers $12.4 million in the process. Even if he isn’t, he has a track record in Green Bay for being inconsistent.
Rashan Gary has all of the characteristics of a future Superstar. He’s coming off a season in which he has 9.5 sacks and seems to be on the rise. There are no definite things on the roster outside of Gary, however. Jonathan Garvin and Randy Ramsey are little more than glorified practice squad guys who can fill in as depth pieces but aren’t much more. Whitney Mercilus is getting older and is recovering from an accident.
Even in a hypothetical universe where both “Smith Bro’s” return, there is never enough depth when it comes to pursuing the QB. The Packers should not be surprised if they choose an edge rusher in the first round. They currently have the No. 28 selection, barring a trade.
Georgia’s Nakobe Dean, LSU’s Damone Clark, Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson, and Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie are all targets.
At tight end, the Packers could use a sure thing.
Texas A&M Aggies tight end Jalen Wydermyer (85) heads upfield after a short reception during the game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field | Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Robert Tonyan Jr. is about to become a free agency, and since he’s coming off a major injury, the Packers may be able to re-sign him on the cheap. But it’s also a cause for Green Bay to think about letting him go. Marcedes Lewis will be 39 years old this year, and his contract is coming to an end. Josiah Deguara was drafted in the third round by Green Bay, but he’s far from a lock. He’s showed glimpses of becoming the Kyle Juszczyk-lite guy that Matt LaFleur reportedly thinks he’ll be, but he’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistent performance.
There’s no denying that LaFleur’s offense excels when he has several tight ends on the field. That being said, even if Tonyan returns and Deguara improves in 2022, there’s no reason why the Packers shouldn’t consider drafting one of the top tight ends available.
Targets: Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M; Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina; Cade Otton, Washington
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provides contract information.
Green Bay Packers: Three Players in the midst of a Critical Offseason
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