Columnist Court Weston will be breaking down the team needs for all 32 NFL teams this off-season. Next up, the Packers…
1. Running Back – The running back position was the obvious weakness with the Packers’ offense. Green Bay’s passing game was so potent that its lack of a rushing attack was easy to dismiss. However, this offense would be next to unstoppable with a solid running back. Whether it is through free agency or the draft, expect the Packers to find an upgrade over Ryan Grant this offseason.
2. Defensive End – Aaron Kampman is the team’s top defensive end, but he is 32 and nearing the end of his career. Green Bay’s defensive line lacks depth at the end positions, so finding a starter opposite Kampman and adding depth should be a priority for the Pack. Perhaps taking Clemson’s Andre Branch with the 28th pick makes the most sense for a team that went 15-1 in regular season play, but couldn’t win a single playoff game.
3. Outside Linebacker – Clay Matthews is a stud with a motor that never stops. The Packers’ other outside linebackers just aren’t on the same playing field. Green Bay needs help opposite Matthews, and taking a quality OLB in the first three rounds of the draft would not be a surprise.
4. Left Tackle – There was an expectation that 35-year old Chad Clifton would be released this offseason, but he remains on the Packers’ roster. Clifton’s age and recent hamstring injury are cause for concern heading into the 2012 season. If question marks surrounding Clifton’s durability wasn’t enough, there is a chance the 12-year pro could retire. Regardless of what happens, Green Bay should add another left tackle in the early rounds of the draft.
5. Quarterback – Matt Flynn has earned a starting role in the NFL, and it was essentially due to just one game. In Week 17 against the Lions, Flynn started for the resting Aaron Rodgers and finished with 480 yards and six touchdowns in a 45-41 win. The Packers must now find a solid backup to Rodgers to replace Flynn, which will not be an easy task. Green Bay is not one for signing big name free agents, so expect the team to find Rodgers’ backup in the later rounds of the draft.
Previously: The New Orleans Saints
Next: The Baltimore Ravens