Green Bay Packers Offseason Wish List

Assuming we actually have a semi-normal offseason, the Packers are quite a fortunate team in that they have few key free agents, are in healthy shape cap-wise, and are going to get a ton of injured players back.  However, there’s still work to do.  Here’s my wish list broken down by activities.

Team Free Agents

There are people to sign, and we certainly cannot or will not sign all of them.  Here’s my list of guys to sign, ordered by priority.  Of course, we have no idea what the restricted free agency, franchise, transition tender situation will be.  They’ve already taken care of a few free agents (notably Tramon Williams, AJ Hawk, Desmond Bishop).  Here’s thoughts on the remaining.

Must Sign

– Cullen Jenkins (DE) – Dominant end, won’t get Peppers money, essential for our line.

Would be great to have back.

-       Darryn Colledge (OG) – He’s been a shaky player in the past, but we don’t have an immediate replacement.

-       Jason Spitz (OL) – Versatile player, always looks like a starter in camp but in the end is a solid backup for a reasonable price.

-       Mason Crosby (K) – I’ve been very critical of his accuracy, and his kickoffs seemed to suffer last year on top of it.  I’d rather have someone new, but don’t want to cut him without a legit plan.

As long as they don’t want starter money…

-       Atari Bigby (S) – Can’t stay on the field, but can make plays when he does.

-       Allen Babre (OL) – I’d like to see him be a full-time backup at guard, he’s a pretty big & nasty guy and has potential to be the left side version of Sitton.

-       John Kuhn (FB) – Proven he can do a lot.  He has no future as a tailback, too many short yardage runs where he just ran into the back of people.  But a solid guy to have in the backfield.

-       Charlie Peprah (S) – Our safeties have proven they can and will get hurt, need depth.

Only if we don’t have any other plan

-       James Jones (WR) – Too many drops of sure touchdowns, too many games where he can’t get open (against nickel backs or safeties no less).  Jennings, Driver, Nelson are the top 3 wideouts and we need to find some fresh blood to take over for Jones.

-       Korey Hall (FB) – three fullbacks?  Good on special teams…

-       Brandon Jackson (RB) – Was hopefully going to be the year where he just got it, put on extra weight, etc.  I like him in pass protection, but not much else.

The Draft

The Packers consistently take 9-10 players in every draft and we can only assume they’ll do something similar this year.  I really don’t want to get into predicting which players they’ll take, as they’ll end up taking the best available.  However, here’s my list of priorities for positions.

  1. Offensive Tackle – We’ve got someone who is currently acceptable on the right side and might project to move left.  We need another one.
  2. Defensive Line – End or tackle, we just need depth.
  3. Outside Linebacker – The carousel due to injury showed us that we don’t have anyone on the roster worth putting opposite Clay Matthews.
  4. Corner Back – Probably a distant 4th given the potential of Shields.  If you can find a guy that projects to be a nickel back in 2-3 years, that’d be great.
  5. Middle Linebacker – I’m debating moving this higher.  Seems Barnett is a starters as of today, but he’s missed 19 games in 3 years and he’s going to get $6m if he plays this year.
  6. Wide Receiver – I don’t know that Jones will be back and Driver had a big production drop off last year.  We don’t really have a prototypical slot receiver on the roster.
  7. Running back – Grant should be back and starting, Starks shows promise, but assuming Jackson is gone we don’t have a 3rd down back.  That’s not something you usually find in the draft, but it is a definite need.