Assessing The Packers Biggest Draft Needs Before Free Agency

We still have time to get all our draft prepping done, but free agency can radically change the list of needs. Before free agency kicks off, let’s get a look at the biggest areas of need for this team.

This exercise assumes that anyone who is not currently signed is not a guarantee to be on the roster, hence it could be a need.

Wide Receiver is at the top of everyone’s minds, but that doesn’t mean it will be the first position chosen. As we’ve discussed may times (see: How Champions Draft and Why Skill Players Are A Dime A Dozen), wide receiver just plain isn’t a premium position that you need to draft in the 1st round. That being said, there’s no denying the need. Last year, the Packers figured that coming out of camp with Geronimo, MVS, EQ, Sherpherd, Lazard, and Kumerow, that at least one of them could have been at least a steady presence opposite Davante Adams. They figured wrong. I figure they won’t figure wrong again this year.

Inside Linebacker was a very, very sore spot for this defense. Blake Martinez is not the talent vortex his haters claim he is, but he’s not going to stop zone stretch plays anytime soon and unless the 49ers go to the AFC, that’ll keep the Packers out of the Super Bowl until they upgrade this position. Oren Burks has shown nothing, BJ Goodson is a free agent, and Ty Summers doesn’t seem like a guy to count on at this point.

Offensive Line can always use some depth, but with Bryan Bulaga and late-season part-time savior Jared Veldheer now free agents, things become extra-dicey. The Packers simply cannot afford to go into the season with Lucas Patrick penciled in to start at right tackle and they can’t just plan to slide Billy Turner (easily the Fifth Beatle of the bunch) over without having a capable fill-in for him. However the Packers want to approach it, they need to do something on the right side of the offensive line if they want to extend their reign as division champs. 

Defensive Line is also an area of need. Sure, Kenny Clark is a bossman studhoss, but he gets tired shoving triple teams around by himself all game. Dean Lowry is a solid role player, but Ty Lancaster and Montravious Adams have proven to be nothing more than depth guys. One of the big reasons the Packers got knocked out of the playoffs is that their defensive line couldn’t control the trenches in the run game.

Tight End may or may not be an area of need. Many people are simply assuming that Jimmy Graham will be cut to free up cap space and get his over-the-hill carcass off the roster, but most of those people thought the same thing last year. Graham’s most productive games as a Packer came down the stretch last year. Combine that with the promising potential of second year man Jace Sternberger (who was a unanimous pick with your PFTW drafniks in last year’s How We Would Have Picked The Packers 2019 Draft) and the solid presence of Big Bob Tonyan and maybe (just maybe), the Packers don’t think this is as big of a need as most fans do.

Punter is a position I hate wasting a valuable draft pick on. The Packers overdrafted JK Scott and he rewarded them with a wildly inconsistent season and crunch-time shanks. No one seems to be talking about it, but even with Scott (the 28th most productive punter in the league last year) on a rookie deal, this feels like a need.

Quarterback. Tim Boyle cannot carry this team. Aaron Rodgers won’t play forever. Don’t overlook value at this position if it falls in your lap at 30. 

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