Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Green Bay Packers Roster heading into the 2010 NFL Draft

According to most draft experts, despite being one of the deepest drafts in recent history the top half of the draft is rather thin at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, offensive guard, center, and inside linebacker. On the other hand, the top half of the draft is very deep at offensive tackle, defensive lineman (both tackle and end), rush outside linebacker, cornerback, and safety. Luckily the Green Bay Packers' needs and the top end talent in the 2010 NFL Draft match-up.

Here is a look at the Green Bay Packers roster heading into the 2010 NFL Draft:

Quarterback (2): Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn. The Packers have no pressing needs at quarterback. If there is another 7th round gem like Matt Flynn sitting there at the end of the draft, snap him up. Otherwise, Ted Thompson has shown that he is content to start the season with two quarterbacks.

Running Back (3): Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson, and Kregg Lumpkin. If there is a game changing return guy available (i.e. C.J. Spiller in the 1st round or Ben Tate in the 2nd round), take him. Either Spiller or Tate would be a perfect home run hitter to pair with Ryan Grant.

Fullback (3): Korey Hall, Quinn Johnson, and John Kuhn. Ted Thompson better not draft a guy here. The Packer had to be one of the only teams in the NFL to carry more fullbacks than quarterbacks on their 53-man roster for the entire 2009 season.

Wide Receiver (6): Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Brett Swain, and Patrick Williams. Despite Donald Driver getting up there in age, the Packers are all set at wide receiver for the foreseeable future. I completely support the Packers drafting a speedy kick returner that happens to play wide receiver late on day 3.

Tight End (3): Jermichael Finley, Spencer Havner, and Donald Lee. The Packers are all set with three NFL caliber tight ends on the roster. Havner is facing some legal trouble from an alleged DUI and Donald Lee is a nothing more than a blocking tight with suspect hands BUT with emerging NFL stud Jermichael Finley the Packers do not need to draft a tight end unless a game changer falls to them in the draft.

Offensive Tackle (5): Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, T.J. Lang, Allen Barbre, and Breno Giacomini. Despite resigning Clifton and Tauscher, Ted Thompson needs to get the offensive tackle of the future in the 2010 NFL Draft. If Bryan Bulaga or Charles Brown are still on the board at 23, the Packers should draft one them and let him learn behind Clifton for a year. That would allow the Packers to put Lang behind Tauscher and the Packers should be set at offensive tackle for the next decade. Absent injury, Barbre and Giacomini will be hard pressed to make the 53-man roster for 2010.

Offensive Guard (3): Josh Sitton, Daryn Colledge, and Jason Spitz. The good news is that Josh Sitton looks like the second coming of Marco Rivera. The bad news is after that the Packers have huge question marks at guard. Colledge has moved around the line throughout his career. Even when he has concentrated at left guard, he has struggled. Spitz shows tons of promise but can't stay healthy. A late developmental guard might help spark competition and give the Packers a little more depth at guard.

Center (2): Scott Wells and Evan Dietrich-Smith. Wells keeps on keeping on. If the Packers think Spitz is healthy enough, there is no need to draft a center. Either way, Dietrich-Smith's days might be numbered in Green Bay.

Defensive End (5): Cullen Jenkins, Johnny Jolly, Justin Harrell, Jarius Wynn, and Ronald Talley. With Jenkins and Jolly only locked up for 2010, it might be time to look at a traditional 3-4 end in the upcoming draft as insurance. As long as Jolly's legal troubles allow him to play in 2010 it looks like Harrell, Wynn, and Talley will fight with whomever the Packers draft for the final two defensive end roster spots in 2010.

Defensive Tackle (3): Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, and Anthony Toribio. There is no real reason to draft a player here with Pickett and Raji on the roster, especially if the carcus of Justin Harrell can contribute anything at defensive end or defensive tackle in 2010.

Outside Linebacker (5): Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, Brady Poppinga, Cyril Obiozor, and Robert Francois. If Brandon Graham or Jerry Hughes (Sergio Kindle to a less extent) are still available at 23, take him and thank your lucky stars. Adding either Graham, Hughes, or Kindle would give the Packers two outstanding outside linebackers for the next decade. The only players that are guaranteed a roster spot are Matthews and Jones. After that, the Packers will hold an open competition for outside linebacker roster spots.

Middle Linebacker (4): Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk, Brandon Chillar, and Desmond Bishop. At middle linebacker, the Packers have one stud (Nick Barnett), two above average (Hawk and Chillar) and one high motor guy (Bishop)...suffice to say I don't think the Packers need to draft a middle linebackers.

Cornerback (9): Charles Woodson, Al Harris, Tramon Williams, Brandon Underwood, Pat Lee, Will Blackmon, Josh Bell, D.J. Clark, and Trevor Ford. If Ted Thompson is right and all the cornerbacks come back healthy, there is no reason to draft a cornerback. Unfortunately, there is a small chance that all the cornerbacks come back healthy so if the right cornerback is available, take him and be happy. The only cornerbacks assured a roster spot in 2010 are Charles Woodson, Al Harris, and Tramon Williams. After that, it will be a dog fight for Brandon Underwood, Pat Lee, Will Blackmon, Josh Bell, D.J. Clark, and Trevor Ford.

Safety (4): Nick Collins, Atari Bigby, Derrick Martin, and Khalil Jones. Bigby continues to be a head scratcher. When healthy, Bigby looks like a borderline pro bowler but we only get to see small glimpses of that because Bigby is rarely healthy. The Packers should add a safety on day two of the draft to compete with Bigby.

Special Teams (4): Chris Bryan, Mason Crosby, Brett Goode, and Tim Masthay. If there is a running back, wide receiver, or cornerback with return capabilities I completely support the Packers reaching for a guy. Besides that, the draft looks thin at punter so it looks like another season of crap punting is in our future.

The Green Bay Packers have eight selections in the 2010 NFL draft, here are rough guesses at positions Ted Thompson should look at depending on how the draft shakes out:

#23 (first round): offensive tackle or outside linebacker

#56 (second round): offensive tackle, defensive end or outside linebacker

#86 (third round): defensive back (cornerback or safety)

#122 (fourth round): outside linebacker or defensive back (cornerback or safety)

#154 (fifth round): offensive line or defensive back

#169 (compensatory selection): offensive line or defensive back

#193 (sixth round): best athlete available with return capabilities

#230 (seventh round): best athlete available with return capabilities

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