The Green Bay Packers are in need of a good draft class in the 2012 NFL Draft in order to get to the top of the NFL and back to the Super Bowl. While some teams choose to address their needs via free agency, the Packers have historically chosen to address them during the draft.
Coming into the draft, the biggest areas of need for the Packers are center, right outside linebacker and help on the defensive line and possibly safety depending on Nick Collins' status. While these needs seem to be glaring, Ted Thompson will obviously draft the best player available when the Packers are on the clock.
With a solid draft, the Packers should be right back in position to compete for a Lombardi Trophy in 2012.
It is no question that the Packers need to address their pass rush through the draft. With weaknesses at both right outside linebacker and on the defensive line, the Packers are likely to go in that direction in Round 1. If Peter Konz is still on the board, which I don't think will happen, he would be the pick.
Worthy would address the issues up front and help give the Packers a formidable pass rush. At 6'2" and 308 pounds, Worthy has decent size, but possesses more speed than B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett.
By addressing the deficiencies on the defensive line, the Packers will be able to better disguise their problems at right outside linebacker while they develop a prospect.
Outside of the former Wisconsin Badger Peter Konz, this year's draft is supposedly weak at the center position. With the Packers needing a center after likely striking out on Jeff Saturday, they will need to draft one.
Konz will probably be unavailable when the Packers draft, so they would have to trade up to grab him, which is unlikely. In that case, Ben Jones is the next best thing for the Packers. Jones played in the tough SEC and is similar in size to Scott Wells at 6'2", 303 pounds.
The Packers take care of their issues at outside linebacker by grabbing Bruce Irvin out of West Virginia in Round 3. The OLB has a troubled past, but his play on the field cannot be ignored.
Irvin is best known for his ability to get to the quarterback, something the Packers are in dire need of. He doesn't have much experience in pass defense and may struggle against the run. As a result, Irvin may have to start out as strictly a third-down player with his ability to get to the quarterback.
The Packers may let Ryan Grant walk this offseason as he has played to the end of his contract and could potentially be replaced by younger backs. They replace Grant by drafting Bernard Pierce out of Temple in the fourth round.
James Starks had every opportunity to take over as a featured back, but his inability to stay healthy may allow an opportunity for Pierce and returning youngsters Alex Green and Brandon Saine.
In his junior year, Pierce dominated for the Owls, gaining 1,481 yards on his 273 rushing attempts. He also found the end zone 27 times. The 6'0", 218-pound back is the same weight as Starks but two inches smaller.
The Packers are in need of depth at the safety position regardless of whether or not Nick Collins is able to return for the 2012 season. They can address the safety position in Round 5 by drafting Aaron Henry.
Henry isn't a very big safety at 6'0", 205 pounds, but would compete with M.D. Jennings and Anthony Levine for a roster spot behind projected starters Morgan Burnett and Charlie Peprah.
With Matt Flynn gone to Seattle, the Packers need a third quarterback behind Graham Harrell, who will likely become the primary backup. The Packers could take a developmental project at quarterback such as East Carolina's Dominique Davis.
Davis threw the ball a lot in ECU's offense, averaging 41.2 tosses per game. He wasn't invited to the combine, which hurt his draft stock, but Davis has decent size at 6'3" and 215 pounds.
Bolden's draft stock was hurt by the fact that he missed the entire 2011 season because of a torn ACL that he suffered in spring games, just about a year ago. Bolden decided not to run at the combine, possibly because he is still rehabbing.
Bolden is a very strong corner and did have success in his 2010 season. For the Packers, who aren't in dire need of cornerbacks, Bolden is definitely worth the risk. If he doesn't pan out, it will have only cost the team a seventh-round pick. If he does, he has second or third-round potential.