Green Bay Packers' Post-Draft Wish List
With the hardest part out of the way, now comes the fun part for general manager Ted Thompson: the undrafted free-agent period.
The Packers have been one of the most willing teams to both sign undrafted players and give realistic roster chances. In fact, an undrafted free agent has made the Packers' final roster in each of the last three seasons.
With the 2013 NFL draft in the books, here's a look at the positions Thompson should target during the undrafted period.
Note: List was compiled before confirmed signings of undrafted free agents.
At several points in the draft, the Packers had a chance to take one of the many free-falling quarterbacks. They instead chose against the likes of Zac Dysert and Tyler Bray to address other positions.
According to nepatriotsdraft.com, the leader in undrafted free-agent signings, the Packers have agreed to sign Illinois State quarterback Matt Brown.
A greedy observer could ding the Packers in this draft for passing on potential upgrades at backup quarterback late. Getting a talented arm like Bray through the Packers' widely respected quarterback school would certainly be enticing, both for current value as a backup and potential trade value once he starts to grasp the game better.
But it's also entirely possible that their passing on quarterback like Bray or Dysert signals a growing taste for B.J. Coleman, who the Packers took in the seventh round last year. Maybe he can win the backup job over noodle-armed Graham Harrell in 2013.
The Packers took seventh-round fliers on both Charles Johnson of Grand Valley State and Kevin Dorsey of Maryland. But Green Bay shouldn't stop there in terms of adding receivers.
Undrafted free agents at the position should continue to flock to Green Bay, where the Packers give receivers a legitimate chance in camp to win a job. Case in point: Jarrett Boykin last summer.
The Packers are set with the big three at the top (Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones), and Boykin and Jeremy Ross are highly regarded. It's a good position depth-wise, especially with Johnson and Dorsey now on board.
But the Packers have been so good at developing young receivers that an even greater influx at the position makes sense. Competition breeds success.
When you're as poor along the offensive line as the Packers were at times last season, there should be no hurdle to finding answers.
Green Bay spent two fourth-round picks on players who project to tackle (David Bakhtiari) and guard (J.C. Tretter), but there's nothing wrong with bringing a bunch of other big bodies to camp and finding out who's going to make this line better, and who's not.
The Packers also lack a true developmental center.
Rare is the case where an offensive lineman goes from undrafted to legitimate player, but in Green Bay's case, it would be worth the effort. This offense has to get better up front to compete in the NFC, regardless of which way they do it.
One of the bigger surprises coming out of the Packers' draft was their lack of a safety.
Widely considering one of the team's more prevalent needs in this draft, safety was completely ignored, unless you consider Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde, a player who will immediately transition to the back end. The Packers likely don't think so.
Remember, Green Bay will enter next season with a former undrafted free agent fighting for a starting job (M.D. Jennings). So it's reasonable to think another could come in and fight for a roster spot in 2013.
After bypassing it during the draft, the Packers could very well address safety during the UDFA period.
The Packers' bypassing of tight end in this draft likely speaks well for Brandon Bostick, a former undrafted free agent who will get a very real shot at making the 53-man roster in 2013.
But not addressing tight end with 11 picks shouldn't preclude the Packers from ignoring it after the draft, especially where there will be several attractive names available.
The talent level behind Jermichael Finley simply isn't good enough, and there's a pretty good chance he'll be gone after next season. If the Packers think they can find another tight end to groom alongside Bostick, they should pounce.
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