Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers' Free Agency and Draft Wish List

Bob FoxContributor IFebruary 3, 2014

The Green Bay Packers' Free Agency and Draft Wish List

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    MIKE ROEMER/Associated Press

    It's not a secret. The Green Bay Packers are a draft and develop team. That type of structure within the organization has gotten the team a 82-45-1 record over the past eight seasons with head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson running the store.

    That also had led to six postseason appearances, four NFC North titles and a win in Super Bowl XLV. That being said, except for that great postseason run the Packers had in 2010, when they went 4-0, the team is just 2-5 in the playoffs under McCarthy and Thompson.

    The Seattle Seahawks proved last night in resounding fashion in Super Bowl XLVIII, that excellent drafting, nice trades and solid use of free agency works.

    The general manager of the Seahawks is John Schneider. Schneider worked under Thompson in both Seattle and Green Bay before he got an opportunity to run the front office in Seattle. Obviously, Schneider did a fantastic job, as the Seahawks pounded the Denver Broncos 43-8 last night on the biggest stage in the NFL.

    The hope is that Thompson can take a page from that success and also perhaps a page from his former mentor Ron Wolf. Free agency can work. I'm talking about pure free agency. Not the kind that Thompson usually utilizes, which is signing street free agents.

    With that being said, I've put together a wish list that I believe would enhance the Packers in both the draft and free agency.

    Odds are that Thompson will not use free agency liberally. He will probably focus on just a couple of players who are under 30 years of age. That's fine, as long as the players are difference-makers.

    The list I've accumulated in each slide are three players in the draft and three players in free agency. All of them have the ability to uplift the various positions that the Packers have to improve on the most.

Safety

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    2014 NFL Draft Prospects

    Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama): There's a decent chance that Clinton-Dix will be off the board when the Packers select at pick No. 21. If he is available, however, the Packers should strongly consider selecting him. In the past two seasons, Clinton-Dix has 89 tackles, seven interceptions, 10 pass breakups and a forced fumble. Scout Chris Landry talked to me about the former star at Alabama. "Clinton-Dix is the best of the bunch (safeties)," Landry said. "He's got really good size. I think he's got good range. I think he's physical and I think he's got the ability to make plays on the ball."

    Calvin Pryor (Louisville): Pryor is the second-best safety in the draft, and he also looks to be a first-round selection. In his career with the Cardinals, Pryor has 212 tackles, five interceptions and nine forced fumbles.

    Deone Bucannon (Washington State): Bucannon looks to be a second-round selection. In his career at Washington State, Bucannon had 295 tackles, 12 interceptions and four forced fumbles.

    2014 Unrestricted Free Agents

    Jairus Byrd (Buffalo Bills): Byrd is obviously the best safety available in free agency. If Thompson doesn't do anything else, he should make a strong run at signing Byrd. In his five-year career with the Bills, Byrd had 256 tackles, 22 interceptions (two for touchdowns), 33 passes defended, 11 forced fumbles and five recovered fumbles. Byrd has also been named to three Pro Bowls.

    T.J. Ward (Cleveland Browns): In his four years with the Browns, Ward has 232 tackles, five interceptions (one for a touchdown), 24 passes defended, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Ward has also been named to one Pro Bowl team (2013).

    Chris Clemons (Miami Dolphins): In his five years with the Dolphins, Clemons has 189 tackles, four interceptions, 17 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

     

Inside Linebacker

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    2014 NFL Draft Prospects

    C.J. Mosley (Alabama): There is a decent chance that Mosley will not be available when the Packers select in the first round. But like his teammate Clinton-Dix, the Packers should strongly consider selecting him if he is available. Mosley is a three-down linebacker who plays the run and pass equally well. In his career at Alabama, Mosley had 313 tackles and five interceptions.

    Shayne Skov (Stanford): Skov looks to be a second-round selection the the draft. In his career at Stanford, Skov had 355 tackles, 40.5 tackles for a loss, 16 sacks, 12 passes defended and five forced fumbles.

    Chris Borland (Wisconsin):  Borland looks to be a second- or third-round selection in the draft. In his career as a Badger, Borland had 411 tackles, 50 tackles for a loss, 14 forced fumbles, 17 sacks and three interceptions.

    2014 Unrestricted Free Agents

    Donald Butler (San Diego Chargers): In his career as a Charger, Butler has had 210 tackles, three interceptions (one for a touchdown), four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown).

    Brandon Spikes (New England Patriots): In his four-year career as a Patriot, Spikes has had 118 tackles, two interceptions, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

    Pat Angerer (Indianapolis Colts): In his four-year career with the Colts, Angerer has had 184 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Defensive Line

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    2014 NFL Draft Prospects

    Ra'Shede Hageman (Minnesota): Hageman looks to be selected in the first round. The former Golden Gopher can play both defensive end and the nose tackle position in the 3-4 defensive scheme the Packers utilize. The big man has great size, at 6'6", 318 pounds. In 2013, Hageman had 34 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, eight passes batted down, one interception and two sacks.

    Louis Nix III (Notre Dame): Nix also looks to be a first-round selection and is perfect for the nose tackle position, as he goes 6'3", 345 pounds. In his three-year career playing for the Fighting Irish, Nix had 122 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, eight passes batted down and one forced fumble.

    Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame): Tuitt also looks to be a first-round selection. In two years at Notre Dame, Tuitt had 96 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, 19.5 sacks, one interception for a touchdown, four forced fumbles (one for a touchdown), one fumble recovery and one blocked kick.

    2014 Unrestricted Free Agents

    Greg Hardy (Carolina Panthers): In his four-year career with the Panthers, the 6'4", 290-pound Hardy has had 139 tackles, 33 sacks, six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. In 2013, Hardy was named to the Pro Bowl with 15 sacks.

    Arthur Jones (Baltimore Ravens): In his four-year career with the Ravens, Jones has had 66 tackles, 8.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

    Lamarr Houston (Oakland Raiders): In his four-year career with the Raiders, Houston has had 171 tackles, 16.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.

Tight End

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    2014 NFL Draft Prospects

    Jace Amaro (Texas Tech): Amaro looks to be drafted later in the first round after Eric Ebron of North Carolina. Amaro is a huge target at 6'5", 260 pounds. Amaro had a great 2013 season for Texas Tech, as he had 106 receptions for 1,352 yards with seven touchdowns.

    Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington): Seferina-Jenkins looks to be either a late-first or early-second round pick. In his three-year career at Washington, Seferian-Jenkins had 146 catches for 1,840 yards and 21 touchdowns.

    C.J. Fiedorowicz (Iowa): The big man from Iowa (6'7", 262 pounds) looks to be a third-round selection. In his career as a Hawkeye, Fiedorowicz had 91 receptions for 899 yards and 10 touchdowns.

    2014 Unrestricted Free Agents

    Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit Lions): Pettigrew is a pretty good blocker who has been inconsistent at times catching the ball. In his five-year career as a Lion, he has had 284 receptions for 2,828 yards and 16 touchdowns.

    Fred Davis (Washington Redskins): In his six-year career with the Redskins, Davis has had 162 catches for 2,043 yards and 13 touchdowns.

    Garrett Graham (Houston Texans): In his four-year career with the Texans, the former Wisconsin Badger has had 78 receptions for 832 yards and eight touchdowns.

Outside Linebacker

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    2014 NFL Draft Prospects

    Trent Murphy (Stanford): Murphy looks to be either a late-first or early-second round pick in the draft. The former Cardinal had 62 tackles, 24.5 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks, one forced fumble and a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown last season.

    Kyle Van Noy (BYU): Van Noy looks to be a second-round selection. In 2013, Van Noy had 68 tackles with 17.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks and two interceptions. The former Cougar can play the run and pass equally well.

    Michael Sam (Missouri): In the last two years at Missouri as a defensive end, the 6'2", 255-pound Sam had 70 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, 16 sacks and four forced fumbles.

    2014 Unrestricted Free Agents

    Wesley Woodyard (Denver Broncos): In his six-year career with the Broncos, Woodyard has had 265 tackles, eight sacks, six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

    O'Brien Schofield (Seattle Seahawks): In his four-year career with both the Cardinals and Seahawks, the former Wisconsin Badger has had 62 tackles, 11.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

    Keith Rivers (New York Giants): In his six-year career with both the Bengals and the Giants, Rivers has had 172 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

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