Packers Season Review: Offense

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Packers Season Review: Offense
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Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers had a terrific season.  He is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL in my opinion top two or three in the league.  He managed to throw touchdowns all year without throwing very many interceptions. He had to deal with pressure especially early in the year, and although he was sacked far too many times, rarely was it his fault and he produced despite of it.  He is an underrated athlete and was able to make more with his feet than any other quarterback this season.  His accuracy, arm strength, and timing are tops in the league and he takes care of the ball.  PRO BOWLER

Draft need?  No.  Aaron is the best young talent at QB in the NFL.  It is unlikely in Green Bay for the starter to ever miss a game, so Flynn is good enough to manage the games if something were to happen.

 

 

Running Back: Ryan Grant is a great starter, despite some doubters.  He has put together a third straight great season, and this season he has had some pretty bad blocking.  He is a good pass blocker.  Brandon Jackson is a good number two, but he does not counter Grant well.  But he is a big presence in the pass game.  He catches a lot of balls and is a good pass blocker.  Green is not his old self, but has been playing well.  He is a great pass blocker and way above the league average for a third string back. 

Draft need? Maybe.  Ryan Grant is a power runner Brandon Jackson is even less of a speed back so the Packers might benefit from a speed change of pace running back.  If a C.J Spiller or Javid Best type player is available the Packers might consider taking the talent over a more pressing need.  

 

Fullback: Green Bay is very deep with fullbacks.  Rarely does a team carry three of them.  They had to keep three on the roster because no single fullback is a complete football player.  Kory Hall and John Kuhn are good at everything, but excel at nothing.  Neither of them are great run blockers or receivers.  Quinn Johnson is a power fullback, he is a terrific blocker but lacks the speed and quickness to be a threat in the passing game.  Having a fullback threat would add more versatility to the already dynamic passing offense.  It would especially help when a short pickup is essential. 

Draft need? Maybe:  An unlikely scenario that I would love to see happen is the Packers picking up Garret Graham from Wisconsin in the 4th to 5th round.  He would be a perfect fit in the NFL at FB and could also play at TE adding value.  He is a great blocker, essential to a fullback, a great receiver which gives defenses one more person to worry about.  Green Bay would then be able to release Kuhn and/or Hall and free up roster spots for wide receiver and defensive line. 

 

 

Tight End: Green Bay is very deep at TE.  Donald Lee has been a solid starter in the NFL for a good time now.  Jermichael Finley is the next great pass catching TE in the league.  He is an Antonio Gates who actually wanted to play football.  Spencer Havner is the best blocker among the group and a very effective pass receiver.  The Packers run a lot of double tight on running downs and he does a great job. . 

Draft need? Maybe.  If the Packers draft Garret graham he will see most his time in the backfield, but he would also be on the depth chart as a TE making the Depths very crowded. I believe whether or not the Packers draft Graham they should release/trade Lee.  Finley has much more potential and Lee is too good to be a backup, obviously the Packers would love to have a “too good” backup but lee might not be so happy and there are plenty of teams who would give a lot for him (draft picks?).  I would rather have Havner than Lee because Havner and Finley are a good pair because they are opposites, Lee is a blend of the two not an amazing receiver, not an amazing blocker.

 

 

Wide receiver: The Packers deepest position.  They have a top five duo in Jennings and Driver and are THE deepest receiving core in the NFL(well maybe the Saints).  They have three maybe four starters. James Jones has had his best season this year.  Jordy Nelson has had some injuries but is a very solid 3-4 receiver and has showed some signs of being great. There are 4 legitimate receiving threats on the team.  With good protection, Aaron Rodgers and these receivers this offense will not be stopped, at least not before 300 yards. 

Draft Need: A Little. Surprisingly I still believe they should draft one more player.  It is often best to stack one position so a team can always rely on it.  The packers have four solid wide receivers, but that is all. Because of injuries to an already questionable Brett Swain the Packers had to  play much of the year with only four receivers and have had to use Finley at times, I am fine with using Finley but a little depth would be nice.  They do not need another first day pick, but a decent back up late in the draft would be helpful.  Eric Decker from Minnesota is a good choice if he drops in the draft.  He is a 4th round talent.  Decker is a tall receiver that plays with great fundamentals and control 

 

Offensive Line: it is no secret that the O-line struggled through this season.  Although this was largely due to injuries, there is no denying that there are some fundamental issues with this group.  The problems have nearly all come from the tackle positions, the interior line is actually quite promising.  Aaron Rodgers has been credited with 8 sacks this year, but the rest is on these guys. 

 

Center: Jason Spitz was set to start this year, but an early back injury prevented this.  Scott Wells filled in for him and has been a serviceable back-up.  Spitz should be back to health next season and hopefully will play well, if he does the packers should be set at center for the next five to ten years.  I will assume that Spitz will play well because he won the battle with Wells who has been a five year good starter. 

Draft need? No.

 

Right Guard: Josh Sitton, the only lineman to play the whole year at one position, and he has done it well.  He is the one bright spot on an otherwise shady season.  He has played, believe it or not, extremely well and has a long future of clearing a path for Ryan Grant.  He is Green Bay's best lineman.

Draft Need? No.  The packers have put a lot of mid draft choices into guard, so they are set for the near future.

 

Left Guard: Daryn Colledge For the most part has underperformed this season.  He was bumped out to LT in the Vikings game and that simply did not work.  I believe the Packers should keep him and hope for a repeat of his 2007 season.    

Draft need? No.  A 3rd-4th round selection might not be a bad choice.

 

Right Tackle: The season started with Allen Barbre getting pushed around.  He had some of the worst O-line performances I have ever seen.  It was not all his fault because he is a natural guard, but there is simply no excuse for what happened in that Bears game.  The sacks were so disruptive that Ted Thompson was forced to sign former Packer stud Mark Tauscher, who had just come off reconstructive knee surgery.  Tauscher has stepped in well and played at a good enough level, but he is not the Tauscher of old and is certainly not the future for this line.

Draft need? Potentially.  The Packers really, really need to improve their line play.  There are some logical natural right tackles in the 2010 draft such as Ciron Black who could likely be picked mid 3rd round.   

 

Left Tackle: This has been a little, but not a lot, better recently toward the end of this season.  Chad Clifton has been struggling with injuries and a serious decline in performance.  Unfortunately this chapter of a decade of excellent Tackle play is just over with the loss, not literally yet, of Clifton and Tauscher. The Packers will need a big time tackle if they plan to be a top passing team. I believe left tackles are overrated, but they are still very necessary.

Draft need? Absolutely!  The packers do not need to draft a left and right tackle this offseason, but they sure need one soon.  If they intend to draft one or both it is essential that they select them in the first round.  If there is no perfect fit they should wait a year because the worst thing is to draft a first round lineman because they think it is necessary, not because it is a good fit.  When a team drafts a lineman in the first round they expectation is that they will be a starter the next ten years and be a perennial pro-bowler.  If a team does not get this they are stuck with a below average lineman getting paid above average money.  The Packers should be aggressive this offseason and potentially trade up into the top 10 or 15 and select a player who can be the face of this line for the extended future, like Russell Okung. Other more reasonable options are Bruce Campbell, Damian Williams, Byron Bulaga, Charles Brown, and Anthony Davis.  

The packers offense was quiet successful this past season and one can expect even better things in the future.  



 

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