The Packers were a team to be feared coming into the 2009 season. With the Brett Favre shadow almost completely gone, this team was Aaron Rodgers' to lead to supremacy.
In the preseason, the team showed a lot of promise and looked to take the NFC North. But with injuries and inconsistency on the O-line, the Packers really struggled in the first eight games, including a loss to the then-winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The team's record pace for giving up sacks was nothing short of nauseating, and our franchise QB was in jeopardy just about every game. Our line basically sent every defensive end we faced to the Pro Bowl, so to speak.
However, with the re-signing of Mark Tauscher, the team really began to rise once again. Bringing a much-needed constant to the offensive line, the Packers finally trotted out the same line for the last eight games.
Allen Barbre is obviously not the answer, and with Jason Spitz coming back, Daryn Colledge can move back to his normal guard spot.
The security of the line caused the Pack to go on a 7-1 tear to end the regular season, that loss coming on a last-second TD by the Steelers.
The loss of Al Harris really showed as Jarrett Bush, Tramon Williams, and Josh Bell were all exploited by Ben Roethlisberger. The team's coverage skills definitely diminished when Harris went down. That left Clay Matthews to cover deep downfield without Bush’s help over the top.
That proves the Packers' needs for OLB, CB, and safety help to complement Matthews, Harris and Charles Woodson, and Nick Collins, respectively. Big Ben and Kurt Warner destroyed our secondary, which leads to three other needs besides tackle: a pass rusher to complement Matthews and some cornerback and safety help.
Look for the Pack to address these needs in this month’s draft.
Ted Thompson would be entirely insane to pass on Kindle if he's there at No. 23. Kindle is a versatile athlete who can play in a 3-4 or 4-3. He has excellent size and good speed, plays with a high motor, and is a relentless pass rusher.
Kindle across from Matthews should instill terror in opposing offenses.
Dom Capers is probably salivating at the opportunity to have Mays roaming his defense. At 6'4", 225 lbs., he has the size of a linebacker but plays safety.
His coverage is questionable and he always goes for the lights-out hit. His 40 time of 4.43 impressed scouts, but his tight hips and bad angles should make him fall to No. 23.
We all remember the sack totals on Aaron Rodgers last year, making Brown a decent possibility.
A good pass protector with long arms, Brown has quick hands and feet. He's very athletic and a hard worker who gives good effort, with a nice upside.
Brown needs to improve his overall strength while adding some weight, which downgrades his run blocking skills. He's also not a very physical player.
Iupati is an absolute monster. He's is athletic, quick, and explosive. He's a good run blocker and solid pass protector. He has massive size, and flashes dominance at times.
Iupati almost every one-on-one battle and can potentially play offensive tackle. He has a good football I.Q., but can occasionally get beat by speed. He's raw, but has a huge upside.
If available, he should be the pick.
Knowing Ted Thompson's height requirements, Wilson might not be taken considering he is only 5'10". But with his skill set, he could be an instant upgrade over Tramon Williams behind Harris and Woodson.
He is an all-out playmaker. He has excellent balance, footwork, instincts, overall coordination, and very good speed with fluid hips.
Wilson is a solid tackler, an excellent return man and a great press and off-coverage corner. He graded out very well during the Senior Bowl.
Ted Thompson lives by the "best player available" philosophy, and Jahvid may very well be the Best (Pun intended). His incredible combination of speed, agility and explosiveness means he can change direction without slowing down.
Best has great vision and runs with low center of gravity. He's extremely elusive, but not very powerful, and doesn't project as an every down back in the NFL. He ran a 4.35 at the Combine.
Again, fits in with "the best player available" philosophy. I highly doubt Matthews would be the best left at 23 but, who knows?
A big back with an excellent combination of speed and size, Matthews is explosive and extremely productive. He's difficult to bring down in the open field and breaks tackles well.
Matthews is an every down back if he can prove he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Grant and Matthews. would be an excellent tandem.
-RB Joe McKnight (USC): An excellent return man and receiver out of the backfield, he's a tremendous athlete with terrific speed, elusiveness, acceleration, balance, leaping ability and body control. He's a clone of Reggie Bush in his USC days.
-CB Patrick Robinson (Florida State): He's an excellent cover corner with the strength to battle WRs at the line of scrimmage. He doesn't have amazing speed, but has enough to make up for mistakes and doesn't get beat often. He also has fluid hips.
-S Morgan Burnett (Georgia Tech): A terrific ball hawk with a good combo of size and speed, he can play both safety positions. He has very good instincts and is a reliable tackler.
-RB/WR Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss): My personal favorite in this years draft, I have to vote for the little guy. He can bring a new element to the offense, and can take over return game as well.
-OT Jared Veldheer (Hillsdale): Absolutely massive at 6'8'' 321 lbs., he could step in right away if needed. He is an excellent run blocker but lacks leverage being so tall.