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 lone loss came on a last-second TD to the Steelers.
The loss of Al Harris really showed up as Jarrett Bush, Tramon Williams, and Josh Bell were all exploited by Ben Roethlisberger.
The coverage skills definitely diminished when Harris went down. That left Clay Matthews to cover deep downfield without Bush’s help over top.
That proves the Packers' needs for OLB, CB, and safety help to complement Matthews, Harris/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.
Going with consensus thought, OLB is the top priority of the Green Bay Packers. Last year the defense was torched by top-notch QB's. While the secondary had a hand in that, we lacked production from the other OLB spot. If we could disrupt the QB's rhythm, they wouldn't have got to our secondary as much.
That's where Hughes fits in. He is a tremendous pass rusher and very good run stopper. Has 4.5 speed with nice size, great initial burst and solid in coverage. An ideal fit as an OLB in 3-4 defense.
He would give us that devastating pass rush combo with Clay Matthews.
, I expect the Packers to address the tackle need in round 2.
With Veldheer's size (6'8'' 321 lbs), he could be a very effective tackle in the NFL with a year or so of coaching.
Veldheer might be a stretch in round 2 but has enough upside to warrant this pick.
ALTERNATE PICK: OG JON ASAMOAH
In Round 3, Ted gets his multipurpose guy. Owusu-Ansah has excellent size and speed. He runs in the 4.4's and has great range and closes on the ball quickly. He has extremely long arms and good hands.
Not only that, he would bring a new electricity to the Packers return game. Then he could play nickel until needed at either corner spot.
With running back not a huge need, Gerhart would be way too tempting in round 4 if he is even around.
The Heisman Trophy nominee is a load at 6'1'' 235. He would complement Ryan Grant and would be able to carry the load if Grant goes down.
With this pick, a shifty back is possible (I would prefer a speed back and the Packers were said to be on the lookout for one).
The Pack could go with a two-headed power running attack with Grant and Gerhart.
ALTERNATE PICK: RB BEN TATE
Austen Lane would add good depth at the DE position with Johnny Jolly's legal issues and Jenkins in his last year.
At 6'7'' 270 lbs., Lane is a big body with excellent speed, an explosive first step. He is an excellent pass rusher.
He is disruptive in the backfield, and intelligent with a high motor. Another player with the lack of experience against elite competition.
In Round 5, the Packers pick up some depth at the safety position. With Bigby constantly hurt, Asante could step in and replace him. The safety position could be addressed earlier, but the area will be addressed.
He possesses good size and speed, strong enough to get into the backfield, quick enough to run with tight ends, excellent tackler, wraps up and finishes the play, hard hitter.
Donald Driver won't play forever even though he seems to want to. It would never hurt to add another receiver to the mix. Ajirotutu would be our tallest receiver at 6'4'' and has good speed as he ran a 4.58 40 at the combine. The Packers are said to be very interested.
Our franchise is set with Aaron Rodgers, but it's never a bad idea to develop someone just in case. Mike McCarthy loves developing QB's and Canfield would be his next project.
The team is high on Matt Flynn even though he hasn't shown he can produce. Canfield will give Flynn competition for the backup spot.
He is extremely accurate and on time. Has nice size, intelligence. He also has good pocket presence and is a solid game manager.