Win the Super Bowl—prepare for the NFL Draft. Work never stops for the Green Bay Packers.
Mock Drafts are successful in creating talk during this time of year. They outline the prospects. Prepare us for who the Packers may Draft in a few weeks time.
They also create some controversy, as everyone has their own perspective from their computer chair.
But aside from the joyous times of April, they also offer a distraction. Steering us away from the pressing needs of each team.
What area's should Ted Thompson consider this offseason?
The list is as long as Clay Matthews's hair. But in comparison to other teams, Green Bay only has a few areas in need of attention.
Green Bay's cornerback problems have been on the back foot in past seasons. It's been an area of interest for the Packers as the years have drawn on, one that has only just appeared on the horizon as the Draft approaches.
First, Charles Woodson is problem numero uno.
At the age of 34, an injury in the Super Bowl doesn't exactly spell out a reliable future. It is hard to forget this is the same guy who strolled toward the Defensive Player of the Year Award two years ago, but with age comes a run down body and a high risk of injury.
Secondly, the Packers can't rely on Tramon Williams either.
Don't get me wrong, this is the main guy who led the way through the playoffs with three interceptions. However, what would happen if Williams was to fall injured?
Easy, Pat Lee steps in, and who knows where that freight train may lead.
In terms of necessity, Ted Thompson isn't likely to spend a first round pick on a corner. Typically Thompson keeps his cards close to his chest, but if we know him like we think we do, he will look to spend a second round pick on filling this need.
Obviously, the talent is strong and for the choosing. Curtis Brown, Davon House and even Ras-I-Dowling could fall to late picks in the second round, potentially leaving the Packers with their hands full.
There are a whole lot of "maybes" at the cornerback spot. Realistically, drafting a corner is all about playing the "better safe than sorry" game next year.
By far the biggest need for the Packers this offseason is at the defensive end spot. Cullen Jenkins is now in his eighth season as starter, a time in his career when injuries begin to pop up, and at the same time fellow defensive end Ryan Pickett grows further long in the tooth entering his 11th year.
Judging by most Mock Drafts, the mutual feeling is that the Packers will select a defensive end in the first round. My latest Mock has Green Bay selecting Cameron Heyward from Ohio State, a solid pick who is likely to fall late in the first round.
Green Bay's defense ranked 18th in defensive rush yards last season, one of few statistics which paints a negative image for Dom Capers defense. If a guy like Heyward is unavailable, options such as Da'Quan Bowers from Clemson or Adrian Clayborn from Iowa are also potential prospects.
Age is by far the biggest problem at defensive end. Ted Thompson would be foolish to overlook the Draft talent which is expected to appear in the early rounds.
There were several humorous sights during the Packers 2010 season. One of them being B.J. Raji's endzone dance in the NFC Championship Game.
But there is nothing funny about the lack of depth surrounding Green Bay's nose tackle position. It isn't entirely weak. However, it is a hole easily filled by evaluating the talent available in the fifth to sixth rounds.
Ted Thompson's love affair with lineman will likely benefit here. Florida's Terron Sanders is a projected late-sixth-round pick, along with Frank Kearse from Alabama.
Scouting reports state both of these guys had solid Pro days, so look for Thompson to consider many prospects.
Raji will be a force in the years to come. His career is only two years young, and with a much more expanded role last season, the Packers defense now has yet another big man to rely on up front.
Unfortunately, though, it isn't all happy days.
If Raji is overcome by injury in the immediate future, Green Bay are left between a rock and a hard place. Seventh year backup Howard Green would likely replace Raji, a player who has seen limited action in the past two years.
Drafting a nose tackle isn't a must, it is just a precautionary measure for a defensive line that struggled to contain the run.
Welcome back a good friend. Yes, the Packers offensive line is yet again in need of some thought.
Just like the defensive line, age is the biggest problem. Chad Clifton is now 34 years old, and can't be relied on to perform miracles of modern medicine for much longer.
On the opposite side, depth is paper thin. Right guard Josh Sitton is basically a lone wolf, while Bryan Bulaga and T.J. Lang are still developing in their young careers.
For fans, drafting another lineman may be as boring as sitting through re-runs of "MASH". Nevertheless, securing Aaron Rodgers is priority number one—something every Packer fan can agree upon.
If you're like me and you don't think the Packers will choose an offensive lineman in the first round, look toward the third for some talent. Joseph Barksdale from LSU is said to be one of many underrated recruits. But if that doesn't float your boat, Florida's Marcus Gilbert could fall to the third round.
Aaron Rodgers suffered two concussions last season. Both were due to some foolishness and optimism on his part.
But the helmet to helmet against Julius Peppers in the NFC Championship Game? Yep, that can be credited to the offensive line.
Protecting No.12 is a must. Not that we have to tell Ted Thompson twice.
It's not so much that the Packers lack explosiveness at the outside linebacker spot—Clay Matthews and Frank Zombo have that area covered.. Rather, it's a lack of depth that has Titletown worried.
In the case of Clay Matthews, his aggressiveness can sometimes get the best of him. Last season saw Matthews play a handful of games injured, one of which included a Week 12 affair against the Atlanta Falcons.
Everything turned out fine for Matthews at the end of the season. But when a rainy day comes and he is forced to miss three to four games, the lack of a solid replacement may cause Dom Capers to lose his hair.
That's where the Draft steps in.
If it's solid outside linebackers the Packers seek, the second round is a breeding ground for opportunity.
My latest Mock has the Packers selecting Nevada's Dontay Mock, a player who is best suited to a 3-4 scheme. But again, if this pick doesn't interest the Packers, someone like Texas' Sam Acho is also a viable prospect.
On the opposite side to Matthews is Frank Zombo, another of Green Bay's young defensive players. Zombo had four sacks and two forced fumbles last season—statistics that have secured his spot in the starting roster.
If luck plays a factor next season, everything may turn out fine for Green Bay's outside linebackers. Aside from the defensive line, though, this is by far one of the Packers biggest needs.
Who would have thought Matt Flynn would cause the Packers such problems?
If it wasn't for Flynn's display in Week 15, Green Bay wouldn't have an issue. Now, though, teams have raised an eyebrow toward the Packers backup quarterback as someone who could fill their most pressing need.
While this is good news for a team like the Carolina Panthers, it is hardly music to the ears of the Packers. With the Draft approaching, it means Ted Thompson may have to spend a sixth or seventh round pick on a quarterback, just to be on the safe side of town.
On paper, there are plenty of passers to choose from. However, each quarterback holds his own individual problem, whether it be accuracy, discipline or a lack of size.
But rest assured, there are plenty of options.
After sifting through, Virginia Tech's Tryod Taylor is one of the best looking late-round prospects. Scouts say he is athletic, mobile and has a strong arm—a benefit if Aaron Rodgers suddenly goes down and the Packers are left to rely upon their wide receivers.
Being left without Flynn and a questionable Graham Harrell is a recipe for disaster. The Packers could easily pick up a quarterback in free agency, but why not select a young stud in the Draft?
The Packers strong safety position has been up for discussion recently. Safety Nick Collins has the opposite side of the field well covered despite battling mild injuries, while Charlie Peprah may be vulnerable should he go down injured sometime next season.
Behind Peprah, is Atari Bigby, a player who has perhaps seen the last of significant playing time. Bigby is currently in his sixth season with Green Bay, but was overcome by injury which forced him to play in only four games last season.
So who can the Packers pick up in the Draft?
Tejay Johnson from TCU is a prospect worth considering in the seventh round, along with Davonte Shannon from Buffalo. Although, as with all late-round picks, the talent of a seventh round prospect is a huge guessing game.
The strong safety spot has been highlighted in past Packer Mock Drafts. One of last years' Draft picks, Morgan Burnett, also faced injury last season, leaving his future uncertain.
It is by no means a necessity, but something Ted Thompson needs to think about.
It's hard to find a problem with the Packers selecting a wide receiver early in the Draft. Donald Driver resembles a beat up race horse, Greg Jennings isn't getting any younger, and with Jordy Nelson proving to be unreliable, someone is needed as a potential replacement.
Looking past Green Bay's more pressing needs, the fourth round is a prime time for the Packers to select a big name. My personal favorite is Ronald Johnson from USC, a guy who can also provide a threat in the kick return game.
Aside from Johnson, Terrance Toliver from LSU may also be available in later rounds, along with Vincent Brown from San Diego State.
Aaron Rodgers is capable of turning any receiver into an automatic star, especially on the deep pass.
If the Packers can gain a player who has reliable hands and a quick set of feet early, Green Bay's offense should be at it's best once again, especially with Jermichael Finley returning.
Lastly, let's not forget James Jones' future is hazy and questionable at best. If the Packers are smart, they will try and mold a new Draft pick off of Jones' talent, and target a guy who is athletic and able to jump for a ball.
The options aren't short. Nor is the talent. We'll leave it up to Ted Thompson.