This article covers the players selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2011 NFL draft. Rounds 1-5 are only covered in this article since the later rounds consist of players who aren't likely to be guaranteed a roster spot.
Additions: Derek Sherrod (first round, 32nd overall)
Expected Loss: Mark Tauscher
Two years ago, the offensive line was the biggest priority to replace tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher. Thompson has brought in Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod to bring stability at the tackle position for the next five years. Clifton is likely to start the 2011 season until his productivity falls off. It is unclear at the moment if Bulaga kicks into left guard, and Sherrod starts at right tackle. Sherrod will likely be the right tackle of the future while Bulaga will eventually replace Clifton. While Clifton is still producing at a high level, Tauscher's $4.1 million salary to much to sit on the sideline.
Additions: Alex Green (third round, 96th overall)
Expected Loss: Brandon Jackson
Even though it was a bit of a surprise of a selection in the third round, Alex Green will immediately see the field in 2011. Alex Green is built like Brandon Jackson, a strong, one-cut runner who can pass protect and can catch out of the backfield. Ryan Grant is still the main running back, but he was always pulled for Brandon Jackson on third down for pass protection. James Starks is still in the mix for playing time, but he needs to work on his strength and pass protection to challenge for playing time. Jackson is a free agent and is not likely to be re-signed with Green on the roster.
Additions: Randall Cobb (second round, 64th overall)
Expected Loss: James Jones
Randall Cobb adds a new dimension to the offense as a speedy weapon for Aaron Rodgers. With Greg Jennings as the deep threat and Jordy Nelson as the possession receiver, Cobb will be utilized how Percy Harvin spreads out the Minnesota Viking's offense. Cobb can also throw, run and field punts and kickoffs where head coach Mike McCarthy can creatively use him in new plays to create mismatches for opposing defenses.
James Jones, a free agent, is not likely to be back with the Pack. Donald Driver, at age 36, is still productive but is best utilized seeing limited snaps in order to keep him healthy for the entire season. Driver is due $5 million for 2011 but is likely to stay on the roster as the fourth-best wide receiver.
Additions: D.J. Williams (fifth round, 141st overall)
Expected Loss: Spencer Havner
With the addition of D.J. Williams, the Packers may have the best tight end group in the league. Williams is a bit short and not a great blocker but is an excellent pass catching weapon who isn't afraid to get hit. DJ plays bigger on the field than his measurables and is likely to battle Andrew Quarless for the second tight end position. Green Bay is likely to use more two tight end sets, instead of using five wide receivers in order to spread out the defense. Tom Crabtree may still make the roster due to his blocking ability, but Spencer Havner is the odd man out since he is more of a special teams player.
Additions: Davon House (fourth round, 131st overall)
Expected Loss: Brandon Underwood
Davon House is an underrated prospect due to the lack of competition in college but plays excellent in press coverage. House is athletic and has the ability to become a solid dime nickelback over Patrick Lee and Jarrett Bush. In a pass-heavy league, there is much more importance on having good nickel-and-dime corners. House may be able to pass Lee and Bush and push Brandon Underwood off the roster.
Additions: Randall Cobb
Cobb is not only an electric playmaker on offense but has the skills to be a great punt and kick returner at the NFL level. Cobb gives the Packers a weapon on special teams that should be able to give the offense better field position. Tramon Williams will likely be removed from special teams, which would keep Green Bay's shutdown corner out of risk for injury.
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