Assuming we actually have a semi-normal offseason, the Packers are quite a fortunate team in that they have few key free agents, are in healthy shape cap-wise, and are going to get a ton of injured players back.Â However, thereâ€™s still work to do.Â Hereâ€™s my wish list broken down by activities.
Team Free Agents
There are people to sign, and we certainly cannot or will not sign all of them.Â Hereâ€™s my list of guys to sign, ordered by priority.Â Of course, we have no idea what the restricted free agency, franchise, transition tender situation will be.Â Theyâ€™ve already taken care of a few free agents (notably Tramon Williams, AJ Hawk, Desmond Bishop).Â Hereâ€™s thoughts on the remaining.
– Cullen Jenkins (DE) â€“ Dominant end, wonâ€™t get Peppers money, essential for our line.
Would be great to have back.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Darryn Colledge (OG) â€“ Heâ€™s been a shaky player in the past, but we donâ€™t have an immediate replacement.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Jason Spitz (OL) â€“ Versatile player, always looks like a starter in camp but in the end is a solid backup for a reasonable price.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Mason Crosby (K) â€“ Iâ€™ve been very critical of his accuracy, and his kickoffs seemed to suffer last year on top of it.Â Iâ€™d rather have someone new, but donâ€™t want to cut him without a legit plan.
As long as they donâ€™t want starter moneyâ€¦
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Atari Bigby (S) â€“ Canâ€™t stay on the field, but can make plays when he does.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Allen Babre (OL) â€“ Iâ€™d like to see him be a full-time backup at guard, heâ€™s a pretty big & nasty guy and has potential to be the left side version of Sitton.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â John Kuhn (FB) â€“ Proven he can do a lot.Â He has no future as a tailback, too many short yardage runs where he just ran into the back of people.Â But a solid guy to have in the backfield.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Charlie Peprah (S) â€“ Our safeties have proven they can and will get hurt, need depth.
Only if we donâ€™t have any other plan
-Â Â Â Â Â Â James Jones (WR) â€“ Too many drops of sure touchdowns, too many games where he canâ€™t get open (against nickel backs or safeties no less).Â Jennings, Driver, Nelson are the top 3 wideouts and we need to find some fresh blood to take over for Jones.
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Korey Hall (FB) â€“ three fullbacks?Â Good on special teamsâ€¦
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Brandon Jackson (RB) â€“ Was hopefully going to be the year where he just got it, put on extra weight, etc.Â I like him in pass protection, but not much else.
The Packers consistently take 9-10 players in every draft and we can only assume theyâ€™ll do something similar this year.Â I really donâ€™t want to get into predicting which players theyâ€™ll take, as theyâ€™ll end up taking the best available.Â However, hereâ€™s my list of priorities for positions.
- Offensive Tackle â€“ Weâ€™ve got someone who is currently acceptable on the right side and might project to move left.Â We need another one.
- Defensive Line â€“ End or tackle, we just need depth.
- Outside Linebacker â€“ The carousel due to injury showed us that we donâ€™t have anyone on the roster worth putting opposite Clay Matthews.
- Corner Back â€“ Probably a distant 4th given the potential of Shields.Â If you can find a guy that projects to be a nickel back in 2-3 years, thatâ€™d be great.
- Middle Linebacker â€“ Iâ€™m debating moving this higher.Â Seems Barnett is a starters as of today, but heâ€™s missed 19 games in 3 years and heâ€™s going to get $6m if he plays this year.
- Wide Receiver â€“ I donâ€™t know that Jones will be back and Driver had a big production drop off last year.Â We donâ€™t really have a prototypical slot receiver on the roster.
- Running back â€“ Grant should be back and starting, Starks shows promise, but assuming Jackson is gone we donâ€™t have a 3rd down back.Â Thatâ€™s not something you usually find in the draft, but it is a definite need.