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Cornerback Is Packers\' #1 Off-Season Need

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Cornerback Is Packers\' #1 Off-Season Need

They need a guard. And a defensive end. Not to mention a tight end and a linebacker. But the Green Bay Packers need nothing more than a infusion on talent at the position of cornerback. Not safety, cornerback.

Take a look at this excellent research compiled by the guys over at Footballoutsiders. (For an explanation of their methods and mission, and how their numbers are much more useful than mostly meaningless conventional statistics, please read here.) They break down not just team defensive ranking as a whole, but also how each defense fared in 2007 against different offensive positions. (#1, #2 and 'Other' WRs, TE's RB's, ect.) As you all know, I'm by no means a stat geek, but I found the positional breakdown very telling. I've had more than a few small arguments with my co-host of Packer Translplants regarding the dismal play of our #3 CB over the course of the year. Corey seemed to echo McCarthy's argument that, when your #1 and #2 corners are as good as Harris and Woodson, of course the opposing team is going to go after the #3. And that might well explain SOME of the following but not all - Only one team in the entire NFL was worse against #3 and #4 wide recievers than the Green Bay Packers. (The Vikings were the worst). Now, as I said, some of that is due to the fact that the Packers #1 and #2 are so good. (Though thank goodness the chart only takes the regular season into account. Goodness knows how much Green Bay may have dropped against #1's if they had included Harris' playoff run-in with Plaxico Burress...) But a lot of it has to do with some pretty poor play from both Jarrett Bush (who I think is sub-standard at best) and Tramon Williams (who I think gives great effort but just doesn't have the tools necessary to be a good cover guy).

With both Harris and Woodson getting up in years, and nothing in reserve behind them, it would seem obvious that Thompson needs to be proactive both in the draft and in free agency to stockpile more talent in the defensive backfield. Perhaps Will Blackmon could provide some help, but until he proves he can stay healthy for more than the opening kickoff, the team simply can't count on any realistic contribution there.

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