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An Early Look at the Packers Biggest Needs for the 2018 Season

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An Early Look at the Packers Biggest Needs for the 2018 Season

The injury to Aaron Rodgers was a huge blow to the Packers organization, but it also provided a unique opportunity. It gave Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson the chance to once and for all put to bed the notion that they are only “highly successful” because of Aaron Rodgers.

They failed.

Without Rodgers, the Packers were shut-out twice at Lambeau Field and got beat handily by the Lions and Saints. Their three wins came against teams (Bears, Bucs and Browns) with a combined record of 9-36, and they very nearly lost all three games. Yes, the team suffered through many injuries, but that is even more of an indictment on the fact that Ted Thompson did not sign or trade for a single veteran player during the season.

It’s easy to write an entire article about what went wrong with the Packers in 2017, but I would rather look ahead. The truth is that despite Aaron Rodgers returning, things look rather bleak for the 2018 season. If you took an in-depth look at the Packers roster you would probably come to the conclusion that there are only a handful of positions where the team does not have a clear need; whether it’s talent or depth. With that in mind, here’s a look at the Packers biggest needs for the 2018 season:

1.   Accountability and Change

The Packers biggest need for 2018 is not at any single position, but rather the glaring deficiencies in the team’s philosophy. An argument can be made that no NFL team holds its players, coaches, and front office personnel less accountable than the Packers.

There are seven coordinators in the league (offensive and defensive) who have held the same job since 2011. Of those seven coordinators, six have coached their units to at least three top-10 seasons* over the last seven years. The seventh is Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, under whose watch the defense has posted zero top-10 seasons since 2011. The reason why coordinators generally don't hold the same job for a long time is simple – those who excel at their job either keep it or get a better position, while those who do not produce results get fired…unless you happen to be coaching for the Green Bay Packers.

Think of a coordinator as a conductor of an orchestra. Some instruments can be euphonious on their own, while others can be bland. A conductor’s job is to unify the orchestra, so that the final product is beautiful music. Dom Capers’ defense is akin to an orchestra of eleven musicians playing eleven different songs all on the wrong note and beat. At this point, change is the only thing that can bring about harmony on the defensive side of the ball.

Another area on the team that requires accountability and change is the team’s player acquisition philosophy. Ted Thompson is without a doubt one of the league’s best talent evaluators and salary cap managers. That being said, he does have some rather obvious shortcomings. Thompson’s refusal to utilize free agency to the fullest extent and unwillingness to make in-season acquisitions has left the Packers with too many holes to overcome year in and year out.

2017 was Thompson’s most active year in free agency, and it was not a raving success. Most of the players he signed were not highly sought after (for a reason) and on the wrong side of their prime. In order to build a more complete team, the Packers will have to pursue some of the league's more premier free agents, and if Thompson is unwilling to do that, they need to find someone who is.

2.   Outside Linebacker

Improving the pass rush should have been one of the Packers chief goals in the 2017 off-season - if not the top prioirty. One could argue that cornerback was a more dire need, but a good pass rush improves any secondary. Thompson attempted to address this need by drafting Vince Biegel in the fourth round, and signing a recently-released 33-year old Ahmad Brooks – who in his prime was an average pass rusher. Green Bay’s pass rush suffered because of it.

Clay Matthews will be 32 at the start of the 2018 season and is probably best suited for a situational pass-rushing role. Nick Perry is more of an edge-setter than pass rusher and continues to frequently disappear on passing downs. The depth at outside linebacker beyond those two is severely lacking. Kyler Fackrell appears to be a better fit for the Arena League and Vince Biegel is as raw as it gets. They need to address the position early and often in the 2018 off-season.

3.   Tight End

One of the prevalent takeaways from the 2016 season was how dynamic the offense was with Jared Cook on the field. It was reminiscent of the days when they were unstoppable offensively with Jermichael Finley. Thompson decided to play hardball with Cook, and eventually moved on to sign Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks in free agency. I was excited by this development at the time, and boy was I wrong (as was Ted Thompson). Bennett was released a few months later after quitting on the team and blaming Dr. Pat McKenzie for everything, Kendricks has contributed next to nothing, and Cook looks great in a Raiders uniform.

Richard Rodgers and Kendricks are decent enough second and third-stringers, but the team needs a better primary option at the position. Thompson has to find a way to acquire a tight end in the mold of Jermichael Finley and Jared Cook, who were able to stretch the field and take some pressure off the receivers.

4.   Wide Receiver

First-and-foremost, re-signing Davante Adams is a must. He is by far the Packers most dynamic receiver, and they can’t afford to play games with him. I’m not convinced that Jordy Nelson is completely over the hill, though he will be 33 when the season starts. Randall Cobb is more valuable than the stat sheet suggests, but he’s not going to force defenses to game plan around him. This offense desperately needs a receiver that can make plays downfield. Luckily for them, the 2018 free agent class will have no shortage on speedy receivers.

Honorable mentions: Guard, (right) tackle, cornerback, quarterback, inside linebacker, safety.

*In terms of points per game

 

Let me know in the comments what you think the Packers biggest needs are heading into 2018.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (91) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

GBPDAN1's picture

A strong pass rush is number one, in my opinion (besides getting rid of TT and DC). This will help King and Randell. We should add another quality CB. If they keep House, keep him as a number 4 or 5 CB.

A stud TE would be extremely beneficial. I agree with your list. We should add a RT if Bulaga is done? I also believe a better back-up QB should be obtained.

The TKstinator's picture

You had me at “euphonious”.

fthisJack's picture

we need an EXPERIENCED back up QB not a guy they drafted and would like to develop. we need someone that can come in and WIN games if Rodgers is hurt. except for Flynn, all the backup QB's in the Rodgers era have failed.

Elisha Twerski's picture

Agreed on the CB. I don't think Bulaga is done just yet, and they do have Kyle Murphy, Justin McCray and Spriggs. Those guys aren't studs but they're decent enough backups.

badaxed's picture

"Ted Thompson is without a doubt one of the league’s best talent evaluators"
I beg to differ. if this was the case we would not be in the situation we currently are in.
As far as accountability goes I agree. There is "NO" accountability in green bay. Just what does the executive committee need to light a fire under them 0-16 like the browns. if we continue the same course we may get there.

Elisha Twerski's picture

He is one of the better talent evaluators. They're in the situation they're currently in because he only uses one avenue of player acquisitions and the coaches aren't getting the most out of their players (which he needs to be held accountable for as well).

tealman0's picture

Great article Elisha. You hit the nail on the head when you listed Accountability and Change as number one. We have Alfred E. Neuman as president of the Packers who seems more interested in building tubing hills than fielding a competitive Super Bowl football team. He is purely a figurehead and is just along for the ride. Murphy must wake up giggling each morning and have to pinch himself to make himself believe he is president of an NFL football team.

Ted Thompson is held up as this great talent evaluator yet this team is full of holes because he has missed way too often on his draft picks. While the NFL draft is more art than science, too many picks have turned out to be busts or JAGs, leaving the roster without competent backups. He refuses to use free agency to fill these holes with quality players and it shows when injuries occur. At this point he enters the witness protection program refusing to give interviews or be held accountable for the team he has assembled. As the NFL's only publicly held franchise, how can this lack of transparency be possible? Only with the Packers.

Mike McCarthy is our "highly successful NFL coach" who lives and dies with Aaron Rodgers. We all know this and have for a long time. Put Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers on any other football team and that coach will instantly become a "quarterback guru." He will be here as long as Rodgers is here. Without number 12, the Packers are a 5 - 6 win football team. You could go blind looking at the pro bowl roster for any Packer players.

There needs to be an impetus to effect any change but I don't see that happening. Maybe Dom Capers will be let go but that will be about it. Besides, where will be change come from? Everyone in the administration and coaching ranks are too comfortable in their jobs.

Turophile's picture

Accountability means Capers is gone. If the new incoming DC brings at least one position coach with him, that is another change to be made.

Add an outside CB to the three positions you indicated, and there could be your four picks in the first three rounds (OLB, WR, CB, TE in that order).
Something like:
Edge Landry
WR Cain or Ateman
CB Averett or C.Davis
TE Fumagalli or Gesicki (whichever is available)

A balanced draft (off and def) addressing major needs. Maybe an O lineman after that and at least one QB late. Packers will again need to get a couple of decent FAs, to help fill out the roster.

fthisJack's picture

lots of holes to fill but lots of draft picks this year and the ability to trade the comp picks. he has lots of options. TT needs to NAIL this draft....period. drafting 15 or less there will be no excuses on a first, second and third round misses. he also needs to add a couple QUALITY FA...maybe a backup QB, TE, CB. he also needs to cut the fat on this existing roster. Mathews shouldn't be paid.....what? 18 million? Cobb shouldn't be paid...what? 11 million? Bulaga is always hurt.....good bye. need to resign Burnett and Adams or thats 2 more holes.
i hope TT allows whoever they may have in mind to take over as GM a lot of input in this draft. he needs to use every tool....draft, FA, trade to get this roster built for Rodgers last years.

sonomaca's picture

Let’s say Baker Mayfield is there when the Packers pick. That would be tempting.

Flow49's picture

Baker Mayfield’s ceiling is Jeff George

sonomaca's picture

No, Rosen is Jeff George. He’s the world’s biggest male anatomical part. Mayfield is a scrapper.

stockholder's picture

Sure would! A-rod is 33. Brett Favre retired at 41. People should not be blind to A-Rods age. Ever article I've seen on players over 32 question how much they have left.

Bearmeat's picture

No way, and this is no slight on Mayfield. He might be great. But we need to load up at as many positions as possible to help ARod win one more. If ARod goes down again, we are screwed either way. Peyton played well until 39 and he had how many neck surgeries? Brady is still going at 41. Favre had his best season at 40.

ARod has 6 years left minimum. That's plenty of time to find another QB in 3-4 years.

stockholder's picture

It's not about loading up. It's about a back -up. You saw what happened after Favre was traded. It took A-Rod still a year. A-Rod got the learning curve. They didn't care about the windows of other players. TT only wanted to get rid of Favre and save money. (Yes A-Rod was ready too.) Now A-Rod is Favre. But you know what. Their going to PAY A-ROD! !!! There is NO WAY ANY GM WANTS THE MEDIA CIRCUS OF FAVRE! Not this TIME.!!! Sorry but the mistake made in the 60s was; No one could replace STAR! And History shows us it's bad to ignore it. Especially if these guys are that pig headed about Capers and the 3-4-4. They invested years not hours. TT will take offense this draft. Any new GM is taking Pass rushers.

dobber's picture

They're going to extend ARod, there's no way they don't. Which means his remaining 2 years likely become 4-5 years. That's the extent of a drafted QBs rookie deal. When do you get to evaluate a drafted QB except in practice (and we've seen how that's fared for Hundley)? Maybe there's an ARod injury that lets him play significant time in relief. You're potentially forced to either give a backup who has never played much for you a starter's deal or just let him walk...or maybe deal him (in which case you likely don't get value in return), but then you need to find and groom a new QB.

When Favre "retired" he opened the door to the Packers letting #12 play on the last year of his rookie deal (remember that Favre was a couple years older than ARod is right now when they drafted #12). That was ARod's opportunity...otherwise, they would've been in the same spot they will be if they draft a QB now. I just don't think drafting a QB this year with that #1 pick does enough to move this team forward, either now or in the next 3-5 years.

stockholder's picture

Extension - Yea more than likely. Evaluation - Yea more than likely. Starters deal - Yea more than likely. Deal him - Not so likely. A-Rod will open the door like Favre. Through injury, mistakes and less A-Rod like. I believe if you have a team like the undefeated Miami Dolphins,(even SF) An Earl Morral is needed. You got to pay a vet. Or stay with Hundley? I can't believe the packers stay with Hundley after this season. Pay a vet? Not happening. And you know how bad some looked before Hundley. Could we have made the playoffs like the Dolphins? YES!! Do you want to win? (Draft a better back -up QB. ) You can't worry about the money. The QB is the most important position on the field. The LEADER! This team lost vision when A-Rod went down. They played poorly. I say they gave up. They won't give up with a better back - up. And thats how this team will move forward.

mrtundra's picture

We need to find ARod-s replacement, but not right now. What we do need, right now, is to find Hundley's replacement. I don't want a replacement via the draft. I'd like to find someone in FA who is willing to play back up QB.

Elisha Twerski's picture

Not at all in my opinion.

sonomaca's picture

The Pack may not draft this high again for years. Must look QB if there’s a good one available. They should pull out all the stops to lose at Detroit.

fthisJack's picture

why draft a QB now when Rodgers may have 5 or 6 more years? then you end up losing him anyway. good QB's are not going to sit around forever waiting their turn.

dobber's picture

I agree...I posted above before I got to your post. <<tips hat>>

sonomaca's picture

You have 5 years with a 1st rounder. If Rodgers is Rodgers, Pack won’t see a pick lower than 25 until well into Trump’s second term

dobber's picture

True, assuming the CBA doesn't change between now and then (and it definitely will, but maybe not with regard to rookie deals). I wonder what the 5th year exemption would look like for a QB at that point...

flackcatcher's picture

I disagree completely. The Packers success flies in the face of your article. While there are those who want change for changes sake,(just look at this comment thread) I would urge caution. It only takes a misstep or two, and your football team turns into the next Cleveland Brows, or worse the Green Bay Packers of the 1970's and 1980's. There will be change, time waits for no one. Let it be smart, building upon the past success this franchise has had in the past 20+ years. It is very easy to tear down, much, much harder to rebuild what you had in the first place.

ShanghaiKid's picture

A voice of reason amongst the chaos.

pacman's picture

The reasons to get rid of TT and DC are as clear as day. If you want to find an excuse to keep them, you can. MM might have been a toss-up until he basically staked his reputation on Hundley who has impressed absolutely nobody. And Murphy plays with his playground while all this is going on.

So you could continue with some of these guys because you are afraid to rock the boat too much. But being afraid is not leadership. Holding people accountable is.

Denver's picture

I agree, except for Capers. He needs to go buh-bye.

Oriole 79's picture

Flackcatcher- you are exactly right. I vividly remember the GB teams of the 70's and 80's. Yikes!! Check out the Bears rebuild. They went from 10-6 in Lovie Smith's last year to ....what? It is not as easy as it seems to be in the playoffs consistently. How about the Saints? Falcons, Panthers? Giants, Redskins? Rams? and a whole host of other teams. Other than New England, NFL teams envy the Packers, their organization and success. You need to talk to fans of other teams. Flackcather is right, change will come, but it has to be smart and not change just for change sake. Rebuilds sound great, and getting new GM and HC always seem like the exciting thing to do - but so does another shot of Jack at the end of a long night of drinking. Then you have to wake up.

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

Another shot of Jack = staying with TT, MPM, & DD.

fthisJack's picture

who said anything about change for change sake? have you watched Capers defenses the last 7 years. its not pretty and changing DC's would not be a change for change sake...its a change that's long overdue to make the Packers a better football team.

Elisha Twerski's picture

The Packers success? They have the best quarterback on the planet. When Rodgers is gone, let's look back and see if this is still considered a success. No one is asking for a rebuild, on the contrary, people are asking for the team to do more to win now. There aren't enough missteps in the world that can take an Aaron Rodgers-led team and make them look like the Browns or 70's Packers.

I think a day will come not too long from now where we'll look back at the time we had one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever step on a football field and only went to one Super Bowl. There's still time for that to change, but there's no time to become complacent.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

THIS^^^

Nice try, but most here are satisfied with "success" which translates to appearing in the playoffs.

Nick Perry's picture

^^^^^THIS^^^^^^

It's amazing how many people on this site are satisfied "Making the Playoffs" or "Winning the NFC North".

At the end of the day who cares, people remember who won SB's. If Rodgers ends up winning just one SB it will be considered a HUGE failure. He's generational talent, one of those QB who MIGHT come around every 50 to 75 years when you package it altogether and the GM of the GB Packers surrounds him with anywhere from a 2-14 team to maybe 8-8. HE'S the one who pushes em to 10-6 or better every season.

Rodgers was 27 when he won a SB, he's now 34. How many more seasons until he starts to decline. How many more seasons can he play behind Teds cheapness before he's injured and the skills aren't the same.

TICK, TICK, TICK, GONE, with just 1 SB... That's Rodgers career the last few seasons and the future if things don't change and change NOW!!!

lou's picture

Looking at what needs to be done on a macro level it is 2 things, 1 is to provide a pass rush, and 2 is to take the top off of the defense on the offensive side of the ball, I don't think anyone can make the case that these are not the teams basic problems. How Thompson does this in terms of acquiring talent (defensive and offensive positions to accomplish that) is the detail analysis he and the coaching staff comes up with. If during that process he identifies coaching changes as well so be it. We can project adding DB's, OLB's, WR's, or TE's to meet the basic objectives which is fun and see how they match what Thompson eventually does.

fthisJack's picture

3. have a quality backup QB so that if Rodgers gets hurt we can score more than 0 points.

dobber's picture

I would be happy if the coaching staff could figure out how to play to the strengths of its crappy backup QB. Until it can do that, how do we figure that just about any other backup QB isn't going to end up looking equally poop-emoji?

ShanghaiKid's picture

Minus Rodgers, this team needed OT to beat a winless Browns team. If that’s not an indictment of lack of talent I don’t know what is, because the Browns are a dumpster fire. Having said that, they are truly in a lose/lose. They’re not good enough to win the SB, but not quite bad enough to completely tear down and rebuild from scratch.

I do think some kind of change is needed. You can’t squander talent like Rodgers while he’s here. The defense has been a failed project since 2010, and TT has missed on too many picks.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We need too many players...were done... they probably get rid of capers but 6 years too late which has DESTROYED us!!!

How are we going to get all players we need?
Face it guys, our right tacke situation is a shambles and jahri evans is 35..bye bye and buluga bye bye unless HUGE pay cut he is making 7 million per year, aaron Jones already had 2 injuries to both knees.this year...i like him though..and.i really love the toughness of jamaal williams..now do we put TY as 3rd RB or back in WR Corps? I dont think Jordy is over the hill but usually at 35 is when WR stats drop in half..the Packers could go after Donte Moncrief to add to our corps. Davante had 3 concussions ouch but has to be top priority signing . Davante Adams is making 1.2 million and randall cobb like 12 million randall is not worth 12 million and maybe not as elusive. Face it we have no back up QB..Hundley is NOT the answer. Our defense needs to go back to a 4-3 defense. Clay Matthews is now no more than a 3rd down situational pass rusher. And he us making 10_15 million per year. Sorry, but unless he takes a huge pay cut. Morgan Burnett will be gone . He is 29. The problem here is age. The problem here is the packers will probably offer him a 3 year deal but some other team will offer a 5 year deal. So, who is going to take Morgan Burnetts place and Clay Matthews place. TE is so crucial especially on 3rd down. Wow ! Ted Thompson really BLEW it on this one, however Jared Cook should have been a lot kinder to the packers. He was nothing without a good QB. Rogers gave him that opportunity and Cook did great, however he missed like what 6 games. Without the packers Jared Cook could have landed on the

None of our draft picks made any type of huge impact this year...however none if them looked bad except for maybe our 6th and 7th round picks..

Bearmeat's picture

No. As mediocre as it is, we have the personnel for a 34 D. Our 43 personnel would be AWFUL.

We'd be fine at DL, but we have a TRUE NT in Kenny Clark who is a budding superstar. Those guys are REALLY hard to find - why make him a 43 under DT?? That's a much easier to find body type, and the resources we've already put into finding Clark would be wasted. Plus, Perry sets a mean edge. For a 34 OLB. How good would his edge be as a 43 DE? Yeah, he's not a great pass rusher, so why take away his best attribute?

Further, who do we have to play SOLB and WOLB in a 43? J Jones is the only possible fit at WOLB, and he's pretty light in the pants for that. CM3 in coverage that often is laughable. Further yet, who do you get to play MLB? We simply do not have that guy on our roster that can take TEs up the seam and thump the run. That's one of the hardest positions to find in a 43.

No no no. 34 Defense is what we have. That's what we need to stick with.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Who do have right now in your 3_4 to cover a TE no one. The Packers are NOT athletic enough to play 3-4. Dom Capers is supposed to be the master of the 3-4 defense it has got us nowhere in the past 7 years going on at 8 we can't do it anymore we've given it more than enough opportunity!!! I'm done with the 3-4 defense

dobber's picture

"Who do have right now in your 3_4 to cover a TE no one."

Until Carolina exploited went wild with Greg Olsen, this defense was actually one of the best in the league in covering TEs this season. There aren't that many Greg Olsens in the league, and he's going to do that--and has done that--to a lot of teams.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

And all our secondary is going down with all type of shoulder injuries Etc because I have to do more tackling with his Nitro defense we have to get back to the regular 4-3 defense are cornerbacks are having to make way too many tackles and it's killing us and Kevin King already has a bad shoulder how many tackles can he make during the year before we lose him you got to go back to a 4-3 defense

sonomaca's picture

Good point. Ended Shield’s career.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Our personnel is a joke our players can't play this 3-4 defense we on the bottom always 25th to 32nd ranked defense!! They either don't have the skills or they're stupid or something so it is time to give it up 8 years is long enough since winning the Super Bowl in 2010.

stockholder's picture

I still would rather switch. (9 front. ) But I don't see any switch until Capers goes. I believe Perry can play DE. I also say Mathews should play behind Perry. This defense will not make it to the super-bowl. Wasting A-Rods remaining years. If I had to choose; I would take the DE's in this draft. But that won't happen if TT is GM. What will happen is this. A Qb will be taken early. (Mayfield) Or a DT for the 3-4-4 again. 2. TT will draft a WR 2nd. Because he won't sign Adams if he asks more than 10 mil. MY CHOICE IS TO GO AFTER 2 WRS IN FREE-AGENCY. Because I like Moncrief, Latimer, and even Brown for the price. Also Nelson wants to come back and Cobb has a year left. Don't expect them to be cut! Your TEs will be grouped late. much like the RBs. I'll name them later.

sonomaca's picture

TT has drafted mostly defensive players in round 1. The only offensive players Ted has drafted in first were Rodgers and Sherrod. So, I’d expect edge rusher, corner, offensive tackle, or QB.

stockholder's picture

Add Bryan Bulaga. Expect a new DC then. But just incase a QB is not there they like. I wrote the Alternate would be DT. Why ? Because TT is not going to back off the 3-4-4. And they let go Jean francious DT. Who's playing for the patriots I think. (Raji played DE. Their 290 lbs. and to slow. ) But as much as they need an edge rusher. Forget OLB because he'll give Biegel his shot first. It would have to be a DE. And the fast DE Rushers are no fit in the 3-4-4. Now if you Fire Capers and switch to the 4-3-4 or 9 front. You get a DE. Hope this helped.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We have to get a pass rusher. Also once again the Packers offnsive line was injury plagued. Worst again in the NFL. I think they had to rotate 12 times this year. I dont know what to say about Jason spriggs he just does not cut it. I dunno. Getting back to LB. People did you know Kyle Fackerall is 26 years old and will be 27 next Nov!!
I thought he was like 24. He is already 2 years oadt his prime and he has showed us very little. STUPID draft pick. Where are we going to get a WR and TE and RT and LB and additional RB ..maybe jerrod mckinnon ? We also need Safety and better QB backup and maybe another CB?

I still like Geronimo Allison a a lot and was impressed with the play of Michael Clark. Im hoping he has a great showing in Detroit. Over the years i have been just sickened by our trainers and as we all know the keeping of dom capers. Guys we have just names on our team but our guys that are so much houseshold names are 8 years older they are OUT of their prime. I hate it too. We gave not drafted better than any other teams in fact the Vikings gave done a much better job in our own division. I mean the packers arent awful but Aaron has covered up too much if the packers vulnerabilities and has saved capers and mcarthys job too too many times. TT has not done a very good job in free agency and or the draft and the evaluation of the players by the coaches has been exaggerated by them. The Packers are at the borderline of a rebuilding stage. Maybe we need to pursue Jon Gruden or john harbough as new head coach and if course TT had to go and once a new coach is in place Dom Capers will surely be gone. Back to our team why is Jeff Janis on our team? And why did mcarthy let or make trevor davis make all those fair catches against Minnesota, anyways trevor is a solid special teams guy but just not a go to WR. I would like to say that the field crew dud not do a very good jib on the field conditions. Very sloppy. The middle of the field lookef like crap!!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

My spelling is as sloppy as the green bay field crew!

stockholder's picture

Do You have that little green man in your Head. Wow 4 posts. This OL went through so much this year. I think they have a better grasp of things. No to use a high pick on T this year. ( Rt is an easy position to draft. 3rd or lower.) Murphy is coming back also. Allison is to slow. And Fumbles weigh heavy on whether a player stays or not. Same with Clark. To slow. You have a 12 million All Pro QB. It's on Him to make this offense move. Defense. Frackwell oh well. I'd throw money at a FA DE if we switch.

Bearmeat's picture

I want Capers gone for sure. Ted needs to be removed from his current position and put into a director of college scouting. If he won't do that, then he needs to go. Mike needs to be put on notice that this team needs to be consistent throughout the year or he's gone too. I personally would not mind to see them all gone, but that has a 0% chance of happening.

As for the positions of need. IMHO in order:

1. LOLB. CM3 takes a pay cut (or is cut) and moves to roving WILB (chase). This OLB is not on our roster.

2. CB2 AND 4. Randall is a slot CB. We need another boundary CB and another backup. Perhaps CB4 is still on the team and House could sign another 1 year to be CB2. But we need to hedge our bets regardless.

3. X WR who has the speed to take the top off the defense. Jordy needs to either take a pay cut or be cut. Randall, I fear, is cut. Perhaps this guy is Clark, but we need to hedge our bets.

4. RT and RG. Perhaps Murphy can play RT next year. Or maybe even McCray, but I prefer him at RG. Spriggs will be gone for awhile in the 2018 season and Bulaga is clearly on his last knee. I think this is a position

5. TE - We need a field stretching TE. This guy is NOT on the roster.

Adams and Linsley must be resigned.

4zone's picture

Bearmeat, what do you think of Pipkins? He looked like he could be at least our #4 CB. We still need another outside CV though to go with King.

Bearmeat's picture

He shows promise, but that's all it is at this point. But that's no different than Clark. Bottom line, the 30-40th players on a super bowl squad step up. Those that don't make the playoffs don't.

We're not going to be able to fill 2 CBs, 2 OLBs, RG, RT, WR2, TE in 1 draft and free agency cycle - even if Ted participates in free agency (which I doubt). We have to have some people in house step up too.

Which is why I think House could be a CB2. He was hurt all year. He could be had cheaply.

Same for Evans. He was solid most of the year and would also be cheap.

Same for McCray et al on the right side of the line. We need one of them to step up. If we have to draft a RT highly, it's going to put other, more pressing, needs on the back burner. And we can't afford that.

There is NO ONE on the roster who can be a lead dog pass rusher. That is the one, immutable, need from outside the team.

And unfortunately, last year was the year to grab a pass rusher. This year's crop of OLBs is below average.

4zone's picture

We are going to lose Cobb and Jordy by the end of next year. It took Adams 3 years to develop. We need another to WR this draft. We also need a TE who can stretch the field and run block. And we need CM3s replacement this year too.

A word of caution, Adams is no guarantee making it back from his last concussion, or being resigned by GB. We may be Swiss cheese at WR come draft time.

Bearmeat's picture

That's very true.

fthisJack's picture

have 2 sign Adams and Burnett. there are plenty of other holes to fill. need an experienced backup QB in FA or trade.

4zone's picture

We have two of three CBs in Randall and King. We have one solid ILB in Martinez and two decent backups. We have two good DL in Clark and Daniels with no data on Adams yet, Lowry is solid but not spectacular. Safety is decent but not overwhelming and Brice and Jones are decent depth if Jones can improve this off season.

OLBs are average across the board. Fackrell has shown improvement this year and Beagle needs a healthy off season to show what he brings next year.

I think a guy like Kevin Green has the attitude that could be infectious for this defense and could get more out of what we have already on the shelf. He may not be the exact guy, but represents what this defense really needs, a new, aggressive attitude.

On offense, we have zero backup QBs so we will have to waste another draft pick on one or trade a pick to NO to get Hill back. We are fine at RB and should make Lindsey one of our top priorities in FA. Pay the guy Ted and lock that position up for 4 more years.

LT and LG are more than solid and I think McCray and Murphy will both be solid on the right side. R Rogers is OK at TE but we need to draft or sign a prime time talent there.

WR is a coin spinning in the air and nobody knows what side it will land on. Jordy may decide to retire in the off season. He thought hard about it after last season. And Adams is sill in concussion protocol nearly two weeks after his last cheap shot. The longer that lasts, the more I feel he should consider early retirement. If he comes out soon, then Green Bay may want to throw him a very large one year deal, maybe franchise him, to see if he can get through next year without another concussion. But Ted, Pay The Kid serious money so if one year is all he has left, he can retire being well compensated for at least one year.

If Jordy stays, he becomes mostly a slot receiver along with Cobb and WR becomes our number 1 draft or free agent need. Ted's pretty good at picking talent there so I'm not too worried about that.

With Bulaga, Springs and Evans all questionable for next year, OL is also a draft or FA need.

In the end, our needs, in order are WR, TE, OLB, CB, OT, QB. We can get four of those in the first three rounds or FA. You pick it Ted, or whoever is running the show after the season ends.

fthisJack's picture

we don't need a rookie backing up Rodgers. we need an experienced guy that has played and can win some games if Rodgers is out.

dobber's picture

I believe they'll hang on to Hundley for his last year on his rookie deal and draft a QB project late. What I think they NEED is a backup with some experience on a 1 or 2-year deal, and they need to draft the guy who has a reasonable chance to be the backup's replacement. I don't think that will happen.

4zone's picture

By the way, good article Elisha.

Elisha Twerski's picture

Thanks!

packergal's picture

I found an interesting article that Bellichek reportedly did sign or plans to sign Harrison soon. Compare that to the timing and quality of our free agent signings-- limited or mediocre at best. NE wants to win at any cost and whether you like them or not, you have to respect their roster actions and continued dedication to win!

Bearmeat's picture

Yeah, their pass rush sucks balls. BB does whatever he thinks will win. If Harrison is done, he gets cut. NBD for the Pats. This is the kind of thing Ted refuses to do. The last one I can remember was Howard Green in 2010!

Since &#039;61's picture

After Aaron Rodgers TT has built a team of roles players and second stringers. That is what we watched after Aaron Rodgers went down.
Backup QBs - Hundley and Callahan they can't complete a pass if threw the ball to each other.
TEs - Kendricks and Rodgers both backups
WRs - Adams one of our few NFL starters. Jordy better days behind him. Cobb a role player. Monty could be a starter if he can remain healthy. Janis, Davis, Allison lucky to make the team.
RBs - Williams and Jones have the chance to become legit RBs if they last.
OL - Linsley is serviceable at Center, Taylor OK at Guard, Bakh is a good NFL LT. Bulaga might be done, and Evans would be solid in a backup role. Mcray another solid backup. Spriggs and Murphy 3rd stringers.
DL - Daniels an NFL pro. Clark and Lowry coming on strong. M. Adams, who? Not much behind them.
LBs - Martinez good role player. Ryan 2nd string. CM3 can still be a solid role player. Brooks done. Perry could be an OK role player or second stringer. Beigel who?
Fackrell, why? Perry Gilbert, maybe?
CBs - King maybe will evolve into an NFL CB. The rest are second stringers and JAGs.
Safety - Burnett solid role player or backup. Dix was on his way to NFL stardom but now he plays like he has CTE. The backups are a collection of second stringers, role players and usually out of position to make a play.

So after 12 seasons of TT we have 5 maybe 6 legit NFL starting players, 4 or 5 role players and the rest are either reaching the end of their careers (Jordy and CM3) or we can go 5-11 or 6-10 with or without any of them.

This is why the team can't compete without Aaron Rodgers and why we can't get through the playoffs to the SB against teams with better players throughout their rosters.

Rodgers will probably continue to get us to the playoffs when he completes a full 16 game schedule. But unless we get better players especially on the defense we'll continue to face post-season disappointment. We already know what will happen if Rodgers is injured again.

To make the turnaround in 2018 we're going to need a new DC, a pass rush, another CB, a TE, and a game break WR. Beyond all that we will still need everything to go right and at least a little luck. Thanks, Since '61

haevs's picture

Totally agree... how many difference makers do we truly have??

Jamie Freier's picture

Exactly one consistent difference maker, on IR, that’s it.

GBPackerBacker12's picture

1. Round 1: Draft the Best Pass Rusher Available
2. Round 2: Speed WR (Jordy will take cut and stay and then retire after next season. He can still be very effective for a year IMO, especially playing some slot. I have no idea what Cobb's fate will be, but I imagine Rodgers' input will be huge. Pay Tae)
3. Round 3: Offensive Line

We'll see what happens with the rest of the picks, but I think that's what our top 3 picks should be, and to me your top 3 picks should all be picked to start

I didn't list it on here for a draft need, but I think TE is going to be a crucial position to fill. We need a big,, physical guy who could really open up this offense like Finley and Cook did. Eifert would be great but not worth the money since he's hurt half the year. I really would like to see us make a run at Jimmy Graham

Picture our offense with Rodgers throwing to Adams, a Speed #2 draft pick, Jordy from the slot, Graham, and handing it off to Jones and Williams.

As for the defense, please just get a pass rush, and anther decent starting corner. Multiple pass rushers would benefit the entire defense.

Oh, and fire Capers, demote Thompson, let McCarthy know its now or never

Houndog's picture

"Oh, and fire Capers, demote Thompson, let McCarthy know its now or never"
GBPackerBacker12 , I think this need to be the starting point, without this we can almost guess what the next 12 months will be like.

dfarmer's picture

Why does no one talk about TT's biggest failure?? Keeping or replacing talent in the scouting dept...
Look at the talent that has gone on to be GM's for other teams. Ted has not replaced these guys and our drafting has suffered...

dobber's picture

...and, yet, these are the people we're dying to replace TT with...

haevs's picture

TT as a great talent evaluator?? are you kidding??
let's review a few....Casey Haywood, All - Pro CB he left go? How have our CB's looked since then? M Hyde, All-Pro Safety? Drafted J Harrell, #1, #1 D Jones, , J Worthy #2, B Brohm #2, p Lee #2, K Thorton #3....do I need more?? How about TE M Bennentt instead of paying J Cook?? How the number of difference makers we have besides Rogers... I would agree Bahkatari iwas a great pickand could be added here.......But this is what we have after 12 drafts??? Look at who Minn drafted and we could have had instead...Great talent evaluator?? I think not....He got lucky with Rogers which has covered up his many misque's....all you have to lkook at is 2017 season

Nick Perry's picture

Finally, an article with a DEAD ON assessment of the Packers in 2017 and BEYOND. I've said for years the Packers are a 2-14 team without Aaron Rodgers and nobody wanted to hear it. This was the first year people actually started to believe it, but that was normally after a loss. If the Packers managed to win they suddenly weren't that bad again.

Yes this team was 4-1 with Rodgers, but that was ONLY because of Rodgers. Mike McCarthy needed to stand up to Thompson and he hasn't. McCarthy needed to press Thompson like the day he publicly said he needed a TE. Thompson actually singed Cook the following season...Then lost him after a year. But even if McCarthy stood up and pressed Thompson for decent talent, he'll continue to try and beat the NFL elite with that C-Movie coaching staff.

This team has HUGE problems and it's getting ready to completely fall apart UNLESS changes are made. New GM, NEW HC, and NEW coaching staff with a different approach to team building is the ONLY things that will save this team. Instead of defending Thompson take a REAL look at this team. THIS current Packers team is not far from the 70's and 80's Packers without Rodgers. And it's only going to get tougher and tougher for Rodgers with each passing year to carry this team.

Randy Malueg's picture

Biggest kool-aid drinking lie you keep telling yourself: "Ted Thompson is without a doubt one of the league’s best talent evaluators"

When you start looking into his draft picks they really are not that good. You have to field a team so someone is going to make tackles and stats. To me Pro Bowl is a great evaluation, compare your teams to others talents, he is terrible in this comparison.

Since he has been here he has drafted 36 players on defense in the first four rounds and only 2 have made the pro bowl, Matthews and Dix. a blind squirrel will find a nut too once and awhile.

Ask this question: If you are a draft guru, why would you have so many undrafted players making your team. Does that not mean you are missing them or talent in the draft.

An for a GM he has left most of his best talent leave. Compensatory picks are gold to TT. He has never looked at a true free agent, only those left go by other teams, so it does not cost him a compensatory pick in the equation. I almost think he lets good talent go just to get more compensatory picks.

Nick Perry's picture

I'm just happy people are FINALLY looking AT Thompson. Like I said above, I've believed the Packers are a 2-14 team without Rodgers for a while now. Thompson has proved my point without a shadow of doubt since Rodgers injury.

He's let his some of his best picks in recent years walk out the door over money. Hayward's deal was for $15.3 million, Hydes $30.00 million. People said Hayward was just a "Slot CB"...NOT TRUE. Hayward follows the opposing teams #1 WR for much of a game and has been pretty much since he came to San Diego 3 seasons ago.

How many times did fans right here on CHTV say Hydes best position was Safety? Those who said it we're answered with sarcastic comments about leaving the football decisions to Thompson. Hey, I totally agree with that but I have a opinion as does everybody else and some of this just ain't rocket science. Hydes best position was and always has been Safety. Hayward can/could ALWAYS play all CB positions.

Elisha Twerski's picture

Why is Pro Bowl a great evaluation? Pro Bowl is voted on by fans, so the players elected are whichever fanbase is more motivated. Is Mike Daniels not a Pro Bowl-caliber player? Was Nick Perry not a Pro Bowl-caliber player last year? Is Blake Martinez (the league's leading tackler) not a Pro Bowl-caliber player this year?

Casey Hayward and Michah Hyde are Pro-Bowlers who were being played out of position by the coaching staff. Is that Ted's fault? Keeping those coaches is on him, but he drafted talented players. I'm not one to defend TT often (I rarely do), but talent evaluation is not one of his weaknesses.

Houndog's picture

You're not alone Nick,
I've been shouting my F.A.T. (Fire Albino Ted) campaign since before Rodgers and Co. won their only Superbowl.
For all the good it will do any of us, it's nice to see we're finally getting some company.

Nick Perry's picture

I know you have been Houndog. Lets hope Murphy finally starts hearing the fans because it's starting to come from everywhere!!!!

stockholder's picture

Eli Apple anyOne. ??? CB does not take to NYG coaching. He might just be perfect if Capers still stays.

John_P's picture

Great article Elisha!

You have brought up alot of great points on the present and future concerns with the Packers. I agree that Capers definitely needs to go. His philosophy on defense has become very stale and as you pointed out their defensive "ranking" has never been very good under Capers. The question is,....."Will the Packer Mgmt. do anything about it??" That also applies to picking up some good free agents in the off season.

Elisha Twerski's picture

If any season can bring about change, it's this one. I'll never bet on the Packers management to do anything about it, but at least there's reason for hope.

DD's picture

All points and draft needs are very good. Bottom line, with no GM and DC change the Pack will be the same. MM's last year in 2018 is clear. Draft? Lol.

jfajas's picture

New DC
Then in the draft:
1 - pass rusher
2 - WR with Speed
3, 4, 5, 6... pass rushers

CM 52: 1 million or cut him
Jordy: 2-3 million or cut him
Cobb: 2-3 million or cut him

Add in FA: OL, TE, CB, Linebacker

dobber's picture

"CM 52: 1 million or cut him
Jordy: 2-3 million or cut him
Cobb: 2-3 million or cut him"

Are these salaries or how much to reduce their 2018 cap numbers by? If it's salary, even if you don't like those players, they're worth way more than that. If you could get CMIII for $5M/yr, he'd be a steal compared to comparable players in the league...same is true for Nelson and Cobb.

Here are vet. minimums just for comparison's sake...
http://www.spotrac.com/blog/nfl-minimum-salaries-for-2017/

RCPackerFan's picture

This is my roster thoughts for each position.

QB - Hundley? Can they get a veteran back up better then Hundley? They can draft a QB, but odds are they won't be any better. Hundley has improved from when he first started, but he is nowhere we thought he was. Maybe having him go through the offseason he will be able to take his experience and learn from it?

RB - Williams and Jones form a great 1-2 combo. I still like Montgomery as a RB/WR tweener. Mays? I would probably draft another RB in the mid rounds. We have learned you need 3 or more to play RB in a season.

TE - Probably their 3rd highest need. They need a TE that can stretch the field and can be a threat.

WR - They need to resign Adams. I am not sure what they will do with Nelson and/or Cobb. My guess is they will let Nelson go or restructure his contract. He has aged this year. I like Clark. Allison while I like, has disappointed a bit. Janis is a special teams player, Davis is basically the same thing. They need to add more young players to the position. They need more deep speed, and guys that can stretch the field.
It was really hard watching this WR corp without Rodgers. We really don't know what we have in them without Rodgers leading the offense.

OL - Sounds like Spriggs injury isn't as huge as first thought. That is good news as he has improved a lot since training camp. I like McCray and Patrick played well with a club. I think they will keep the tradition of adding mid round OL depth.

DL - If they keep the 3-4 defense the DL is good. But they have to always draft a player here. Just like the OL you have to draft a player here every year. If they shift to a 4-3 they have to draft more DE's. They have to get a pass rush.

OLB - If they stay in the 3-4 this is the biggest need! They have to add better pass rushers. I like Biegel and Gilbert looked good last week. I saw a thing yesterday that rated Kyler Fackrell as the worst rated OLB in the league. They have to upgrade there. Pass rush is the highest priority.

ILB - Martinez is great! He leads the league in tackles. Thats not an easy thing to do. They need to find another ILB to go with him though. Perhaps Mathews could be that guy part time. They need to add someone who can knife through OL's and make plays.

CB - I say this is their 2nd biggest need. I like King and Randall had a great year after being benched. House I would like to see come back. Pipkins I like, but they need to improve over that. I don't know what FA's are going to be out there, but they need someone to come in and be a shutdown style CB. I hope they draft at least 2 CB's. One in rounds 1-4 and one in rounds 4-7.

S - I want to see them resign Burnett. They will be getting Brice back. If Jones plays S, I hope they practice him there all year. S i think is in good shape.

To recap I think the top needs are:
Pass rusher - OLB or DE depending on what scheme they will run.
CB
TE

Elisha Twerski's picture

Great breakdown of the roster!

RCPackerFan's picture

Thanks Elisha!

Pack204's picture

How about the number one thing this organization needs is ACCOUNTABILITY! Where is the leadership in any of the management group? When have you ever heard TT ever say he didnt do a good enough job surrounding the coaching staff with proper players to succeed? Or MM taking the blame for not doing a good enough job game planning? This filters down right from the top to the players on the field. MM always talk about playing to the standard of the Green Bay Packers. Well if the goal is winning a super bowl with an all world qb, I would say that 1 win in 10 years doesnt cut it then. And neither does blowout losses in the playoffs in a number of those years. I would like to know what is the REAL standard of the Green Bay Packers then??? I guess just making the playoffs and getting bounced by the time the divisional round comes around and just show up to the country club again next year it will be all good.

Since91's picture

Gentlemen!
We must build a wall around our HOF QB so he stays healthy and deadly and we can run the ball when the other team knows we are going to run! Draft an oline man for our RT or RG opening (McGlinchey or Nelson)
That being said you will not find the answer to our CB debacle in the draft.....it takes to long....spend some of that cap money and get a legit NFL CB (Trumaine Johnson)
Pass rush sign and draft anything is an upgrade!
TE 2nd round (Fumagalli)
Screw defense anyways....all rules are designed to hurt the defense anyways and now talk of ejections for helmet to helmet hits....why waste money and picks on defense....Who has a good defense in the watered down NFL anyways??? The viqueens? hah Patriots? Hah
Rodgers and a healthy offense are you scared of them? Nuff said!!!

Since91's picture

Talk to me men!

Paul Godbout's picture

Great article and many of you posted some great comments to go with it. The one thing I see in common is that many of you who wrote comments about accountability should take those comments and write a letter to Mark Murphy and the Executive Committee. If they start receiving loads of mail pouring across their desk, they will have no choice but to address it. Posting comments on Facebook or other newsworthy outlets such as this page, helps us all fulfill our outrage yet probably does nothing but helps others to feel justified in the same ways of thinking. Murphy and the EC may not read every letter, but if enough are read, it just may make them think long enough about what we're seeing as fans. Strength is in numbers my friends and many of you here have written some great analysis of our current team. Please send them in - that's our only hope to attain accountability.

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