The Future of the Green Bay Packers

Who will the Packers target this year in the NFL Draft? (AP)

With news that the Packers are going to lock up Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, what does the future hold for the rest of the team? What direction will they go in during the draft? And the age old question that every Green Bay Packers fan wants to know, where does Jermichael Finley fit into their plans?

With so much money tied up with Rodgers and Matthews, the Packers won’t be making any big free agent pick-ups anytime soon. They are the team’s two most indispensable players, but they still have numerous other team needs. They still need a workhorse running back, an improved offensive line and a more consistent defense. They haven’t addressed any of those needs this offseason. The only logical move is to use the draft to address these needs, but can they use all their picks to fill the holes?

Ted Thompson has been known to tease signing veterans, but never comes through. It’s very frustrating for a Packers fan. I was very excited when I heard reports that the Packers were interested in signing Steven Jackson, but of course it didn’t happen and he ended up in Atlanta. I thought there was a good chance Greg Jennings was coming back...but then he signed with the Vikings.

It hurts losing out on guys like that after teasing interest in them. Signing a guy like Jackson for three years would fill a huge hole at running back. He’s still only 30 and would make their offense even more dangerous. He would’ve been a perfect fit for this team, but now they are stuck with what they already have. DuJuan Harris might or might not be the answer, but they’ve done this too many times before.

Last year, they were willing to start the season with Alex Green and James Starks, but neither guy impressed in camp so they brought in Cedric Benson. Had they signed Benson earlier in camp, he could’ve become more comfortable in the offense and maybe stayed healthier. They waited too long and it cost them. Will the same thing happen this year?

Losing Greg Jennings to the Vikings hurts, but at least they have the receiving corps to overcome it. Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb will still be a dangerous force. They brought back Jermichael Finley, which was a must since they have no capable replacements, but he is going to want too much money to stay with the team long-term. He’s already had his issues with the coaches and the management and his contract seems like a one-year rental more than anything. Finley is going to want to be paid like a wide receiver and is in his prime, so he will likely be playing elsewhere next year.

According to JSOnline (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), Green Bay has several choices that they could look at in the first round with pick #26. Ranging from running back Eddie Lacy to offensive line help, they can go in many different directions depending on the talent level available at that pick. But, they should set their eyes on the defensive tackle from North Carolina, Sylvester Williams. Williams is a force to be reckoned with on the inside, which is exactly what they need next to B.J. Raji. This fills a big need on the defense, because they have struggled so much against the run in the past few seasons. He’s 6'3'' and 313 pounds and had six sacks last season. He seems like a logical first-round choice. Other analysts have them taking Tyler Eifert, a tight end from Notre Dame. This also would be a good pick since Finley is likely gone after this year and they need a young replacement. The draft is April 25 and it will be very interesting to see who they decide to pick. The future is in Ted Thompson's hands; now let's see how he shapes it.

By: Joe Kleiber
Twitter: @Chibeman

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