Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Green Bay Packers [full archive here].
Season Recap: The Green Bay Packers started the season 13-0 and were the obvious favorites to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. Well, the success seemed to get to the player’s heads and the Packers ended up losing their first playoff game. Led by MVP Aaron Rodgers, expect the Packers to enter 2012 with a rather large chip on their shoulder.
1. Outside Linebacker: After a combined 23.5 sacks in his first two seasons, Clay Matthews managed only 6 in 2011. Green Bay needs a pass rusher opposite Matthews to help take away the double teams he received all season long. Bruce Irvin from West Virginia is an interesting option for Green Bay in round one.
2. Defensive End: Another reason for Matthews’ dip in production was the lack of pressure from the lineman up front. BJ Rajii is set at nose, but Green Bay needs better play from the defensive ends. Devon Still, Kendall Reyes, and Jerel Worthy are options in round one and two.
3. Center: Re-signing Scott Wells would take care of this problem, but if not, the Packers will have to draft a center in the first few rounds.
4. Defensive Backfield: Nick Collins’ absence hurt the Packers and the lack-of-depth showed during the second half of the season. The Packers also need to begin planning for the retirement of Charles Woodson, who is turning 36 this year.
5. Running Back: Ryan Grant is a free agent, leaving young RBs James Stark, Alex Green, and Brandon Saine behind Aaron Rodgers. The Packers should make attempts to resign Grant, or bring in a veteran for camp competition. Knowing the Packers don’t sign free agents, the return of Grant is the more likely scenario.