The Green Bay Packers may have failed to bring another Lombardi Trophy back to its original home; however, the 2014 NFL season was far from a disappointment for the Pack. After all, the Packers won the NFC North title outright despite an early surge by the Detroit Lions, held on to win against the red-hot Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, and found themselves only 5 minutes away from a Super Bowl appearance before the Seattle Seahawks pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in NFL playoff history. And, if all that weren’t enough, the Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers won the 2014 NFL MVP award.
The Packers have one of the most talented squads in the NFL, especially on offense. Randall Cobb, Andrew Quarless, and of course Jordy Nelson combine to make up the most talented receiving core in the NFL. The Packers haven’t always been the most talented defensive squad; however, this year was certainly better than those in recent memory.
The Packers are not coming into the 2015 NFL Draft looking for a new quarterback or a Pro Bowl wide receiver. The Pack is set up to earn the NFC bid in Super Bowl 50; however, they do have some needs that the draft may be able to help them address. Here are the Packers biggest needs heading into the 2015 draft:
Offensive Lineman: The Packers have one of the best offensive lines in football, so they aren’t looking for starting caliber rookies. Instead, the Packers need to stockpile a solid group of lineman to back up their starting five. The Packers were extremely lucky in 2014, and all five of their starters were able to play consistently throughout the season. Well, this is not common in the NFL. Lineman get hurt all the time, so it’s best to prepare for the inevitable. On top of that, right tackle Bryan Bulaga is a free agent this offseason; and if they are unable to resign him they will need a good lineman to step in for him. The Packers should be fine using a mid-round selection for a new big man.
Defensive Tackle: This is a very big, pressing need for the Packers in this draft. B.J. Raji appears to be out in Green Bay, and Letroy Guion will most likely be cut following his recent arrest. The Packers really need a big man to fill the gap left by losing those two. There is a lot of defensive line talent in this year’s draft, so scouting out a good nose tackle and taking him 1st or 2nd round should be enough to anchor the defensive line.
Cornerback: Tramon Williams and Davon House are both going to explore the free agency market this offseason, and early indications suggest that both will find new homes by the time the 2015 season rolls around. If that is the case, the Packers secondary is taking a huge blow. The secondary improved significantly in 2014, but if they hope to maintain this level this coming season they will need to draft at least one cornerback. Fortunately, there are many talented corners in this year’s draft, so the Packers should have no problem finding the right replacements.
Inside Linebacker: This is the Packers biggest need heading into 2015. It is widely believed that both A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones will be released soon, leaving the Packers with only Sam Barrington to fill both holes. The Packers would be wise to use their 1st round pick here. A quality college linebacker should have no problem stepping right into the Packers defensive scheme and performing well. Also, if they don’t take a linebacker 1st round, they will have a serious problem in the middle of their defense come 2015.