The Green Bay Packers struggled at times during the 2013 regular season, mostly due to some key injuries they suffered. Aaron Rodgers, Randal Cobb, Clay Matthews and Jermichael Finley, just to name a few guys who missed more than a couple games in 2013. Leading to the Packers record of 8-7-1.
Green Bay did however make it to the playoffs, but ended up losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the first round. Making it the second year in a row, that the 49ers knocked the Green Bay Packers out the playoffs.
Where the Packers most struggled last year was on defense. Having given up 247 yards through the air last year and 125 yards on the ground, 24th and 25th worst in the NFL in 2013.
Now on the offensive side of the ball, the Packers did lose James Jones, a big part of their three receiver set they love to run, as well as tight end Jermichael Finley might not be even playing football again. Still, there biggest needs they have to address through the 2014 NFL Draft is defense.
Here we will try and predict what the Green Bay packers will select come the NFL Draft, based off of some the needs, we just mentioned.
First round, 21st pick overall- ILB, C.J. Mosely, Alabama:
The Packers need some help at the inside linebacker position. Yes, they have A.J. Hawk starting, but the Packers also have Brad Jones and Green Bay could use some competition at that position. Mosely would fit well into Dom Campers 3-4 defense the Packers currently run. He is a versatile linebacker that can stop the run and drop back into coverage. It’s also worth noting that the last eight Packers first round picks have been on either offensive lineman or defensive front seven picks. Mosely would fit into that category.
Second Round, pick 53rd pick overall- SS, Deone Bucannon, Washington St.
The Packers gave up quite a few yards through the air and on the ground. One of the reasons, below average safety play from both the strong and free safety spots. While I don’t think they are looking to replace strong safety Morgan Burnett, I most definitely believe the Packers will draft someone to play free safety. While Bucannon played SS in college, he’s versatile enough to play at free safety and it’s not outlandish to say it couldn’t happen. Teams have drafted players who play at one spot and converted them to play another. We saw it in last year’s draft when the Arizona Cardinals took then CB, Tyrann Mathieu and converted him to free safety. We could see that happen again if the Packers take Bucannon.
Third round, 85th pick overall- WR, Kevin Norwood, Alabama:
Green Bay will miss James Jones, but it’s not the end of the world. This year’s draft is loaded with receivers ready to come in and make an immediate impact. Kevin Norwood is just another one of the guys. Norwood is similar to height with Jones, but is faster. Jones’ 40 yard dash time was a 4.59 and Norwood’s is a 4.44. Norwood is a great route runner and has soft hands to bring the ball in. The biggest negative about Norwood is he needs to get stronger and he will be a 25 year old rookie.
Third round, 98th pick overall(comp pick) - TE, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa:
Jermichael Finley never really became what the Packers hoped he would be. His best year having come in 2011, where he caught 55 balls for 767 yards and 8 touchdowns. Coincidently the year the Packers won the Super Bowl and Finley is no longer even with Green Bay. Andrew Quarless is currently number one on their depth chart. Quarless has 56 career receptions, all with Green bay and shouldn’t be considered the long term answer. Fiedorowicz could be on the other hand. The 6’6” Fiedorowicz can block well, catch the ball well and has surprisingly good body control for a guy his size. He’ll be able to come in and at the very least compete for the starting job, if not take it outright.
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