If Extreme Makeover: Football Edition was a show, the Green Bay Packers would have been on it this offseason. They have a new head coach in Matt LaFleur, signed four starters in free agency, and traded up, yes UP, in the draft. The Packers, even with the new makeover, still have these needs to address if they want to contend for the Superbowl this coming season.
Rewind four years and the Packers had one of the best wide receiving groups in the NFL with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. In 2019 neither of them are on the team and Davante Adams looks like an one man army for the team. The Packers lost Randall Cobb who, when healthy, was their go to slot receiver. Davante Adams said he was excited to work more out of the slot, but the Packers could use a more experienced and natural slot receiver.
The Packers surprised most Draft mockers and did not bring in any wide receivers during the draft. Davante Adams had more than double the yards (1,386) and targets (169) than Marquez Valdes-Scantling who had 581 yards and 71 targets. That would be second of all wide receivers. The Packers are hoping that with a healthy season from Geronimo Allison, another year of experience for their 2018 draft picks, and a new offense will be enough to ignite this group of wide receivers. Until the Packers prove that this was the right choice, wide receiver will remain a HUGE question mark.
The Packers defense during the 2018 season was underwhelming. They were aware of this when they signed Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith who had more combined QB pressures than the Packers edge rushers combined. They also have great young secondary players in Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Josh Jackson, and new addition Darnell Savage. The defense has a chance to be a strong force this coming season, but they are still missing a veteran inside linebacker.
The Packers lost a key player in their run defense when Jake Ryan left for Jacksonville and chose to let Morrison walk in free agency. Blake Martinez has improved every year since coming into the league, and being in a contract year the Packers can expect him to take another step forward. Yet, he is missing the Robin to his Batman. The Packers drafted Oren Burks in 2018 and Ty Summers in 2019, who are athletic linebackers, but they are still developing into their role in the NFL. Signing a veteran linebacker like Zach Brown or Jamie Collins will allow them to bring someone in to guide the young linebacker core and show them what it means to be successful. Pairing either Brown or Collins with Martinez will allow Burks and Summers to develop and learn from two strong starters as they fine tune their raw talents. I especially think of Ty Summers who was a swiss army knife for TCU, but having him focus at inside linebacker with a strong mentor seems like the way to go.
I have said in a few articles before that the Packers offensive line is regularly injured. They had 10 different linemen take snaps for them this season, and no one is more injured than Bryan Bulaga. Do not get me wrong, he is an above average right tackle when healthy, but the problem is that he has only played all 16 games once in his nine year career. Not to mention he is in the final year of his contract, so finding a replacement for him is key. The Packers have done a great job addressing the interior of their offensive line with signing Turner, drafting Elgton Jenkins, and getting Cole Madison back. Now they need to focus on finding depth for their tackles, and find someone who can take over for Bulaga after this year.
Oh, and before you mention anything about Jason Spriggs, I will let Aaron Nalger address that.
For fans that are mystified as to why the Packers would use a Day 2 pick on an offensive lineman, I would suggest watching Byron Bell and Jason Spriggs in the New England game and all mystery will be dispelled…
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) April 30, 2019
The Packers had enough of a makeover to move them from a 5 to an 8, but if they address these areas they have a chance to be a dime piece again.