What is the Packers Primary Position of Need?

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson

There’s one question that has been tormenting me over the last month. I’ve gone back and forth on this many times and simply can not decide what I consider to be the Packers primary position of need. The hard part for me is picking just one. Can you?

So before I write about this in detail, I thought it would be helpful to turn things over to the Packers masses (relatively speaking) and see what they think.

So here’s your chance to weigh in with your vote in the poll below and feel free to leave a comment as well. This should make for good discussion

What do you say, amateur Ted Thompsons?

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.


48 thoughts on “What is the Packers Primary Position of Need?

      1. The fact you can’t come up with a single one out of the group is a good thing actually. It says the Packers and TT have this thing under control. No major holes.


    1. Could they use impact players at any or all of these positions? Hell yes. Do they need help in general at these positions? Yes. But if you ask which of these position groups has the biggest dearth of talent, I say the answer is unequivocally ILB.

      1. That all depends on what they do with Matthews and none of us except DannyDS aka Stroh from CheesheadTV actually knows. If behind the scenes both have agreed he’ll be playing ILB for the majority of the snaps than we just upgraded the ILB big time. The Packers defense was immensely better with Matthews at ILB. They are not stupid and Matthews already got paid. That’s why I’m not worried about ILB like many others are.

        1. I don’t worry about ILB so much for pretty much the same reason you state (but put slightly differently): when you’re not playing base very much, the hole at ILB is far less pronounced and can be covered in more ways than a hole in CB depth.

  1. Given sub packages and current roster flexibility, I’d argue CB over ILB is the greatest position of need. The Packers will play far fewer downs out of base (where you need the ILB depth) than they will with 3 or more CBs on the field. If CB isn’t addressed in a meaningful way, they’re one injury away from disaster.

    That said, my bet is that they go DT/OLB in round 1.

  2. I will say that in draft it will depends who is available at thew 30th position. But I can assume they will take ILB/CB in 1st round and RB in 2nd round…

  3. With all due respect, the survey asks what is the position of greatest need rather than at which position the packers should use their pick in the first round on. My answer to the former is ILB; my answer to the latter is best player at DL or OLB.

  4. I voted for ILB because we know that we have a weakness there and it’s been too long uncorrected. Defense needs to able to stop the run game up the middle. If not teams will just use their ground game to control the ball and keep Rodgers off the field. As of today an injury to Barrington or CM3 and the Packers would have zero NFL experience at ILB. At least at CB we have Hayward. I’m not sure that the Packers will pick an ILB with their first pick but they will probably pick 2 ILBs during the draft and sign another 1or 2 UFDAs. Thanks, Since ’61

  5. Whom should GB draft? Let’s look at TT’s as a drafter. Round with assessment (1st round takes into consideration how high the pick was – later rounds graded on a curve);

    1st: Aaron Rodgers (A+++); Hawk (C-/D+); Harrell (F); ’08 N/A; Raji (C-); CM3 (A+); Bulaga (B+); Sherrod (F injury); Perry (C- TBD); Datone (C- TBD); Clinton Dix (B TBD). [10: 2 home runs, 2 good, 4 meh, 2 busts]

    2nd: Terrence Murphy (F injury); Nick Collins (A++); Greg Jennings (A) Colledge (C-/D+); Brandon Jackson (D+); Patrick Lee (D injury) Brian Brohm (F-); Jordy Nelson (A); ’09 N/A (trade up CM3); Neal (D+); Cobb (A); Worthy (F+); Hayward (B traded up TBD); Lacy (B TBD); Adams (B- TBD).
    [14: 4 home runs, 3 good, 3 decent, 4 busts].

    3rd: ’05 N/A; Spitz (C); Abdul Hodge (D+); Aaron Rouse (F+); J. Jones (B); Finley (A-); ’09 N/A (trade up CM3); Burnett (B – traded up); Alex Green (C- injury); ’12 N/A trade up for Hayward); ’13 N/A; Thornton (TBD ugh); R. Rodgers (C TBD). [9: 1 home run, 2 good, 4 decent, 1 bust 1 TBD]

    4th: Underwood (D-) Poppinga (C+); Corey Rodgers (F- cut TC); Will Blackmon (D+ injury); Barbre (D); Jeremy Thompson (F+); Sitton (A++); Lang (A+); ’10 N/A (trade up for Burnett); House (B-); J. McMillian (F+); Daniels (A); Franklin (C inj); Bakhtiari (A-); Tretter (D- inj TBD); Bradford ( TBD). [15: 4 home runs, 2 good, 3 meh, 4 busts, 2 TBD].

    5th: Junius Coston (D-); Michael Hawkins (F); Tony Moll (C); Ingle Martin (F-); David Clowney (F); Giacomini (C-); Jamon Meredith (D+); Quinn Johnson (B- traded to Tenn) Newhouse (C); Quarless (B-); D.J. Williams (C); Terrell Manning (D-); Micah Hyde (B+); Boyd (B-); Abbrederis (TBD), Linsley (A+). [ 16 1 home run, 4 good, 5 meh, 5 busts 1 TBD]

    6th: Craig Bragg (F-), Mike Montgomery (C+), Jolly (B+), Bishop (A-), Corey Hall (C-) Mason Crosby (A-); ’08 N/A, Brandon Underwood (D); Jarius Wynn (B-); Starks (B+); Ricky Elmore (F), Schlauderaff (F); D. J, Smith (D+), ’12 N/A; Nate Palmer (D- TBD), Goodson (TBD) [14: 2 home runs, 4 triples, 3 decent, 3 busts 2 TBD]

    7th: Will Whitaker (D) Curt Campbell (F), Tollefson F/late bloomer), Clark Harris (F), Deshawn Wynn (D), Matt Flynn (B+), Swain (D), Brad Jones (B-), C.J. Wilson (B) Lawrence Guy (F), Ryan Taylor (C) Coleman (F), Datko (F), Charles Johnson (F inj) Dorsey (F), Barrington (B- TBD) Janis (TBD).
    17: 3 doubles, 1 good, 3 meh, 9 busts 1 TBD.]

    94 drafted players. 14 home runs (14.9%); 21 good (22.3%); 25 decent (26.6%); 27 busts (28.7%), 7 TBD (7.4%). I excluded UDFA’s, waiver and trades (really too hard to research!). But one could had two more home runs considering that TT acquired Shields and Tramon. Probably more.

    Drafted player by Round: HR (home run), Good, Decent, Bust TBD
    HR Good Meh Bust TBD
    1st: 20.0% 20.0% 40.0% 20.0% 00.00%
    2nd: 28.6% 21.4% 21.4% 28.6% 00.00%
    3rd: 11.1% 22.2% 44.4% 11.1% 11.11%
    4th: 26.7% 13.3% 20.0% 26.7% 13.30%
    5th: 06.7% 26.7% 33.3% 33.3% 06.70%
    6th: 14.3% 28.6% 21.4% 21.4% 14.30%
    7th: 0.00% 23.5% 17.6% 52.9% 05.88%

    Home runs by position: OL: 4; WR: 3; LB: 2; QB: 1 or 2 (curve for Flynn?) and Safety, TE, and DL, each with 1.

    Busts by Position (excludes 7th Rd).: DL 4; OL 3; WR 3 (mostly 4-6rds) QB 2, S & CB each with 1.

        1. LOL. I am just old and I’ve been largely self-employed. Now that I am done doing my taxes (13 hours of hell) I’ll get some time and do assessments by position!

    1. TT’s track record is poor in 1st and 3rd rounds. Maybe he should trade all his picks into R2.

    2. You have Colledge rated as c- or D+. I noticed he just announced his retirement and He made 122 consecutive starts from 2007-2014.

      Colledge rated as B or B+ seems a better grade. Other teams (arizona) felt he was worth more than TT was willing to pay. That doesn’t mean he was a bust as he did play 5 years in GB. ???? Are the grades your opinion or based on something?

      1. Hawk deserves a B at least. He played in position for GB for many years including a SB win as a key player.

        Matt Flynn is NOT ARod but then who is? He is still a decent (c or b-) backup QB who did the job needed two years ago.

        UDFA’s like Shields, Tramon, and waivers on Kuhn and BUsh, need grading as well.

        The acquisition of all players (except Julius Peppers) having only played at GB and having been 5 minutes from the SB last year is a testament of getting multiple players (draft & UDFA) and coaching them up. Every year there is a seasonal change. Players get hurt (Collins, Sherrod), take bigger paychecks (Colledge, Jennings). Aaron Rouse still plays in NFL as does Giacomini last year for Jets. He was a TE converted to tackle.

        It might not be perfect but TT and GB are fielding 63 players today (before the draft) that are competing for 53 spots. The nine picks will add solid competition and then 15 or 20 guys will be brought in as UDFA’s for competition as well.

        It is a youth movement every year. Some picks are hits but TT needs to hit on players willing to play in GB (some prefer warmer weather and less taxes). Oh and some like Big City life. Oh some have really bad OFF Field issues like the overall #1 guy being picked at QB this year and the texas party guy (manziel) last year.

        All players have up and down years. in “10 RAJI graded ‘A’ and this coming year I suspect he will grade “A’ again.

        1. Quick riddle – who is the best WR in Minnesota? Not Jennings anymore. It is 7th rounder Charles Johnson (F inj) via cleveland who took him off the GB PS squad)

          Compare the picks that Vikes GM Spielman made over the same period and you will appreciate TT all the more. Or Matt Millen in Detroit for several years always taking a WR with his number 1.

          In TT I trust. (and pray he gets more right than wrong).

          1. Sheriff Dillon, no need to pray. It’s a given TT will get more right than wrong. Nobody does it better than Ted. Nobody!!

      2. Dear Sheriff, I confess: my grades are based solely on my own opinion & memory (although I did look up stats on some players). Any criticism, your’s included, is likely to be well warranted. I graded on a curve, with much higher expectations for 1st tier picks (generally #1 to #4/#5) than for #23 – Bulaga – or a 3rd rounder, for eg. Everyone is free to disagree, call me a dunce, TT hater, or alter the grades.

        I agree I was too harsh to Hawk looking at the ’06 draft. It appears that Hawk has had about the 4th or 5th best career of the top ten selected that year. Your B grade is more reasonable. A lot of yrs. I’d want more out of a #5 pick.

        As to Colledge, I thought that a guard (a position that is often not a priority) taken 47th, and just the 3rd guard taken, should have been better (some listed as OTs may be ended up at OG). Again, looking back at the actual class, he looks better than I thought. BTW, I did not view him as a bust: they were Brohm, Worthy, Murphy and Lee; Decent: Colledge, Jackson, Neal; Good: Hayward, Lacy, Adams; Home Runs: Collins, Nelson, Cobb, Jennings.

        I gave Matt Flynn a B+ because getting a B-U QB who can come in for Rodgers in relief and win games is IMO a fine 7th rd. pick. Charles Johnson’s F was because I am only interested in what the pick did for GB. If I we’re looking at TT as a talent evaluator, Charles Johnson, Giacomini, Barbre?, & Terrence Murphy, for eg would get much higher grades.

        I believe TT is somewhere in the top 5 GMs in the NFL. It might not sound like it sometimes, I admit.

        1. You did a great job. You are not a dunce. I was just trying to understand your method. Al asked for biggest need. I think you showed that TT should fill those needs by trading the 1 down into the upper 2 and pick up a four or five. Archie made the point above and your extensive break-down points to getting more picks to have a higher chance of hitting the Home RUns and Decent category. I believe that TT would agree with that. Thanks for the extensive effort.

          1. No worries. I didn’t think anyone was calling me a dunce (but it wouldn’t bother me: you wouldn’t believe the names I’ve been called because of my previous profession). I’m surprised more of my grades weren’t criticized! I actually wasn’t trying to advocate for or denigrate TT. To me, this was simply RAW DATA. Some eval was necessary, though. I can’t compare TT’s drafting record to another GM’s because I don’t know the other teams well enough.

            I think there are sweet spots in drafts. In the 1st round, TT has had 9 picks: 21st, 26th, 28th, 32nd, 23rd, 9th, traded back, 16th, 5th, and 24th so far. I’d guess when TT got a chance, in only 4 or 5 years were there players with “solid” 1st rd. evals available. Naturally, TT’s record will have fewer home runs than some GM who had a bunch of 1st rd. picks in the number 1 to number 12 range.

            I believe in tiers. Tier 1: normally #1 to 3-5 (hope for elite); Tier 2: #5 to pick 12 (expect real good, hope for great); Tier 3: #12 to #22 -25 (expect > ave starter); Tier 4: 24 to about 55 (expect decent starter & hope for better). And so on. These are elastic: depends on the year, position, & if it’s a deep draft.

  6. As Leroy Butler says,”Forget the train,stop the plane” should induce a sense for a CB,but since both House and Williams were allowed to walk and TT having a strong belief in the D&D philosophy,the plane could be held to the limited flight if the train is now derailed for the opponents.This can only be true if the DL and the LB are up to the work needed…they aren’t so ILB would be #1 on the to be fixed list.

    1. TT usually doesn’t try to fill a newly created gaping hole, like CB this year, until a year or two after said hole is apparent to all but him e.g., S, ILB, OLB, DL etc. Thus, I don’t see him drafting a CB in R1. Would he really go into a new NFL season with what he has at ILB? Logic would say he has painted himself into a corner at ILB but he may not go there in R1 either. All indications are he will trade out of his R1 pick and pick from the available scraps. Record shows he drafts best in R2 so why not I guess. Use a 1 for a 2 and 4 and then package 4 with a 3 to get another 2. With 3 R2 picks, he should be able to have a good day 2.

      1. I would argue that TT has anticipated some impending holes well over the years, and flat-out missed some others (or they mis-judged the talent they thought would fill the holes).

        I think you’re right: I don’t see TT going CB in round 1 but more because the position is relatively deep, or at least there’s a broad tier of good but not great prospects at the top of the draft. I think he’ll go with a SAFE pick if he doesn’t trade out of #30 (which I think he will do if there’s an appropriate suitor)…that’s why I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Carl Davis at that spot even if it’s over-drafting a little bit.

  7. If you are talking 2015, it’s ILB, hands down.

    But as of right now – post 2015 – I think it’s pass rusher (OLB). You’ve got to think they like CM3 more at OLB, and will play him there whenever possible. Add in that Pep might be toast any time now and Perry and Neal are gone after 2015 – That leaves CM3 and a whole lot of question marks post 2015.

    I think TT goes OLB at least 1x in the first 2 days in the draft.

    1. I think you’re spot on, Bearmeat. Biggest need in 2015 is ILB, hands down. One could also argue TE, WR (if Rodgers and Adams, et al, fail to develop) and CB. Long term though probably is OLB, NT, (or you could get your pass rush from a DE, perhaps). I won’t have an opinion on whom to pick until we are on the clock and I see which of the 5 or 6 options I think might be there. I have a hankering for an OT or DE though.

    2. Obviously it depends on who’s available but Thompson won’t reach. As far as need goes I think it’s ILB, but I doubt one is there worth drafting at 30. In so many of these mock drafts as many as 5 or 6 CB are going in round one which might drop Kendricks and he’s there at 30. If Kendricks is there you take him, if not then the Packers could draft a guy like Eli Harold a OLB from Virginia in the 1st round which isn’t a reach at all.

      1. Yeah. Having several positions that could be addressed early allows him even more freedom to go BPA than he would otherwise.

    3. The Lions showed a year ago that you can cover up significant deficiencies in your secondary if you’ve got studs rushing the passer. You can never have enough pass rushers these days. I don’t think Ihedigbo and Quin are really any better than Dix and Burnett. The Packer formula was to flood the field with cover guys and force QBs to work for their completions while Peppers, Matthews or Daniels would also apply some pressure…hopefully.

      1. FWIW – that was the Pats formula last year as well. And I will go to my grave saying that GB was the best team in 2014. The Pats were 2nd best.

        You can do it many different ways….

        1. I’m right there with you Bearmeat and if Slocum would have been fired when he should have, the Packers would have played in the SB, I have no doubt in my mind. BUT I also began thinking about the 2015 season about halfway through last season. My thinking was/is if the Packers can be as healthy this year as last the Packers will be playing in SB 50. With another solid draft, HHCD, Adams, Rodgers II, and Lindsey all in their 2nd seasons, this team will be the team to beat in the entire NFL, no doubt in my mind!

  8. Based upon two conditions, I would say CB.

    #1 is the absence of headcount on the roster for not only a starter opposite Shields, but as injury/sub-package guys. Hayward will likely prove to be JAG and may bring back nightmarish memories of Ahmad Carroll. He’s just as likely to struggle against vertical guys on the edge as he is succeed against a lot of the deuces on the Packers 2015 schedule. There’s not enough empirical evidence to believe that he’ll transition from an injury-prone, slot guy to CB 1, 1-A or 2. Ted and Mike obviously feel different.

    The second reason would simply be the opportunity cost of poor play at that position, especially given the attention to downfield contact. Compared to the impact of ILB, CB outranks importance as evidenced by comparative contract values.

    I also believe there is more latent talent currently onboard at LB than CB.

    1. As much as I want an ILB, I agree. In this day and age of the pass, we’ll need to draft a quality CB in the 1st or 2nd round. Hopefully, TT will do his magic and get us a couple of starters out of the first 5 picks.

  9. Packers primary need is to find a solid NFL special teams coach. Slocum screwed us all season and it finally bit us in the bitter end in Seattle. We need special teams corrected and fast!!
    I think we are fine at ILB if Matthews plays full time with Barrington and the new and improved Carl Bradford. Yes, we need depth and TT will get it this draft but if the season started today we would be fine there. At corner the Packers are extremely high on Goodson and TT is usually right. That’s why House and Tramon were let go. Also ok there and any depth this draft will also help.
    There is no primary position of desperate need like last season with safety. I would say there’s some need for competition in some areas and those would be tight end and punter. Mashtay played like shet last year. He needs someone breathing down his neck this training camp. I could see TT picking a TE with the first pick if there’s a good one there.

    1. Ted, they already brought one punter to the roster – Cody Mandell from Crimson Tide… Also they have 12 LBs, 4 of them are consider to be ILBs (Sam, Josh Francis, Joe Thomas & Carl), they have 6 CBs (Sam, Mycah, Casey, Demetri, Tay Glover-Wright & Kyle Sebetic), so Packers will need FB (to learn from John through his 1st year!), one TE and maybe additional Tackle (have only 3 of them, Brian, David & Jeremy Vujnovich)…

  10. Packers have guys at every position on defense that can make plays except ILB…not since Bishop.

  11. FB is the only position of need. TT needs to replace Kuhn. MM wants a dedicated FB in his offense. The Kid from Alabama is a thumper. He will drive it in from the 1 yard line. He has some speed to break into secondary and he catches the ball well. He also led Lacy and they know each other. A fourth or Fifth round pick should do. CB,ILB, TE are positions HIGH Want.

    CB needs a good selection that can be ready by mid-season but TT and MM are both high on hayward and the goodson kid. I think this is where a 1st or 2nd round is going to be. I will not be surprised if TT trades Down into the 2nd in order to pick up an extra four this year OR if TT trades up in the 1st either) to get a solid CB to push the CB group.

    ILB has Barrington and Bradford. Bradford was projected as a second round last year and mentioned as replacement for Hawk. I think we see that this year. Today they are both better than hawk & jones. There are some other LB’s that need to step up. Bradford and CM3 can both exchange the ILB and OLB to add to the confusion for the other teams OL.

    1. I’m on the same page as you in my thinking Sheriff Dillon. I totally forgot about fullback and you are right. That is the one area we can see we have a desperate need.
      I’m also with you on Bradford. Like Finley in his rookie year, sometimes these young guys need a year to learn and a lot of them have breakout years in their 2nd season. Bradford I really believe they love. They kept him for a reason and this year we will see why. He’ll be ready at ILB this year and he’ll be a good one. The kid reminds me a lot of Junior Seau as far as his motor. I’m not worried like others at ILB or cornerback.
      Frankly I doesn’t see a lot of holes. This was the best team in the NFL last year and will be again this season. It’s not as though this is the 1975 Green Bay Packers coming off decimating horrible GM moves the previous season. Thank you Dan effin Devine!!

  12. What is the Packers’ Primary Position of Need? CB. Before the start of free agency I would have said ILB. But, now with the loss of Tramon Williams and Davon House, the potential loss of Jarett Bush, and last year’s loss of Jumal Rolle, the CB position is in the meltdown stage. An injury to Sam
    Shields or to the often-injured Casey Hayward or Hayward’s inability to
    transition to cover corner from the slot, could result in a disastrous season.

  13. ILB, easily. CB is a concern obviously, but there are veterans out there that TT can pick up at minimum…the Packers just need depth after House and Tramon took the silly money and ran. ILB has only Barrington left, really – I don’t see CMIII staying inside, even though that is where he is most effective right now – but with all the sub packages Capers uses only 1-2 ILBs are necessary to go with Barrington. Capers could even slide Richardson in down there in a package or two. Otherwise this team is solid…develop the depth and resign the core guys!

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