We are knee deep into our latest series from End Zone Score. NFL free agency is in full swing. Teams continue to make decisions that will affect the franchise’s immediate future. The focus here will be on each of the 32 teams’ biggest problems. What is the biggest negative facing each club. More importantly, how is each organization addressing the matter? In this edition we will take a hard look at the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers. You can play catch-up here when it comes to the teams we have done to date.
It’s not a big secret that quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn’t gotten a lot of support from this unit in recent seasons. This past year, the Packers slumped from a mediocre 15th in the league in total defense to 22nd in the same category. Mike McCarthy’s team allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL and surrendered 32 scores through the air. And that was with a respectable 40 sacks. This offseason, the team gave big money to outside linebacker Nick Perry, who enjoyed a career year in 2016 with 11 quarterback traps. But defenders such as outside linebackers Julius Peppers (Carolina Panthers) and Datone Jones (Minnesota Vikings) and versatile strong safety Micah Hyde (Buffalo Bills) have all moved on.
Back in 2012, the Green Bay Packers not only made Perry a first-round draft choice but used their next five selections on the defensive side of the football as well. It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see a similar strategy by Thompson in April. In 2016, injuries to the cornerback position proved to be extremely devastating. While Sam Shields was let go this offseason, the Packers brought back Davon House, who was cut loose by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team also have some offensive line issues but look for them to focus on defense in this draft.