The NFL Draft is just about a week away. The NFL is being locked out and will meet in about a week in Minneapolis to try and settle its differences between the players and owners. Anyhow, the draft will more than likely take place, unless it gets boycotted. Here is a look at who, the defending World Champions, Green Bay Packers should take:
First, let’s look at the Packers team needs as this offseason is upon us. The Packers biggest needs are probably on their offensive line, as Chad Clifton is getting older, yet he had a great season last year. Daryn Colledge could be a free agent as well. Offensive guard will more than likely be a position Ted Thompson picks come late April.
Outside linebacker, and defensive end are also needs. It’s more that the Packers just need depth at these positions. Cullen Jenkins will more than likely leave when free agency opens, and Johnny Jolly’s future is not clear, after his season long suspension last season.
Cornerback is the next biggest need. Charles Woodson is getting older, and who know how much longer he will play.
Running back could also use an upgrade, but as James Starks played well at the end of the season, and Ryan Grant will be coming back, I am not sure how much this will be a need.
Offensive tackle is next, as players like Tauscher are getting older, and the position just needs depth.
Wide receiver could also be a need, as Donald Driver is getting older. Retaining James Jones is huge for the Packers to do when free agency opens up.
Second, here are a few players whom the Packers might target in next month’s draft:
Here are some defensive picks that are being targeted…
Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple,
Wilkerson had 70 tackles last season, 45 solo, 25 assisted, and 13 for a loss. He also had 9.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He is 6’4″, and 315 pounds.
He doesn’t look like an defensive tackle, but plays like one. He is speedy, and moves all over the place, not just in the middle. Also, hits hard. He is very athletic, agile, speedy, and plays out every play when he is on the field. He is currently no.10 on Mel Kiper’s Big Board. Could easily be a defensive lineman for Packers.
Cory Liuget, DT, Illinois-
Liuget is 6’3″ and 300 pounds. Big, but speedy for an defensive tackle. Has a high motor, and can beat offensive lineman with his power coming of his end or tackle position.
Would probably play end in the Packers scheme.
Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona-
Reed is who I want the Packers to draft, although people have been saying he could be a bust. Is 6’3″ and 262. Would play end or outside linebacker in Packers scheme. Has a high motor, hits hard, is speedy, agile, and athletic. Kind of reminds of Clay Matthews. Had seven sacks, 47 total tackles, 26 were solo and 21 were assisted.
He still could use some time to develop,and improve his hands, and needs to get bigger if wants to play defensive end in NFL.
Brooks Reed of Arizona could be targeted for Pack in the draft.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon-
Matthews is another pick that the Packers would be thrilled to get. He comes from a great football family, led Oregon in tackles last season, and could learn from his brother, Clay at Green Bay. He would be more than welcomed at Lambeau. He had 73 tackles last season, 34 were solo and 39 were assisted. He had three sacks, and three interceptions as well. He has that hard work ethic that Clay has, and doesn’t give up on plays. His forced fumble in the National Championship game against Oregon helped shift the momentum back to Oregon late in the fourth quarter. Matthews also has a very good football IQ, and is very athletic.
One thing that sticks out about Casey, is he good in coverage. Something that Packers could use out of a linebacker.
Wouldn’t it be sweet to see the Matthews’ brother in Packer’s uniforms in 2011?
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado, and Aaron Williams, CB-
Cornerback is an aging position for the Packers. Smith is 6’2″ and 210 pounds, He is a big corner, speedy. He has some character concerns that Thompson might want to stay away from.
Williams is 6’0″, and 204 pounds. He plays all over the field, is very fast, and has quick bursts.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Packers could draft…
Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU-
Cannon is 6’6″ and 349 pounds. He is actually speedy for a offensive guard, as he ran a 5.2 40 at the Combine. He was very good at TCU, and would fit the Packers scheme, as the Packers like big offensive lineman, but are yet very good physically.
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois-
If the Packers want to draft a running back, Leshoure is the real deal. More than likely Mark Ingram will be gone. Leshoure is 6’0″, 232 pounds, that has great speed and power.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma could also be targeted in later rounds for the Packers.
There are a few draft picks to keep on eye, Packer fans. Let’s just hope there is a season so we can go repeat again next year!