May 3, 2013

2013 NFL Draft Review & Season Outlook: Green Bay Packers

#12 Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

*Click on a team's logo to go to their draft recap and season outlook page. A few will be posted each day in alphabetical order.

Green Bay Packers
Division: NFC North | Last Season Record: 11-5

What Needed to be addressed in the Draft: Green Bay wants to get back to the Super Bowl. Most of their needs are on the defensive side of the ball.

They can afford to upgrade at defensive end, and should try to come away with a starting safety. Linebacker is also a position that can be addressed.

Offensively, they need a running back. Someone who can be an every down back, contributing in the passing game. They should also add another receiver after losing Greg Jennings.

2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

Round 1

26. Datone Jones, DE
Experience: Senior | School: UCLA
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 277 lbs.

Analysis: Not the biggest fan of Datone Jones, but this was a good choice for the Packers. Jones is one of the more versatile pass rushers in this draft, and should be a solid 5 technique defensive end in their 3-4 scheme.

Grade: B+

Round 2

61. Eddie Lacy*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Alabama
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 230 lbs.

Analysis: Eddie Lacy is a complete running back. He has very good speed and change of direction for a bigger back, and can contribute in the passing game. He could have easily gone in the first round, so the Packers do an excellent job of filling a need and getting excellent value.

Grade: A+

Round 4

109. David Bakhtiari*, OT/OG
Experience: Junior | School: Colorado
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 299 lbs.

Analysis: Another good pick for the Packers. David Bakhtiari is a Day 2 talent, and is versatile enough to play any position, and he may be able to give them an upgrade at center.

Grade: A+

122. J.C. Tretter, OG
Experience: Senior | School: Cornell
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 307 lbs.

Analysis: A bit of a reach in the 4th round, and he doesn't fill an immediate need. However, Tretter can be a spot starter at guard and gives them immediate depth.

Grade: B-

125. Johnathan Franklin, RB
Experience: Senior | School: UCLA
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 196 lbs.

Analysis: Johnathan Franklin in the 4th round could be better value than Eddie Lacy in the 2nd round. Some scouts believe Franklin is the best running back in this class. Love this pick.

Grade: A+

Round 5

159. Micah Hyde, CB
Experience: Senior | School: Iowa
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 197 lbs.

Analysis: Micah Hyde is a solid pick in the 5th round. He was a key member of that Iowa defense, and his best position could be safety in the NFL.

Grade: B

167. Josh Boyd, DT
Experience: Senior | School: Mississippi State
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 307 lbs.

Analysis: Josh Boyd will give the Packers more defensive line depth. He'll be a good rotational player, and this was the right range for him.

Grade: B

Round 6

193. Nathan Palmer, OLB
Experience: Senior | School: Illinois State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 248 lbs.

Analysis: Nathan Palmer could be an interesting rotational pass rusher. I saw him as an undrafted free agent, so kind of a questionable pick.

Grade: C

Round 7

216. Charles Johnson, WR
Experience: Senior | School: Grand Valley State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 215 lbs.

Analysis: I don't know much about Charles Johnson, but since there were not a lot of receivers better than him at this point, this isn't too bad of a pick. The Packers know receivers, so I'll trust Ted Thompson.

Grade: B-

224. Kevin Dorsey, WR
Experience: Senior | School: Maryland
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 207 lbs.

Analysis: At this point, it's fine to take a chance on another receiver, especially when you've pretty much filled all of your other needs.

Grade: C-

232. Sam Barrington, ILB
Experience: Senior | School: South Florida
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 235 lbs.

Analysis: Barrington could be an impact special teams players, and if he makes the team, would give the Packers much needed depth at inside linebacker.

Grade: B-

2013 NFL Draft Overall Review:

Analysis: The Packers had one of the best Drafts this year. They got some excellent value with some of their early picks and filled some needs.

Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin are great additions to the offense, and both could have gone earlier than they were taken. Datone Jones gives them versatility on the defensive line, and David Bakhtiari gives them versatility on the offensive line.

I would have liked to seem them draft a receiver earlier and maybe even a tight end, but overall, Ted Thompson showed that he's one of the smartest GMs in the business.

Overall Grade: A-

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

Most Notable

Jake Stoneburner, TE
Experience: Senior | School: Ohio State
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 249 lbs.

Analysis: Before the season, I didn't think Jake Stoneburner would go undrafted. But I can see him making the roster and being involved in the offense in some way.

Other Free Agent Signings

Matt Brown, QB, Illinois State
Patrick Lewis, C, Texas A&M
Angelo Pease, RB, Kansas State
Gilbert Pena, DT, Mississippi
Dame Smith, CB, South Alabama
Lane Taylor, OL, Oklahoma State
Myles White, WR, Louisiana Tech

2013 Season Outlook:

Analysis: The Packers are still the favorites in the NFC North. Led by the best quarterback in Pro Football, this team could be Super Bowl bound.

Greg Jennings will be missed, but the Packers still have an excellent receiving corps, with Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb, and even Jermichael Finley.

The Packers have to protect Aaron Rodgers better. The guard position is fine with T.J. Lane and Josh Sittion. Derek Sherrod and Bulaga should both be starters if they can stay healthy. Marshall Newhouse, and Don Barclay could also be in the mix.

The Packers have to be better against the run. B.J. Raji is fine in the middle, but they need to get more out of their defensive ends. Datone Jones is projected to start, and maybe Jerel Worthy lives up to his talent this year.

A healthy Nick Perry should pair well with Clay Matthews. They'll need to find a third pass rusher, but those two could combine for a ton of sacks this season.

The Packers have a young group of corners who are among the best in the league: Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, and Casey Hayward. They like their young safeties, so hopefully they don't end up being liabilities on defense.

2013 Season Projection:

Analysis: Green Bay is currently picking 28th overall in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft. They chose 26th in this year's draft. Now that the Packers will have a running game, this offense will be even better, and the pressure will be on opposing defenses to stop them. They have enough talent on defense to not hold this team back from potential making a Super Bowl appearance.

Projected Record: 11-5 (Worst Case) | 13-3 (Best Case)

Projected Finish: 1st in the NFC North; Result: Lose in the Divisional Round