Could Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Jared Abbrederis be targeted by Packers GM Ted Thompson in this spring's NFL Draft? Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Green Bay Packers need LB, Safety; but don't count out a WR

We’re still hanging tight with free agency as the Green Bay Packers have nearly 10 players still on the market, but we’ve also witnessed the bulk of GM Ted Thompson’s work in this player securement avenue and it’s time we refocus on the NFL Draft.

Sure, TT will probably re-sign a few of his own still out there: John Kuhn? Johnny Jolly? Ryan Pickett? Robert Francois? If he can get them with value deals, expect Thompson to close a few more deals in free agency.

But now the real work starts.

Thompson is well known across the NFL landscape as the draft and development guru – doing some of his best work with not only his draft choices, but the undrafted free agent diamonds he tends to unearth every spring.

Sam Shields, Don Barclay, Sean Richardson, Jamari Lattimore and Tramon Williams (though originally signed by the Texans) come to mind, but just last year, here’s a list of undrafted players who made the roster last season: Andy Mulumba, Lane Taylor, Myles White, and Jake Stoneburner,

Thompson, who was signed back in the day himself as an undrafted free agent, will be looking to improve his defense through the draft and will most likely be focusing on the safety position, as well as linebacker and possibly cornerback.

With his work in free agency, it looks like defensive line has been addressed, but that doesn’t mean Thompson won’t expend a high draft pick on the D-line if the right player is available. Same goes for offensive line (center) and tight end.

However, with the loss of wide receiver James Jones to the Oakland Raiders, the need at the position becomes a bit more important. Yes, Jarrett Boykin is in line to take over and, in my mind, could be the team’s next superstar, but the position is also primed to add another receiver through the draft. And with this being one of the deepest drafts in memory at the position, Thompson could probably look to the third, even fourth rounds to find a quality player.

Beyond first-rounders Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marquise Lee and Kelvin Benjamin, there are many receivers in the round 2-4 range and beyond who might fit well into the Packers’ hi-octane offense. Thompson could be eyeing guys like LSU’s Jarvis Landry, Fresno State’s Davante Adams, Penn State’s Allen Robinson, Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews, or possibly even Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis.

There are plenty of other wide receivers who might fit into a later round draft by the Packers, but we all know that Thompson likes the early- to mid-round skill players -

Could Kevin Dorsey be one of the future answers to the Green Bay Packers receiving situation? Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

if he doesn’t unearth an undrafted receiver.

With both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb scheduled for big paydays and Boykin with at least another couple seasons under contract, the Packers will need to find some young legs that might add competition for those other receivers already on the team’s roster: Myles White, Sedderik Cunningham, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett, and Chris Harper.

Maybe Thompson believes he already has a corps of receivers in-house he can work with, but I can’t believe that with the depth of talent in this year’s draft that he won’t take a shot on at least one of those players to improve the position.

But let’s be straight – Thompson needs to continue to work to improve the team’s defense, first and foremost. Once he gets that done, expect him to turn to the offense and expect him to continue to look for players who will help Aaron Rodgers.

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  • Joey Speriolli

    James Jones was a 3rd rounder, Jordy 2nd, Cobb 2nd. TT will have no problem plucking a WR out of this group. Boykin is poised to have a breakout year. LB is not as much of a need as safety. Mulumba will make a nice jump this year, and Jamari Lattimore is another one of those UFA gems.

    • holmesmmd

      I disagree. We need an ILB like Shazier or Mosley much more than we need a FS. Hyde will be fine there and we can get Bucannon in the 2nd or 3rd round. This defense really lacked 2nd tier speed and athleticism. It’s one of the main reasons that Kapperdick runs wild down the middle of the field. GB didn’t have anyone in the middle that was even close to being fast enough to catch him! Unless HA-HA falls to us in the first round, I predict we take Mosley or Shazier without hesitation. Shazier ran a 4.37 at his pro day with a tweaked hamstring at 237 lbs! He’s a “run & crush” LB’r that GB desperately needs. Think SF & Seachicks LB’s. Our guys play like damn cupcakes:(

      • bandanaman

        The problem with Shazier IS his hammy. Sure, he’s fast, plays a bit bigger than he actually is, and is athletic enough to add a dynamic element to our varied defense, but he already has a hamstring issue. How many times will we get burned by hamstrings, especially since we know they are often recurring? Can we count on two OLBs with hammy issues?

        • holmesmmd

          I don’t disagree with you man. I think it’s his first hammy issue and the guy has been pretty durable at O State. I agree that the medical staff needs to thoroughly evaluate him but I he has much more upside than risk.

        • nicholas starling

          Once he drinks the water in Green Bay it could be the end of him. jk

        • holmesmmd

          Shazier has been incredible in pre-season for the Steelrrs. He had 11 tackles and a pick last game so….. I so wish GB would have traded up for him. He’s going to be a phenomenal ILB as I predicted before the draft;)

  • Mike Brand

    cody hoffman from byu can be drafted in the 7th could have a huge upside in the right program with a great qb