Ranking the Packers Draft Needs Post-Free Agency
By Dan Dahlke
Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley (88) stiff arms Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (55). Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
2) TIGHT END
The Packers made a good move this offseason in securing the tight end position by re-signing Andrew Quarless.
It doesn’t appear Jermichael Finley will be cleared to play any time soon, and even when that day comes, it looks doubtful the Packers will be able to ever come to an agreement with Finley’s camp on a number to re-sign the former stud tight end at. It’s best if Green Bay prepares to play without Finley next season.
Quarless certainly looks like the starter at this point. He’s a solid receiver and shows flashes of returning to the excellent blocker he was back in 2010, but he’s not the complete package at the position.
Even if Quarless is the starting tight end next season, the Packers don’t have much behind him at the position and could use some young talent to develop behind the fifth-year veteran.
Brandon Bostick is still too raw to make an impact next season but may show growth in camp. Ryan Taylor seems set as a role player and will be entering the final year of his contract. Jake Stoneburner struggled in the limited action he saw last season.
North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85). Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
My expectation is the Packers look to the draft to inject the position with more talent and depth. There are a few excellent prospects in a mediocre class of tight ends Green Bay may take a close look at.
If the Packers want to add a tight end that can be a receiving threat and make an immediate impact in their passing game, they may try to target North Carolina’s Eric Ebron in the first round or move back and pick up a guy like Jace Amaro out of Texas Tech.
Cal’s Richard Rodgers and Tennessee State’s A.C. Leonard are two middle-to-late round versions of this type of athletic-pass catching tight end.
If the Packers are looking for a more complete tight end that can both block and receive, then Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas and Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz would be perfect fits. Fiedorowicz is bit more physical and Niklas is more athletic and the better receiver.
Both players could be found on the second day of the draft and may be just what Green Bay needs as they go forward with a more balanced offensive attack.
Colorado State’s Crockett Gillmore is also of this mold and may be a middle round option for the Packers.