NFC North power rankings: Where do Packers stand ahead of 2018 season?

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 23: Kenny Clark
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 23: Kenny Clark /
4 of 5
CHARLOTTE, NC – DECEMBER 17: Aaron Rodgers
CHARLOTTE, NC – DECEMBER 17: Aaron Rodgers /

2. Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers may be my pick to win the NFC North this season, but that’s just a prediction. Until they prove it on the football field, they will sit No. 2 in the power rankings.

Reason to be optimistic: Additions on offense

Aaron Rodgers may have lost Jordy Nelson this offseason, but the 33-year-old receiver isn’t the player he once was.

More from Lombardi Ave

The Packers have been busy adding talent on offense. Tight ends Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis give Rodgers a pair of big red zone targets. Graham will be used as a receiver, while Lewis was signed primarily for his blocking.

Green Bay used three draft picks at wide receiver, bringing in J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown. Of the three, Moore has the most potential to make an immediate impact. The Packers will be hoping one of this trio has a strong rookie season.

Cause for concern: Defense

GM Brian Gutekunst made some good offseason moves on defense, too. The Packers landed two of the draft’s top cornerbacks in Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, and they also upgraded the defensive line by signing Muhammad Wilkerson.

But it would be unfair to expect Alexander and Jackson to play at a high level right away. They will need time to adjust to the NFL.

There are still serious concerns with the pass rush, and the secondary still remains a question mark.

Hiring Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator should help, but the Packers need to prove they’ve turned the corner on defense.