Packers hired Brian Gutekunst as the new GM. Not sure how long it’s going to take me to get used to saying his name, but it’s better than saying Ted Thompson. A little background is Gutekunst’s been with the organization since 1998. His biggest asset is college scouting. I know that doesn’t sound too promising since we wanted a guy that would go out and spend in free agency. His first press conference says otherwise. He alluded to the point that he will use free agency as an “accessory piece”. The foundation is still going to build through the draft, but he’s going to leave no stone unturned. For me, he said anything and everything that I needed to hear from the new GM. He has me amped for the offseason as well as next season. It’s also going to be nice having a GM with some personality that will actually address the fans and media.
Side note: Thanks Ted Thompson for the time served. Thanks for Aaron Rodgers. Thanks for your help with the Super Bowl.
The main question that I have is.. now what?
My personal take is this will be the biggest offseason in recent memory for the Packers. The next thing, hopefully, is to retain Eliot Wolf. As much as I like Gutekunst, we still need someone that is great at scouting veteran players, which is Wolf’s expertise. We will have a more aggressive GM that will take into account what Wolf says unlike TT since it wasn’t his philosophy. Then, I would like Mike McCarthy to look outside for his defensive coordinator. My top pick was Teryl Austin, but he signed to the Bengals this morning. My next option is Vic Fangio. The exclusive rights for the Bears expired this morning so now the Packers can pounce and hire Fangio. Look at his history and you’ll know why I want Fangio. After we have the front office and the coaching staff in place, we turn to free agency and the draft. Obviously, we need to fill in spots that are in need of some reinforcements. Look at prospects at the top of the draft and fill in spots that we feel comfortable with so we don’t need to reach at 14 to fill a need. I can’t wait for March to get here (after Patriots win another Super Bowl).
So what position groups do we need to target in the offseason?
Until we know who the defensive coordinator is, we won’t know the scheme. So this takes into account staying in a 3-4 defense, but here’s my list:
- Corner (King showed signs, but we need shutdown corner)
- Safety (if we don’t resign Burnett)
- Tight End
- Wide Receiver
- Offensive Line
I feel we need to replace Bryan Bulaga. He’s too injury prone and we need depth. I don’t see us doing this through the draft. I see a more of a stop gap for next year. Draft a future prospect later in a later round. For example, we did this last year. Instead of signing TJ Lang, TT went out and got Jahri Evans for the year.
Here’s my top picks for #14:
- Roquan Smith LB, Georgia
- Joshua Jackson CB, Iowa
- Calvin Ridley WR, Alabama (even though I don’t like drafting WR in 1st rd)
- Harold Landry DE/LB, Boston College
- Derwin James S, Florida State
- Minkah Fitzpatrick CB/S, Alabama
- James Washington WR, Oklahoma St
- Ogbonnia Okoronkwo OLB, Oklahoma
- Isaiah Oliver CB, Colorado
- Malik Jefferson LB, Texas
Linebackers don’t necessarily have to be edge rushers to be my pick. We need to get faster and be able to get pressure from anywhere. Whether it’s on the edge or in the middle, we need to be able to get pressure on the quarterback. We also need to be able to cover out of the back field or tight ends, which you could say we did well. I would beg to differ if you look at the tight ends we faced all season.
Here’s another list for my top free agent picks that aren’t our own:
- Jimmy Graham
- Trumaine Johnson
- Ezekiel Ansah
- Allen Robinson (value pick)
- Malcolm Butler
- DeMarcus Lawrence
Do I think we get any of these? I don’t, but it will fill in needs that we can target a different need in the draft. Lastly, this takes into account that we restructure some of the contracts such as Cobb, Matthews and Nelson.
What do you think is next?