Now that the combine is over, we know who separated themselves as top picks as well as ones that dropped from early mocks. We also had some feel good stories along with heartbreaks.
Packers are in an interesting position. They have some money to spend as well as options to create more cap space to spend in free agency. Extending Rodgers would create more space as well as doing something with Matthews, Cobb and Nelson’s contracts. Whether they renegotiate, extend or cut those contracts, is something to be seen.
Mo Wilkerson is visiting today. The same Mo Wilkerson who signed a 5 year, $86 million contract two years ago. The same Mo Wilkerson who is three seasons removed from a 12 sack season. Pettine is looking for versatile players who can play multiple positions, which Wilkerson fits that bill. Who was Wilkerson’s defensive coordinator that helped him become a pro bowler? Oh, Mike Pettine. Wilkerson would fill a need where the Packers could look elsewhere with the 14th pick (Reggie 2.0).
Speaking of the 14th pick: Which direction will the Packers go?
Will it be safety?
Will it be edge?
Will it be offensive line?
Will it best player available from their draft board?
At this point, I don’t think they re-sign Burnett. They do have Josh Jones from last year’s draft who is a raw talent, but I don’t believe him to be the successor to Burnett. He’ll play more of a Micah Hyde role than a Burnett role. Now, they could go out and get Kenny Vaccaro or Eric Reid to fill in for Burnett, but I believe the answer would be in the draft.
That’s where Derwin James comes in.
He’s versatile. He’s big. He hits hard and he plays fast. The perfect player for a Mike Pettine defense. Also, the perfect player to come in and change a defense. The Packers want to get faster along with getting to the quarterback more often. Turn the edge rushers loose while being able to cover as well as have someone clean up misses.
If Derwin James is gone who’s next?
Well, here’s my top 5 prospects for Packers at 14:
- Derwin James
- Roquan Smith
- Denzel Ward
- Josh Jackson
- Mike Gesicki
What if the Packers don’t stay at 14? Will they move up or will they move down?
The dream scenario, for me, would be to move back with the Bills. The Bills need a franchise quarterback. If one of the top prospects drop to 14, the Bills would be desperate enough to part with their two 1st rd picks for that chance. There’s still players that would be available to fill needs for the Packers. Harold Landry, Jaire Alexander, Isaiah Oliver and Mike Gesicki are names that come to mind. In this scenario, it reminds me of the 2009 draft when Thompson drafted B.J. Raji, then traded back into the first to snag Clay Matthews. I believe that scenario worked out well for them.
All in all, this is a huge offseason for the Packers. New GM, new defensive staff and a head coach coaching for his future. Exciting times for Packer nation.