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Green Bay Packers Team Needs

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Green Bay Packers Team Needs
By: Staff

It was a nightmarish season for the Green Bay Packers in 2005. They lost their top three running backs among a number of injuries that the team sustained and fans in Green Bay may have seen the last of future hall of fame quarterback Brett Favre. The team will begin its off season after naming Mike McCarthy as the new coach. However, thatís not the only void that needs to be filled, but usually there are plenty on teams that finish 4-12. Armed with the fifth pick in the draft, the Packers will have a chance to take an immediate impact player.

Running Back
Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport and Tony Fisher are all unrestricted free agents. All three are also coming off season ending injuries. There may be some sentiment to say goodbye to at least two of these backs with Green likely to be playing elsewhere next year. If indeed 2006 is the dawning of a new era offensively in Green Bay, a new back to feature along with heir apparent quarterback Aaron Rodgers might be in order. Bush will be gone by the time the Packers make their pick , so unless they plan on trading up, they will most likely have their pick of Laurence Maroney or DeAngelo Williams if they choose to go in that direction. Donít forget though, there should be a few free agent backs available as well and a steady veteran presence might also help the maturation process of Rodgers. The Cheeseheads fell in love with unheralded rookie free agent Samkon Gado this season, but he doesnít look like the long term solution at the position. The Pack will find a new running back this off season, but will it be in this draft?

Defensive Line
Both Aaron Kampman and Grady Jackson are free agents meaning end and tackle will both need to be addressed as well this off season. Mathias Kiwanuka is the prototypical 4-3 defensive end and would give the team another pass rusher opposite Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. The team should also have a shot of Haloti Ngata who seems to command double teams at defensive tackle. Mario Williams is another pass rushing specialist to consider.

Linebacker
The Packers had a need for linebackers all season long. Nick Barnett proved solid in the middle posting 138 tackles with three fumble recoveries and a sack this season. The outside backers left a little to be desired though. The trade for former Rams starter Robert Thomas didnít spark much confidence that he is much more than a part time player and Naíil Diggs played in nine games posting 35 tackles. Main backup Paris Lenon is a free agent. Youíll find more than a few mock drafts with the name A.J. Hawk next to Green Bay at the number five pick. Hawk could step right in and anchor this defense for the next decade and will probably be the popular pick among Packer fans this April.

Offensive Guard
Scott Wells, a free agent seventh round pick in 2004 and William Whitticker, a seventh round pick in 2005 are the Packers starting offensive guards. The team could see fit to try to upgrade these spots and they are in luck as this draft looks to be deep with offensive lineman. The top four guards in this draft are all very highly though of. Max Jean-Gilles, Taitusi Lutui, Davin Joseph and Mark Setterstrom should all be taken within the first three rounds of this draft. The Pack seem set at the tackle positions with Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton and 10-year veteran Mike Flanagan anchoring the line at center. The team could look for Flanaganís eventual successor as this draft also has a couple of standout centers as well.

Tight End
The Pack could decide to go in a different direction at a position that has always been important in their offense. Incumbent starter Bubba Franks battled injuries and caught just 25 passes and only one touchdown this season. David Martin and Donald Lee showed that they were capable backups but in a draft stocked with athletic young tight ends, Green Bay could be one of the teams looking to grab a name like Marcedes Lewis, Vernon Davis or Leonard Pope.

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