Packers Can Build ILB Depth with Zach Brown
The world of Green Bay Packer fandom is buzzing after the signing of free agent tight end Jared Cook. And rightfully so, it was a good move, but in all reality, the Packers should be far from finished.
It’s understandable that Ted Thompson wants to rely on the NFL draft to get his players. He should. Finding good players in the draft is always the best way to build your roster. It just can’t be the end all, be all, because as we all know, drafting good players is kinda hard.
Even great GM’s like Thompson and yes I am calling him a great GM, at least when it comes to the draft, are only good like 50 percent of the time.
So while I am happy that the Packers signed Cook and while I believe he will end up starting for them next season, I would love to see Thompson address inside linebacker and not just through the draft.
Sure, there are some solid prospects in the draft and if things play out right, the Packers could even get one of the premier players at the position in the early rounds. However, the Packers have a lot of needs. They need depth on the defensive line and with four of their top six offensive lineman headed for free agency next year, that also should be a priority.
To me, the Packers aren’t that bad off at inside linebacker, especially if Sam Barrington comes back healthy and Jake Ryan can take the leap to becoming at least a reliable part-time player. Green Bay simply needs a linebacker that is versatile and can both stop the run and hold his own in coverage.
If it wasn’t Clay Matthews doing the pass coverage, it was horrible and it was exploited time and time again by opposing offenses. Yet, with Matthews presumably moving back outside, the Packers also need someone who can play against the run.
One veteran linebacker that could fit that bill is former Tennessee Titan Zach Brown. The 2012 2nd-round pick played in all 16 games after missing all of 2014 and produced 77 tackles, four tackles for loss, two passes defensed and two interceptions.
For his career, in three seasons on the field, he has six interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He also has 9.5 sacks and 261 tackles.
Brown is also just 27 years old and after sitting on the free-agent market for a few weeks, his price tag is not going to be high. I am not saying he will be an impact player in Green Bay or even a starter, but he would add quality depth at a position that desperately needs it and at this time of year, in free agency, that’s all you trying to achieve.