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.



  • Ted is a tight ass. He is only going to get people he thinks he can get on the cheap. There has been so many players over the years that would have brought immediate help and nada.

  • I’ve been on the Zack Brown Bandwagon for quite sometime so I completely agree with Chris. He’s good in coverage which is exactly what the Packers need in the middle. Even if they were able to address the need in the draft having another ILB not named Matthews who can cover would be a smart move by TT. There’s also the fact he wouldn’t cost very much on a 2 year deal with a club option on the second year. Sounds perfect to me.

  • I truly hope having Aaron Rodgers throwing Cook the ball he’ll reach his full potential.Maybe the new TE coach can help also with unlocking his full capabilities on the field. Here’s a perfect example. Look what happened to Greg Jennings when he got greedy and left Green Bay. He was a pro bowler caliber receiver who left Aaron Rodgers for Christian Ponder and Ryan Tannehill. His production since has been in the toilet. I loved Jennings and hated to see him leave. I’ll never figure out why a player who’s occupation is to catch the football would leave Aaron Rodgers the best QB in the NFC to have Ponder and Tannehill throwing him the football.The Packers should have worked out a way to keep him,but in all fairness Jennings could have settled for a little less money and another Super Bowl ring instead.GO PACK GO!!!!!

    • I think having Rodgers at QB will be a big deal. Cook had close to 500 yards last year and that was one of his worst seasons. He can easily get 600-700 yards receiving and some touchdowns. He will get lots of mismatches. I wouldn’t be surprised is he has a bigger season than expected. He runs well. And with Nelson back next year the middle of the field will be wide open.

  • Good article. I agree that TT should try to sign a ILB free agent like Brown, since there are not many really good prospects at that position in this year’s draft, and even fewer at the TE position. It will be interesting to see if Mike McCarthy can make an underachiever like Cook play up to his potential. The Rams’ coaches never did.

    • I don’t think Cook under achieves as much as people think. He has never had a reliable starting QB to play with and he has had over 600 yards three times. He has also played 48 straight games.

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