Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has a reputation for picking the best player available in the draft. That strategy, which has served the Packers well, needs to continue this season as the team is in need of more impact players.
Obviously, the Packers are already one of the most talented teams in the NFL. They were one win from the Super Bowl last season. Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Clay Matthews, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Mike Daniels just to name a few.
The offense was good enough to win it all last season, no doubt about it. Rodgers played at an MVP level. Nelson returned to being one of the best wide outs in pro football and Ty Montgomery turned into a legit running back. On the other hand, the defense wasn’t good enough and got abused by both the Cowboys and Falcons, who dominated Green Bay in the NFC title game.
Certainly, Matthews being hurt didn’t help. He was a shell of himself. His return to All-Pro form is essential. But beyond Matthews, Daniels, Clinton-Dix, Morgan Burnett and Nick Perry, the Packers need more impact players.
Kenny Clark showed flashes in his rookie season, as did Blake Martinez. Damarious Randall also had promise during his rookie year and fell off the map in 2016. Those guys need to develop, but the Packers also need to add an athletic, impact player to their defense.
Whether it’s on the defensive line, linebacker or in the secondary, it doesn’t matter, the Packers just need playmakers. Jabrill Peppers is one name that comes to mind, so does T.J. Watt and a number of others.
The point is, whoever the Packers pick, they need to do it because they think he is the best player on the board. They can’t focus on position or need or anything else. They need speed and impact plays on defense, so that should be a focus throughout the draft and in the first round.
But whatever side of the ball is addressed, the Packers must focus on impact in the 2017 NFL draft, not need.