Hey everyone! Hope you all are enjoying being the world champs as much as I am. Really could not ask for more out of a season (obviously). While I have really enjoyed winning this super bowl, I can honestly say that it makes me want to win another one that much more. Here is an early look at our potential 2011 roster with a couple of suggestions for some positions where it isn't so clear what direction the packers will take. Let me know what you think. Btw please be polite, I am not an experienced fan poster. If you don't want to talk about the next season yet, then don't read this post!
-Aaron Rodgers is obviously one of the top 5 QB's in the league (IMO top 3) and Matt Flynn is a proven backup
-Clearly we don't need to make any moves, but it would be interesting to see what kind of trade value Matt Flynn has. I think if it is a 2nd rounder, you have to make that trade because he will be a free agent after the 2011 season I believe. But, I am hesitant to trade him with Aaron's concussions this past season even though I don't think it will be a problem in the future.
HB-Ryan Grant, James Starks, Brandon Jackson, Dimitri Nance Grade- B-
-The grade has a lot to do with how strong Ryan Grant can come back next year. If he shows he hasn't lost anything then the grade would move more towards a B+. James Starks had a solid rookie season and could prove to be the feature back of the future. Brandon Jackson is a GREAT 3rd down back and I really hope we resign him because he also blocks extremely well. Dimitri Nance didn't show me anything in his limited playing time.
-I could see us drafting a running back in the mid-late rounds if we don't resign Brandon Jackson. I really don't think it is as necessary as a lot of mock drafters have made it seem. Our playoff run shows you how we don't need a really good run game to be successful and I think it will only get better next year with the return of Grant and the maturity of Starks.
-Really tough to grade the full backs as I never pay much attention to them. John Kuhn proved to be an effective runner in short down situations. Kuhn and Hall are free agents and I see us only bringing back Kuhn. Resigning Hall would just be silly in my opinion because Johnson is a more than capable backup with some upside.
TE-Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quareless, Tom Crabtree, Donald Lee Grade: A
-We get the A assuming Finley comes back strong because I truly believe that he is a Top 3 tight end when healthy. Quareless didn't impress me too much in his rookie season, but neither did Finley so we will see about him. Crabtree looked like an OK backup and Lee seems a bit redundant. Hopefully we don't keep 4 tight ends again next year.
-The grade would be an A+ if we could catch the football more consistently. The packers win the game easily if Jones catches that one pass. Jennings is clearly a Pro-bowler for many years to come. Driver might be able to have one more year of productive football. Nelson really impressed me in the super bowl and I feel a lot better now about him. I really like Jones' potential, but I wouldn't be completely upset if he signs somewhere else especially after Nelson's performance.
-I could definitely see us drafting a WR in like the 3rd-4th round. Hopefully a guy who can also punt/kick return because we all know how awful we were at that. Did anyone else jump for joy when our kick returners got out to the 20? Thats pretty pathetic.
-I might be a little bit harsh for this grade, but I really see Clifton falling off hard this next year. Hopefully Bulaga improves enough to look like the LT of the future, but I didn't see it this year. I don't see Tauscher coming back again after his injury.
-I definitely think we should target a T in one of the first two rounds in the upcoming draft. Then we can have Bulaga and the rookie battle it out for the LT position. RT isn't a bad consolation prize.
-I got to be honest again and say that I don't really focus on these three positions, but from what I read this season we did a solid job. Sitton is proving to be a pro bowl talent and should continue to dominate opposing interior lineman.
-I could see us drafting a G in an early round, but normally you can find serviceable interior o-lineman late in the draft so I would hope that they hold off.
NT-BJ "The Freezer" Raji, Howard Green Grade: A
-Raji is proving to be as good as they come up front. He seemed to get better as the season wore on. The patriots game stands out in my mind. Green was a VERY good pickup midseason as he forced one of the biggest turnovers in the super bowl and forced Big Ben to gift wrap an INT to Collins.
-Really solid seasons from Jenkins and Pickett. They clearly didn't get the exposure of a Clay Matthews or BJ Raji, but they just did their jobs really well and ate up lineman looking to reach the second level. Jenkins is a free agent and our biggest one IMO. If we can sign him I will be very excited. Neal showed that he could step right into Pickett's position and be an effective player if necessary.
-This is another position where we could draft early in the draft if Jenkins doesn't get resigned. Really don't think it is necessary until the later rounds if we do resign him.
-Clay Matthews automatically gives us the B- grade. He is that good. Zombo, Jones, Poppinga, and Walden all showed flashes of being good players, but don't seem to be consistent enough.
-DRAFT EARLY. If we can get another good OLB in the first or second round I don't see how we pass that up. Someone who could provide a pass rush on the opposite side of Clay would make our defense unstoppable.
-This group is very solid. Nothing flashy, but they get the job done. I don't see us resigning Barnett with three other capable guys on the roster. Hawk will need to get a new contract though because he is due an insane amount of money next year. Bishop could will be a force next year.
-We could draft a late round MLB, but not a huge need.
-Woodson showed how crucial he was to our defense when he left the super bowl. We completely fell apart. Shields also showed he has a little ways to go before becoming a reliable #2 with the TD he gave up against Mike Wallace. I see him becoming the #2 when Woodson retires though. Bush played decent in the super bowl, but he can't be on the field for long periods of time without doing something stupid.
-I would LOVE for us to draft Nnamdi Asomougha who says he wants to play here or for the NYJ, but I don't see it happening. If we do sign him we immediately have the best secondary in the league and CWood might move to safety. I would be ok with us drafting a CB, but not in the earlier rounds. Preferably one who can return kicks/punts.
-Collins is a stud. Bigby and Peprah are free agents, but I would love for us to bring back Peprah. He played really well and didn't get much credit. Bigby has fallen off a bit.
-Maybe draft or sign a Safety if our staff is unable to sign Peprah, but I think Burnett could be a good player
K-Mason Crosby Grade: C
-He is an average kicker to me. Never boots the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs, which annoys me. I would be ok if we didn't resign him, but I would rather us give him another season. He gets the job done.
P-Tim Masthay Grade: B
-Really tempted to give him an A+ for not being Jeremy Kapinos or some of the other terrible Punters we have had in the past. He should be solid for years to come. Really came up big in the playoffs.
KR/PR-Pat Lee, James Starks, Tramon Williams, Jordy Nelson, Sam Shields Grade: D-
-No. Just no. Draft someone please.
-Looking back on my grades I gave us some really good scores. Would be happy to have a report card like that. I am probably too easy of a grader, so let me know what you think/any potential moves you want us to make for this upcoming season. GO PACK GO!