I know it's 5 weeks early, but I can't wait - My FA Analysis and Draft priority

So as an ex army military intelligence specialist, I like to put my training to good use sometimes. Each year, I take a deep look at our team, where our strengths are, and our weaknesses. Then, I pretend I'm playing Madden, and come up with a comprehensive strategy for our teams comtinued dominance and hopefully 3 to 5 rings in a row.


QB – Matt Flynn - We will certainly lose Matt Flynn to Free Agency. My best guess is Seattle / Washington in the NFC, Miami / Cleveland in the AFC. I see him getting somewhere in the 3-4 years 4-6 million per year range. I’d love to keep him, but it’s not going to happen.

Replacements – Graham Harrell looks to get a shot next year, but don’t be surprised if they draft a middle round QB to refill their stock.

RB – Ryan Grant – I personally think resigning him would not be a bad idea. He is reaching the magic number for RB’s where their output severely drops, however, he hasn’t had a lot of wear and tear on his body (except for the injury) and I can see him still running very had for a few years to come. However, I am prepared to let him go. Between Saine, Starks, and Green, we should be set.

Replacements – A RB will be drafted this year. I doubt it will be a priority so it would not be earlier than a 4th or 5th round pick.

FB – There will be no losses at this position.

Replacements – I feel slightly uncomfortable rolling the dice with one RB, but our core of TEs gives that protection. I would not draft anyone at this position.

TE – Jermichael Finley – I am torn about him. I do think that he is a great talent, and we are better with him than without. I’m not sure we really need him, especially with such a deep TE corps as well as his ability to make the easiest catches turn into drops and the hardest catches into the spectacular. The other TEs have 0 drops I think this season, whereas Finley leads the team…

Replacements – If Finley leaves, I would maybe take a late round TE, but nothing else.

WR – Donald Driver – Everyone is under contract, which means that the only possibility for loss would be from retirement. While I don’t think the fire has quite left our good old loyal DD, I think the Packers may be able to lure him into retirement by signing him to a lucrative deal as our WR’s Coach. I’m sure that if there were some injuries next year, he could return as a player/coach.

Replacements – We already have 1 WR on IR, Shaky Smithson, and two WRs on the Practice squad, Diondre Borel, and the proven loyal Tori Gurley (not proven in the game, just proven loyalty mind you). Give them a chance to prove themselves on our team, and if there is an injury, we can get Driver back into #80 immediately.

OT – Chad Clifton – This injury may have been his death knell in the pros. Especially given the two young guns behind him trying to lock themselves in that position, the likelihood that we will see Chad in the Green and Gold again is unlikely.

Replacements – As I said before, We’ve got two good talents chomping at the bit for their shot to be called the undisputed starter. We’re covered if there is any sort of injury. Draft a middle/late rounder.

OG – There will be no losses at this position.

Replacements – If a solid pick in the 6th and 7th rounds is available, pick him up. Otherwise, no worries for a year or two.

C – Scott Wells – Resigning him is the second highest priority for the Packers next to Finley. I’m sure he will take a home team discount. He is, however, getting slightly up there in age, and a solid backup would not be a bad idea.

Replacements – I’m not sold on Sampson Genus (Practice Squad) as our guy to lead us on the line in a few years or if he gets hurt. A middle round pick to push him/replace him would not be a bad idea.

DE –Mike Neal / C.J. Wilson – Neither of these players are what we thought they were going to be. They aren’t free agents, but Neal and Wilson, along with Wynn are all in jeopardy of not making this team next year. Only Wynn has shown some spark of talent.

Replacements –

Free Agency

Robert Mathis (IND) - DE - In a big offseason for the Colts, no defensive free agent is more important than Robert Mathis who has publicly stated his discontent with the lack of a long-term extension. The Colts defense relies upon quarterback pressure and Mathis is an enormous part of that. It will be expensive, but he is a dominant pass rusher and putting him on the other side of Clay Matthews would make them a very impressive tandem. Besides, isn’t it about time for us to make one of those large Free Agent Splashes we’re known for?

Cliff Avril (DET) - DE - Avril has been a member of the Detroit D-Line revolution under Jim Schwartz and Ndamukong Suh. He's an explosive pass rusher off the perimeter, perhaps Detroit's best. Even so, the Lions line has had no problem getting to the passer regardless of who they play at defensive end; so while retaining their best exterior pass rusher may seem important, it's probably less so considering the coaching staff and the offensive attention the interior linemen garner. To take such a player away from a divisional rival would make sense. Add to your team and subtract from someone you see twice a year. He is a hard worker, and I don’t think he’s been put in the same association with the dirty play that Suh, VandenBosch, and the rest have.

Drafting – This would be an instant priority, first round caliber. We’re seriously missing not resigning Jenkins right now and would have a much better defense if we could actually put pressure on the QB.

DT – Howard Green – He hasn’t played with the fire that he showed last year. Still, I think he can be had fairly cheap. If we offer him a 1.5-2 million per year contract, I think he jumps at it.

Replacements – Sione Pouha (NYJ) - NT – A solid interior lineman would allow BJ Raji to be exclusively an outside pass rusher, otherwise, look at drafting at the position.

Drafting – This would be a slightly lower priority than DE. A higher round pick would be nice, but not necessary.

OLB – Erik Walden – I can’t see him on our team next year. He’s got a weak pass rush and if often unable to shed tackles to get to the running back. Zombo and So’oto seem to be better players, if one can get healthy, the other will work hard. If he signs for 1.0-1.5 million / year, ok, sure, we sign him, but otherwise, don’t offer him a contract.

Replacements – If we can get a top flight OLB to run next to the Claymaker, jump on him early. Otherwise, I think we can hold off and draft a later pick. I think So’oto will become a very solid player.

ILB – There will be no losses at the position.

Replacements – All of them four have strengths and faults… but they all can make plays and are solid tacklers. Bishop is the future star here. Drafting one lower pick to push the guys wouldn’t hurt, but it’s not necessary.

CB – Jarrett Bush and Pat Lee – Bush would not be a bad resign. He’s rough in coverage, but tackles well and is the hardest worker in our entire group. He’s also very solid in special teams… something Pat Lee showed inept at on the final regular season game of the year. He is a goner. Off field issues mixed with stupid play is a quality the Jets look for in players, not the Packers.

Replacements – Woodson is winding down, Lee is gone. We need to get a top flight guy. There isn’t anyone I’d like from Free Agency, short of Grimes and Carlos Rodgers, and Brandon Carr, but I doubt they’ll be available at a reasonable price. A first or 2nd round pick would be great and hope that Davon House can see the field next year.

S – Nick Collins – I’m hoping that Nick can get back for sure, but a neck injury is scarry. If he comes back, we’re set at the position. If not, we need to sign someone.

Replacements – If Nick doesn’t come back, this becomes a top 3 pick priority. Otherwise, we can forget it.

KP – There are no needs at this position.

Order of Priority

1. Defensive End

a. Robert Mathid

b. Cliff Avril

c. Draft 1st / 2nd Round

2. Outside Linebacker

a. Draft 1st / 2nd / 3rd Round

3. Cornerback

a. Draft 1st / 2nd / 3rd Round

4. Defensive Tackle

a. Sione Pouha

b. Drafting 2nd / 3rd / 4th Round

5. Safety

a. Drafting 2nd / 3rd / 4th / 5th Round  only if Collins can’t play

6. Quarterback

a. Drafting 4th / 5th / 6th Round

7. Runningback

a. Drafting 5th / 6th / 7th Round (1st if Richardson is available)

8. Inside Linebacker

a. Drafting 5th / 6th / 7th Round (undrafted FA?)

9. Center

a. Drafting 5th / 6th / 7th Round (undrafted FA?)

10. Tight End

a. Drafting 5th / 6th / 7th Round (undrafted FA? – only if Finley is not reassigned.

11. Offensive Tackle

a. Drafting 6th / 7th (undrafted FA)

12. Offensive Guard

a. Drafting 6th / 7th (undrafted FA)

13. Fullback

a. Undrafted FA

14. Wide Reciever

a. Undrafted FA



Drew Brees (NO)

Matt Flynn (GB)

Alex Smith (SF)

Kyle Orton (DEN)

Jason Campbell (OAK

Donovan McNabb (MIN

Derek Anderson (CAR)

Shaun Hill (DET)

Brady Quinn (DEN)

Chad Henne (MIA)

Vince Young (PHI)

Rex Grossman (WAS)


Ray Rice (BAL

Matt Forte (CHI

Ryan Grant (GB)

Peyton Hillis (CLE)

Mike Tolbert (SD)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (NE)

LaDainian Tomlinson (NYJ)

Cedric Benson (CIN)

Marshawn Lynch (SEA)

Arian Foster (HOU)

Michael Bush (OAK)

Justin Forsett (SEA)

Tim Hightower (WAS)

Kahlil Bell (CHI) - Restricted

LeGarrette Blount (TB) - Exclusive Rights


Reggie Wayne (IND)

Wes Welker (NE)

Vincent Jackson (SD)

DeSean Jackson (PHI)

Dwayne Bowe (KC)

Marques Colston (NO)

Steve Johnson (BUF)

Brandon Lloyd (STL)

Robert Meachem (NO)

Mario Manningham (NYG)

Mike Wallace (PIT) - Restricted

Early Doucet (ARZ)

Earl Bennett (CHI)

Pierre Garcon (IND)

Steve Smith (PHI)

Ted Ginn (SF)


Jermichael Finley (GB)

Fred Davis (WAS)

John Carlson (SEA)

Jacob Tamme (IND)

Visanthe Shiancoe (MIN)


Demetrius Bell (BUF) - OT

Carl Nicks (NO) - OG

Ben Grubbs (BAL) - OG

Chris Myers (HOU) - OC

Jeff Saturday (IND) - OC

Nick Hardwick (SD) - OC

Scott Wells (GB) - OC

D'Anthony Batiste (ARZ) - OT

Levi Brown (ARZ) - OT

Brandon Keith (ARZ) - OT

Mark LeVoir (BAL) - OT

Demetrius Bell (BUF) - OT

Erik Pears (BUF) - OT

Anthony Collins (CIN) - OT

Dennis Roland (CIN) - OT

Oniel Cousins (CLE) - OT

Artis Hicks (CLE) - OT

Guy Whimper (JAC) - OT

Jared Gaither (KC) - OT

Barry Richardson (KC) - OT

Vernon Carey (MIA) - OT

Kareem McKenzie (NYG) - OT

Robert Turner (NYJ) - OT

Khalif Barnes (OAK) - OT

Stephon Heyer (OAK) - OT

King Dunlap (PHI) - OT

Trai Essex (PIT) - OT

Max Starks (PIT) - OT

Breno Giacomini (SEA) - OT

Adam Snyder (SF) - OT

Adam Goldberg (STL) - OT

James Lee (TB) - OT

Mike Otto (TEN) - OT

C.J. Davis (CAR) - OT - Exclusive Rights

Geoff Schwartz (CAR) - OT - Restricted

Garry Williams (CAR) - OT - Restricted

Jermey Parnell (DAL) - OT - Exclusive Rights

Chris Clark (DEN) - OT - Exclusive Rights

Corey Hilliard (DET) - OT - Restricted

Lydon Murtha (MIA) - OT - Restricted

Patrick Brown (MIN) - OT - Exclusive Rights

Brandyn Dombrowski (SD) - OT - Restricted

Alex Boone (SF) - OT - Exclusive Rights

Deuce Lutui (ARZ) - OG

Chad Rinehart (BUF) - OG

Mackenzy Bernadeau (CAR) - OG

Roberto Garza (CHI) - OG

Nate Livings (CIN) - OG

Mike McGlynn (CIN) - OG

Bobbie Williams (CIN) - OG

John Greco (CLE) - OG

Steve Vallos (CLE) - OG

Derrick Dockery (DAL) - OG

Russ Hochstein (DEN) - OG

Ryan Diem (IND) - OG

Dan Connolly (NE) - OG

Stacy Andrews (NYG) - OG

Chilo Rachal (SF) - OG

Jacob Bell (STL) - OG

Jeremy Zuttah (TB) - OG

Jake Scott (TEN) - OG

Kory Lichtensteiger (WAS) - OG

Will Montgomery (WAS) - OG

Kraig Urbik (BUF) - OG - Restricted

Dorian Brooks (PIT) - OG - Exclusive Rights

Ramon Foster (PIT) - OG - Restricted

Todd McClure (ATL) - OC

Matt Birk (BAL) - OC

Andre Gurode (BAL) - OC

Ryan Pontbriand (CLE) - OC

Don Muhlbach (DET) - OC

Casey Wiegmann (KC) - OC

John Sullivan (MIN) - OC

Dan Koppen (NE) - OC

Olin Kreutz (NO) - OC

Scott Mruczkowski (SD) - OC

Ken Amato (TEN) - OC

Edwin Williams (CHI) - OC - Exclusive Rights

Jon Weeks (HOU) - OC - Restricted

Ryan Wendell (NE) - OC - Restricted

Justin Drescher (NO) - OC - Exclusive Rights

Mike Windt (SD) - OC - Exclusive Rights

Fernando Velasco (TEN) - OC - Restricted

Def Ends

Robert Mathis (IND) - DE

Antonio Garay (SD) - NT

Calais Campbell (ARZ) - DE

Jason Jones (TEN) - DT

John Abraham (ATL) - DE

Cliff Avril (DET) - DE

Aubrayo Franklin (NO) - NT

Sione Pouha (NYJ) - NT

Israel Idonije (CHI) - DE

Igor Olshansky (MIA) - DE

Brodrick Bunkley (DEN) - DT

Howard Green (GB) - DT


Mario Williams (HOU)

Curtis Lofton (ATL)

Anthony Spencer (DAL)

Stephen Tulloch (DET)

Dan Connor (CAR)

London Fletcher (WAS)

E.J. Henderson (MIN)

D'Qwell Jackson (CLE)

Erik Walden (GB)


Brent Grimes (ATL)

Carlos Rogers (SF)

Cortland Finnegan (TEN)

Brandon Carr (KC)

Tracy Porter (NO)

Terrell Thomas (NYG)

Marcus Trufant (SEA)

Jarrett Bush (GB)

Pat Lee (GB)

Will Allen (MIA)

Al Harris (STL)


LaRon Landry (WAS)

Michael Griffin (TEN)

Chris Harris (DET)

Tyvon Branch (OAK)

Brandon Meriweather (CHI)

Gerald Sensabaugh (DAL)

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