EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a great breakdown of the current roster and contract status of the Packers' defensive line.
Draft season is almost upon us, so it is a good time to assess the state of the Packers' roster. Let's start with the front line of the defense. Here is a list of players the team has under contract:
B.J. Raji (13Aug09: 5yr/$22.9 mil [$2.4 mil signing]) FA: '14/'15
2013: $4.49 mil
2014: $2.1325 mil (Voidable Year)
Mike Neal (26Jul10: 4yr/$2.950 mil [$1.16 mil signing]) FA: '14
Ryan Pickett (12Mar10: 4yr/$24.925 mil [$2 mil signing]) FA: '14
2013: $5.4 mil (+$500k roster+$500k workout)
Mike Daniels (22May12: 4yr/$2.401 mil [$300,584 signing]) FA: '16
C.J. Wilson (23Jun10: 4yr/$1.84 mil [$50,354 signing]) FA: '14
Johnny Jolly FA: '14
Jerel Worthy (10May12: 4yr/$3,948,203 [$1,311,420 signing]) FA: '16
Jordan Miller (11Dec12: 3yr/$1.44 mil) FA: '15
The first thing that jumps out at me is how many players have contracts that expire after this season. Pickett, Neal, Wilson & Jolly's deals all end when the final gun fires at the SB, and Raji will almost certainly void the final year of his deal to test free agency. This, in effect, means we have a grand total of 3 guys who are under contract into '14. Pickett is unlikely to return, and there's doubts that Jolly will even make the roster this season after so much time away from the game. Wilson is solid, but could be upgraded relatively easily. Neal & Raji are priorities to resign.
Worthy is coming off of an injury, so his availability for '13 is in question. Mike Daniels was nothing special as a rookie, but showed good potential for a 4th round pick. Jordan Miller was a late season promotion from the PS. All in all, this looks to be one of, if not the, highest needs for the team, both short-term & long-term.
Draft priority: Very high
Optimally, getting a DL early (1st-3rd), and perhaps another late (5th-7th)
Potential early round picks: Star Lotulelei, Datone Jones, Kawann Short, Jesse Williams, Johnathan Hankins, John Jenkins, Brandon Williams, Sylvester Williams
Potential late round picks: Bennie Logan, Kwame Geathers, Montori Hughes, Cory Grisson, Josh Boyd, William Campbell
*released; will not count against us for compensatory picks if signed