Draft season is almost upon us, so it is a good time to assess the state of the Packers' roster. Moving to the offensive side of the ball, we start with the front line. Here is a list of players the team has under contract:
G Josh Sitton (2Sep11: 6yr/$34.95 mil [$6 mil signing]) FA: '17
2013: $3.4 mil (+$650k roster+$300k workout)
2014: $4.5 mil (+$400k roster+$300k workout)
2015: $4.85 mil (+$400k roster+$300k workout)
2016: $5.9 mil (+$400k roster+$300k workout)
T Bryan Bulaga (30Jul10: 5yr/$12.21 mil [$880k signing]) FA: '15
2013: $862k (+$100k workout)
2014: $2,565,500 (+$100k workout)
G T.J. Lang (13Aug12: 5yr/$22.06 mil [$5.5 mil signing]) FA: '17
2013: $750k (+$200k workout+$750k roster)
2014: $3.5 mil (+$200k workout+$300k roster)
2015: $4.2 mil (+$200k workout+$300k roster)
2016: $4.6 mil (+$200k workout+$300k roster)
T Derek Sherrod (29Jul11: 4yr/$6,602,002 [$3,301,456 signing]) Club option: '15 FA: '16
2014: $1,275,273 mil
T Marshall Newhouse (23Jun10: 4yr/$1,939,850 [$149,850 signing]) FA: '14
2013: $1.323 mil
T/G Don Barclay (30Apr12: 3yr/$1.44 mil) RFA: '15
C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith ('13: Original Round RFA Tender) FA: '14
2013: $1.323 mil
G Greg Van Roten (13Oct12: 3yr/$1.44 mil) RFA: '15
T Andrew Datko (14Jan13: 3yr/$1.485 mil) RFA: '16
C Garth Gerhart (14Jan13: 3yr/$1.485 mil) RFA: '16
G Joe Gibbs (14Jan13: 3yr/$1.485 mil) RFA: '16
T Kevin Hughes (1Feb13: 3yr/$1.71 mil) FA: '16
Sitton is one of the best guards in the league & is locked up for a while. Bulaga was developing into a top RT before a hip injury sidelined him late in the season. His availability to begin the season is in doubt, but, luckily, UDFA Barclay filled in adequately in his absence, so we may be able to ease him back into the line-up if he's not fully ready at the starting gun. The LT spot is Sherrod's to lose after missing all of last year after suffering a broken leg late in '11. Newhouse will look to retain his job, but optimally he will be an experienced reserve. Lang's contract balloons after this season, so he needs to improve his play to continue earning his keep. Hopefully, last season's performance was attributable to injury.
The C position needs to be addressed, one way or another. EDS may be viewed as the C of the future, and if so, he needs to be extended, as he is playing on a one year RFA tender. If not, his replacement needs to be acquired & groomed. There's a few interesting prospects at the bottom of the roster. Van Roten made the team as a UDFA & logged some regular season snaps at TE/H-Back, and looks to have good mobility. Datko was a highly touted LT prospect until an injury dropped him out of the top of the draft. TT drafted him late last year & has been developing him on the PS.
Draft priority (C): High
I am not sold on EDS as C.
Draft priority (G): Low
Starters are set, and there's a bit of depth, too.
Draft priority (T): Moderate
There's some uncertainty here, but outside of a dominant LT (who won't be there when we pick), things are somewhat rosy. The key is value; if the players aren't there, we can go without drafting a T.
Potential 2nd-5th round picks (C): Travis Frederick, Barrett Jones, Brian Schwenke, Khaled Holmes
Potential 6th-7th round picks (G): Omoregie Uzzi, Garrett Gilkey, Sam Brenner, Jeff Baca, Earl Watford, John Sullen, Blaize Foltz
Potential 4th-7th round picks (T): David Quessenberry, Xavier Nixon, Terron Armstead, Brennan Williams, Ricky Wagner, Jordan Mills, Reid Fragel, Manase Foketi
Potential FA targets still on the market: T Tyson Clabo*, T Jared Gaither*, T Wayne Hunter*, G Mitch Petrus*, T Guy Whimper*, T Jammal Brown, T Rashad Butler, G Antoine Caldwell, G Leonard Davis, G Ramon Foster, T Winston Justice, C Dan Koppen, C Doug Legursky, C Ryan Lilja, T Bryant McKinnie, G Brandon Moore, T Frank Omiyale, G Jake Scott, T Max Starks, T Eric Winston
*released; will not count against us for compensatory picks if signed