As all of us Packer fans have observed since Ted Thompson took over as General Manager, he has consistently proclaimed that he drafts the best player available. While he is not lying, I believe that he is also not telling the entire truth. I believe the Pack drafts for best player available that will make the biggest impact.
However, Ted has also shown the aggressiveness to move up and pick a player that he wants, such as Clay Matthews. Still not drafting for need but I'm not sure you can call that strictly picking the bpa either.
Going into this years draft the Packers are in an enviable position of having no glaring holes. I'm not suggesting that we don't have positions to fill, just that we happen to have at least serviceable if not great players at every position. I don't need to even mention QB but it is arguable that we still have one of the best Wide Receiver groups in the NFL even with the loss of Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. At Tight End we still have 5 guys at a position that 3 is a luxury. Running Back is one of the serviceable positions with upside if DuJuan Harris more consistently produces more of what we have seen him flash. At 5'8" and 203 lbs he is built like a fireplug and runs really quick and he's backed up by other serviceable backs in James Starks, Alex Green and Brandon Saine. Good pick for upgrade here. Offensive Line isn't even an area in need of a new starter. I know what you're thinking, but consider the fact that Marshall Newhouse is at least an adequate starter with experience even though he tends to give up the most sacks and bad runs on the line. Give a bit of a bye on this since he also tends to face the best Defensive Ends every week. Besides, Sherrod should be returning and will at least provide some competition. Between Bulaga and Barclay the right side seems fairly well covered. The starters seem to be entrenched at Guard with Lang and Sitton with backup Van Roten (although not experienced) provides some security. Dietrich-Smith provides an adequate starter at Center. This is the only area on Offense where I believe at least one or two players need to be picked but it is for depth and upgrade rather than absolute necessity.
On Defense, Cornerback is definitely not an area of need at starter or depth. Williams, Shields, Heyward, House, and the recently signed Means and even Bush thrown in as a reasonable backup who mostly supports Special Teams. That being said I agree with Ron Wolf on the idea that you could pick a Cornerback every year because you can't have too many. Safety is adequately covered with Burnett and either Jennings, McMillian, or Richardson. Could use another Safety for upgrade here. At Linebacker we are fairly stocked at MLB with Bishop, Smith, Jones, Hawk, Francois, Manning, and even Lattimore. OLB looks to have good starters in Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. Perry is unproven but lets see how he does in the second year. Here we are a little thin at depth with Desmond Moses the only other OLB that's played. This is a need pick for depth. Defensive Line, though many would suggest it's an absolute need, has sufficient depth. This will particularly be true with the return of Jerel Worthy when he comes back. In addition to Worthy, with Daniels, Neal, Wilson, Pickett, Raji and even Johnny Jolly one could argue that the cupboard isn't bare. Another position that could be picked for depth or upgrade.
So, the exciting part of this evaluation of the Packer roster is that the initial evaluation shows that the team enters this year's draft with the ability to pick any position and, once again, pick the best player available to make an impact on the team. The flip side of that coin is that we will, once again, have very little clue as to what Ted will do at pick 26.