When the Green Bay Packers re-signed defensive tackles B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion on Monday, they shored up the middle of their defensive line. The moves also checked off one of the few remaining positions of needs on the team's 2015 roster.
The Packers spent the offseason retaining their own players. The four-year, $40 million deal for wide receiver Randall Cobb keeps together one of the best units in the league. The same holds true for the offensive line where Bryan Bulaga chose to stick around for five years and $33.75 million. While depth along the line remains a focus even with the return of Don Barclay, Green Bay will not have to invest an early pick there.
That leaves inside linebacker and cornerback as the two most glaring weak points on the roster. The Packers already jettisoned former starters A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones while Tramon Williams and Davon House departed in free agency.
At linebacker, Green Bay still has Sam Barrington, Carl Bradford and Nate Palmer. Barrington is an emerging third-year player who came on strong near the end of 2014 while Bradford and Palmer are former outside linebackers who have shifted inward in hopes of finding a home. The Packers also have the versatile Clay Matthews who took snaps inside on running downs after the team's Week 9 bye. Ideally, the team would like to bring in another player or two through the draft who can compete for a starting spot and allow Matthews to spend more of his time at his natural position.
Cornerback appears to rank second on the team's hierarchy of needs, but it may be the first position they address in the draft. Elite cover men tend to come off the boards in the first few rounds, while off-the-ball linebackers can generally be found on Day 3. The Packers don't know what their options will be come pick 30, but they've been linked to names like Jalen Collins, Marcus Peters and Kevin Johnson.
And while general manager Ted Thompson could use his top pick to address either position, it's just as possible he chooses to invest it somewhere else. The 2015 draft class is rich in edge rushers and several intriguing options could be available late in the first round. While the Packers developed an effective pass rush last season with Matthews, Julius Peppers, Nick Perry and Mike Neal coming off the edge, outside linebacker projects as one of the team's biggest areas of need a year from now. Both Perry and Neal are set to hit free agency while Peppers, already 35 years old, may retire or be released. With the team facing a mass exodus at one spot on the roster, Thompson may take advantage of the rare bounty of edge rushers this year to protect himself.
Regardless, those are very few concerns for any team, let alone one with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. The Packers, armed with nine total draft picks, will have plenty of freedom come draft day.