While the Green Bay Packers continue to fill out their coaching staff, speculation abounds for how they will address the roster with a new head coach in command. Today’s end-of-the-week musings take a look at one thought for acquiring talent both in the draft and the open market with the Packers looking to upgrade several positions. And fresh off the first unanimous Major League Baseball Hall of Fame selection in league history, I decided to take a look at a few notable Packer snubs and future candidates for the NFL’s highest career honor.
Away we go.
Could the Packers draft a true guard this year?
Without a shadow of a doubt, Green Bay likes offensive linemen that offer versatility. Making tackles into guards such as Daryn Colledge or tackles into centers like J.C. Tretter have become commonplace since the Ted Thompson era. In many cases, the Packers have moved forward with undrafted free agents at guard such as Lane Taylor and Justin McCray, rarely making free agent splashes in recent memory with the exception of Jahri Evans.
The Packers have not selected a true guard in the draft since 2011 when they grabbed Utah’s Caleb Schlauderaff in the sixth round. Even Cole Madison, taken last year, was a college tackle. A pair of Wisconsin guards in Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel as well as Penn State’s Connor McGovern figure to be college guards near the top of the pile this April that Green Bay could target after round one. The Packers still have yet to truly replace the departures of T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton with an above-average duo of guards. Maybe this is the year they will make it a priority by seeking out help for the right side.
Cole Beasley could be a cost-effective slot receiver in free agency.
Donald Driver helped create a little stir via Twitter on Wednesday when he suggested a Green Bay destination to Cole Beasley.
Doesn’t mean I’m gone. I’ll play anywhere where I can make more of an impact. I would love for that to be Dallas or anywhere else that will give me more pops to make an impact. I just wanna ball. It’s hard with 3 to 4 opps a game. https://t.co/zImZKxkAvD— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) January 22, 2019
— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) January 23, 2019
Last week, I wrote a piece detailing the possibility that the Packers could target Jamison Crowder in free agency, which received mixed reviews. Beasley would command less on the open market than Crowder at age 29, but would still bring the veteran presence Green Bay currently lacks at the position. APC’s Peter Bukowski mentioned the Packers’ need to improve the short passing game yesterday and Beasley filled just that kind of role in Dallas. Often, he acted as a safety valve for Dak Prescott and was able to quickly get open with slants and crossers over the middle and via quick outs to the sideline. Both tactics would help improve the Packers’ third down struggles.
A reasonable deal should be had for a player like Beasley whose ceiling is not enough to warrant a significant long-term investment. And while he may not be the big-play receiver Green Bay lacked last season, Beasley might bring a dimension to the offense that Green Bay needs right now.
Which former Packer deserves NFL Hall of Fame recognition?
This week, Major League Baseball released the newest members of its Hall of Fame class and got me thinking: which former Green Bay star most deserves a spot in Canton?
With Jerry Kramer officially off the annual list of dispute, a few others come to mind.
If not for a shortened career, wide receiver Sterling Sharpe could certainly be already enshrined. Sharpe earned a Pro Bowl nod five times while averaging over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns per season. LeRoy Butler also comes to mind. The inventor of the Lambeau Leap had 38 interceptions and 20.5 sacks in 12 seasons as a Packer while earning First Team All-Pro honors four times. Most recently, Charles Woodson seems almost destined for his place in the Hall after eight All-Pro seasons and Mike Holmgren, as a non-player, could also eventually see his face on a Hall of Fame bust.
As a member of two Green Bay Super Bowl appearances, Butler’s stats from the safety position exceed those of a player like John Lynch in several categories. He probably takes the top spot on my list for contributions to the franchise. Still, I think Woodson will be a first-ballot selection.
Feel free to share any additional names in the comments!