Tom Oates: Draft unlikely to provide the help Packers need

realitybytes

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this article should be very popular with the "sky is falling" crowd:
link to full article.

Don’t let one splashy signing — tight end Martellus Bennett — fool you, the Green Bay Packers haven’t improved themselves since the NFL’s free agent feeding frenzy began a month ago.

For sure, the Packers did get some things done in free agency.
Despite losing Jared Cook, they got better at tight end by signing Bennett and Lance Kendricks. They also acquired some solid veteran depth by signing defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois and cornerback Davon House.

Closer to home, they retained outside linebacker Nick Perry, though at $59 million for five years it wasn’t cheap. They also kept guard Don Barclay, halfback Christine Michael and outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott as insurance policies.

Every one of those moves was worth making. However, they weren’t enough to make Green Bay a winner in the first month of the offseason. In fact, the Packers are nowhere near as good right now as they were when the season ended. At this point in the process, the incoming talent hasn’t matched the outgoing talent.

The Packers did manage to offset the loss of Cook and did roughly the same with departed slot cornerback Micah Hyde when they brought back House after two years in Jacksonville. But they have done little to replace the other free agents they lost: guard T.J. Lang, center JC Tretter, halfback Eddie Lacy and outside linebackers Julius Peppers and Datone Jones. Nor have they replaced No. 1 cornerback Sam Shields and backup halfback James Starks, both of whom were released due to injury concerns.

With free agency slowing to a crawl and the attention turning to the upcoming draft, it’s time to take stock of what the Packers still need to acquire if they hope to improve a team that reached the NFC Championship Game before crumbling under the weight of a substandard defense.

As it stands now, the Packers have four gaping holes in an otherwise solid roster. They need a workhorse, between-the-tackles halfback to replace Lacy, a physical right guard to replace Lang, an explosive edge pass rusher to replace Peppers and a shutdown cornerback to replace Shields. They don’t need roster-fillers at those positions, either. They need difference-makers.

Currently, there is no one on the roster to adequately fill any of those needs. And what remains on the free agent market isn’t likely to help, even if general manager Ted Thompson is inclined to dabble even more in free agency.

That leaves the draft, where the Packers own their seven picks in addition to a fifth-round compensatory pick. As usual, they will select late in every round, which only adds to their degree of difficulty on draft day.

Here’s the problem: The chances of the Packers filling four major holes in one draft with immediate-impact players aren’t good. In fact, they’re just this side of impossible.
Even if the draft were to break just right at those positions, Thompson would still have to pick the right guys. His drafting record is good, but it’s not that good.
link to full article.

personally, i think this article is a little overly pessimistic.
 

Mark87

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this article should be very popular with the "sky is falling" crowd:
link to full article.



link to full article.

personally, i think this article is a little overly pessimistic.
"SKY IS FALLING CROWD" give me a break :rolleyes: ..... It's only pessimistic if GB is playing in the NFC title game again or Super bowl. You once again have to have that perfect storm and get on a roll late etc. Every draft is a crap shoot in that these guys have to pan out 3/4 yrs from now not year 1.

TT/MM tend to want their rookies to contribute early and often which again is a crap shoot... get key injuries that our season ending and rookies that are not up to par dead(

Point being > A. in reality you don't grade this draft until 4 yrs down the line. B. It's an off season pre-draft article designed to get you to click.. you did so mission accomplished.
 

kingkoopa

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Tom Oates sounds like me. Packers are once again going to be a playoff bound team that falls short of the ultimate goal. To me, and to tom Oates that's not good enough, but to some it is. Like I've said before Atlanta braves of the 90s or for a football comparison colts of the 00s
 

GBP4EVER

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"SKY IS FALLING CROWD" give me a break :rolleyes: ..... It's only pessimistic if GB is playing in the NFC title game again or Super bowl. You once again have to have that perfect storm and get on a roll late etc. Every draft is a crap shoot in that these guys have to pan out 3/4 yrs from now not year 1.

TT/MM tend to want their rookies to contribute early and often which again is a crap shoot... get key injuries that our season ending and rookies that are not up to par dead(

Point being > A. in reality you don't grade this draft until 4 yrs down the line. B. It's an off season pre-draft article designed to get you to click.. you did so mission accomplished.
Though unless forced to Capers does not like playing rookies much in his defense unless forced to which with the amount of injuries that always happen to this team is pretty often.
 

realitybytes

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okay, so here's my sugar-coated polyana vision. oates has already admitted that replacing cook with martellus and kendricks is probably an upgrade over last season. and he grudgingly concedes that replacing hyde with house is probably a wash. he then goes on to say that there are four other gaping holes to fill, and that all of them must be filled with difference makers in order for the packers to be at least as good as last year.

i think that's overly pessimistic. the four gaping holes he lists are: the loss of eddie lacy at running back, the loss of lang at right guard, the loss of julius peppers on the edge, and the loss of sam shields at corner.

first, i would argue that lacy and shields didn't contribute anything at all to the packers last year - at least during the "run the table" phase of the season - so replacing them does not require any effort at all. we still have both of the running backs and all of the cornerbacks (except hyde) who actually played for us in the last half of the season. can we improve? yes, we can. and it won't take much to do so.

as far as replacing julius peppers goes, i'm not convinced that he really did a lot for us last season. certainly he had a few moments in the sun. but they were few and far between. 15 tackles in 584 snaps? but this draft is deep in edge prospects, so i'm hopefull that we will get a good one.

right guard? yes, we definitely have a problem to resolve there. but is it insurmountable? i don't think so. maybe the coaching staff knows something that we don't. few of us thought it was possible to replace sitton with taylor. i sure didn't.

i think we can easily fill the four holes with players already on the team and/or draft picks. and it wouldn't shock me to see us find at least one undrafted player who can help out with these "gaping" holes.
 

57packer

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It's a valid argument that Oates is making, but maybe he's just seeing it from a little too negative an angle. Let's look at the players he wants to replace:
1) The Packers offset the loss of Cook with Bennett and Kendricks.
2) The Packers offset the loss of Hyde with House.
3) They have not replaced Lang, but may have his replacement in Murphy already on the roster. I doubt it, but maybe. Still, TT has done well finding OGs in Rds 4-5 so it's hardly impossible as Oates suggests.
4) Tretter was depth, so I don't see that as being such a dire issue. Tretter contributed little last year so replacing his production would take very little. With Barclay, Spriggs, Murphy and Lucas you might already be OK.
5) Lacy certainly does need to be replaced, but again, RB may be the easiest position for a rookie to come in an impact right away. Draft is deep at RB and finding one to replace Lacy's production last year should not be hard.
6) Replacing Peppers is a problem and they likely need to use a 1st Rd pick to get anyone nearly as talented.
7) Datone Jones . . . really. A guy who was essentially the 4th guy at his position. Heck that might well be Fackrell this year and he'll probably be about as productive as Datone.
8) Agree on Sam Shields but then again they really did not have him at all last year so how can you argue that not having his replacement has weakened the squad. It was weakened all season and they were still a productive team once the offense got back on track. Shields was another guy who produced nothing last season so adding a guy better than nothing is pretty easy.
9) Lastly, James Starks, another . . . really? To me he was a total non-factor last year. Anyone breathing is an adequate replacement. I'd argue that Monty is already a better #2 back than Starks was so they are already better at the back-up RB position.

Are there holes, sure. I just don't know that they are as dire as Oates makes it. Basically if they draft a pass rusher in Rd 1, a CB in Rd 2, a RB in Rd 3 and an OG in Rd 4 you would be most of the way there. Could they be a little behind after the draft, absolutely, but I also think they could be "close" or maybe better, if they hit on solid player with 3 of their first 4 picks. The problem of course is that being close to or the same as last year means you still are not "good enough".
 
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Backthepack4ever

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man if things are so bad in green bay I wonder what they are saying down in Dallas. That team lost o line depth, most of their secondary and a backup QB.

yawn, you have roster turnover every season. I would love to know which trees to pick these shutdown corners from. The pats paid what around 15mil for a guy I would call shutdown. The draft is the best route to try and find that guy. He might not be shutdown or even our #1 next year but it is what it is.

Monty will prove better then Lacy. I still want a back but the 220 pound monty isn't any small guy. Ahman Green is pretty high on him doing big things next year. Ill side with our all time leading rusher.

Pep is at the end. If we can get a rook to eat up some snaps or even better make some plays that could also be a wash

Lang was a packer fav and I hate to see him go, but his spot might be the easiest to replace in football. I don't like losing 3 interior guys in less then a year though. I will agree here. It took a long time to get a good line and we were top 3 imo. We have taken a step back here

Its hard to win in the NFL, but right now I don't see any NFC team that is head and shoulders better then the pack. I damn sure want a SB title every year but it doesn't work like that. Maybe its fair to say the pack is somewhat like the 90s braves but Ill take that over the all time brewers, who show up to the playoffs once in a blue noon and don't get it done either.

in the last 10 years there are only 2 teams with multiple titles. the last 15 there are 3 teams. We will be in the mix again this season. as for the article Ted was more aggressive then he has been in the past. we still have some key parts that need to be resigned. I am happy so far with this offseason and look forward to the draft
 

Dubz41

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Agree that Oates is just trying to generate clicks. Slow time of year.
Like 57 pointed out:
It's a valid argument that Oates is making, but maybe he's just seeing it from a little too negative an angle. Let's look at the players he wants to replace:
1) The Packers offset the loss of Cook with Bennett and Kendricks.

2) The Packers offset the loss of Hyde with House.

I would make the argument that we are better at TE. More physical (how many games did Cook miss? half the year?) and reliable.
I was not a big Hyde fan. He had one HUGE play in the Dallas game, but other than that my memories of him are tackling TEs and RBs three to five yards past the first down markers! I swear he gave up more first down catches than Randall and Rollins combined. Smart but slow.

I'll admit it, I'm a glass half full kind of guy. Take what I've got, assess and evaluate, make your moves and hope for the best. Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them. I'm looking for us to address our biggest needs DB, Edge, OL and RB. I believe we will get at least one of each of those. Then I hope we stay healthy and get lucky at the end of the playoffs.
 

Cheesedog

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That's a solid article.

As it stands now, the Packers have four gaping holes in an otherwise solid roster. They need a workhorse, between-the-tackles halfback to replace Lacy, a physical right guard to replace Lang, an explosive edge pass rusher to replace Peppers and a shutdown cornerback to replace Shields. They don’t need roster-fillers at those positions, either. They need difference-makers.
Truth, there it is in a nutshell..

GB has not improved the roster. They've been able to improve TE, but the secondary is still no better than it was. They've lost pass rush ability as well. At best the roster has stayed the same. And TTs rookies rarely make a huge impact day 1... (with a few exceptions)...

GB has Arod back, which will take them farther than the talent on the roster says the team should. So unless Arod gets injured they should be back in the playoffs.

Like I've said before Atlanta braves of the 90s
That's a great comparison...
 

Dubz41

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The whole article is opinion. An opinion shared by some, not shared by others. So let's look at the FACTS:

Shields- replace what? He wasn't even there! Yes we need CB help.
Julius Peppers- 23 tackles, 7.5 sacks. Really not a difference maker.
TJ Lang- toughest to line up stats for and probably the toughest to replace.
JC Tretter- Back up OL. BACK UP lineman. As in off-the-bench.
'Fat' Eddie Lacy- 5 games played. 360 yds rushing, 28 yards receiving. His career stats went down each year. 267 lbs coming off of an ankle injury.
Cook- Missed 6 games. Could have come back. Green Bay offered a decent contract. Agent over played their hand. Signed for much less with the Raiders.
D Jones- 1 sack. You can talk about his pressures, but what most remember is his bone headed penalties to keep the opposition on the field.
Hyde- 4 Ints in 19 games. 12 passes defended. Couldn't find how many first downs he allowed.

IMO- this group (sans Lang- and that's a guard) is more than replaceable. House is better than an absent Shields. Bennett is better and more reliable than Cook.
I think this off season is precariously balanced and people will see it with their preconceived inclinations. Personally, Lang is loss that concerns me, the others? Not much there that we lost.
 
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