Reviewing the draft: Green Bay Packers

Reviewing the draft: Green Bay Packers

Green Bay entered the 2004 NFL draft after backing into the division title last season. With Brett Favre getting clos to retirement the Packers desperately need to do something to stabilize their franchise for the future. While the last several drafts have been productive, Green Bay enters this season with ageing veterans, high salaried players and several starters set to enter free agency. Yet once again the franchise needed to find a way to add talent with very few selections in the draft.

Mike McKenzie's public battle the week prior to the draft weighed heavily on the franchise.  With the teams best cover corner demanding a trade Green Bay had to alter their plans immediately and it was evident in the very early rounds.  Ahmad Carroll was the teams first choice.  Carroll, who was a bit of a surprise in round one, is an athletic cornerback that plays an explosive brand of football.  While physical gifts are not a concern for Carroll he is slow to react mentally and must improve both his instincts and recognition.  If Carroll learns the nuances of the position he will be very good in a few seasons.  Joey Thomas, the teams second selection, is another cornerback with a high upside.  Thomas, who played at Montana State, was impressive at the Senior Bowl and offers great size as a cornerback.  The team hopes the picks of Carroll and Thomas make up for the potential loss of McKenzie and/or Al Harris, a free agent at the end of the year. Donnell Washington was the first of two defensive tackles selected by the Packers and is another defender who offers a nice upside.  Washington is a menacing lineman that must play with a more consistent motor and dedicate himself to the game in order to achieve his full potential yet will fit in nicely as a rotational defensive tackle during his rookie campaign.  Corey Williams, the second defensive tackle taken by Green Bay, offers another candidate with excellent size potential and is a player that gives a maximum effort on every play.  While he must improve his strength and his fundamentals he has the physical abilities to be a starter for the team down the road. B.J. Sanders will replace Josh Bidwell as the teams punter and should do well in the adverse conditions often offered at Lambeau Field. Scott Wells is a heady and hard working pivot man.  While he does not have great physical skills Wells is an underrated player that should immediately find a home as a backup center with the potential to develop into a solid starter down the road.

Green Bay did a nice job adding talented players with the few selections they had.  The tandems drafted at defensive tackle and cornerback should contribute as rookies in the teams defensive rotations.  The Pack also got their starting punter and a solid interior offensive lineman.  What Green Bay did not address, however, was finding a quarterback to replace Brett Favre.  Also, with little depth at linebacker it is a wonder the team did not find one worthy of being selected.  And though this draft may pay dividends down the road it does hold a bit of risk to it and there are still significant holes on the roster. 

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