Now that everyone in the league has shifted gears to next season the Packers can officially start to build their championship roster. Lets start with what the biggest questions and concerns this off season are.
- Who will be the starting TE?
- What’s next for Bryan Bulaga?
- What’s the solution at ILB?
- Davante Adams and then who?
- Is it time to extend Clark?
- How do the Pack fix the run Defense?
For a team that was one game away from the Super Bowl, the amount of looming questions raises some eyebrows. However, considering how badly San Francisco ran over Green Bay in January, the team has a lot of work to do.
The offseason starts with what Brain Gutekunst can do in March. Some in house decisions to make paired with an opportunity to add some stars can really kick things off for a huge off season in Green Bay.
I do think the Packers will find a way to keep Bryan Bulaga. Gutekunst and the front office know that starting over on the right side of the line isn’t the way to go if they want to build a championship team. After coming off one of his best and healthiest years, the Packers should prioritize keeping one of the best right tackles in the NFL.
Earlier this week it was reported that Blake Martinez is seeking ten million dollars average annually in his next contract. Although Martinez racks up tackles, he isn’t the aggressor the Packers need in the middle of the field. He isn’t great in coverage and he doesn’t take over the run game as well as someone with his tackling numbers should. The price doesn’t match the production, and I see the Pack parting ways with Blake Martinez.
Littleton should be at the top of the Packers wish list when free agency starts. If the Pack moves on from Martinez as I predict the Littleton should take over the defense fast. With the Rams in 2019 Littleton had three and a half sacks and two interceptions. Littleton is a young, smart player with his best football in front of him, similar to the Smith Bros that Gutekunst brought in last season.
Goodbye Graham, Hello Hooper
It’s confirmed that Hooper sin’t going to be playing in Atlanta next season, and on paper the Packers look like a match made in heaven. Hooper has familiarity with LaFleur from his time in Atlanta, and he would quickly be a top option for Aaron Rodgers. Graham has been Gutekunst’s lone bad signing and it’s time to look elsewhere at tight end for the Packers.
April 23 – April 25
“We looked at the deadline to add an explosive offensive player, but the value didn’t line up.”-Brian Gutekunst talking about the WR position in his season recap presser
Possibly the biggest three day stretch in the Packers attempt to build a championship offense. Gutekunst said he looked to add an explosive player on offense at the trade deadline. Well, now’s the time. 2020 gives him his pick out of a very deep class of wide outs.
Justin Jefferson at 30
At the combine the Packers have been linked to Jefferson as well as other wide receivers like Jalen Reagor. It’s clear to the team that they need that “second guy.” The next Randall Cobb to Jordy Nelson type of guy to line up with Davante Adams. Jefferson has a nose for the end zone as can be seen by his 18 TD campaign in 2019. Jefferson comes in at 6′ 3″ 198 lbs making him a good reliable target in the middle of the field. His 1,540 yards in 2019 make him one of the top tier receivers in the class. Pairing his natural talent with the ability to learn from Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams would instantly make him a threat in the NFL.
Willie Gay Jr. in Round 2
It just got a lot tougher to get one of the best linebackers in the SEC. Gay only appeared in five games in 2019 due to academic suspension which led to him flying a little under the radar. However, Gay put out a monster combine displaying his athleticism to NFL scouts. In his five games he had a forced fumble, an interception return TD, and 18 tackles. If the packers really want to upgrade the ILB position then pairing a signing like Littleton with a young athletic linebacker from the best conference in college football is the way to go, even if it means trading up.
Not much to be said here besides “go get it done.” Clark is one of the best young defensive tackles in the NFL, and a bright spot on a bad run defense. Clark is on track to be a force in Green Bay for years to come. Gutekunst needs to get the young man paid before another team does. Clark had a pro bowl season in 2019. The scary part is, he’s not even playing his best football yet. Not locking up Clark for the future can really hurt Green Bay’s window to win a championship. That being said, I predict the front office will lock up their young star before training camp starts.
In the end…
Everything above is simply my prediction for a long off season in Titletown USA. Feel free to share your thoughts and questions. Regardless of exacly how the off season goes, one thing is for sure. There isn’t a single person at 1265 Lombardi Ave who doesn’t have their eyes on Tampa.
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