Now that Jimmy Graham and Muhammad Wilkerson are on board, I’d like to take a look at what the Green Bay Packers might do for the remainder of the offseason. I’ve been running several simulations of renegotiations, cuts, re-signing, free agency, and the draft through this offseason.
Check out my last attempt here:
And away we go:
Remaining Cap Space – $19,219,475
CB Tramon Williams – 1 year, $4 million/year. Williams had a really strong season last year. He’d be reuniting with the team he won a Super Bowl with, plus Mike Pettine was his Head Coach in Cleveland. Williams can still be a really good number 2 CB in the NFL, and the Packers need a veteran presence on the outside
CB Phillip Gaines – 2 years, $3 million/year. Gaines struggled in Kansas City last year, but he’s a veteran with starting CB experience. My hope would be that Gaines is the 4th corner on the team, and provides some depth in the case of injury.
TE Ben Watson – 1 year, $3 million/year. Watson was quietly really good last year. Because of his age, teams are unlikely to make a long term commitment, but Watson could be the perfect fit at the number 2 TE behind Jimmy Graham.
G Jermon Bushrod – 2 years, $3 million/year. Bushrod has stumbled through the last two seasons at Guard after being fantastic at Tackle earlier in his career. The Packers need an option at Guard if Justin McCray isn’t ready to be a full-time starter, and Bushrod gives them position flexibility, and has the athletic ability to flourish on the line.
Remaining Cap Space – $7,419,475
1st – 14: CB Josh Jackson, Iowa. I really want Tremaine Edmunds at this pick. I think he’s going to be the type of ILB that teams have to scheme around (like Brian Urlacher) for years to come. However, the Packers are going to be hard pressed to pass on the top 2 CBs in this draft (Jackson and Denzel Ward), and Jackson is the kind of ball hawk that will remind fans of Charles Woodson.
2nd – 13: TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota St. The temptation here is to take another defensive player, but Goedert provides too much value. He’d be able to learn from Jimmy Graham, Lance Kendricks, and Ben Watson. The Packers would be borderline unstoppable in the Red Zone, and could throw out exotic formations (4 TEs and Ty Montgomery for the ultimate Run-Pass Option?).
3rd – 12: WR DJ Chark, LSU. Nobody is making us forget Jordy Nelson, but Chark gives the Packers a true deep threat who will develop into a great route runner. Chark is the playmaker Green Bay has been sorely lacking.
4th – 1: OT Joseph Noteboom, TCU. I’d love to ignore o-line, but Bryan Bulaga will need to be replaced after next season, and the jury is still out on Jason Spriggs. Noteboom is an athletic big man, who needs some refinement, and James Campen has been making a living on getting guys like Noteboom ready to be starters.
4th – 33: LB Shaquem Griffin, UCF. I’d be fine taking Griffin higher than this. People will concentrate on his missing hand, but he’s so athletic and such an instinctive football player. He’s the kind of player who will make it impossible to keep him off the field. At a minimum he’s one of the best Special Teams players in the league, but I think he’ll be a guy who can cover any RB or TE, and also give OTs nightmares with his speed off the edge.
5th – 1: C Mason Cole, Michigan. Cole reminds me a little of Corey Linsley. I also think he’s good enough to kick out to Guard. He’s a great depth guy, with the upside to be a starter in the near future.
5th – 35: CB Holton Hill, Texas. Hill is a tall/athletic corner. He’d likely be taken much higher, but he was suspended for the remainder of his Senior season for violating team rules. Late in the 5th, he’s worth the gamble.
5th – 37: WR Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame. Besides being the best name in the draft, St. Brown is a fantastic athlete and a fantastic person. His father is a former Mr. Universe who has pushed his children to be great at whatever their passion is. Equanimeous has had the diet and weight training regiment of a professional athlete since he was in elementary school. He also is a 4.0 student and speaks 3 languages fluently. If Notre Dame had better QB play, St. Brown would be a 2nd rounder, and the Packers are going to feel fortunate he fell to them.
6th – 12: DL Poona Ford, Texas. The Packers have had success with shorter d-linemen (Mike Daniels), and Ford fits the bill at 5’11. He’s an absolute load in the trenches and will help keep o-lines off of the Linebackers in the run game. And if you need a guy to get low in the Red Zone, Poona is your guy.
6th – 33: LB Leon Jacobs, Wisconsin. Jacobs absolutely dominated the NFL Draft Combine. He ran a 4.48 40 and was every bit as strong as he looks. The problem has always been instincts, but I’d love to give Mike Pettine the raw clay that Jacobs is and let him mold him into a NFL impact player.
7th – 14: QB Tanner Lee, Nebraska. Tanner Lee has a NFL arm, but will drop because he has a history of making bad decisions. He’s exactly the type of development QB Green Bay can stash on the Practice Squad for a year, and turn into a solid backup going forward.
7th – 21: P JK Scott, Alabama. I thought Justin Vogel did a really good job last year, but Scott could be a true difference maker at Punter that the Packers haven’t had since Craig Hentrich.
Remaining Cap Space – $2,419,475
Having such little remaining cap space left seems like a problem, but with the potential for Clay Matthews and Bryan Bulaga to come off the books after the 2018 season the Packers can afford to spend more this offseason.
Post a comment to let me know what you think, and I’ll take them into consideration for future sims.Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig