In the few previous articles I touched on the Packer’s obvious needs at OL/DL, and WR. Today we’ll take a look at another glaring need at ILB. First, Brian Gutekunst and his number crunchers will need to determine if the price required to resign Blake Martinez is realistic. Martinez registered another solid year, 155 tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT, and 2 PD, placing him near the top of NFL again. The problem lies in the fact the Packers have limited CAP space (approximately $32M) and face several critical decisions. Martinez is projected in the 5 year, $40-50M to resign based on recent ILB contracts. This just doesn’t appear to be possible for the Packers.
The Packers may look to the Free Agent market first, similar to last year when they picked up Za’Darius and Preston Smith. Cost will be the determining factor for the Pack at ILB. Some players available at the position (possibly not too costly) are Nick Kwiatkoski, Bears, and Kamalei Correa, Titans. Others FA available would likely be outside the Packer’s budget. The Packers own Oren Burks, and BJ Goodson just didn’t provide the impact for the team to stand pat, they will make a move at re-tooling the ILB position. Mike Pettine needs solid play up the middle both in run support and pass defense.
The upcoming NFL Draft will provide a few interesting choices at the position. Sitting at the top of the 2020 class would Oklahoma ILB Kenneth Murray, I doubt he would still be on the board at 30. Texas Tech ILB Jordyn Brooks and Alabama ILB Anfernee Jennings will both be available at pick 30, but neither are worthy of that value. Either one could be had on day two. Maybe the Packers could use some of their extra picks in a trade and move up to get either one. My choice would be Jennings. After that my choice would be Joe Bachie MSU, but clarification on his NCAA suspension would have to be vetted out at the combine. Bachie definitely has third or fourth round value. That sums up my sentiment on the ILB position. Let’s hear some of your favorite moves for LaFleur, Pettine and Gutekunst at this position of need.
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter