The Green Bay Packers have already made sweeping changes so far, this offseason. The most notable is, of course, changing from Ted Thompson to new GM Brian Gutekunst. As I discussed in a previous article, Gutekunst was one of a few in-house candidates that the Packers were considering. He, along with Eliot Wolf and Russ Ball were the primary candidates. After Gutekunst received the position, Ball was given a promotion and Wolf interviewed with the Cleveland Browns before accepting a position under former Packers personnel man John Dorsey. Gutekunst has a very big offseason ahead of him, so let’s look at the three moves that he needs to make before the start of next season in order to be considered successful.
Help Mike McCarthy Bring in a Strong Defensive Coordinator
It’s no secret that defense has been a severe weak point for the Packers. Despite offenses piloted by Aaron Rodgers shredding defenses, the defense has not held up their end of the bargain. Excluding this season, where the Packers were still bad on defense, they were eliminated in the playoffs in the past six seasons since winning the Super Bowl by teams that scored 44, 26, 28, 23, 45 and 37. The 26, 28 and 23 don’t look that bad until you remember that the only reason it was close was due to Rodgers heroics. Capers defenses have not been successful for many seasons and it’s time for them to bring in a new face that knows how to stop modern NFL offenses, which Capers has not done.
Be Aggressive in Free Agency
Gutekunst said in his introductory press conference that he was going to “pursue all avenues” in order to make the team better. Free agency was one realm that previous GM Thompson was hesitant to use and preferred building through the draft. Rodgers is a generational talent and the Packers need to maximize it while he’s still there. He uses his athleticism a lot, and he will need help to have the pieces around him to succeed. Davante Adams has been locked up, but Jordy Nelson looked a step slow and Randall Cobb has regressed in back to back seasons. Running back should be a strength after being a question mark before, but tight end is something that needs to be addressed. Defense is where the Packers need the most help. Cornerback has needed dire help for multiple years, and, as is evidenced by teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars who spent a crazy amount of money on their defense, free agency isn’t the worst way to go. They brought in A.J. Bouye to play opposite Jalen Ramsey and the two were the best duo in the league, while former Packer Casey Hayward starred for the Los Angeles Chargers. Defense needs serious attention, so hopefully, Gutekunst stays true to his words.
Find a Stud in the Draft
For the first time in many seasons, the Packers will be picking among the top half of the draft. As frequent playoff attendees, they generally pick in the end of the first round where top talent is harder to find. This season they have a rare opportunity to draft a strong player at a position of need to be a cornerstone for them for many seasons moving forward. The Packers are going to be picking 14th barring a trade by them. Although the Packers may not have a chance at a true blue-chip prospect that generally goes within the first five picks of the draft, there is plenty of top-tier talent still available.
If you would like to be notified every time a Green Bay Packers article goes live, feel free to sign up for our email notification program.