Commentary

Post-draft needs: NFC North

Biggest remaining needs for the Packers, Vikings, Lions and Bears

Originally Published: May 9, 2011
By Mike Tanier | Football Outsiders
RajiJeff Hanisch/US PresswireAfter B.J. Raji, there are a lot of question marks on Green Bay's defensive line.

This is the fifth part of an eight-part series in which Football Outsiders looks at the biggest holes remaining on each team after the NFL draft. Usually, that means the biggest holes remaining after the draft and free agency, but obviously 2011 is a little different. So some of these holes may not actually be holes if teams re-sign their own players, and other holes will be filled during free agency and won't necessarily last into training camp.


Green Bay Packers: Defensive line

With Cullen Jenkins expected to leave as a free agent and Johnny Jolly in legal trouble, the Packers hoped to replenish their defensive line in the draft. Unfortunately, the players they wanted most kept leaving the board right before Green Bay selected. Instead of settling for consolation prizes on the defensive line, the Packers opted to draft the best available players. "We didn't get caught up in our depth chart and feel like we needed another defensive lineman or a linebacker," coach Mike McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We really stayed true to the board."

Green Bay's depth chart now includes B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett ... and many question marks. There's Howard Green, a 365-pounder best known for pressuring Ben Roethlisberger into a pick-six in the Super Bowl; Mike Neal, last year's second-round pick who missed most of the season with a shoulder injury; and C.J. Wilson, a 2010 seventh-round pick whose playing time increased at the end of last season. The lone new guy is Lawrence Guy, the seventh-round pick from Arizona State. Guy was a three-year starter for the Sun Devils and appears to be a solid system fit -- he's a gap-plugger, not a pass-rusher -- but the Packers have more needs than one lone seventh-round pick can fill.