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Scouts Inc. Points Out Five Packers Needs This Offseason

Cornerback — Green Bay’s defense was very solid in 2007, but clearly the CB position needs some fresh legs. Both Charles Woodson and Al Harris still have ability, but their skills are diminishing. The aggressive, press-up scheme the Packers play on the outside puts enormous pressure on the cornerback position, and both players were somewhat exploited in the NFC Championship Game. Another talented CB prospect would be valuable to the Packers. Most of the current depth consists of inexperienced or journeyman-type players and it’s likely the Packers’ front office will look to address this need.

Offensive tackle — The Packers’ offensive line was somewhat exposed in the NFC Championship Game, particularly on the edge. Although Green Bay yielded only 19 sacks in the regular season, that was mostly the result of the Packers’ quick passing game and Brett Favre’s instincts to get rid of the ball. OTs Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton are starting to age and their skills may be diminishing some. The depth at this position also has some question marks, and a young, talented offensive tackle would help bolster an already explosive offense.

— Nick Collins has been a solid safety for the Packers with good athleticism and above-average size. Atari Bigby is a big hitter but can be a liability in some coverage schemes. Backup Aaron Rouse has great size, but he is inexperienced and somewhat one-dimensional. The rest of the Packers’ roster doesn’t have an outstanding prospect to be developed. This aggressive Packers defensive scheme can be limited at times because of the safety position and acquiring an impact player could expand the team’s approach.

Tight end
— Even though starting tight end Donald Lee had his best season as a pro, he is not a physical player. He doesn’t have the size or power to set the edge effectively and veteran Bubba Franks has lost a step as a receiving threat. Besides those two the position has journeyman-type prospects. A talented player who is a good combination of size and athleticism would make this explosive offense even more impressive.

Punter — Jon Ryan, the Packers’ punter over the past two seasons, has been an inconsistent performer. He has a decent leg, but he had two punts blocked in 2007 and posted three poor performances down the stretch. Plus, his hang time and distance have been inconsistent, which led to dismal net averages in the postseason. His inconsistency has given opponents a short field and put the Packers’ defense in difficult situations. The Packers’ front office is likely to address this issue in the offseason.

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