The champions of Super Bowl XLV chased their title run with a 15-1 regular season and a pair of division-round playoff losses. To get back to the Super Bowl and win it once or more times during the remaining career of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers need to address multiple needs, sooner rather than later.
Running back: The Packers seem to need a running back every year. The bigger question is whether the Packers would fully utilize a great one, if the team had him. Coach Mike McCarthy uses the pass to set up the pass, with running backs mainly catching the ball and blocking for Rodgers. The versatile Johnathan Frankin of UCLA would be an intriguing fit in a later round, since he can stay on the field for three downs and run, catch, and block.
Nose tackle: Their interest in nose tackle Steve McLendon, who re-signed with the Steelers, shows that the Packers think they need a nose tackle. Ryan Pickett, 33, and former first-rounder B.J. Raji each have one year left under contract; the Packers need to be ready to replace them. Without a good nose tackle, their 3-4 defense won’t work very well. (Then again, it currently isn’t.)
Linebacker: Beyond Clay Matthews, the Packers need help. Nick Perry, a first-rounder in 2012, had his season shortened with a wrist injury. A.J. Hawk could be getting toward the end of his run in Green Bay. They need to get better at this position.
Offensive line: The Packers have done fairly well with a subpar line. But they’ve taken chances on left tackles who end up playing other positions. They need to draft a left tackle who will stay at left tackle, and who will play well there. (Unless they’re serious about moving Bryan Bulaga to the left side.)
Quarterback: With Graham Harrell serving as the backup, the Packers have put all eggs in Aaron Rodgers’ basket. If he gets hurt, they’re done.