Yesterday, Devin did a great job explaining why the Green Bay Packers' defensive line is the position group that needs the most help in the draft this year. Normally, Devin and I are pretty well on the same page when it comes to analyzing the Packers' roster, but in this case we're not all that close together. I agree that the defensive line needs help, but I think that the Packers' linebackers are of greater concern.
Let's start at outside linebacker and take a look at the players currently on the Packers' depth chart. It starts with Clay Matthews on the right side, with Nick Perry as the likely 2013 starter on the left. Dezman Moses is the only other player at that unit currently under contract for 2013; Erik Walden will be an unrestricted free agent, while Frank Zombo and Rob Francois will be restricted free agents this off-season. That's not much depth at a key position in a 3-4 defense.
Aside from Matthews, who will most likely continue to play at a Pro Bowl level barring injury (knock on wood), each of the remaining players has serious questions surrounding him. How will Perry rebound from a season-ending injury, and will he continue to progress in his role as a linebacker? Moses on the other hand will need to prove that he has more to his game than just a speed rush, as he will undoubtedly look to become a more complete linebacker this off-season. At this point, I feel that Walden's play down the stretch ensured that he won't be back next season. Nor do I expect Zombo to return, though I think Francois should be back for his special-teams contributions.
2013 NFL Draft: Point/Counterpoint, Part 2 - Linebackers
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