Larrivee: Packers number one goal entering draft is 'get the pass rush better'
Ted Thompson. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - After a 2011 campaign where the Green Bay Packers' defense ranked dead last in the National Football League, GM Ted Thompson is entering the NFL Draft with the hope of shoring up the main weaknesses that prematurely ended what could have been a storybook season.
"The number one thing they have to do is get the pass rush better," said Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Voice of the Packers Wayne Larrivee on "Wisconsin's Morning News."
"That's what I think they'll try to do in this draft, and then hope that some 2nd year and 3rd year players develop as well."
Larrivee tells us that the draft, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday, has a large number of potential picks for Green Bay in areas including that top need."
"It's deep in some areas, and not so deep in others, very thin at safety for example. When you look at pass rushers and defensive linemen, interior offensive linemen, it's pretty deep in those areas."
Larrivee says, however, that the Packers won't deviate from what he considers to be General Manager Ted Thompson's long-standing philosophy of improving the team by picking the best overall player in the early rounds, then filling needs later in the draft.
"What you get later in the draft are teams that have players at different positions rated equally. That's where you get the 4th round, 5th round, 6th round, you go and say, 'OK, we're going to fill a particular need with this pick. We've got a linebacker. We've got an offensive lineman. We've got a safety. They're all rated about the same. What do we need at this point in time? All these players are the same on our board,' " explained Larrivee.
"Early in this draft, I don't see them deviating from taking the best player available. Will they trade up in the draft or down in the draft? That remains to be seen. A lot of that has to do with other teams around the league, whether they want to move or not. For the most part, I think they'll stick to their draft board early on in the draft."