The Green Bay Packers won 11 games last season. They didn’t win a Super Bowl. They did manage to keep Aaron Rodgers under lock and key. They also re-signed Clay Mathews to a long term deal. The Packers also went to their mainstay, the NFL Draft, to restock their roster, shunning the free agent market.
Beside giving Aaron Rodger a hundred gazillion dollars the Green Bay Packers gave him something else he needed, a running back. Green bay used their 2nd Round pick on running back Eddie Lacy out of Alabama, a move designed to make Rodgers more effective and give the Packers offense the option of running the ball to close out games. As insurance, another running back was taken in the 4th Round, Johnathan Franklin out of UCLA. Two running backs from two major college programs are simply meant to force opposing defenses to respect the running game. Too often Aaron Rodgers has been forced to try and make dangerous plays simply because the defense put all their marbles into defending the pass. And they were correct in doing so.Lacy should immediately contribute, giving Rodgers the chance to throw more effectively to Randal Cobb, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson.
There’s been some shuffling on the defense but the unit returns basically intact from last season. The unit is decent but not great. Help comes to the line on the form of #1 Draft Choice Datone Jones who is expected to get spot duty while working his way in. Charles Woodson is gone now and the Packers are struggling to find a replacement that’s NFL caliber. As deep and talented as is the offense, the Green Bay Packers can’t depend on their defense to do much more than slow opponents down.
That being said, the Green Bay Packers still have to be considered the favorites in the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers and his surrounding cast are just that good. The Vikings and Bears will be playing for the #2 spot in 2013 unless something untoward happens.