Free Agent Signings
Player: Anthony Smith, FS/SS, 6’1″, 200 lbs.
Why? Smith has already been signed by the Pack and he will bring some depth to a safety position that really lacks it. Charles Woodson was forced to see some time there last year and it really threw things off. I don’t expect him to start but depth is never bad in this league.
Player: Jarett Bush, CB/ST, 6’0″, 200 lbs.
Why? Tennessee originally signed an offer sheet for the special teamer, but the Packers matched it and, although I don’t agree with it, I have learned never to doubt Ted Thompson. Bush will bring depth to the defensive back position and is a solid special teamer.
Player: Michael Montgomery, DE, 6’5″, 275 lbs.
Why? With the Packers switching to a 3-4 scheme next year, Montgomery has a chance to find a spot at the defensive end position (despite being a little undersized). He has contributed solidly since he has been here and hopefully can find a spot in the new defense.
Player: Mark Tauscher, RT, 6’3″, 316 lbs.
Why? I have heard a lot of people saying that we should not bring Tauscher back, but when you look at the options, he is the safest bet going into next year. It’s a crapshoot to say that we will be able to bring someone in via draft and I don’t think Thompson is going to find one in free agency. Coming off the knee surgery, he should come cheap and will be a stopgap for the next year or two.
#9. Player: B.J. Raji, NT, Boston College, 6’2″, 337 lbs.
Why? I believe the draft will see Stafford, J. Smith, Curry, Crabtree, Brown, Orakpo, Maclin, and A. Smith go before we pick, leaving us with NT B.J. Raji. Raji is exactly what the Packers are looking for as they start to build on the 3-4 defense and will come in right away to start, while rotating with Ryan Pickett. After a strong senior bowl week, Raji’s stock has gone down a little, but Ted Thompson can’t pass on the future foundation of this defense.
#41. Player: Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia, 6’3″, 255 lbs.
Why? The Packers continue their overhaul of the new 3-4 defense by bringing in a player that has experience in it. Sintim played in a 3-4 and will have the chance to start right away opposite Aaron Kampman. He seems a likely fit for the Packers as he won’t have to make the position switch like the top-of-the-line tweeners in this draft.
#73. Player: Xavier Fulton, OT, Illinois, 6’5″, 300 lbs.
Why? Remember Mark Tauscher being the stopgap for the next year or two? Well here is his replacement. Fulton is similar to Jason Smith in that he came into college as a defensive end (different position), but his athleticism moved him to the tackle position. He played left tackle in college but with his solid speed, I think he can make the transition to right tackle for the Packers. He is perfect for the Packers zone blocking scheme.
#83. (from NY Jets) Player: James Casy, TE, Rice, 6’4″, 235 lbs.
Why? Donald Lee is not the answer at tight end and I have my doubts about Jermichael Finley. Casey is an intriguing prospect, getting drafted by the White Sox to play baseball before coming back to football. Because of it, he is 25 years old but is a solid hybrid player that can line up anywhere on offense. Thompson has selected at least 2 receivers in every draft and I’ll consider this one of them.
#109. Player: Kevin Barnes, CB, Maryland, 6’0″, 184 lbs.
Why? The Packers have some very young talent in the secondary (Tramon Williams, Nick Collins, Pat Lee) but it doesn’t hurt to have one more with the aging Al Harris and Charles Woodson starting. Barnes is a speedy corner that will succeed in man-t0-man coverage for the Pack.
#145. Player: Aaron Kelly, WR, Clemson, 6’5″, 204 lbs.
Why? Teddy loves his wide receivers and Kelly could become a great red zone threat with great size and pretty good speed (4.49). He will have to fight to make the team but if Ruvell Martin is not brought back it will make it much easier for him.
#182. Player: Ryan Stanchek, OG/OT, West Virginia, 6’4″, 298 lbs.
Why? Thompson will really like Stanchek’s versatility and smarts in the zone blocking scheme. You can never have enough offensive linemen and he could be a sleeper in this situation.
#187. Player: Andrew Gardner, LT, Georgia, 6’7″, 304 lbs.
Why? Chad Clifton is not far behind Mark Tauscher at the exit door, so the Packers bring in a project that will provide depth for the aging tackle. With great size, Gardner should make the team and, once again, add another body to practice and be able to come in if injury were to occur.
#218. Traded for a 2010 6th round draft pick…
NOTE**Ted Thompson loves to trade back and I would almost guarentee that we trade our second round pick unless there is someone that Thompson loves. This would give us 3 third round draft picks and I am sure Ted would love to have that. As for the 9th pick, it’s time for the Packers to get a difference maker instead of depth.