2011 Packers Draft: Depth at Defensive Line needed
After selecting offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga in the first round, Ted Thompson went away from “expert rankings” by selecting Purdue defensive end Mike Neal in the second round. Known more as a workout freak rather than an on-the-field talent, skeptics had a field day with Thompson’s selection of Neal.
Despite missing a good chunk of the season with a torn rotator cuff, Neal provided depth when the Packers lost Johnny Jolly in the offseason and Justin Harrell in Week 1. In 2011, the Packers will again need to look on the defensive line early in the draft.
Two main reasons justify this need. First, Cullen Jenkins was not given the franchise tag, which would have awarded him around $12 million, and is likely to find a much larger payday elsewhere than the Packers are willing to give him. The Packers’ best lineman from a year ago had a career-high seven sacks, despite playing much of the season with a wrapped broken hand.
Second, Johnny Jolly is again in serious legal trouble after again being arrested on drug charges. His days in a Packers uniform are over, and there’s a good chance he doesn’t play in the NFL again.
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