October 21, 2014

Packers draft means bad news for veteran players (AUDIO)

Every new NFL Draft class means the end of the line for a number of NFL veteran

Eddie Lacy

Eddie Lacy

players.

In Green Bay, adding two new running backs means the current stable of backs could be out of work soon.

Selecting Eddie Lacy in the 2nd round and Johnathan Franklin in the 4th round is a big statement that the Packers aren’t happy with their ground game.  James Starks and Alex Green could be battling in training camp for roster spot.  Coach Mike McCarthy had talked before the draft as if DuJuan Harris would be battling for a starters spot.  It would appear that job could be Lacy’s to lose.

AUDIO: RB’s coach Alex Van Pelt on his message to incumbant RB’s :13

Running backs coach Alex Van Pelt said the Packers needed to get better at running back.

AUDIO: Van Pelt says drafting 2 backs has Packers striving for more balance :21

The Packers visited with free agent Cedric Benson before the draft, but the latest change of events leaves his return to Green Bay unlikely.

The Packers have gone 43 games without a 100-yard rusher, the longest active streak in the NFL by more than twice.  Their running backs have combined for 12 rushing touchdowns over the past three seasons, the fewest in the NFL.  Their average of 3.8 yards per rush over that span is tied for last in the league.

The addition of 4th round picks, offensive lineman David Bakhtiari and J.C. Tretter could mean some changes are in store there as well.  It’s believed that the Packers aren’t totally sold on Marshall Newhouse at left tackle.  Derek Sherrod, Don Barclay, Greg Van Roten and Andrew Datko are in for a battle to find a spot on the final roster.

The Packers didn’t draft a safety over the weekend.  That means good news for Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian, who manned the position last season.  Mike McCarthy said he’s happy with the play of his young safeties and feels they’ll continue to grow.

The Packers also left the quarterback position alone.  Mike McCarthy said he’s content with developing backups Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman, behind Aaron Rodgers.  The Packers did sign Illinois State quarterback Matt Brown as an undrafted free agent right after the draft.

The Packers also selected a pair of wide receivers in the final round, taking Charles Johnson out of Grand Valley State and Kevin Dorsey out of Maryland.