The pickings are now slim when it comes to free agency and the NFL draft is in the rear view mirror. What five teams have enjoyed a good 2019 to date?
It’s that time of the year when many pass out grades for how NFL teams did during the three-day draft process. It’s also a time to evaluate how all 32 clubs have done in general when it comes to the last few months.
From signing available veterans, making trades and releasing players to supplementing the draft with rookie free agents. There’s a lot of work that goes into building a roster in the National Football League.
While it’s hardly scientific and certainly not based on which team brought in the most players – and in turn lost the least – here’s a look at five franchises that stood out more than others when it came to being successful when it came to make improvement. Will it pay off this fall? Only time will tell. But it would certainly not be for a lack of trying.
5. Green Bay Packers
As has been the case for many years, the Green Bay Packers are not a team that usually goes out and spends their share of money during free agency. More times than not, the organization has relied on the draft process. But in recent years, that aspect as failed them more than once and the team has been unable to find the Midas touch in terms of adding talent. Hence one reason that over a year ago, Ted Thompson was relieved of his general manager duties.
Hence the Packers and Brian Gutekunst, in his second year as Thompson’s replacement, opened up the checkbook and added a trio of standout defenders to a unit that has struggled in many regards in recent seasons.
The additions of outside linebackers Preston Smith (Washington Redskins) and Za’Darius Smith (Baltimore Ravens) should aid Mike Pettine’s defense in a big way, especially when it comes to the pass rush. Adding safety Adrian Amos was a plus as well, especially given the fact that the club signed him away from the defending NFC North champion Chicago Bears. The club also added another body on a struggling offensive line in the form of guard Billy Turner, late of the Denver Broncos.
In the draft, the onus was on defense once again. For the third consecutive year, the Packers used their first two picks on this side of the football. Only this time around, the team had a pair a first-round selections and use them on defensive end Rashan Gary (Michigan) and safety Darnell Savage (Maryland).
There’s a lot for new head coach Matt LaFleur to work with here. And if the Green Bay offense can establish a running game to compliment quarterback Aaron Rodgers, this becomes a formidable team.
Next: No. 4