Home Sports 5 positions Packers will be watching closely at NFL Scouting Combine – Packers Wire

5 positions Packers will be watching closely at NFL Scouting Combine – Packers Wire

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The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine begins Tuesday with medical testing and interviews in Indianapolis. On-field workouts begin Friday.

Here are the positions the Green Bay Packers will be watching most closely at the combine:

Edge rusher

This draft class looks deep at edge rusher, arguably the Packers’ biggest need this offseason. At least a half-dozen edge rushers could be in play for the Packers at either pick in the first round. Keep a close eye on positional workouts and times in the three-cone drill, both of which provide important clues for evaluating edge rushers. The Packers’ first pick in the 2019 draft could easily come from this group in Indianapolis.

Edge rushers to watch: Josh Allen, Jachai Polite, Clelin Ferrell, Montez Sweat, Brian Burns, Rashan Gary, Oshane Ximines

Safety

While edge rusher might be a higher value position, no spot on the Packers roster needs more help than safety. Mike Pettine’s defense could use a rangy free safety and another option to compete with Josh Jones as an in-the-box strong safety. It’s certainly possible the Packers will draft at least one of their starting safeties in 2019 from the group testing at the combine this week.

Safeties to watch: Nasir Adderley, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Deionte Thompson, Taylor Rapp, Amani Hooker, Johnathan Abram, Marquise Blair, Juan Thornhill

Interior offensive line

The Packers weren’t good enough at either left or right guard last season. It greatly affected the passing game and created too many negative plays, especially in high leverage situations. They need to add a player capable of competing right away to play at guard. In the past, the Packers have favored collegiate offensive tackles capable of transitioning inside in the NFL, but it’s possible with a new offense and a new blocking scheme that the targets will change.

Interior offensive lineman to watch: Dalton Risner, Cody Ford, Chris Lindstrom, Beau Benzschawel, Ben Powers, Michael Deiter, Garrett Bradbury, Connor McGovern

Tight end

The Packers made a big investment at tight end last offseason, signing Jimmy Graham to a $30 million deal, but the position remains in shambles. Lance Kendricks and Marcedes Lewis are free agents, and Graham doesn’t perfectly fit the kind of tight end LaFleur’s offense has required. Identifying a young, talented tight end with dual-threat ability as a receiver and blocker will be important, both for the present and future. This draft class has several intriguing possibilities.

Tight ends to watch: T.J. Hockenson, Irv Smith Jr., Noah Fant, Kaden Smith, Jace Sternberger, Isaac Nauta

Offensive tackle

Building a roster isn’t always about fixing immediate needs, but planning ahead for future needs. The Packers don’t have an established future behind oft-injured right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who is entering the final year of his deal in 2019.

Offensive tackles to watch: Jonah Williams, Andre Dillard, Jawaan Taylor, Kaleb McGary, Greg Little

Honorable mentions

Inside linebacker: An athletic, three-down linebacker could really transform Mike Pettine’s defense. Michigan’s Devin Bush, Alabama’s Mack Wilson and New Mexico State’s Terrill Hanks are names to watch.

Wide receiver: The Packers might think they need help opposite Davante Adams and in the slot. Guys like N’Keal Harry and Kelvin Harmon need to run good times, but Andy Isabella could tear up the combine.

Running back: If the Packers are going to commit to the run game, the running back group probably needs to add another option. Good options should emerge in the middle rounds.

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