Tight end Jermichael Finley is among the Packers' losers after the team drafted tight end Richard Rodgers. It could mean the free agent Finley's days in Green Bay are over. File/Gannett Wisconsin Media
Green Bay Packers linebackers A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones have to be smiling this weekend.
The Packers didnít select an inside linebacker during the three-day NFL draft that concluded Saturday, which presumably leaves Hawk and Jones entrenched as the starters.
That position was considered in need of an upgrade, so the Packers either failed to address a glaring weakness or they gave Hawk and Jones a vote of confidence.
Every year, the draft produces winners and losers on the Packersí roster, with each pick causing a ripple effect.
The jobs of some Packers players are in serious jeopardy as a result of the draft, while others can claim some measure of security in knowing there wonít be serious competition for their livelihood.
Letís take a look and the winners and losers as a result of the draft.
■ Hawk and Jones are guaranteed nothing in the fickle NFL world, but their chances of sticking as starters went up a few notches based on the relative lack of competition.
Itís possible fourth-round selection Carl Bradford of Arizona State could be moved inside, but all indications point to him being a pass rusher first and foremost and lining up on the outside.
Unless the Packers sign another potential starter, or Jamari Lattimore or Sam Barrington make a major leap in production, Hawk and Jones will stay put.
■ The Packers didnít see the need to draft another quarterback, which means theyíre happy with third-stringer Scott Tolzien. The more he learns the offense, the better he will get. The Packers likely view him as Matt Flynnís eventual replacement at No. 2 behind Aaron Rodgers.
■ The Packers drafted just one offensive lineman, and that was a center, so they are pleased with their array of tackles and guards. Don Barclay might not beat out Bryan Bulaga for a starting job but heís got the inside track at the swing tackle position. The drafting of Ohio State center Corey Linsley means JC Tretter will have competition for the starting job, but no one honestly believed that position would go uncontested.
■ The Packers are so talented and deep at the running back position that they didnít bother drafting one. Young and ascending players like Johnathan Franklin and DuJuan Harris might both earn jobs if they can stay healthy.
■ Myles White saw his Packers career dissolve over the weekend when the team drafted not one, not two, but three wide receivers. Jarrett Boykin entered the week No. 3 on the depth chart but could fall all the way to No. 6 depending on how Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis develop. The infusion of so much pass-catching talent also makes the contract extensions of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, who will become unrestricted free agents after the season, less than a sure thing.
■ The selection of defensive tackle Khyri Thornton in the third round, in addition to the free agent signing of Letroy Guion earlier in the offseason, doesnít bode well for unrestricted free agents Johnny Jolly and Ryan Pickett. The Packers might be deep enough on the line that they wonít ask Pickett back unless thereís a rash of injuries, and they probably wonít have to worry if Jollyís medical condition remains murky.
■ Jermichael Finleyís career in Green Bay might have officially ended with the drafting of tight end Richard Rodgers in the third round. That seemed like yet another indication that team doctors will not clear Finley to play because of a serious neck injury. Even if Finley returns to full health, the Packers seem ready to move on.
■ With the newly drafted Bradford slotted as an outside rusher, thereís only so many snaps to go around. Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers will eat up a lot of them, which means Nick Perry and Mike Neal will be fighting with Bradford for whatís left. It could be put up or shut up time for Perry in particular.
■ The cornerbacks on the lower end of the depth chart, like Davon House and Jarrett Bush, could be prime targets with the drafting of talented sixth-round pick Demetri Goodson, who appears athletic enough to earn a roster spot. With so many other quality cornerbacks, such as Sam Shields, Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde, itís also possible that 31-year-old starter Tramon Williams could be deemed expendable because of his high salary.
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