Packers still need to plug holes on offense

Michael Cohen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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GREEN BAY - When it came time for the Green Bay Packers to join the fun of the NFL draft, general manager Ted Thompson opted for defense, defense and more defense.

Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine scores a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 2, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Perhaps Saturday, which contains rounds four through seven, finally will be about the offense and plugging some of those holes. There are legitimate question marks at running back, guard and center.

Here are a few prospects still available after the first day who might figure into Green Bay's plans:

RB Samaje Perine: For all his flaws, there’s something to be said about the raw power of running back Eddie Lacy, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an unrestricted free agent. Lacy, a second-round pick in 2013, ran for more than 1,100 yards in each of his first two years in Green Bay.

In terms of physical stature, Perine might be the player who most closely resembles Lacy in this year’s draft. At 5-10½ and 232 pounds, Perine is “built like a brick (expletive),” according to one scout, and broke Billy Sims’ career rushing record at Oklahoma, finishing with 4,122 yards and 49 touchdowns.

Should the Packers want a more powerful complement to converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery, taking Perine would be a fine option.

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WR Josh Reynolds: Aside from Randall Cobb and Trevor Davis, who were drafted mostly for quickness and speed, respectively, the Packers have a fairly consistent profile for the remainder of their receivers: Over 6 feet tall and right around 200 pounds.

Reynolds seems to fit the bill: 6-2 7/8, 194 pounds, 4.52 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Reynolds began his career at Tyler Junior College and finished with three strong years at Texas A&M. He improved every season with the Aggies and, as a senior, caught 61 passes for 1,039 yards and 12 touchdowns. He ended his career with 30 touchdown receptions in just three years in College Station.

Despite his height, Reynolds needs to improve his strength and physicality to succeed at the NFL level. But his ability to track deep balls — he averaged 17 yards per catch for his career — could be a welcome threat in Green Bay.

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Alek Torgersen, QB: When it comes to molding young players, the Packers have extreme confidence in the world of quarterback whispering. Between coach Mike McCarthy and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, the organization has identified a formula it believes will churn out talent.

A year ago, the Packers took a chance on Division III star Joe Callahan and molded him into a member of their 53-man roster. It’s worth wondering if Torgersen is next.

Torgersen was a three-year Ivy League starter at Pennsylvania and racked up 7,025 passing yards over the course of his career. He completed at least 67 percent of his passes in the last two years and added 14 rushing touchdowns during the same span. His touchdown to interception ratio of 52:18 is impressive.

Even though Torgersen ran a shotgun spread offense at Penn, projecting his abilities to the National Football League is a difficult task, just as it was with Callahan. But the Packers took a chance and were pleased with the results. Maybe Torgersen is next.

NOTES: Picks put Randall, Rollins on notice

DRAFT TRACKER: Pick-by-pick coverage

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OG Danny Isidora: By signing veteran free agent Jahri Evans earlier this week, the Packers admitted a smidgeon of discomfort with their in-house candidates to replace T.J. Lang. The trio of Don Barclay, Kyle Murphy and Lucas Patrick comes with plenty of question marks.

But Evans, who will turn 34 before the start of the regular season, is far from a sure thing at this point in his career, and the Packers are likely to draft an interior lineman as a result.

At 6-3 ½ and 311 pounds, Isidora has good size for the guard position. He was a three-year starter at Miami, where he was a team captain, and did not miss a game during that stretch. All but two of his 39 career starts came at right guard.

“He’s a really good athlete,” said one scout. “His biggest issue is he needs to control his base. His base gets wide so consequently it looks like he’s going to whiff on blocks. It’s a technical thing. Athletically, there’s no better tester from the guard position.”

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