I trust Pickett, even with the age factor, more than I trust Raji. I don't want a streaky player who plays Hall of Famer for a few games, then disappears for twice as many. I want someone who is dependable. I want a DT who is an immovable object with arms of steel far more than I want a DT who can make three sacks in a game once or twice a year. Pickett is the former. Raji, at least by what he has shown so far, looks like the latter.
Cool dude. Like the man. But I'd rather have someone more consistent at the position.
Wade, I'm a fan of Raji, but I am beginning to see he has really regressed since his drafting in 2009. He should be a beast up there, and he is definitely not. Why pay him the big bucks? That being said, if Ted wants to do away with him from our roster, he best get TWO NTs of high quality, because we were one short WITH Raji.
I would not mind a significant upgrade in the middle with some serious NTs added to our roster, via draft or trade. Our offense is pretty good, but I would not mind seeing another defense heavy draft, especially on the line, and maybe a proven FA addition or a veteran in trade.
Our sack totals went up this year, but we couldn't stop the run. Of all the playoff teams this year, we were dead last in rushing D. For the regular season we were middle of the road at #16. That is not good enough. Our passing D, in spite of a decent sack ranking at #4, was still only #22 in the NFL during the regular season. And that is with what I thought was a pretty good secondary, #8 in picks.
Oh, yeah, pay Pickett. Our best DL.
Add to this the fact that Jerel Worthy may not be able to play in 2013, and I would got heavy, heavy, heavy on drafting quality defensive linemen, and possibly making a trade. Maybe, for once, we could get a real, quality rotation on the line that is a complete menace to opposing offenses.
Starting 2012 very light at DL was a huge part of our undoing. Especially when one of those players, Raji, is slumping. In his defense, the kid has played an enormous amount of reps through all of 3 seasons, 2010-2012. Way too many IMO. Why? Because we had no one to rotate in at NT. No one.
That, to me, is a big knock on Ted and his personnel crew. That's one of the most important parts of a defense, and that area alone, filled with high end talent, makes the rest of your defense better. For whatever reason, we went light here, and depended on rookies and Mike Neal to improve our DL play from 2011. Far too little to work with there.
I would trade Finley in a heartbeat to get a top talent at DE, DT or NT. Whether that is a package deal, or to move up in draft order if they see someone they really want.
Imagine, a solid defense, a solid, committed running game, and one of the best passers in the NFL with a decent stable of quality receivers. That would be a big improvement for the Packers.