On the Clock: Green Bay Packers

Through April 20, "SportsCenter" will put every NFL team "On The Clock." Scouts Inc. will break down each team and look at what questions still need answering.

QB Brett Favre is returning for his 17th season, which gives the Packers a chance for success in 2007. The Packers won their final four games last season, the first under Mike McCarthy, and finished a respectable 8-8. It was a four-game improvement from 2005. General manager Ted Thompson has stuck to his game plan this offseason of building through the draft rather than overpaying in an expensive unrestricted free-agent market. Offensively, the Packers have a good young line to build around. Unfortunately, they are in need of a stronger supporting cast to play around Favre, who is on the verge of retirement. Thompson appears to be building the Packers as a defensive-oriented,
cold-weather team. Also, the Packers should continue to improve under the guidance of defensive coordinator Bob Sanders and his core of young players. However, the secondary isn't getting much younger. It is very apparent at corner and strong safety, as Marquand Manuel is becoming a liability as a full-time starter.

Key additions
The Packers have been very quiet in free agency and have done little to upgrade their roster. However, they did sign backup CB Frank Walker from the New York Giants. Walker has been a career backup who provides depth and experience to a position of need. Also, the Packers re-signed OLB Tracy White, who is an experienced player and highly productive special teams player. The Packers targeted and re-signed starting right defensive end Cullen Jenkins to a long-term contract before the start of free agency. Jenkins was expected to get a lot of interest as a restricted free agent.

Key losses
The Packers suffered a hit to their backfield with the loss of RB Ahman Green (Houston) and FB William Henderson (released). Green led the Packers in rushing last season with 1,059 yards. Although Green is still a productive running back, he is on the downside of his career and the Texans overpaid dearly for his services. Henderson had been a cornerstone in the Packers' backfield since 1995. Backup RB Vernand Morency is expected to get the first shot at replacing Green. Backup TE David Martin signed with the Dolphins. Martin is a better receiver than blocker, with some additional value on special teams. However, he has had a hard time staying healthy.

Remaining questions
Without a doubt, the Packers are building their team through the draft. The Packers must get an impact player with the No. 16 pick. They need a future workhorse back and could use a vertical threat out on the perimeter to open up McCarthy's West Coast offensive attack. The Packers have suffered no losses from the NFL's 12th-ranked defense. However, the Packers must get younger on the back end. Youth is a big issue, especially at corner.