Green Bay Packers: 5 Options To Replace Blake Martinez

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

If the Green Bay Packers move on from starting inside linebacker Blake Martinez as expected, they could turn to one of these five players.

A starting-caliber inside linebacker is right up there on the Green Bay Packers‘ list of needs along with wide receiver. Despite Blake Martinez racking up tackles on tackles on tackles over the past few seasons, it’s certainly a case of his stats looking better than his actual play.

In reality, Martinez is a dependable linebacker, but not anything special. Most of the tackles he made were three to five yards downfield and he rarely made any plays in the opponent’s backfield as evidenced by his porous five tackles for loss in 2019. Unfortunately, he’s looking for special-type money this offseason.

General manager Brian Gutekunst will almost certainly address middle linebacker in one way or another this offseason, and here are five options he has to replace Martinez:

Josh Bynes

Given all the Packers’ struggles to stop the run in recent seasons, Josh Bynes would be a great addition to the team. He specializes in run support and would help in that area. Unfortunately, defensive coordinator Mike Petting would have to hide him or take him off the field in passing situations. Bynes has bounced around to four different teams throughout his career, and Green Bay would only be a temporary holding spot until the Packers could find their long-term replacement at the position.

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Draft Pick

If the draft falls just right, Gutekunst could have the option of selecting an immediate starter in the first round. His potential targets include Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen with the latter being the most realistic. Queen can run sideline to sideline and provide the athleticism Green Bay has lacked at the position. It’s also possible they select an inside backer later in the draft as well.

Oren Burks

After being selected in the third round of the 2018 draft, Oren Burks’ career has been marred by injuries and disappointment so far. Still, just 24-years-old, he’ll have another opportunity to make an impact in 2020. Burks is athletic and could provide the Packers with someone who can make plays all over the place. He’ll have to figure out how to be dependable in the run game, as that’s his biggest weakness so far.

Joe Schobert

If Green Bay turns to free agency, Joe Schobert is one of the top two middle linebackers available. The University of Wisconsin product showed he can make plays all over the field last season when he racked up four interceptions, two sacks and seven tackles for loss. He won’t come cheap, but he’d be a long-term option for Green Bay.

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Cory Littleton

Perhaps the best middle linebacker available, Cory Littleton would be a perfect fit in Titletown. He’s strong both in coverage and against the run and is a true three-down backer. If the Packers want to sign him in free agency they’d have to be prepared to search through the draft to meet their other needs.