Packers better off with Hawk's Todd Korth explains why the Green Bay Packers should select A.J. Hawk in the upcoming NFL Draft rather than pursue signing veteran LaVar Arrington.

No matter what Brett Favre decides to do with his football life, you can bet the ranch on one thing: The Green Bay Packers will have a high-quality linebacker on their roster next season. And it's a good bet that it will be A.J. Hawk.

At this point, landing Hawk over pricey unrestricted free agent LaVar Arrington makes much more sense for rebuilding Green Bay. Either one of the two players would give the Green Bay defense an impact player that it desperately has been seeking since Reggie White roamed the field, but the Packers will get more value for their buck with Hawk.

Knowing that North Carolina State's Mario Williams probably will be gone by the time Green Bay selects at No. 5, the Packers will be sitting pretty with a chance to take Hawk.

Green Bay has plenty of reasons to select Hawk over other players, but only one that matters. The Packers need an outside linebacker after parting ways with Na'il Diggs in early March. They need a play-maker, an area where Diggs fell short. In a defense that relies on linebackers to fill the gaps, speed and aggressiveness can make a difference, and Hawk fits the mold. He can go sideline to sideline in a hurry and is a good tackler.

The Packers know that and have studied Hawk so well this off-season that they haven't even invited him to Green Bay for a personal visit. Each NFL team is allowed to invite up to 30 collegiate prospects to its facilities prior to the draft. It doesn't mean that they will select that player, but it is a good indication that there is a strong interest. If a player goes undrafted, he's probably going to get called immediately after the draft concludes by a team that he visited.

Hawk will get drafted among the top 10 picks. He has visited or will visit with the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, and New Orleans Saints. Just because the Packers didn't invite Hawk to Green Bay, doesn't mean they won't select him. In fact, with Williams likely to go within the first two or three picks, it's a no-brainer that Green Bay is poised to select Hawk.

What about Arrington? The veteran made a visit to Green Bay Monday. He's looking for a huge contract and a chance to play with a contender. The Packers are in position to give Arrington what he's seeking as far as salary, but are a year or two away from contending for a division title.

Expect Arrington to remain out East and sign with either the New York Giants or Miami Dolphins, two teams that will be playoff contenders this season. His trip to Green Bay was nothing more than a negotiating tactic on his part to get the best deal possible from the Giants or Dolphins. It had nothing to do with the Packers trying to lure Favre back into the fold. Favre could not care less about the defense at this time.

Hawk not only would cost a lot less than Arrington, but would probably give the Packers better results over the long run. Green Bay is better off spending money on a veteran cornerback like Charles Woodson or Ty Law than on Arrington.

If I'm Ted Thompson and Williams is off the board when it's time to pick, I'm going with Hawk.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report. E-mail him at

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