The NFL draft is here, well, at least the first round is finally here. The draft is somewhat solidified at the top as Bradford, Suh, McCoy will go 1-2-3. Then Okung, Williams, Bulaga, and Berry will go somewhere in the next five or six picks. By the time the draft gets to Jacksonville at 10 it could take any number of directions which leaves the Packers in an interesting spot to sit and wait.
Rumors have been going around that the Packers may move up into the high teens. I find this very doubtful, it would cost their first, second and third round picks to do so. I think this would be a big mistake since in my mind the Packers need to address three areas with their first three picks for next year. I know Thompson drafts for five years down the road but when you do not use free agency, and you have holes, you need to get quality guys in that can play early.
I think there are a lot of areas the Packers would like to add but I believe there are three areas that are the most important going into next season.
LT – Obvious. But what is not obvious is that this does not have to be a starter at the beginning of the season. DO NOT REACH IN 1ST. This can be a 2nd rounder, or move up into the third. For next season the guy drafted is only a depth player, ready to fill in if Clifton or Tauscher go down.
Speed – The Packers need speed on offense, this can be a RB(McCluster) or WR(Jacoby Ford), the catch is this guy needs to be a returner as well.
Secondary – The Packers need more guys that can cover. We do not need to be fussy, better cover safeties or corners will help. Get a good secondary player at either position.
These are needs that can be addressed throughout the draft.
Pass Rush – This could be boosted with better penetrating DLine guys or a pass-rusher in round one if somebody falls.
Defensive Height – The Packers need to start adding guys with more height to help congest the passing lanes that looked so wide open against Pittsburgh, Arizona and Minnesota. Height is an important in a 3-4 as guys that can cover and the Packers are too short at several positions including DLine and ILBs. I think they will add depth to both positions later in this draft and these guys need to be taller.
Trade Up – Doubtful, it will cost too much and Thompson needs to get a couple of quality guys out of this draft. If Bulaga or Williams were to somehow fall passed 12 then maybe we could see something. I find it more likely for Green Bay to move up a couple of picks, to get ahead of New England than anything else.
Trade Down – Possible, but I think even Thompson is feeling some pressure to not trade down in the first due to the format. There will be a lot of disappointed fans if they wait all night for a trade down. I usually feel Thompson could care less, but I have read this could play in.
Stay Put – Very Likely, the 23rd pick does not get a lot of money in comparison to the higher first rounders and unless someone blows Thompson away with a high second and a player, I do not see him moving down.
Who To Pick
Here are some players that have been mocked to Green Bay, and my thoughts on the Packers taking him, and odds I would give that of happening.
RB CJ Spiller – If he fell, Packers take him. Thumbs Up. Chances: Doubtful.
I would love the speed dimension added to the offense and return game. OT and Secondary could still be address in the next two rounds. Look at the difference Percy Harvin and Desean Jackson have made, speed kills.
OLB Sergio Kindle – Thumbs Up Chances:Possible
Tall, athletic pass rusher. I would be very happy with this pick.
OLB Jerry Hughes – Thumbs Up Chances: Possible
Hughes is starting a late rise, probably will not be available. Would be a nice compliment to Mathews.
S Taylor Mays – Thumbs Down Chances:Possible
5 Intsin a four year starting career at USC. Stiff, cannot find the ball, bust, bust, bust.
CB Kyle Wilson – Thumbs Up Chances: Likely
Wilson is also rising, if available I think Thompson jumps at the chance. Can also return kicks and punts.
OT Charles Brown – Thumbs Down Chances: Likely
Thompson is saying he will not reach for a tackle but we do not know how he has these tackles rated. I do not like taking need in the first round, you always reach and it creates problems. I would prefer moving back in a trade to making this pick.
CB Kareem Jackson – Thumbs Down Chances: Unlikely
I am not feeling this one, feels like a second round guy to me. If the Packers are taking him they are likely leaving a better player on the board.
CB Devin McCourty – Thumbs Down Chances: Unlikely
Same thoughts as Jackson, McCourtyfeels like second rounder.
Those are the players that have been most talked about going to Green Bay.
My Pick: I think it comes down to who is available between Kindle, Hughes andWilson. Of those three I am getting the feeling Kindle will be around which will make the choice easy for Thompson.