General Manager Ted Thompson traded out of the first round in 2008 and drafted wide receiver Jordy Nelson at No. 36. Packers fans can only hope things work out nearly as well nine years later. By sending the 29th pick to Cleveland late Thursday night, Green Bay will now be on the clock when the draft resumes later today in Philly.
By not exercising his original pick, Thompson allowed linebackers T.J. Watt and Reuben Foster to come off the board, but there are still plenty of quality players available. Chief among them are running backs Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon and Alvin Kamara, offensive linemen Forrest Lamp and Dion Dawkins, defensive ends Malik McDowell and Chris Wormley, linebackers Carl Lawson, Jordan Willis and Zach Cunningham and corners Kevin King, Chidobe Awuzie and Quincy Wilson.
If you believe Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel, King will be the choice at 33. But moving out of the first round might also put the running backs in play. Cook and Mixon – for different reasons – would’ve been gambles on Thursday. As strange as it may seem, one day does make a difference. Not only is the financial commitment less, but a mistake in round 2 is quickly forgotten while a mistake in round 1 lives in infamy.
Thanks to the trade, the Packers now own the top pick in both the second and fourth rounds – ideal spots to be in after round 1. You can be sure half the GMs in the league will be offering Thompson the moon for a chance to bat leadoff and get the top player on their board on Friday and Saturday. Green Bay already has two 2s, two 4s and two 5s. Those numbers could go up even further. Or Thompson could choose to package some of those picks and move up in a round. My guess is he’ll do one or the other – and maybe even both.
Assuming Thompson stays at 33, I’d love to see him take either Cook or Mixon. I know they don’t play defense, but the talent disparity between them and guys like Willis, King and Awuzie is enormous. Plus, there’d still be plenty of ammunition left to grab a corner and an edge rusher later in the night. Among the players who could be around at 61 and/or 93 include wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster and Cooper Kupp, guard Dan Feeney, linebackers Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson and corner Sidney Jones.
–photo courtesy of packers.com