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June 22, 2017

Packers Shouldn’t Sit At 29


Ted Thompson has traded up or down in the first round exactly twice since taking over as Green Bay’s general manager in 2005, and both times were extremely successful.  He moved back and grabbed Jordy Nelson in ’08, and he went up to get Clay Matthews a year later. It’s time for Thompson to do it again.

The Packers need to come away from the upcoming draft with either a true impact defender or a handful of players capable of contributing in 2017. Neither is likely to happen by sitting at No. 29. At that spot, Thompson will more than likely be looking at the sixth-best cornerback or the fifth best edge rusher. And while someone like Washington’s Kevin King or Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt might wind up becoming the next Darrell Green (28th to the Redskins in 1983) or Derrick Brooks (28th to the Buccaneers in 1995), that’s unlikely.

The best chance to add a real difference maker on defense is to trade up into the teens. Such a move would cost Thompson quite a bit (probably a 2 and a 3), but it could get him someone like Tennessee edge rusher Derek Barnett, Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley, Alabama inside linebacker Reuben Foster or Temple hybrid Haason Reddick. That’s a pretty sizable upgrade from KIng and Watt – at least in theory.

The other far more likely option would be to trade out of the first round, and there should be plenty of interest from teams looking to grab a QB in the late 20s (49ers, Jets, Cardinals, Saints?). Such a move would give Thompson at least three picks on day 2 and perhaps an extra pick on day 3. And while he might not walk away from the draft with one legit impact player, he could leave the City of Brotherly Love with enough talented prospects to fill gaping holes on a roster that currently looks like a slice of Swiss Cheese.

In my opinion – and I said it at the time – that’s what Thompson should’ve done a year ago. Instead of taking Kenny Clark at 27, he could’ve grabbed both tackle Jason Spriggs and a D-lineman like A’Shawn Robinson in the second round and held onto his pick in the fourth (the one he traded away to move up for Spriggs).


The one negative to trading out of the first round is no longer having the fifth-year option available since that only applies to the top 32 picks. All other players sign four-year deals. But considering star QB Aaron Rodgers will be 37 in March 2021, I’m not sure Thompson should be all that worried about fifth-year options. Let’s be honest, the window for winning another Super Bowl is already beginning to close just a bit.

Considering Thompson has sat still in the first round of 10 of the previous 12 drafts, it’s a pretty good bet that Commissioner Roger Goodell will be announcing Green Bay’s No. 1 pick very late on Thursday evening. But if there was ever a time to make a trade – either up or down – this would be the year. Maybe Thompson will surprise us. After all, who expected him to sign four proven free agents in the past few weeks?





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7 Responses “Packers Shouldn’t Sit At 29”

  1. Nerd
    April 13, 2017 at 10:40 am

    If I was gonna trade, I’d trade down. That’s just me. If Ted sees someone he really likes, I’d trust him to move up, but my gut says to trade back, get a couple edge rushers.

    TJ Watt could play inside if needed. I like him as an OLB. With all the injuries this team sustains, they love versatility.

  2. Gary Carter
    April 13, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    TJ Watt is stiff and horrible in coverage.Packers have too many LB that canr cover and dont need one mote like Watt.A 4-3 team would be OK for Watt.He is just a guy,nothing special at all and vastly overhyped.His team mate Biegal is better.Biegal is a good fit for the Packers.

  3. TJV
    April 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    The chances of Thompson trading up in the first round aren’t zero but very nearly so. Yes, he traded up into the first round to get Matthews but two extenuating circumstances in that draft don’t exist in this one. First, he had already exercised pick #9 in that draft and second, one of the two third rounders he gave up the Packers received from the Jets for Favre. No way will Thompson trade his first three picks to move up into the teens.

    A trade down could happen. When he traded down 6 spots in the ’08 draft he picked up pick #113. Pete Dougherty thinks a trade down is a good idea. He says Thompson could pick an edge rusher, cornerback, running back, and guard with picks in the top 100. If Thompson duplicates the ’08 trade it’d be in the top 113, but close enough. Dougherty says a trade down out of 29 makes even more sense with the depth at the first three of four positions he mentions.
    http://www.packersnews.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/dougherty/2017/04/11/dougherty-ted-thompson-trade-down-nfl-draft/100326622/

    I agree a trade down would be a good idea but my guess is Thompson will make at 29.

    • Michael Rodney
      April 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks TJV, but I stopped caring what Dougherty and most of the beat writers thought years ago.

  4. Thorny
    April 13, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    I prefer shipping 29 to Seattle for Richard Sherman. His price has been dropping per PFT and I would prefer to gamble on Sherman still bring a great CB at his age than any defender we’d get at 29. Of course, the salary disparity probably negates that for Ted. I would absolutely love Bennett and Sherman on this team. Some real aura and persona for the first time in a long time.

    Love trade up in theory but don’t trust Ted to get it right. I don’t thin Ted trusts Ted to get it right. Trading down would probably be as comfortable to him as it is to us.

    I’m for a Sherman for 29, a trade down, or a monumental move up. I hope we don’t just go D if there’s a stud offensive player there. D is likely to be terrible regardless so let’s strengthen a strength if it’s there.

  5. Saguaro
    April 14, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I sure hope TT can find a trading partner. I don’t know the nuances of making the deal, but it seems hard to do.

  6. Packer Purist
    April 25, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Since an great defensive player will not be available at the 29th pick. It would be great to trade down a few spots with a QB needy team into the top half of the second round.
    So the Packers can find bona-fide above average replacement players in the second and third rounds. My priority of needs would be: DE, OL, RB, CB, OLB.

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