With the silly season of the NFL fully underway and only pickings becoming slim in free agency, it’s time to turn our attention fully to the Ted Thompson’s reason for existence, the Draft.
And while this has the potential to be a very good class with a ton of talent, there are some pitfalls that could cause it to deteriorate quickly. A good first day is imperative for the Packers this year, and there are some things that would completely ruin the weekend Thursday night.
That’s why I’m here. I have been around the Draft and writing about it for long enough to figure out the Packers strategy well enough to figure out what they should avoid. So here are 4 things the Packers should avoid on Thursday night, April 27.
- Reaching for a Corner at the end of the round
I know that corner is a need. Last year did not go well for either Damarious Randall or Quentin Rollins, but they are still incredibly talented guys who battled through crippling groin injuries. For corners, that’s the worst non-knee ailment that could occur. And while I think they should address the position, unless you can get someone like Gareon Conley at 29, then pull the trigger. But don’t reach for a corner who is limited like Teez Tabor. There are a ton of corners available in this draft that can help the team in Rounds 2-4. Guys like Kevin King, Fabian Moreau, Sidney Jones (if he proves he can come back), Cordea Tankersley will be there in Round 2 most likely. So Ted can wait.
- Drafting a Running Back
Another running back will surely be taken by the Packers in the Draft, likely on Friday, but at pick 29, there shouldn’t even be the thought of taking a back. Ty Montgomery has shown legitimate talent in the backfield and if you can fill the backup slot in Round 3 with a guy like Marlon Mack, Wayne Gallman, or even Joe Mixon (if he can prove that he’s a capable adult now). While envisioning an offense with Christian McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook is fun, there’s no need for the Packers to take either of them in Round 1 with more pressing needs.
- Drafting an Interior Offensive Lineman
Similar to my point above, this position isn’t a vital part of the team. That’s why Josh Sitton and TJ Lang aren’t around anymore. It is a position that can easily be manned by mid-round picks and free agents (like Byron Bell, please sign him Ted). Forrest Lamp I have no doubt will be a solid player, but there are guys in Rounds 3 or 4 (where Ted earns his money) that will be just fine as starters for a long time. Guys like Dorian Johnson of Pittsburgh. Essentially, guard isn’t a first round type of need.
- Trading Up
Finally, this one is tricky. There is some serious top flight talent in the first half of the first round. Guys like Marshon Lattimore, Hassan Reddick, and Reuben Foster would look great in the Green and Gold. But it’s fool’s gold. The cost to trade up and get them would be exorbitant for Ted Thompson, and he’s no fool. He knows that at this point, the Packers need bodies. There are a lot of strong prospects in this class, from Round 1 through undrafted free agency. It’s an incredibly deep group. So trading up, while flashy and something a lot of people are clamoring for, is not wise for the Packers this year.
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.