Under Ted Thompson’s reign, the Green Bay Packers have been the model of conservatism. While many fans clamor for Thompson to “go all in”, he has always shown a dedication to using his draft picks, or trading down to acquire more, and to be very conservative in signing other team’s free agents. While the signing of Jared Cook is very intriguing to many fans, it falls in line with the low risk type of move that Thompson loves. It doesn’t cost a lot of money, is short-term, and won’t affect the compensation pick formula.
An aggressive move in the draft would be unexpected, but it could change the Packers defense immediately, and give them the difference-maker in the middle they so desperately need.
Myles Jack from UCLA is perhaps the perfect football player. He played Running Back and Linebacker in college and has the type of phenomenal athleticism to make scouts drool. Jack is still recovering form a meniscus tear, yet had an absurd 40 inch vertical jump at his pro day. During that pro day, one team put him through Cornerback drills, which isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. During the 2015 Alamo Bowl, Jack lined up against slot receiver Tyler Lockett (who just had a great rookie year for the Seahawks) frequently, and came away with the game clinching interception.
Jack is a guy who has the ability to drop some weight and become the next Kam Chancellor, or keep putting on muscle and be a Derrick Brooks or Brian Urlacher-type force in the middle. From all the interviews, it appears he is a guy who truly loves football and wants to put in the work to be great. He also won’t turn 21 until the start of the 2016 season.
So, what would it cost the Packers to move up and take Myles Jack? A good landing spot seems to be at pick 5. This is in itself a problem, as the Jacksonville Jaguars own the pick, and they seem like a really good fit for Jack. However, it is possible the Jags are looking to add depth and acquire more picks. The 5th pick in the draft is worth 1,700 points on the trade chart. The Packers would have to trade their 1st (680), 2nd (330), 3rd (150), and would still find themselves 540 points short. It’s possible next year’s 1st round pick would make up the difference, but teams have often demanded more than the trade charts for dramatic moves up or down the 1st round.
Even if a team was willing to make that deal, giving up four very valuable picks is very risky for a player coming off an injury. However, if Jack can live up to his potential he would be worth all the risk. In 2011, the Atlanta Falcons traded the 27th, 59th, 124th, and their 2012 1st and 4th round picks to move up to the 6th pick and take Julio Jones. On one hand, the Falcons got an elite Wide Receiver, and the Browns squandered most of those picks. On the other hand, the Falcons have lacked depth since that trade because they had less ammunition, and missed on some of their other picks.
So, would Ted Thompson “go all in” on a trade in this year’s draft? It’s unlikely, but Myles Jack could take the Packers defense to an elite level, which makes it a worthy gamble.Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig