Green Bay Packers 2016 Draft: The Big Gamble

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
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17 thoughts on “Green Bay Packers 2016 Draft: The Big Gamble

    1. I agree that would be more likely, but Ragland or Lee look like they could be good players. Jack could be great.

    1. Agree on the won’t happen. Not sure about the should not part. If Jack is the piece that turns the defense from good to great, isn’t that worth the risk?

      1. Absolutely not. When you build your team from the draft like the Packers, you would be giving up your core players of the future. The risk is too great and you are going against the philosophy that has made the Packers a great team year in & year out. You might be better next year but you won’t be better five years from now.

      2. Absolutely not. When you build your team from the draft like the Packers, you would be giving up your core players of the future. The risk is too great and you are going against the philosophy that has made the Packers a great team year in & year out. You might be better next year but you won’t be better five years from now.

        1. I totally agree. I didn’t write the article because I think the Packers will or should do this, but just presenting a possibility (maybe one that only exists in an alternate universe). The one alternate argument (and not even one I necessarily agree with), is that you could be better in 5 years because Jack could be the cornerstone of your defense.

          In order for the Packers to be better off they need to hit on at least two of those four draft picks and turn them into valuable starters, which is by no means a given.

    2. Conservatism has plagued both this coaching staff and general manager. Gets us close frequently, but no cigars… wait. One cigar. Of 7 playoff losses, 5 came on the last play of the game. Painful reminder. Chicken or the egg – Didn’t have the right game plan or didn’t have the “horses” to win those close races. OK with more aggressive approach, but would have preferred it in free agency as opposed to the draft. Well, too late on free agency… might as well try the draft… Worked once with Raji and Matthews.

      1. With Mathews they traded into the bottom of the first round. To get Miles Jack they would be trading into the top of the first round. Huge difference on what you have to give up to get there. (They did it for Mathews but not for Raji)

      2. With Mathews they traded into the bottom of the first round. To get Miles Jack they would be trading into the top of the first round. Huge difference on what you have to give up to get there. (They did it for Mathews but not for Raji)

    3. Conservatism has plagued both this coaching staff and general manager. Gets us close frequently, but no cigars… wait. One cigar. Of 7 playoff losses, 5 came on the last play of the game. Painful reminder. Chicken or the egg – Didn’t have the right game plan or didn’t have the “horses” to win those close races. OK with more aggressive approach, but would have preferred it in free agency as opposed to the draft. Well, too late on free agency… might as well try the draft… Worked once with Raji and Matthews.

  1. i have been studying the prospects for 2016. in creating my private mock, i have come to feel that there are many talented prospects in each round. more picks will give teams more potential.. at least this year.

    1. Correct. And that fits perfectly in line with what TT does. The more darts you have to throw, the more likely you are to hit the bulls-eye (especially in years with good draft classes).

    2. Agree. In fact I would consider a trade down 8-10 spots, similar to when they drafted Jordy, and get an additional 3rd or 4th. Use the pick at the top of the 2nd on Jaylon Smith, assuming no nerve dysfunction is present in the knee he should make a full recovery, even if he’s not able to play in ’16. He is every bit as talented, possibly moreso, as Myles Jack, both being top 5-10 players if healthy.
      Then use the Packers own pick at the end Rd 2 on Chris Jones. He’s a very talented 5 tech DE, that was forced to play NT at Miss St.
      That would give the Packers 2 players w/ 1st rd athletic grades! One of them, Smith, being a top 5 player in the draft.

    3. Agree. In fact I would consider a trade down 8-10 spots, similar to when they drafted Jordy, and get an additional 3rd or 4th. Use the pick at the top of the 2nd on Jaylon Smith, assuming no nerve dysfunction is present in the knee he should make a full recovery, even if he’s not able to play in ’16. He is every bit as talented, possibly moreso, as Myles Jack, both being top 5-10 players if healthy.
      Then use the Packers own pick at the end Rd 2 on Chris Jones. He’s a very talented 5 tech DE, that was forced to play NT at Miss St.
      That would give the Packers 2 players w/ 1st rd athletic grades! One of them, Smith, being a top 5 player in the draft.

  2. i have been studying the prospects for 2016. in creating my private mock, i have come to feel that there are many talented prospects in each round. more picks will give teams more potential.. at least this year.

  3. Not a chance of getting Myles Jack… NONE. Put it out of your head! It shouldn’t even be in your dreams!

    Jack is just the type of ILB the Packers need, but the cost of moving that far is beyond prohibitive! The Packers also have a big need at DL (preferrably a 5 tech DE) besides ILB and have to draft a couple OL to prepare for life after Sitton and Lang.
    THe Packers just do NOT have the draft capital to make that kind of “all in” move!
    Better to use a 2nd on Jaylon Smith, IF you get the chance! He may not play in ’16, but as long as there isn’t nerve disfunction in the knee, he would be expected to make a full recovery, and he is every bit as good as Jack. Both are Top 5-10 talents. I would MUCH rather take a chance on Smith in the 2nd, than use up all the Packers draft capital on ONE player!

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