Green Bay’s Best Draft Play May Not Be The Most Popular One:
One of the more popular draft scenarios for the Green Bay Packers that has been presented throughout the last month leading up to the draft is to trade up in the first round and draft one of the outstanding prospects in the secondary (James, Fitzpatrick, Ward). However, given the Packers recent draft history, a trade up to the 7 spot is highly unlikely. A more likely draft day scenario would be for the Packers to trade down in the first round and acquire an additional second-round pick, giving them a total of 6 picks in the first four rounds of the draft.
With these six picks in the first four rounds, the Packers would be able to address the offensive line, the secondary, edge rushing, and wide receiver positions which would add instant impact and improve the depth of the team going into 2018. In this scenario, the Packers would trade down to the 22-25 pick in the first round. Like I mentioned last week, I think that the Bills would be the most likely candidate to trade up to 14 because it will give them two high valued selections and the ability to move up into the top 10 to select one of the franchise quarterbacks that are available in this year’s draft.
The Importance of Stability Up-Front:
In almost every first round mock draft, I have seen the Packers attached to either an edge rusher or a player in the secondary. Although these are logical projections, it is important to remember that the Packers were 4-1 before Aaron Rodgers was sidelined and 3-6 while Rodgers was injured. Simply put, the Packers cannot compete without a healthy Aaron Rodgers so it is imperative that they invest in protecting him.
Last season, the offensive line was a revolving door, especially on the right side. To this point in the offseason, nothing has been done to make the Packers think that the 2018 season will provide any more stability for the O-Line than 2017 season did. Brian Bulaga will almost certainly start the year on the physically unable to perform list, Jahri Evans who currently remains unsigned, is another year older which makes the right side of the offensive line a question mark, and the potential for more uncertainty.
Approaching the First Round:
Drafting Mike McGlinchey and the best available guard in the second or third round would instantly address the stability of the offensive line and provide adequate depth at every position up front.
This would also allow Justin McCray to move to right guard and create competition at right guard to earn the starting job out of training camp. Drafting McGlinchey would also provide the Packers with a player that has a left tackle skill set, who would be playing right tackle. This move would also give the Packers depth and versatility whenever Brian Bulaga is healthy and would allow the Packers a chance to evaluate McCray and McGlinchey for an extended period to see if Bulaga’s services are needed when he is eligible to return from PUP. Drafting McGlinchey and a guard could provide the Packers with a young and talented offensive line for years to come and could end up providing cap flexibility in the process.
*Another option the Packers could pursue would be to use both of the second round picks proposed in this scenario to trade back into the first round and draft one of the remaining edge rushers or secondary prospects.
The Packers Play: Under this Proposed Trade:
First Round: Pick 22- T Mike McGlinchey
Second Round: Pick 45- CB Carlton Davis/S Justin Reid/S Ronnie Harrison
Second Round: Pick 53- OG Billy Price/OG Braden Smith/CB Mike Hughes
Final Wrap Up:
Under this trade scenario, the Packers can build one of the best offensive lines in football in order to protect their upcoming investment in Aaron Rodgers while still addressing the secondary with quality talent and value in the second round. With the third and fourth-round picks, look for the Packers to draft an edge rusher like Hercules Mata’afa and receivers like Dante Pettis, Marcell Ateman, or Michael Gallup.——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave