With the onslaught of mock drafts thankfully drawing itself to a close as the week of the 2019 NFL draft is finally upon us, there is not one mock draft that is 100% correct – not one. And yet, even as the hit rate is at zero percent, it feels comforting in a sense, due to how crazy and unpredictable this time of the year gets for the NFL.
For teams that need a successful draft to make last season a thing of the past, like the Green Bay Packers, draft season gains a bigger focus and incurs a bigger response from fans and critics alike. From mock drafts to pick suggestions, the draft will be full of everything and anything possible – which, coincidentally, is encouraged.
Green Bay has its needs that they need to address in the draft, like safety, linebacker, edge rusher, wide receiver, offensive and defensive linemen, and tight end, to summarize. How these needs are addressed remains to be seen, but it is a solid guess to make that there will be efforts made through the selection of college upperclassmen to better this team in 2019.
Mock drafts, draft-day trades, free agent signings, all will occur and all will help address the team’s needs in some way, shape or form for next season.
Specifically focusing on the draft, sitting at no. 12 overall is absolutely what this team needs to regroup and reset, bringing in a solid, top of his class player who can immediately impact this team. While the player may not become a starter day one, his impact will be felt by this team nonetheless, paving the way for the coaching staff and front office to focus its attention on other parts of the team.
By drafting for need rather than best player available, which is exactly the opposite mantra that Ted Thompson lived, breathed and slept by in his tenure as the team’s General Manager, new GM Brian Gutekunst can make that impression on this team in only his second year at the helm, helping show exactly what he thinks of this team, how close they are in terms of competing and getting back to the playoffs, and how many pieces away they are from being successful again.
Drafting the best player available and worrying about his fit in the team’s scheme later is beneficial at first, because it presents the coaching staff with an opportunity to tailor the player to the team, which is the better approach in this situation, instead of tailoring a team to the player; however, in the long run, and obviously hindsight is 20/20 here, the BPA mindset has screwed this team over in the past, as not wanting to make a calculated reach for a player that can instantly improve this team to draft someone who should be selected at that pick is risky business.
The draft messes with people’s minds, as it gives them what they think are mindsets into what the team should do while presenting an out in case it does not pan out. While this whole fiasco will begin to unfurl this Thursday, enjoy the peacefulness of the mock drafts and projections now, because come Thursday, Friday and Saturday, things will get real, real interesting.
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23