Saturday, April 19, 2008

One week to Day!

OK. I admit it. And you should, too. True football fans get a bit geeked up this time of year. It's one week until the NFL Draft and you get that same feeling you had when you were a kid around Christmas-time. You just can't wait to see what's under the tree. The excitement is palpable. And then...for that one year you got that hot bike you had more years of underwear and socks than even more years of therapy can help erase. But I digress...

The point is, this is an exciting time. Mock drafts abound. Speculation as to which of the bottom feeders will wind up with the top picks -- or blow it somehow -- are all over the place. When you get to the bottom of the first round, however, where the Packers are set to pick at #30, it would seem that this is a year when need trumps best player available. As has been noted here in prior posts, most of the pundits have the Pack taking a cornerback with that pick. Some have the Pack taking a tight end and going for corner with one or both of the second round picks we have. I've even seen some mock drafts that go through rounds five and six. Please. It does make for entertaining reading on a rainy day, but it would seem that once you get past the middle of the first round everything is pretty much up for grabs.

With that in mind, there is an interesting article in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel evaluating GM Ted Thompson's drafts from 2005 on. As the article states, "Thompson has swung nine trades involving 11 draft picks, netting him a total of 17 picks that he has used to help rebuild the roster." Perhaps more importantly from a tendency standpoint, "All of the trades have been downward in the draft."

OK. So how did all that turn out?

So-so, according to the article: "Perhaps the best way to categorize it would be this way: He whiffed in '05, he hit it big in '06 and he played slightly better than a draw in '07. Of the 17 picks Thompson used through his trades down the draft board, 10 players who played at least one game last season are still on the roster."

Not exactly a science, is it? Still -- and especially with Thompson at the helm -- one never really knows what will happen. And despite many saying that the Packers really don't need much of an overhaul, there can never be too many good players...and sometimes, just players...on a squad. That may be why Thompson prefers to trade down to get quantity over quality. Not that he hasn't hit big on a few picks, as the article points out. But in general, it wouldn't be surprising to see Thompson trade out of that first round pick if there's no one there that he feels he has to have with that pick. But if there is a gem in any of the areas where the Pack can use assistance -- such as cornerback, tight end, O- and D-lines, perhaps even quarterback (see an intriguing article from about that possibility here) -- Thompson would pull the trigger. After all, he already has three picks in the first 60 which should give him a good quality and quantity feel going into the mid to later rounds of the draft.

It's beginning to look a lot like draft day! Deck the halls! Here comes Santa Claus...

(To read the full Journal-Sentinel article about Thompson's drafts, go here.)