Thursday, April 22, 2010

Draft night just ahead...and another nod for Hughes?

Last weekend, Mike Vandermause, the sports editor for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, wrote an article (noted in an earlier post here) that all the signs he was picking up led him to conclude that the Packers would select defensive end Jerry Hughes out of Texas Christian University with the 23rd pick of the NFL Draft. Now, a few other folks have jumped on that bandwagon, including Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Packers writer extraordinaire, Bob McGinn. Wayne Larrivee, radio voice of the Packers on 620WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, concurred this morning with that pick as well.

The thinking seems to be that if the elite offensive linemen are off the board by the time the Packers pick at number 23, GM Ted Thompson will pull the trigger on a pass rusher to complement Clay Matthews.

McGinn sets forth the following in his article: "One of two scenarios is most likely to unfold for the Packers Thursday night in the first round of the National Football League draft.

"• One of three offensive linemen (center Maurkice Pouncey, tackles Bryan Bulaga and Anthony Davis) whom sources within the league indicate Thompson regards as elite will begin to slide, prompting the general manager to part with perhaps a third-round selection in order to move up and grab one of them.

"• Those three players, along with consensus top tackles Russell Okung and Trent Williams, go off the board so quickly that the Packers' keen desire to land a starting offensive lineman is doomed to failure."

If the second scenario plays out, then McGinn (and others, apparently) believe Thompson will then go the pass rusher route, and look at Hughes as well as Sergio Kindle of Texas and Brandon Graham of Michigan. Graham is expected to be gone, so Hughes and Kindle would then be the options. McGinn makes the argument, as did Vandermause, that Hughes is the one the Pack will select.

McGinn, as usual, does a tremendous job of outlining many of the various options that will await Thompson this evening. Including this: "If Graham, Hughes and Kindle are gone, it's entirely possible that Thompson would bail back five to 10 slots and then select the best tackle, pass rusher, cornerback or safety."

If that is the scenario that plays out, tune in again tomorrow because, as you know, tonight is one round only.

Get the full lowdown from McGinn's article here. Along with Vandermause's column from last weekend, you'll be well set to geek out tonight.

Let the Draft begin!