Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The lone ranger of football: the draft

OK, admittedly, it's been a little while since yours truly posted. But I have been making semi-regular Tweets and re-Tweets. So if you aren't following on Twitter (@packfansunited) then you aren't up to speed. Exactly what speed that is is debatable, but I digress...

It's also obvious it's been a while by just looking at that headline; a bit of a stretch to broach the subject of the upcoming NFL Draft. That's really about all there is to talk about at the moment, as the ongoing talks between the NFL owners and players are still at a standoff. There's no signing or re-signing, no trades or OTAs.


So, where do things stand in terms of the draft as regards the Packers? Well, GM Ted Thompson, head coach Mike McCarthy and other player personnel staff have been busy evaluating prospective draftees, of course. And keeping things close to the vest, which is Thompson's way. A way that has worked out pretty well for the Pack.

Of course, mock draft boards, sports writers and just average shmoes like us are all starting to get into a bit of an early lather as to what the Packers might do with the 32nd and last pick of the 1st round. It's commonly thought by some that the Packers will probably go for either defensive or offensive line help first. Others make a convincing argument that, despite a seemingly deep linebacking corps, the Packers might actually spring for a play-making outside linebacker to bookend Clay Matthews. Believe it or not, some folks even think the Pack will look for a wide receiver in the 1st round, despite arguably having the best set of receivers in the league. Oh, a running back has also been part of the predictions. Why not?

One thing is a certainty, though: Ted Thompson's modus operandi in the draft is to take the best player available regardless of need. And ya know, when that Aaron Rodgers guy fell into the Packers lap a few years back and, despite not needing a quarterback, he was the best player at that pick, Thompson grabbed him. All together now: "Thank you, Ted!!!".

Here's another certainty: none of us folks on the outside have a clue as to how Ted and his guys are setting up their draft board in terms of those player rankings. We do know that, while the exception, if Thompson wants a certain player bad enough he will make a move to get him. Whether there is any player in the 1st round that Thompson would move up to get is a whole other question. He could very well, as in years past, trade down in order to get additional picks.

But let's just assume for the sake of conversation that the Packers hold on to their 32nd pick. Who are the names that seem to be surfacing? As a service to our readers -- that's what we're all about here, folks, service -- we've compiled an early list of some of the names that keep popping up on mock drafts.
Is that enough to get your juices flowing, Packer fans? Lots of stuff to chew on there. And that's just the 1st round! We'll get into later round fun...well...later.