By now, Packer fans who frequently visit this site will have read Jersey Al Bracco's pieces on trading up or down in the NFL Draft on Apr. 22. (If you haven't you can read the piece on trading down here and the trading up here . )
After throwing around possible moves and picks, I've decided that trading down is the most helpful scenario to the Packers. With trading down being GM Ted Thompson's style, it also seems more likely.
Assuming neither Anthony Davis nor Bryan Bulaga fall to the Packers at 23, there is no player available worth the pick that the Packers won't be able to grab later.
The trading partner I feel makes the most sense is the New England Patriots.
My proposed trade:
Green Bay's first-rounder (No. 23 overall), rated 760 points on the Draft Value Chart .
Green Bay's third-rounder (No. 86 overall), rated 160 points.
New England's second-rounder (No. 42/44 overall), rated 460/480 points.
New England's second-rounder (No. 53 overall), rated 370 points.
New England's sixth-rounder (No. 181 overall), rated 20 points.
New England's first second-round pick depends on a coin flip. But that trade calculates to 920-850/870 points, favoring New England. The trade has to be somewhat uneven against the aggressor team, in order to make the other team bite.
New England should go for this trade because they have glaring holes that should be addressed with first-rounders, while also retaining five of the first 85 picks in the draft.
Green Bay gets an early second-rounder and a mid-second-rounder so they can take solid, but underhyped, players—just Thompson's style. The sixth-round pick is important, as I will demonstrate later.
If Green Bay were to do this, here's how the draft could (and in my opinion should ) play out:
Second round (No. 42/44 overall): Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU
I've advocated taking Hughes in the first, and I would have no problem if the Packers did that.
Hughes may be the closest thing to a natural 3-4 OLB in the draft, as he was a high school running back who converted to DE when he didn't get any big-time scholarship offers.
Hughes obviously has the athleticism to drop back in coverage, something we lacked with Aaron Kampman. That's not a knock on Kampman but, the reality is, the majority of Kampman's success came as a result of his nonstop motor. With Hughes, we get that motor, plus youth and athleticism.
Another plus with Hughes that Green Bay wouldn't get with Ricky Sapp or Sergio Kindle: playing on the left side. Never underestimate that need for a pass-rusher to play on the side where he is comfortable—much like OT's being able to play one side but not the other.
Second Round (No. 53 overall): Larry Asante, SS, Nebraska
Asante may be a bit unhyped, as teammate Ndamukong Suh got all the headlines from that team, but there was more to Nebraska's impressive defense this season. Asante's size (6'1", 215 lbs.) gives him a two-inch edge over Atari Bigby, but what may surprise some is his straight-line speed and agility.
He could run near a 4.4 at the combine, which should improve his current third round projection, and the Packers would be wise to snatch him up. He's got more coverage ability than Bigby, but is also a help in the run game.
He had 77 tackles and two FF last season. He also intercepted two passes, returning one for a TD. This would make Bigby expendable, and he could become possible trade bait.
Second round (No. 56 overall): Roger Saffold, OT, Indiana
Saffold's been climbing up the boards, and for good reason.
He's big (6'5", 318 lbs.), athletic, and the star of the East-West Shrine Game. The combine could push him (like Asante) to second-round status, and it's no secret that the Packers need some help at OT. Clifton and Tauscher are getting up there in years and, while I think that Tauscher has at least two good years left, that's an argument for another day.
Saffold would come into a good situation with a mentor in Clifton and wouldn't be asked to start right away. If Clifton gets hurt, he'll be there to take his place.
Fourth round (No. 112 overall): Myron Lewis, CB, Vanderbilt
The exact numbers of all draft picks from the fourth round on are inexact because supplementary draft selections are undetermined. But if there were none, here's where it would be.
There is some talk of Brandon Ghee falling to the fourth round, in which he'd be the pick. But I don't see it, so Lewis is the pick.
He's got great size (6'2", 205lbs.), but unspectacular speed. If he runs around a 4.5 at the combine, I like him as the pick.
Zone corners don't need top end speed (as they often have safety help), so this pick really is continuing Green Bay's transformation into a 3-4 defense.
Lewis was second team All-SEC behind Joe Haden and Javier Arenas. He has 10 career interceptions and would be a solid guy to be the third corner, unless Al Harris miraculously is ready for the season.
Fifth round (No. 144 overall): Darryl Sharpton, ILB, Miami (Fl.)
ILB is not a need, per se, but it's a slight concern.
Nick Barnett is unspectacular, but definitely solid, as he's right below the Pro Bowl level.
AJ Hawk has been underwhelming, to say the least.
Brandon Chillar, although he just got a contract extension, is not a full-time starter, as he's a passing down specialist.
Desmond Bishop is solid depth.
Sharpton comes from a school that has produced a few decent ILBs in the past 15 years in Ray Lewis and Jonathan Vilma. Sharpton leaves the school with less hype, but has the production. He had 99 tackles, a INT TD, and a FF. He's a solid, but unspectacular, ILB—the perfect complement to Barnett.
Sixth round (No. 173 overall): Trindon Holliday, KR/PR, LSU
Holliday was All-SEC Honorable Mention as a returner this season.
The track star has blazing speed and, although he lacks size (5'5", 161 lbs.), he should be given the chance to show his stuff on the football field. The lack of size should deter any team from using him as a RB. But as a KR, he could be explosive.
The Packers haven't had an explosive return game since Desmond Howard, and never underestimate the value of great special teams play.
Sixth round (No. 176 overall): Curtis Steele, RB, Memphis
Steele had a huge senior season, rushing for 1,239 yards and a 6.3 average, and 15 TDs. He's not overpowering, at 6'1", 185lbs., but has a very strong lower body to power through arm tackles.
He can also be used in the passing game, as he's a decent blocker, and he is good in the screen game. I see him as the third down back in Green Bay, being what Brandon Jackson hasn't developed into.
Steele could be the diamond in the rough, overlooked because of his small school. But he has all the physical tools needed to play in the NFL.
Seventh round (208 overall): Jeremy Boone, P, Penn State.
The Packers need a punter, as Jeremy Kapinos is perhaps the worst in the league. His successor at Penn State may be the answer, as he led the Big Ten in punts inside the 20 for two straight years, and also manages 43.0 yards per punt.
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