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Green and Bold: Defense or Bust in Round 1

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Green and Bold: Defense or Bust in Round 1

Opinions on how the Packers will use their first-round draft selection at No. 29 overall—or whether they'll even keep it—are all over the place a little more than a week out from the NFL draft.

The most recent mock drafts have Green Bay selecting anyone from Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley to Florida State running back Dalvin Cook to Wisconsin's T.J. Watt. Even unsavory Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who has been removed from multiple teams' draft boards due to striking a woman in the face, made an appearance in NFL.com's Bucky Brooks' most recent mock

Let alone how ridiculous the idea of Ted Thompson using his first-round selection on a prospect with questionable character almost guaranteed to slide into Day 2 or beyond is; Mixon or not, the Packers should absolutely write off using No. 29 on an offensive player altogether. 

Green Bay made the most impact on offense in free agency, adding tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks and re-signing offensive lineman Don Barclay, who, for all intents and purposes, seems to currently hold the starting right guard spot heading into training camp. 

Sure, the Packers suffered some setbacks on offense in terms of losing guard T.J. Lang and running back Eddie Lacy, but those losses don't measure up to the holes on defense. Those already existed heading into free agency, and certainly weren't helped as the team let defensive back Micah Hyde, outside linebacker Julius Peppers and defensive end Datone Jones walk.

Green Bay's offense finished the 2016 season eighth in total offense, averaging 368.8 yards and 27 points per game. They're already in better shape before the draft even begins thanks to improving at tight end and the fact that Ty Montgomery will be the starting running back out of the gate this year. 

On defense, however, the Packers finished No. 22 in the league, allowing 363.9 yards and 24.3 points per game. The secondary was sievelike, and even starters found themselves being benched for poor play. 

It comes down to this: while Green Bay's offense remains good enough to earn one of six playoff berths in the conference, the defense is a liability that could keep the team from a title yet again. And with Aaron Rodgers turning 34 this season, that's not a position in which the team wants to find itself. 

Thompson has consistently and tirelessly targeted the defense in the first round for most of his tenure in Green Bay. It hasn't always paid off. But this year, the Packers don't really have a choice; they need an impact player on defense, and they didn't find him in free agency. Ergo, it's time to draft one. 

Of course, opinions differ on which position needs the impact the most. Watt is a popular mock for the Packers, and while outside linebacker benefits from the Packers resigning Nick Perry and Jayrone Elliott in free agency, it's always prudent to keep a strength a strength. With Peppers and Jones leaving in the offseason, the pass-rushing corps could use some attention. 

Still, the most glaring area of need on defense remains the secondary, despite the fact that the Packers signed Davon House in free agency. Losing Hyde was a big blow. The Packers may need more than one player to make up his versatility in the defensive backfield. At corner, presumably House, Damarious Randall, and Quinten Rollins will compete for starting roles, but the latter two players have to make serious strides in training camp. 

The Packers could also look to improve the defensive line after cutting Mike Pennel and with Letroy Guion suspended for the first four games of the season. 

No matter which area of the defense they choose to address, it's clear that side of the ball needs the Packers' attention most later this month. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (87) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

The TKstinator's picture

It might just be as simple as this: if an edge rusher has a grade of 7.2* and a corner has a grade of 7.1, TT goes with the edge rusher.

OR if some OTHER player at some other position has a grade of 7.3, TT goes with that guy, much to the chagrin of Packer Nation.

* I have no idea what kind of draft grades TT assigns. I was just putting numbers on them for the sake of discussion/comparison.

DThomas's picture

TKstinator: "It might just be as simple as this: if an edge rusher has a grade of 7.2* and a corner has a grade of 7.1, TT goes with the edge rusher. OR if some OTHER player at some other position has a grade of 7.3, TT goes with that guy…"

I think an objective look at Thompson's draft says that's not how it works. For example, the Packers 2011 defense was 'historically' bad and it just so happens the first six picks of the 2012 draft play defense? And the first round picks of the following four drafts also just happen to play defense? That's either an incredibly huge coincidence or need figures into Thompson's draft philosophy, as it should. I would argue Thompson is more disciplined than most, if not all GMs, but team needs figure into his drafts.

Ryan Graham's picture

I agree DT. Sure, Thompson is known for his vague responses such as "I always try to pick up the best player available in the draft" but the word 'best' there can easily be misinterpreted. Best being, most talented? Or maybe best being talent factored in with need, plus availability later in the draft, plus character concerns....'best' isn't just talent grade in Ted's not his staff's eyes. Just like all other scenarios regarding TT its imoortant to read between the lines.

The TKstinator's picture

Another possibility, and maybe more likely, is that he has "buckets" of players at various positions all with a grade of 7.1, another bucketfull of 7.0's, etc, in which case he either chooses the 7.1 that best fits a need, or trades down knowing that he can gain extra picks and still get one of his many 7.1 guys a few picks later.
Certainly his picks don't always pan out but I think he really tries to avoid an obvious "reach". I remember him saying "you're only a sprained ankle away from a need at any position" which is the basis for his BAP approach.

The TKstinator's picture

Also, from listening to his "electrifying" interviews (translation: cure for insomnia), I kind of suspect that TT looks at the draft/roster this way: instead of seeing position groups/needs/ strengths/weaknesses, he looks at it like a large pool of 53+ (practice squad, IR) players. If he can toss a player or players with higher grades/ higher ceilings into the pool, he does it with the idea that he has strengthened the overall roster, and leaves it to the coaches to sort it all out.
I have no proof of this since I doubt TT would ever reveal his exact thought process. It's just a suspicion.
And it is likely that I am wrong! Or not.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

I think you're correct. However, "need" does play a role, because TT looks to improve the roster; if he believes he currently has four "7.1s" at OLB, but four "6.7s" at CB, if a 6.9 OLB prospect and a 6.8 CB prospect are on the table, I believe he will select the 6.8 CB. He doesn't select players who have less potential than the current roster players, unless it is late in the draft or the current roster as players who he thinks will not be on the team the NEXT year (free agency).

4zone's picture

In you particular scenario PEO, TT tries to trade down to match that lower value to a lower pick. Otherwise, he takes the OLB. After all, you never know when the one you have gets blind sided and loses the use of his arm for the rest of the year...

stockholder's picture

I think to many are placing their trust in Frackwell, Martinez,Thomas, and Elliott. TT has to push Martinez and Frackwell. (None can replace peppers) Watt or Cunningham could be there. And I still think a safety should be drafted. ( Rd. 2 has to be Willis or CB) Because who replaces Shields. House? Not long term.

dobber's picture

I have a sneaking suspicion that TT isn't going CB or S early unless a good player gets left on the board. I think he's going to cross his fingers and look for a leap from Randall and Rollins, and hope that House stabilizes things just enough for them to develop a 3rd round (or later) CB to replace House in the rotation in 2018. I think that the Packers like Brice and Evans enough that they felt confident in letting Hyde go...so no S early. Just a hunch. I hit about 50% of the time.

Fackrell's gotta get stronger. He's going to get abused on the edge and relegated to being in as relief on obvious passing downs if he doesn't. My concern with him is that he might be maxed out. We always say that players like him who are longer and leaner can add mass and get stronger, but that's not always the case. If I'm TT, I'm not putting my eggs in Fackrell's basket...

WKUPackFan's picture

dobber - You know that I love your point of view, but I'm starting to think that replying to this guy is getting neither of us anywhere. He misspelled "Favre" at least six times below. He thought Capers inherited a defense from a Carolina team that didn't exist. That type of stupid just can't be fixed.

stockholder's picture

Only because your such a closed minded person. Switching your opinions and draft board, only shows you don't know s**t. Cow made more sense than you.

stockholder's picture

Thanks for correcting me. I never used Farve 6 times. Character assassination is not my strong suit. I see you still don't know Capers history. But why would you if your only exploiting one's negatives. Sorry I can't convince you of a different Take.

WKUPackFan's picture

"I never used Farve 6 times".

4/19 @8:46am "Farve" stated twice.
4/19 @11:33am "Farve" stated four times.

2+4=6.

stockholder's picture

Dobber, You know ,and so do I, that TT has to replace Peppers. And he didn't sign Datone Jones. Those 2 , add up to 2 of TTs first 3 picks. (replacements). Thats if he maintains he's going to the super-bowl.

slit's picture

One has to ask - considering how many 1st rd picks Ted has used on the DEF side of the ball over the last half dozen years, is the problem that Ted doesn't draft good players, on that side of the ball, or is the scheme outdated?

dobber's picture

...or maybe it's that the position coaches, many of which have been around forever, just are not that good.

Packmaniac's picture

Probably a bit of all the above, plus the fact they consistently draft at the end of rounds. Part of being a Packers fan is watching a bunch of guys you'd love to have get taken before Ted picks.

Nick Perry's picture

I always thought Joe Whitt was one of the better position coaches on the Packers staff. Here's hoping there's truth to that and Randall and Rollins make a complete 180 from last season.

lebowski's picture

That was the most surprising aspect of their regression, as not only did the injuries affect their game but often Randall looked like he had no clue where he was supposed to be.

4zone's picture

TT tends to pick guys with upside not necessarily current talent OR guys out of position like a college DE to convert to OLB. If he would pick more proven players at their natural positions more would work out and less would wash out, even if we had less pro bowlers, which on defense is kinda hard to do.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Case in point: Datone Jones.

dobber's picture

It should be easier to do now that more colleges are playing a 3-4. If you go to last year's draft, the only defensive player that didn't play a 3-4 in college was Lowry, and he's a natural 5-tech, so he should be fine.

mnklitzke's picture

Or that a majority of his top Defensive players come the west coast only? I have ZERO hope TT will make the right pick at 29, or trade back.

Nick Perry's picture

"Thompson has consistently and tirelessly targeted the defense in the first round for most of his tenure in Green Bay. It hasn't always paid off."

Sorry but that seems and feels like one of the biggest understatement I've heard in years. Instead of saying "It hasn't always paid off" it should say something like "It rarely pays off". It's been 6 years since we won a SB and the ONLY reason we haven't won another is defense. Sure injuries have played a role for a season or two but the defense IS the main reason why.

Maybe this year is the year. This draft is so deep with talented players when compared to previous years, the Packers might be able to find what would be 2nd round talent most years in the 4th round this year. This will most likely be the 6th straight season the Packers take a defensive player in the 1st round. This draft HAS to be the draft in which the Packers set up Rodgers with a defense he can win another SB or three with. Considering Rodgers won a SB at 27 and he's going to be 34 this year, the time has to be now. There has to be a sense of urgency building at 1265 Lombardi to get it done.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Problem is, this draft is deep for every team, and we pick 29th.

Ted has dug a hole with guys like Datone Jones, Richard Rodgers, Rollins, Hyde (yes, Hyde), Worthy, and several others who either clearly lacked athleticism or were terrible scheme fits from the start.

And while he tries to dig out on Draft Day, GM's in places like Dallas, New England, and Atlanta are just putting on the final touches.

"Draft and Develop" is the best system, but it only works with exceptional drafting. Last year looks good (though Fackrell must add lots of strength to compensate for his poor speed), so let's hope Ted does it again.

Thanks to his own failures, he has to.

mnklitzke's picture

Or the fact he drafted a guy who didn't want to play OLB in the first round then hand him a 5 yr 60 mil contract after one good season.... TT needs to go for the packers to win another SB.

CJ Bauckham's picture

Didn't fackrell run like a 4.6/4.7 40? Maybe he can just add strength to compensate for his lack of strength

cuervo's picture

I disagree with the premise of the article. If there is an extremely talented offensive player that "falls" to the Packers, and they have him graded highly they should absolutely take him.

Using the basis for this article, they never should have drafted Rodgers, he wasn't a need at all when they drafted him.

I understand that defense will probably be their first pick, but if someone like Mike Williams,Corey Davis , etc. somehow ended up being available it would be idiocy not to take them.

stockholder's picture

I agree with what your trying to say. But I'll still pass on Williams and Davis. (Their not megatron) A-Rod was a insurance policy (Farve's thumb and retirement issue) Farve was upset at TT for not getting defense. The talent is defense this draft. The packers have a chance for 2 starters and better get them. Hyde, D.Jones, and Shields must be replaced. The back-up LBs are gone. And I just don't have any faith in Elliott or Thomas.

dobber's picture

We disagree here, too, because if Williams or Davis is there at #29, I think you sprint to the podium with that pick. I agree, those guys aren't freaks like Megatron or Julio, but they're #1 WR material and will be far surer things (barring injury) than just about anyone else you're getting at #29...especially with ARod throwing the ball.

Favre supposedly hated the Rodgers pick because he wanted to be the man. Didn't like the idea that there was a plan for him to not be the man. Nobody likes to see their successor put in place, and Favre supposedly had a relationship with Sherman where he was calling the shots...wasn't happening much with TT/MM. That's mostly speculation I've read over the years. I don't think it had much to do with not drafting defense. But again, there's a case where a high end player dropped into TTs lap at #24 and the value was too great to pass up. Bulaga fits that description, too. TT has shown he'll gobble those players up, and I think he'd do the same with Williams or Davis.

stockholder's picture

Dobbler I have to disagree. Their 40 times,avg. and combine, not to mention dropping to 29. Defense is this draft. Farve the Man? No way. Tired of losing ,yes. A-Rod was drafted in 2005. Collins was drafted later. But Farve did want Free agents signed. And a CB, Thats where TT still gets flack. But He Signed Woodson in 2006. The backbone of the 2010 champs. Later changing to the 3-4-4. in 2009. Look at the drafts between 2005 and 2009. LBs, and Lineman. You now have A-Rod saying re-Load. Does that make him wanting to be the man. No. A-rod has not had an operation yet. Farve had one on his thumb. Farve also had Reggie White and others to complain.

dobber's picture

I guess we agree to disagree on Williams and Davis, but in the scouting community those guys are consensus top 20 picks (FWIW). Sometimes its not just about 40 times. We'll see what the GMs say in a couple weeks.

Nick Perry's picture

Totally agree, if Williams or Davis is there Ted would run it up himself if he could. Considering it's a moderate need now, this is a deep, deep defensive draft already, and they'd need to address it next year no matter what, it would be a solid pick and one that needs to be made. Too bad it's not happening.

I love when Thompson is discussed. You see more dislikes being passed out than any other time. Funny thing though, after last years NFCCG if you were critical of Ted people upvoted like crazy. Funny how that changes EVERY time over the span of a few months.

stockholder's picture

Nick I disagree. Ted may run up there, but their the wrong picks. I would rather see McCathery, than Williams or Davis. These guys are to slow. NO separation, just pitiful by the end of their rookie contract. Look how most of the packers declined after their speed went. Yes they would be serviceable. But they would not be game - breakers. The jump or wait to develop is to long for a WR with average speed. Especially for a guy that was rated in the top 10. There is not enough of a mis match, and thats why they would be there @ 29. Let's compare Randy Moss to them. (Ouch) Sorry, but compare them to Moss. They have to have that speed and Route tree. I just think the CBs in the pros are going to deflate anyone's high for them. Defense Nick. Defense!

fthisJack's picture

absolutely....davis or williams or may i add ross...u run to the podium. they are as close to sure things as you can get. Jordy is 32 and if we can draft his successor with one of these guys....do it!
the draft is full of CB and edge guys that can be had a little later.
my dream scenario if no one drops in their lap is to trade down and get one of the players targeted at 29 and pick up an extra 4th or better and then you have ammo to trade up in the third and snag another very good prospect. so you basically get 4 guys in the top 100.

marpag1's picture

Totally agree. Taking an offensive player in D1 is not out of the question at all, and if the player is good enough value I would totally support it.

4zone's picture

I just don't like TTs goofy selections dome years. Randall and Rollins for example. Both at a position if need but one a complete novice with only one year in college football and the other out of position. Took everyone by surprise.

This year there are too many options for another stunt like that. We have no reason this shouldn't be a solid draft class unless TT goes project hunting again. I expect 5 solid guys this year and hopefully three immediate contributes that upgrade our Def. Even if not immediate starters.

mnklitzke's picture

I want some of that Kool-aid

dobber's picture

You should just keep this post as a text file somewhere so you can cut/paste it into posts. It ends up needing to be said that often.

Since '61's picture

Once again, the Packers need to focus on defense with this draft. However, whether or not they should or will take a defensive player with their 29th pick is impossible, at least for me, to say. It will depend on their board, who is still available, and of course TT himself is another variable. Plus the Packers could decide to trade down into the 2nd round. As I've posted before, I think that the Packers best opportunity to improve the defense immediately via this draft is with 4 picks in the first 3 rounds if they can find a trading partner(s) and if they can take 2 CBs and 2 pass rushers. To me this gives the Packers the best chance of finding 2 players who can contribute to the defense in 2017. Even then it's a crap shoot. Other options in the early rounds are a big, nasty for the OL, a versatile RB and/or a WR who has speed with good hands to provide a serious deep threat. A stud DL never hurts to have either. In the end I see the Packers going defense with their first pick or trading down. After that anyone's guess is as good as mine. Thanks, Since '61

Handsback's picture

Draft boards have a vertical setting that will rank the individual positions. Like having your CBs ranked with Lattimore first, White second, King third etc. All of the positions are ranked like that; OLB, OG, RB, etc.

The horizontal list takes the best of each of those groups and places them in order. You may have 5 CBs rated better than your number 1 OLB. So when the GM says they stay true to their board and select a guy, they are probably doing that. I bet TT doesn't have their best rated QB any higher than a late 2nd round pick. A few years ago when Wade Philips was the Cowboy's coach, they accidently showed their draft board during an interview. It was laid out just like I described.

The bigger issue on why TT doesn't/hasn't hit on defensive players is where the Packer's pick. The guys early in the draft (spots 1-15) will probably be playmakers. However, getting a playmaker in the late 20s is a crapshoot, and TT hasn't done well.

I think the R twins will bounce back and have good careers. Will they be guys that other teams want to avoid? Not sure. Let's face it, TT has hit on defensive playmakers in the past with Collins, Matthews, and Shields. Two of the three are out of the league because of major injuries. If Collins had played out his normal career length....I serious think the Packers would have won another SB.

Injuries have decimated the Packers and while I have never compared their career ending injuries to other teams...I bet it's fairly high.

All of that talent that doesn’t make it on the field falls on the GM. In TT’s case, I bet he does better this year with the talent in the draft verses what they need.

the REAL Packman's picture

Harrell was a disaster from the start......

Spock's picture

TRP: Not sure I agree. Harrell only had a torn biceps. I've had the same (in fact mine was Worse as it was torn in the opposite direction from most tears) issue and can say that -after the operation and six weeks of recovery- my bicep was then stronger than ever. The knee (? I think that was the first one) and back injuries could not have been foreseen, just like Sherrod's horrific leg injury. Sometimes it's just plain bad luck. I WILL agree with you that Harrell was a "reach" pick, but I'm not sure it was necessarily a bad pick "from the start".

Bert's picture

I think Harrell was a "bad pick from the start" based on his injury history in college. Ted rolled the dice that Harrell's injuries in college would not carry over to the NFL. He was what he was portended to be....an injury prone bust.

the REAL Packman's picture

Draft update with a trade up
1. Jabril Peppers DB/Athlete - Improves secondary and return game, can be used on Offense, can play some LB I think he falls to the Packers and Pittsburg has been heard to really like Peppers.
2. TJ Watt OLB -Trade up into the 2nd round to get Watt. They swap position and give up 2017 5th and 2018 4th
3. Joe Mixon RB - 1st Round Talent
4. Damontae Kazee CB
5. Ben Braden G
6. Montravious Adams DT
7. Nate Gerry S

croatpackfan's picture

You are too expensive... No way!

egbertsouse's picture

Ted is so eccentric that nobody knows what he will do. He could draft a QB in Rd. 1 if the mood strikes him. He has shown a couple of trends: He likes to hoard lower round, cheap draft choices at the expense of high picks so he may trade down. And, he will draft a couple of guys who will end up being forced to play out of their natural position, his square peg/round hole strategy.

WKUPackFan's picture

This take is so old and tired it has dust on it. How many times does it have to be explained that the college DE to NFL OLB transition is commonplace ACROSS THE NFL? How many times does it have to be explained that college OTs are commonly drafted to play NFL guard or center?

Forest Lamp was a four year college starter at LT. He is a consensus 1st round pick as a guard! Have you seen any draft analyst or player evaluator say that it's a bad thing to move Lamp from his "natural position?

Sorry to shout but my goodness, sometimes the lack of knowledge is just too much to take.

dobber's picture

TTs had his share of trade-ups, too. So what's your point?

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

It isn't just defense. Fact is, with an average QB, this team would win 2 or 3 games, max.

If Joe Mixon is the best player on Ted's board--a very real possibility--then Ted has to take him. If an elite WR drops to 29 (won't happen), Ted has to take him.

I'm not 100% BPA, but the fact remains this roster is riddled with hopeful projects and possible collapses throughout both the offense and defense. The defense is just as talented as the offense, save Rodgers.

Ted needs a lights-out draft to save this mess. Perhaps, if some team offers a #2 for our backup QB, Ted would have to take the risk. Not preferable, but the Packers are in a desperate situation. We need several strong pieces from this draft.

sonomaca's picture

Fast risers are Jarred Davis (LB) and Eddie Jackson (S). Not needs for Pack, but both potential stars.

dobber's picture

...and if they rise enough, they push a player that the Packers can use to #29.

sonomaca's picture

Should the Pack take Sydney Jones if he's on the board at #58?

JAMESMARTIN's picture

First round will be a defensive player, for sure. Right now, not only the offense overall is much better than defense, but the offensive needs don't have high value for TT ( OG and RB), while the defensive needs are premier positions ( CB and EDGE).
I believe the chances of being a pass rusher is higher, for those reasons:
TT doesn't usually give up on his high picks (it takes him 2 to 3 years depending on how disappointing the pick was) and although Randall's​ and Rollins's performances were disappointing, I think TT will wait one more year to check it their poor play was really due injuries before spend a first round pick. ( I don't necessarily agree with that, but I believe it will happen).
Although both CB and EDGE position are poor, the EDGE position is more thin right now: Jayrone Elliott and Kyler Fackrell had less than 300 snaps combined last year, Clay Matthews might be in a hybrid role this year, and both Clay Matthews and Nick Perry usually have chances of getting injuried through the season. If one of them goes down, the consequences would be catastrophic (Starting Elliot or Fackrell would be risky). Also, Dom Capers scheme has emphasis on blitzes and pressures from pass rushers, if you don't have a premier player there, the whole scheme is throwed out on trash. And if they move Matthews to a hybrid hole, they would need not only one, but 2 pass rushers to help keep Perry, Fackrell and Elliott fresh and improve competition among them. I wouldn't be surprised if they both are drafted in the first 2 rounds.

When it comes to TT, I believe the first round is about the team greatest need, Aaron Rodgers was the only exception, and I think it will be the only one in TT era.
After the first round, I think TT is more open to the best player available approach, whoever that is, but if he has similar grades on 2 players ( which happens more often on later rounds) he takes the one the team needs more.
Again, I don't necessarily agree with this strategy, but this is what I think it will happen on draft this year:
1) Pass Rusher
2) Pass Rusher
3) CB
4) OG
5) RB

vj_ostrowski's picture

If TT went pass rusher-pass rusher 2 rounds in a row, I would drive the 5 hours from Minneapolis to GB to kiss TT on the (redacted).

I'm not the biggest fan of the idea of taking TJ Watt, but if we got two of Watt-Bowser-Willis-Takk-Rivers, I'd be thrilled. Getting to the QB is the best way to make your defense better, and it's the best way to make a secondary better, especially if you're not planning on cutting bait with Rollins/Randall just yet.

I love the idea.

sonomaca's picture

Bowser's a dog. Tak is a stiff.

vj_ostrowski's picture

I was just kinda throwing out names of those late round 1/round 2 guys. Takk doesn't really fit GB's analytical trends anyway, I realize this. Completely forgot about Basham.

marpag1's picture

Agree. I'd definitely take Takk over Watt.

dobber's picture

I think it depends on where you get Watt and what, if anything, it requires to make it happen. People seem to run hot-and-cold on Watt, and his flash has started to fade a little bit with draftniks, but I think he's not making it out of round 1. But let's say he gets into round 2 and he's down to about pick 40...even if you're not as high on him as others, he's a pretty good value there if you can find a trading partner.

I agree with you: if it were me, I'd be hoping for two edge players in the first four rounds. I think that (not ILB as indicated above) is the real need on the defense right now and for the next 2-3 seasons. Don't fall asleep on Tarell Basham from Ohio. I think he could be had a little later and has pretty good upside. People really like Ejuan Price, too, but I read his stuff and he looks like an ILB in the 3-4 to me, but could be a disruptive force blitzing the inside gaps...another "move him around and let him get to work" kind of guy.

the REAL Packman's picture

I think Peppers will drop to 29 and Pittsburg needs a Safety bad.. I would take Peppers and trade up to get TJ WATT early 2nd Round. they can finish the draft with a G, CB, S and WR some of the Prioirty FA will make an impact. Basham is climbing boards - Detroit/Atlanta

dobber's picture

Peppers might slide, but I wouldn't take him just to keep him away from Pitt. Besides, Pitt knows Peppers isn't a need pick for the Packers...maybe TT loves Peppers and takes him. Who knows. But if I'm Pitt and the Packers are on the clock with Peppers on the board, I wouldn't be worried.

Colin_C's picture

I know this isn't a popular opinion, but I honestly think ILB is our biggest need at the moment. If not for the fact that our secondary was so beat up last year, I think the run D would have been seriously exploited. Problem is that there's not a lot of good ILB's this year to draft. I've heard rumors of Foster falling out of the top 10. If he gets past 15-20, I think TT should trade up. Otherwise Davis is a good option if he's still there at 29.

vj_ostrowski's picture

I 100% agree with you, I'm just afraid Ted Thompson never will.

the REAL Packman's picture

Read up on Kendall Beckwith ILB he would be a steal in the 5th round

vj_ostrowski's picture

That's a good one. I also like Gedeon

MarkinMadison's picture

1) I think TT will assume that Randall, Rollins or both will have the same kind of Junior year recovery that Davante Adams had this year. Remember how many people here were ready to kick him to the curb? Yeah. So all else being equal, he goes Edge, not CB.

2) TT had a long string of misses on the OL in the first two rounds. Now suddenly he is genius with the mid-round OL guys. Point is, just because you've had failures in the past doesn't mean you don't keep expecting success.

3) TT could very well go offense in round 1. Remember how #12 got picked in round 1 when #4 was begging for help to get to another Super Bowl. Yeah. And Barclay is your presumed starter at RG? Please. I don't think he is, but IF he is, I'm definitely considering a G in the first two rounds.

vj_ostrowski's picture

I'd estimate a 95% chance TT takes an EDGE rusher or CB with the #29 pick. Two weak spots on the team, two positions on defense where GB traditionally invests the most money. Losing Peppers and Shields means that there's future money there to be spent again, even with Clay and Perry commanding a lot.

It's also just seems like projected talent for CB and EDGE lines up well at that spot too. Lots of EDGE guys that are being said to be "sneaking" into the late 1st (whatever that means) and a bunch of CBs too raw to be top 10 picks, but with top 10 measurables.

That other 5% chance? If he thinks Lamp is head and shoulders above the remaining CBs/EDGE. I don't expect Lamp to be there. I'll also leave a minuscule chance that the Corey Davis fall is real (it's not) and that TT could take the #1 WR of the future there (he won't).

Can't imagine a RB, TE, OT (apart from Lamp), S, QB, or DT fitting the bill at that spot. And while there are some good ILB that will likely be available and worthy of the pick, I'll believe post-34 conversion TT takes a ILB in the 1st round when I see it.

MarkinMadison's picture

"Lots of EDGE guys that are being said to be "sneaking" into the late 1st (whatever that means) and a bunch of CBs too raw to be top 10 picks, but with top 10 measurables."

I'd say that is a pretty good argument for trading down, or for feeling like you will still get a decent/equivalent player at the bottom of the second. Remember how the Lacy pick went down? Yeah, like that.

garyyannone's picture

The NFL Draft: My primary picks for the Green Bay Packers!

Round 1 (29) Joe Mixon RB Oklahoma
Round 2 (61) Taylor Morton OT W Michigan
Round 3 (93) Bucky Hodges TE Virginia Tech
Round 4 (134) Brian Allen CB Utah
Round 5 (172) Ben Gideon ILB Michigan
Round 5 (182) James Conner RB Pittsburgh
Round 6 (212) Javarious Leamon OT South Carolina St.
Round 7 (247) Treyvon Hestor DT Toledo

MarkinMadison's picture

Mixon in round 1? Really? RB, OT, TE? Really? Are you a Vikings fan?

sonomaca's picture

Beef up the offense. Make it unstoppable. Drafting too many defensive prospects high. Packers would never normally have access to a back like Mixon.

sonomaca's picture

Mixon will go no later than early 2nd.

dobber's picture

I'll put $5 on the table saying that the Packers will get a shot at Mixon at the end of round 2, but not in round 3.

Don't get me wrong: I really like Mixon the football player, but Mixon the media mess will be a problem.

marpag1's picture

You're on. Five dollars says he's gone before GB picks in D2.

dobber's picture

I'll take that bet!

...you take bitcoin? ;)

sonomaca's picture

Love your draft.

Packer Fan's picture

The defense needs help. I suggest trading Hundley to Cleveland for their Rd 2 #33 pick. A mock draft has them taking a QB. Hundley will never start for GB as long as Rodgers plays to 40. Then GB can take Watt and CB King out of Washington for the first two picks. These are the two positions with the greatest need. There was a recent article about draft picks and pro-bowlers. About 90% come from 1st and 2nd round choices. So I say leverage unused talent to stock up where the needs are.

dobber's picture

If there was any way Cleveland would take that offer, I'd be behind you 100%!

...I might not take King, though.

Packer Fan's picture

I'll grant you that about King. He does have the ability to change directions quickly. That is what I like about him. But for sure, CB is a position with need. And how about Hundley and like a 5th round pick.

marpag1's picture

IMO there is no way Cleveland gives up the 33rd pick for Hundley. Of course, Cleveland has been prone to doing dumb things...

the REAL Packman's picture

Trading Hundley is going to happen
Either during the draft or after Preseason when he lights up the defense.... (Like Brunell , Hassleback)

Before draft 2/3 rounder
After draft 3/4 rounder

Packers will have the league max 4 Comp picks that are tradable. That will give the Packer with the Hundley trade 12 picks for 2018 ... TT will restock the team with youth. Packers are in great shape for years to come.

the REAL Packman's picture

Cleveland, Houston, NYJ need QBs

Spock's picture

"Trading Hundley is going to happen". Not THIS year. Just out of curiosity: why would his draft pick DROP after he "lights up the preseason"?????

croatpackfan's picture

" The secondary was sievelike, and even starters found themselves being benched for poor play. "

No worse and untrue claim I read on this page... All those starters were benched because they were injured! As consequence from injury bad play occur... Is that so hard to connect - injury and bad play?

Bert's picture

Injuries + Bad Players = Bad Play.

Packer Fan's picture

Keep the 29th pick. Trade Hundley for Cleveland's 33rd pick or San Fran's 34th pick. Need edge rusher and CB. CB does not have enough known capabilities. Perhaps talent, but not capabilities.

Schonee2004's picture

How about some conditioning guys! Seems like injuries have been our Achilles heel. We've got the talent, we just need to stay healthy!

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