We are now officially less than three weeks away from the 2012 NFL Draft. The draft is always a key component for Ted Thompson, as it is the biggest building block he uses to field his roster.
Thompson has surprised some this offseason, as he has already signed three free agents. The first was C Jeff Saturday—a very important signing after the loss of C Scott Wells, who also used free agency to sign with the St. Louis Rams.
Thompson also signed former Packer DL Daniel Muir and DL Anthony Hargrove. The Packers also had DE/OLB Dave Tollefson in for a visit for a couple of days last week. Tollefson is another former Packer who Thompson originally drafted in 2006.
I expect Thompson to be aggressive in the draft this year. In Thompson's first three drafts with the Packers (2005-2007), he never traded up to grab a player he wanted. However, Thompson has traded up in three straight years (2008-2010), with the biggest trade-up being the move that allowed the Packers to select Clay Matthews in 2009.
The selection of Matthews set up the Packers as championship contenders, and they indeed won it all in 2010, defeating Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV. Last year, the Packers were 15-1—the best record in the history of the storied franchise—but they lost in the playoffs to the eventual Super Bowl XLVI winners, the New York Giants.
This year, I expect Thompson to make a similar move to the one he made in 2009 to select Matthews. In fact, this mock draft of mine will do just that.