What did I take most from this press conference?
Stuff just kind of happens.
It's funny, but this press conference was pretty much identical to every pre-draft presser Thompson has given. That is to say, he speaks a lot but not much is revealed.
There were even a few times he said he could or couldn't respond to something as it was (or wasn't) proprietary information.
He was asked about Wisconsin Badgers QB Russell Wilson, mostly about his height, to which Thompson said "I don't think he's worried about that."
Here is some insight I was able to glean beyond the niceties.
Of course, it's draft season, so take all this with a grain of salt.
Best Pick Available
Thompson stressed that the team doesn't fill picks by need, but instead by the best player available at the time. This isn't a shock to many Packers fans as it's something the team has always preached.
Further, Thompson said you can't really predict the picks and how they will play out; that there are always surprises and you could drive yourself crazy trying to guess right.
The Packers fill their board with the best players possible and draft accordingly.
Speaking of which—
Study the player, not his position
According to Thompson, the Packers carefully analyze the player relative to himself, not the position.
In other words, they aren't rating Russell Wilson against Robert Griffin III. They're rating Wilson against Wilson.
He seemed to feel that their board stays more consistent with their best pick available mantra that way. They rate players and rank players, staying away from need for the most part and drafting who they like.
Sometimes they miss, sometimes they trade up (Clay Matthews was mentioned), sometimes they luck out.
They get a guy who rates on their board as a player with skill, not a position of need.
The 28th Pick
Thompson, not shockingly, likes the 28th pick and feels this is a deep draft class. He said that most drafts are the same in terms of talent and quality as well as ability to change a team or improve it.
Ultimately, it all evens out.
I don't know about that, but in the end, the better teams certainly draft better.
Thompson also said that the team treats every round as just as important as any other. He mentioned liking day three because the pressure is off a bit and less people are in the room and involved.
To me, this means it's more a matter of being able to control who they get vs. fighting for their guy with other decision-makers.
He also said he was happy to have the extra picks the Packers got this year—more swings at the plate, the better you do he said.
Stuff Just Happens
More than once, Thompson said things in a draft just "kind of happened." Trading up for Matthews? Just happened to work out that way. Drafting Rodgers? Just kinda happened.
If you believe for a second things like that "just happen," I've got a bridge to sell you.
All quotes were obtained first-hand.