Now, I know what your are all thinking: Ted "best player available" Thompson isn't going to trade up, your crazy buddy. Knowing Ted, you're probably right. In my humble opinion though, this is the year for us to trade up and make the best player available also be the player we need.
I think this because of our roster. There aren't many openings available for a late round "project" pick. And the spots we do have, the need is for players that will be able to contribute immediately.
This is why I believe we need to trade up. And just as a disclaimer, I'm not talking about moving up from the ninth pick in the draft.
What I want is five picks in the first 100 preferably another second-round pick. We just don't need nine picks, especially not two sixth rounders and a seventh. We do better at picking up rookie FA's than late rounders anyways.
The following is a position-by-position analysis of our team and the need for a draft pick:
(* denotes safe roster spot)
Analysis: There are no roster spots open at QB. We are set for starter and backups. The only question mark at this position is who will be second string.
Analysis: I personally feel this position is set. Any draft pick would have to beat out Martin for the only open roster spot. We also have a two rookie FA's and a seventh-round pick from last year, that we still have rights to. I don't see us drafting WR w/o waisting that pick.
Analysis: Could use one more TE for depth, would prefer us to pick up a rookie FA or a waiver wire type guy just to keep on the practice squad. Two TE's is enough for the 53-man roster.
Analysis: Need one or two more linemen to fill out the roster. What we truly need though is a lineman who can come in, and at the very least, push for a starting spot, preferably at RT.
Taucher also may be resigned, but we need at least one first-day pick for the line. Overall we have adequate depth, but we don't know who will start. Traditionally most teams keep nine or 10 offensive linemen.
Analysis: We have more than we need right now. Either Lumpkin or Wynn will get cut because we shouldn't keep more than five RB's.
Analysis: One Nose Tackle that can for sure handle any play time? Very sad. We need a first day pick at this position, it's a need not a want.
Analysis: Will probably need one or two of these or a tweener DE/NT. Whoever we get will need to contribute, especially w/ the walking infirmary Harrell eating up a spot. Between NT and DE we should keep seven or eight players (Pittsburgh kept seven last year).
Analysis: This is probably an okay group as long as Barnett's knee will be okay. Might be worth while to get a project pick, but this is not a big need at this time. Don't know where Chillar is going to fit in, maybe here or OLB, not sure. (Pittsburgh kept four last year.)
Analysis: We have one starter. Who will fill that other spot? Thompson, Hunter, or Poppinga? None sound like they are the answer especially considering Poppinga may have no place in this system and could get cut or traded.
A first-day pick that can immediately compete for at least situational play time is almost required. (Pittsburgh kept five last year.)
Analysis: Baring some unexpected trade or cut, I think this position is doing okay. We have two elder starters, but Williams will push Harris for his spot and Lee will be going into his second season, which may give him some opportunities to get on the field. No draft picks should be used in my humble opinion.
Analysis: We will probably only keep four or five of these, and it's rumored that Rouse is moving to LB. So we will see, but overall I think this is a pretty solid position, especially if Smith proves to be a dependable backup. (Steelers kept four.)
Analysis: Don't know who will fill the LS and P positions, but there will be three special teams players and I hope to god we don't draft anyone for these spots. I do think we should give Kapinos a try, but there needs to be competition brought in. Rookie FA would be the way I think we should go.
If you add it up, we have 41 of 53 roster spots that are safe. That leaves 12 spots up for grabs with quite a few players that were on the roster last year, many who saw considerable play time, all the draft picks, and any additional free agents that are picked up for specific needs after the draft competing for them.
My best guess is that there will be five to eight new Packers on the roster next year. Of those, we need contributors at the NT, DE, RT, and OLB positions. This is why I think we need five picks in the first 100.
Not all will pan out, we know that, but I believe this will give us the best opportunity to filling this need.