Ted Thompson isn't known around Green Bay as being a risk-taker—and yet an element of risk is present in every decision a general manager makes. That's especially true on draft weekend for a team like the Packers, which builds almost entirely through the draft and chooses to let established but expensive free agents sign with other teams.
Each pick that Thompson makes needs to have the potential to develop in the system and become a starter at his position, and many of the GM's mid-to-low round selections since 2005 have done just that, as I pointed out in this article.
By utilizing the "best player available" strategy most of the time, Thompson doesn't often gamble on players who have health or character concerns who nonetheless could be top prospects at their positions—and yet, not always drafting for need is a risk in and of itself, because it assumes that there's a young player on the team who can step up into a role.
In 2014, the Packers should have a handful of prospects on their draft board who could prove to have value and starting potential if they're available at the right pick, but all of them also have health, size or character concerns that Green Bay may have a hard time accepting.
Still, if Thompson doesn't have to reach for any of the five following players—who would satisfy positions of need such as linebacker, tight end and safety—the Packers could walk away from the draft with instant contributors.