6 Creative Moves the Green Bay Packers Can Pull on Draft Day
The best example of this is back from the 2009 draft. After selecting defensive tackle B.J. Raji with the ninth overall pick, the Packers moved back into the first round to select outside linebacker Clay Matthews.
This gave the Packers two elite players to build around for the coming years. While pulling off something like this isn't extremely likely, it's certainly possible that general manager Ted Thompson could surprise everyone.
Today we're going to look at six creative moves the Packers could pull on draft day. Most of these moves will involve doing something in the first round, but we'll also take a look at a few extremely creative moves the Packers could pull.
Trade Up in the 1st Round
This would be the easiest creative move for the Packers to make.
They'd simply bundle a handful of picks together and move up in the first round of the draft. By getting a compensatory pick in the third round, Green Bay now has the firepower to move up and select the highest player on its draft board.
Now, the only player that it really makes sense to do this for is Alabama safety Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix. He's the top player at his position and would also fill the biggest need the Packers have in this draft.
The only difficult part of this move would be putting together enough picks in order to get high enough in the draft. It's possible that Clinton-Dix could be gone in the first 10 picks, so moving up would take a number of picks from this year and potentially next year too.
However, selecting Clinton-Dix would instantly improve the Packers defense for the foreseeable future.
Trade Down in the 1st Round
Having the 21st pick in the first round could be a coveted pick for teams drafting late in the first round. If they see a player they want falling down, moving up a handful of spots to get him might not cost too much.
This move would be a way for the Packers to grab some extra picks in the later rounds of the draft. With those extra picks, the Packers could then move up in the second round.
Now, the only way they would do this is if their top targets are already gone or they felt confident they could get a top player late in the first round. One player that could be the draft pick should the Packers make this move is safety Jimmie Ward.
Selecting him at No. 21 might be reaching, but getting him at the end of the first round while picking up extra picks could be a steal. Ward might not be as polished as Clinton-Dix, but he's still got great instincts in the passing game and knows how to create turnovers.
If the Packers make a move like this, they'd be able to fill a position with a huge need while getting extra picks.
Trade out of the 1st Round Entirely
This creative move is basically an extension of the last move we looked at. One way this could work is if one of the teams with an early pick in the first round wants to move back into the first round.
For example, let's say the Jacksonville Jaguars select a top defensive player with their first pick, but then want to move back into the first round the draft a quarterback that is suffering a draft-day slide. They could give up their second-round pick and a handful of other picks to make that trade with the Packers.
This would ultimately give the Packers a handful of extra picks to work with. They would still have two picks in the second round, so getting a top player at a specific position would definitely be possible.
One player who could be a potential target early in the second round is Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro. His hands, blocking ability and red-zone prowess make him an ideal fit to replace Jermichael Finley.
By trading out of the first round entirely, the Packers might lose out on a prospect who'd fill a bigger need. However, the extra picks could certainly come in handy with so many overall needs in Green Bay.
Draft in the 1st Round, Then Trade Back into the 1st Round
Let's say that a top player at his position, like Louisville safety Calvin Pryor, falls to the Packers in the first round. The Packers could stay put, draft in the first round and move on.
However, what if another coveted player, like Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, was also available a few picks after the Packers drafted? Would the Packers move back into the first round a la the 2009 draft to select another elite player?
It'd certainly deplete a number of draft picks, but the benefits are undeniable. The Packers would fill two major needs on the defensive side of the ball with two top players at their respective positions.
This move would certainly be risky due to losing so many picks in the mid rounds. However, a move like this could also set up the Packers defense to be successful for years and years.
Draft Offensive Tackle Wesley Johnson and Move Him to Center
Wesley Johnson started a school-record 51 games for Vanderbilt. Most of them were at offensive tackle, but Johnson did start a handful of games at the center position too.
As a draft prospect, Johnson simply doesn't have the athleticism or strength of play offensive tackle in the NFL. However, his ability to win at the point of attack in confined areas could get him drafted in the later rounds as a center.
While the Packers could draft a center in the earlier rounds due to a need at the position, this move would let them save their more valuable picks for bigger needs. Now, Johnson may not be ready to play in year one, but the Packers would at least have a center on the roster to develop for the future.
By passing on true centers to draft a former offensive tackle to play the position, the Packers could address a number of other positions before creatively fixing the middle of their offensive line.
Don't Draft a Defensive Player in the First 2 Rounds
This would definitely be the most creative of moves that the Packers could make on draft day. In fact, some might even label this move as more crazy than creative.
However, the creativity of not drafting a defensive player in the first two rounds is that the Packers would be building the best possible offense they could. As we all know, the way to cover a mediocre defense is by having an absolutely dominant offense.
As an example, let's say the Packers drafted wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the first round and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the second round. They would now have five legitimately dangerous weapons for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to throw to. Combine that with a ground game that is led by Eddie Lacy and it's easy to imagine the Packers putting 30-plus points on the board every single game.
Would this type of move hurt the chance to improve the defense? Sure, but we also need to remember that the Packers dealt with an extremely high number of injuries on that side of the football.
Maybe the Packers feel good about what Julius Peppers will bring to the defense and moving B.J. Raji back to nose tackle. Maybe they feel good with the idea of Micah Hyde playing safety alongside Morgan Burnett.
By making their offense nearly unstoppable, the Packers could simply outscore all of their opponents and not depend entirely on their defense completely stopping opposing offenses.