Today, I bring you the second installment in my Green Bay Packers Draft Analysis Series. In Article No. 1 , I discussed general needs and laid out my initial thoughts on an effective draft day strategy for the Green and Gold. Based on that initial analysis, I advocated trading down to the very late first or early second round in exchange for additional picks. This would allow the Packers to address at least three of their needs (OT, CB, OLB , S, RB.) with Top-100 players.
Article No. 1 got some good conversation going among readers, some of whom advocated trading up, instead, to get that one special player. How realistic is that and how effective of a strategy would that be? Well, for the sake of argument, I am going to play devil’s advocate to my personal trade-down feelings, present the case for trading up, and see where that takes us.
Ted Thompson showed last year what it would take for him to pull the trigger on a trade up. It took the No. 12 player on the Packers’ board dropping to pick 26. In their minds, an incredible value.
So, the first thing that must be tackled (pun intended) is who would the Packers value that highly and what position do they play? For example, if the Packers just loved Alabama LB Rolando McClain, would they make a big trade-up move for an inside linebacker? Highly unlikely.
For discussion purposes, let's use the Top-20 Big Board over at DraftTek .com:
1 Ndamukong Suh , Nebraska DT43 DE34
2 Eric Berry, Tennessee FS SS
3 Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma DT43
4 Russell Okung , Oklahoma St. OT OG
5 Joe Haden, Florida CB KR
6 Rolando McClain, Alabama ILB OLB43
7 C.J. Spiller, Clemson RBC KR
8 Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech DE43
9 Dez Bryant, Oklahoma St. WRF KR
10 Bryan Bulaga , Iowa OT OG
11 Carlos Dunlap, Florida DE43 DE34
12 Jimmy Clausen , Notre Dame QB
13 Earl Thomas, Texas FS SS
14 Trent Williams, Oklahoma OT OG
15 Mike Iupati , Idaho OG
16 Sam Bradford, Oklahoma QB
17 Dan Williams, Tennessee DT34 DT43
18 Anthony Davis, Rutgers OT OG
19 Golden Tate, Notre Dame WRS KR
20 Brandon Graham, Michigan DE43 OLB34
Last year, in order to move up to the No. 5 pick and select Mark Sanchez, the NY Jets traded three players on their roster, their first-round pick (No. 17) and a second-round pick (No. 52). So the Jets basically traded five players for the chance to draft their potential franchise quarterback at pick No. 5. If Sanchez continues to improve after getting thrown into the fire and making it to the AFC Championship game, the trade will be a bargain.
But would the Jets have traded five players for a great defensive tackle or safety? Not in a million years. What does this have to do with the Packers? Well, since the Packers are set at QB, there would be no reason to trade up that high unless the second coming of Barry Sanders were sitting there, which isn’t the case.
Since Joe Haden and Eric Berry are likely to be top-7 picks, I mostly see only three positions the Packers could potentially target in a trade-up scenario: running back, offensive tackle, and outside linebacker. And again, to make the trade-up scenario work, the targeted player must have dropped to where they are an outstanding value.
That pretty much eliminates the possibility of trading up into the top ten, so I will focus on picks 11-17. Teams holding these picks are:
11 Jacksonville (no second-round pick)
12 Miami (second-round pick No. 43)
13 San Fran (firstst-round pick No. 17, second-round pick No. 49)
14 Seattle (first round pick No. 6, second-round pick No. 40)
15 NYG (second -round pick No. 46)
16 Tenn. (no second-round pick)
17 San Fran
With Jacksonville and Tennessee not having a second rounder, it’s unlikely they would give up an early first rounder. While Miami and NY are possibilities, the best potential trade partners, both with two first-round picks, are San Fran and Seattle. So let's focus on spots No. 13 and 14.
Which player dropping to one of those spots would raise Ted Thompson’s eyebrows enough to get him to pick up the phone and start making proposals? Let's look at some possibilities:
C.J. Spiller yes, absolutely, in a heartbeat
Rolando McClain no, not for an ILB
Dez Bryant hard to see, but we all know Ted Thompson and receivers.
Bryan Bulaga yes, definitely
Anthony Davis maybe, but the value proposition is not as high.
C.J . Spiller and Bryan Bulaga . If either of those two players are available at 13 or 14, what would it take to land them? Using the trade chart over at DraftTek .com, and assuming the team trading up usually has to overpay a bit, here’s what some potential trades would look like:
San Fran trades their first-round (No. 13) for Packers first-round (No. 23) , second-round (No. 56), and fourth-round (No. 119) picks.
San Fran trades their first-round (No. 13) for Packers first-round (No. 23) , third -round (No. 86), and 2010 second-round picks.
Seattle trades their first-round (No. 14) for Packers first-round (No. 23), second-round (No. 56), and fifth-round (No. 150) picks.
Seattle trades their first-round (No. 14) for Packers first-round (No. 23), third-round (No. 86), and 2010 third- and fourth-round picks.
And, just for fun, a different scenario where the Packers end up with two first-round picks this year:
Either SF or Seattle trade their first-round pick for Packers second -round (No. 56), third-round (No. 86), and 2010 first- and third-round picks.
So readers, is trading up to grab a Bulaga or Spiller something you would do? Since I am playing devil’s advocate presenting these scenarios, I will wait to hear your opinions before I say any more. Please be sure to leave a comment and lets talk about it…
And be sure to join the new NFL Draft Forum at DraftTek .com and get in on the discussions.