Ted Thompson prefers to build through the draft and Packers fans seem divided on their level of satisfaction of the job he’s done in Green Bay.
Outside of Green Bay, though, the former Seahawks executive is held in pretty high regarded as a talented GM.
Thompson has mostly stuck with a “Best Player Available” strategy in the draft but he might consider trading down to get his guy considering how well it worked out last year.
He sent three picks (No. 41, 73 & 83) to the New England Patriots for two picks (No. 26 & 162).
Green Bay ended up selecting Clay Matthews III 26th overall, and the USC alum went on to accumulate 51 tackles and 10 sacks—good for a Pro Bowl appearance after Bears linebacker Lance Briggs pulled out.
He challenged former Trojans teammate and linebacker Brian Cushing for the defensive rookie of the year award—coming up just short. However, he will terrorize the NFC North for the foreseeable future.
Despite the presence of the reigning AP 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Charles Woodson, in their secondary, his age (turns 34 shortly after the season begins) and defensive back teammates should be a concern. The team hopes to see what they have in last year’s No. 9 overall pick out of Boston College, defensive tackle B.J. Raji.
Thompson’s focus this year could be on a special player who not only would improve a weak, aging offensive line but also seems to be a natural fit for Lambeau Field. That prospect is Idaho Vandals Guard, Mike Iupati.
The towering (6’5” – 325 pounds) long-haired American Somoa native already possess—even by NFL standards—elite strength and quickness. If aggressiveness was a measureable trait he might be tops in the 2010 draft class. What’s even scarier about Iupati is the fact he hasn’t even scratched the surface of his potential since he’s only played football for a handful of years after being spotted by an Idaho assistant coach at a barbecue in 2005.
A recent Sports Illustrated article claimed Iupati is the best Guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson. Thompson and his staff were one of many personnel departments amazed by his performance during the week of the 2009 Senior Bowl.
Pittsburgh just so happens to be the team most mock drafts have predicted Iupati ends up being selected by.
However, they have more needs than fans outside of Pittsburgh may notice. Steelers General Manager and Football Operations Director Kevin Colbert is one of the best in the business at identifying and accumulating talent.
The “Deal”: Pittsburgh would acquire extra draft picks for moving back five spots from No. 18 to the Packers pick at No. 23 overall. On the points-based Trade Value Chart that’s a difference of 140 points (18th – 900 points and 23rd – 760 points) Packers brass would need to account for.
Green Bay’s third-round pick (89th overall) is worth 155 points on the TVC, which might be enough for Colbert to pull the trigger, especially if the Steelers War Room consensus is that there’s no discernable difference between Iupati and Florida Gators All-American center, Maurkice Pouncey.
The 2009 Rimington Trophy Award-winner could play Guard before holding down his normal position for the next 10 years in Pittsburgh. He’s extremely quick and powerful to go with his fantastic character and IQ. Pouncey fits the type of tough, rugged linemen Steelers fans are accustomed to.