NFL Draft 2011: 5 Players the Green Bay Packers Should Consider Trading Up For

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIApril 15, 2011

NFL Draft 2011: 5 Players the Green Bay Packers Should Consider Trading Up For

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    GREEN BAY, WI - FEBRUARY 08: Green Bay Packers wide receivers Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson address the fans during the Packers victory ceremony at Lambeau Field on February 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matt Ludtke/Getty Images)
    Matt Ludtke/Getty Images

    The ability to effectively make trades during the draft is an art form.  For example, look at the New England Patriots' drafts over the past years.  They have traded up to get players they need and traded down when there was no playerwho looked enticing.  They currently hold the 17th pick in the first round due to their trading ability.

    The Green Bay Packers aren't necessarily known for trading picks during the draft, but Ted Thompson is certainly one of the best general managers in the NFL today.  You can be sure that if Thompson sees a player he thinks his team needs, he will get that player.

    Here is a look at five players that Ted Thompson might trade up for to get.  None of the players are currently projected to be drafted in the top 10 because it would be too costly for the Packers to trade that high up.

5. Da'Quan Bowers

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Da'Quan Bowers #93 of the Clemson Tigers against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The first mock draft I saw had Da'Quan Bowers getting drafted with the first overall pick.  He has been falling down draft boards mainly due to a recent knee surgery and the concern that he won't get back to full strength.  He also only had one real season of production while at Clemson, and that is a cause for concern too.

    However, Bowers has the potential and physical tools to be a very effective pass rusher and has a similar build and athleticism to Julius Peppers.  He led the nation in sacks, so he knows how to get after the quarterback.

    If the Packers feel Bowers can stay healthy, look for them to try to move up 10 to 15 picks to grab him.

4. Aldon Smith

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    COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 7:  Aldon Smith #85 of the Missouri Tigers is congratulated by teammates during the game against the Baylor Bears at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    One of the Packers' biggest needs in this draft is outside linebacker.  Aldon Smith isn't a natural outside linebacker, but he is still raw and has the physical ability to transition to an outside linebacker.  It will take a few years for him to fully develop, but when he does he should be one of the better pass rushers to come out of this draft class.

    If Ted Thompson feels that Smith can become a better outside linebacker than Justin Houston or Akeem Ayers, he might trade big to snatch him up.

3. Jimmy Smith

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    AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 10: Cornerback Jimmy Smith #3 of the Colorado Buffaloes picks up the loose ball which was knocked out of the hand of quarterback Colt McCoy of the Texas Longhorns as he rolled out in the second quarter on October 10, 2009 at Darrell K
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Jimmy Smith will be drafted solely on potential, but he sure does have a ton of potential.  He has the ideal size and strength you want from a press corner.  His character is a huge issue, but Smith could certainly be helped by Charles Woodson, who had similar questions about his character before getting to Green Bay.  Adding a player with Smith's potential would help to boost an already impressive secondary and help with the transitioning of Charles Woodson, as he ages.

    If Ted Thompson feels that Smith's character issues can be solved in Green Bay, he might need to trade all the way up to the 11th pick to get him.  However, if Smith pans out as a player, it would certainly be worth it.

2. Mike Pouncey

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    MIAMI - JANUARY 08: Mike Pouncey #55 of the Florida Gators reacts after a play against the Oklahoma Sooners in the FedEx BCS National Championship Game at Dolphin Stadium on January 8, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
    Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

    Mike Pouncey is the top-rated guard prospect in the draft this year.  He is the twin brother of Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who had a stellar rookie season.  He will most likely get drafted higher than he should due to his last name.  Pouncey does have good size and strength to be a starting guard in the NFL, and he played very well against Marcell Dareus, a top-10 pick.  He is a leader on and off the field and would upgrade the Packers' offensive line instantly.

    If Ted Thompson sees Pouncey dropping down the board, he might jump at the possibility to add an aggressive guard who could start from day one.

1. Cameron Jordan

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    MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 29:Defensive lineman Cameron Jordan #97 of the North Team during  the Under Armour Senior Bowl on January 29, 2011 at Ladd-Pebbles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images for Under Armour)
    Sean Gardner/Getty Images

    Cameron Jordan absolutely dominated the Senior Bowl and has seen his stock rise.  He has great speed and movement skills for a player his size.  He has the ability to play anywhere on the defensive line and could even transition to become an outside linebacker.  He has great instincts and can chase down players with ease.  With a creative defensive coordinator like Dom Capers, he could thrive in the NFL.

    If Ted Thompson gets the go ahead from Dom Capers to take a chance on Jordan, Thompson will do everything necessary to reel in one of the most promising defensive prospects in the draft.