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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.