Jersey Al’s Green Bay Packers NFL Draft 2010 Analysis #2- TRADE UP! All Green Bay Packers All the Time

Today I bring you the second installment in my Green Bay Packers Draft Analysis Series. In Article #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 #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 #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, lets use the Top-20 Big Board over at

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 #5 pick and select Mark Sanchez, the NJ Jets traded 3 players on their roster, their first round pick ( No. 17) and a second round pick ( No. 52). So the Jets basically traded 5 players for the chance to draft their potential franchise quarterback at pick #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 5 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 2nd round pick)
12 Miami              (2nd round pick No. 43)
13 San Fran         (1st round pick No. 17, 2nd round pick No. 49)
14 Seattle             (1st round pick No. 6, 2nd round pick No. 40)
15 NYG                 (2nd round pick No. 46)
16 Tenn.               (no 2nd round pick)
17 San Fran

With Jacksonville and Tennesse 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 lets focus on spots #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? Lets 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
Antonio Davis          maybe, but the value proposition is not as high.

CJ 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, 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 1st round ( No. 13)   for Packers 1st round (No. 23) , 2nd round (No. 56), and 4th round (No. 119).

San Fran trades their 1st round ( No. 13)   for Packers 1st round (No. 23) , 3nd round (No. 86), and 2010 2rd round.

Seattle Trades their 1st round (No 14) for Packers 1st round (No. 23), 2nd round (No. 56), and 5th round (No. 150).

Seattle Trades their 1st round (No 14) for Packers 1st round (No. 23), 3nd round (No. 86), and 2010 3rd & 4th rounders

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 2nd round (No. 56), 3rd round (No. 86), 2010 1st round and 2010 3rd round.
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…


You can  follow Jersey Al on Facebook and Twitter .

Jersey Al Bracco is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for You can find more of Jersey Al ’s articles on several sports web sites: NFL Touchdown , Packers Lounge , Packer Chatters & Bleacher Report .

36 thoughts on “Jersey Al’s Green Bay Packers NFL Draft 2010 Analysis #2- TRADE UP!

  1. The only way I see TT trading up is for an offensive tackle; however, he would have to be in love with Bulaga to do this. I don’t see it happening, but he did surprise us all last year. Having said that, there is no way he trades away future draft picks for anyone.

  2. The biggest areas of need are OL and CB. We are not going to find the caliber of player we need sitting at #23. So that means trade up for higher quality or trade out for more picks. In this case, I am all for trading up. If there is even a chance Baluga is sitting there, move up and get him. Spiller would be a luxury pick (assuming they still have Grant) and no CB should be sitting at 23 worth the pick. Trade up, get the tackle we need, and address other areas later in the draft. Hey, maybe shock us all and make a move in free agency before the draft too.

  3. We will see what Ted does, but he will trade up because he has a big enough base to pull a risky move, like trading for Clay last year. He goes based on tiers, not draft needs. If CJ Spiller is the best available in the top tier, then CJ will come to us.

  4. Most folks agree the Packers biggest needs are (in order): LT, CB, OLB, S. Look at each of the four (4) in this draft.

    LT: You have Okung and Davis as possible starters in day one, perhaps Bulaga. All will be gone by 12. Not a deep LT class and not a ‘sure fire’ kid among the three.

    CB, OLB, S: I’m lumping them all together because this draft is deep into the 2nd/3rd round at all three positions with no ‘definitive’ guy up front in the 1st round. You have Berry at Safety in the top 3, after that these three positions have little difference in talent from the 1st throught the end of the 2nd.

    In other words, not a draft that you trade up for a player in the 1st round. The 2nd is loaded with potential starters and the 3rd has a host of kids that can start as well. So no, the ‘move up’ scenerio has little reward in this draft.

  5. Give you a prediction, Jersey Al: Most mocks have Iupati going after the Packers pick at the #23 spot. IF Iupati is available at the #23 the Packers pull the trigger before the 10 minute clock hits the ‘8 minute’ mark. He can swing to tackle, play guard and allow Lang to flex at guard or tackle. He has the upside to give the flexibility the Packers covet in lineman.

    The arguement against a ‘mauler’ going to the Packers is, ‘they don’t fit the zone blocking scheme’. Bull. The Packers don’t run a pure ZB scheme, they love flexibility and want aggression (see Lang and Sitton as trends to this).

    He’s my sleeper pick to the Pack if available.

  6. Max: I don’t see TT trading up, at least not a big move.

    John: Cost to trade up is too high, in my opinion. See the comment by CSS.

    Crispy Bacon:If they think CJ Spiller is the next Chris Johnson, then it might be worth it.

    CSS: You summed up my feelings perfectly with this comment: “In other words, not a draft that you trade up for a player in the 1st round. The 2nd is loaded with potential starters and the 3rd has a host of kids that can start as well. So no, the ‘move up’ scenerio has little reward in this draft.”

    Exactly why I’m sticking with my “TRADE DOWN” scenario from my previous article.

    Lupati certainly fits the Packer OL M.O. – Don’t know about him as a tackle…

  7. I see him as an ‘very quick/apt learner’ at RT. However, the kid hasn’t played a lot of organized football (very late to the organized high school game) and had little instruction at Idaho. I don’t believe or think he can play LT, nor do I advocate it. However, he is a known commodity inside and has the athleticism to swing to the weakside position at RT. This kid is no where near his ceiling and can explode at the pro level. I’ve watched him in 4 games and his feet are exceptional. Great punch, phenomenal base. He can learn a kick slide and be the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ linemen outside of a true LT. Love his upside if he slips to the #23 spot.

    Agree though, this draft in particular screams stay ‘pat’ or move to the 2nd with multiple picks. Saavy business move, saavy way to establish legitimate depth and/or starters.

  8. You don’t trade up and give up that much unless you think the player has slipped far past his slot AND he fits a need for your team. Clay Matthews was clearly both last year. So yeah, if TT scores out Baluga as a top tier talent and is available at 14 he likely tries to make that happen. That assumes of course Seattle who also needs a OT badly doesn’t value Baluga as much as TT. But, you don’t give up multiple draft picks to trade up and draft a guy where he is slotted. You are giving up too much for that. You’re only going to give up multiple picks if you feel the guy has considerably slipped past his slot. And, since 3/4ths of the league need better OT’s I seriously doubt Baluga slips past his slot.

    Make no mistake though that ‘need’ does play a role in drafts and especially in trades. I think that fans too often make the mistake that there is a very clear order of value to the players and I think more likely after you get past the top 15 you have groups of players all rated out very similar and I think that is where need comes into play.

    That being said, no GM worth his salt passes up considerably better talent for a lessor player at a ‘need’ position. (except for QB’s) Real talent is too hard to find and with injuries and free agency and thin roster all around the league it is incredibly short-sighted for GM’s to pass up better talent regardless of ‘needs’.

  9. Last year we traded up because of two factors, 1. Our switch to the 3-4 was to big to ignore addressing 2. Mathews was a diamond in the rough, and we had a new OLB coach to make him great. This year the only scenario I see us moving up is to grab a LT. However any OT will need work and it’s likely we’ll re sign Clifton. So why trade up for someone who’ll be a development, why not take someone in the later rounds?

    We may also grab some depth at positions in FA, and it’s unclear the confidence TT and MM have in our existing guys (Pat Lee, Brad Jones). My gut says we’ll trade away our top pick.

  10. To counter my comment above (and I’ve changed my name to avoid confusion with the other Max posting here). Is Clifton reliable? We know there were times last season where he struggled, missed games, got substituted. Do we need immediate help at LT? Perhaps TT is looking for an immediate impact OT? In that case we trade up and get quality. It all depends who’s there but I’d want my future LT set now.

  11. Al, I think you were right in Part I that TT will trade down. I think we end up with a second tier OT from the free agency market which basically puts TT’s interest at the bottom of the first top of the second to stockpile picks. He plays the probability game and then picks his best player from that. Look for last year’s draft to be an anomaly because BJ dropped and he was able to snatch a late first rounder with a trade and get two great players. I’m probably wrong about this but I have a feeling we see a couple pick-ups in FA and then a more “expected” TT draft. Like when he got Woodson and Pickett. Great posts great new blog Al, thanks!

  12. DHoward: We are on the same wavelength. There has to be a really BIG reason to give up that much to trade up. The only player I see possibly available there that might qualify is CJ Spiller.

    Max John: I just don’t think there is that “can’t miss” OT that will be worth the Packers giving up so much for. last year was a much better year for OTs.

    Brady: First, thanks for stopping by. There is very little out there in free agency at the OT position that aren’t RFAs. I would only see TT going after UFAs, and there is very little of value there. there will be better value at other positions (like DB, so i think you may see a FA move at one of those positions). With Bulaga gone, the only OT I could see the Packers taking with Pick # 23 would be Bruce Campbell, but he’s a bit of a risk. I would consider OLB at #23, then hope to pick up a Selvish Capers or Ciron Black with pick #2. of course, this assume we have Clifton back for another year.

  13. If Ted follows every year (other than last year when he traded up) he’ll take the best available player at 23. But could he set his sights on the player most needed for immediate impact? Could he let let a restricted FA (Johnny Jolly or Colledge) walk to get a 2nd rounder and try to package a trade to move up? That I could see happenning.

  14. Is it my understanding it will cost the Packers 3 picks to move up to get a rookie prospect?

    If we want a tackle why not go after a restricted free agent, on a proven veteran that has been taged with a 1st and 3rd, thus only giving up 2 picks.

    IMO the draft is very strong and equal in talent in picks through 20-65. This is not the draft to move up.

  15. The top 32 picks this year are not as awe inspring as in previous drafts. I’m not sold on the Oline candidates. The Oline desperately needs STABILITY. They don’t need guys who play different positions each week. The one thing Tauscher and Wells added was stability and the line improved consistently the remainder of the season. Sp, try to go down, but I’m not convinced there would be another team willing to do so.

    Why? Because this year’s crop of middle rounders is probably better than normal.

  16. John: If he lets a RFA walk to get a draft pick (first, somebody needs to make an offer), I believe the pick would be for the following year’s draft, right? Aren’t we getting a pick this year because of Colin Cole leaving last off-season?

    Dilli: That does seem like a better option. McNeill from San Diego comes to mind…

    Ron: I agree with you. The second and third rounds, especially, have some very good value this year.

  17. The ONLY scenario I see TT trading up is if Russel Okung or Eric Berry falls out of the top 10. I don’t see it with Joe Haden, because Haden isn’t portraited as Charles Woodson, Darelle Revis or Nmandi Asomugah, while Berry IS portraited as Ed Reed. And LT is in the big-4 comodities (QB, LT, DE/OLB, CB)

    Then I’d ADVOCATE him to trade up. But only for that scenario. Or if Suh falls out of the top 10, which has absolutely zero chance of happening.

    But I agree with your first post, the 2nd and 3rd rounds have so much value, specially in CB, S and OLB that it’s really hard to see TT moving up…

  18. And Al, the targets MUST be Jahri Evans, Donald Penn, Jeremy Trueblood and Logan Mankins. I think those are the RFAs worth getting. Not so sure about McNeil…

  19. I read somewhere we may possibly get a 5th for Colin Cole. Don’t we get another late round pick from the Jets in the Favre trade, too?
    As I have mentioned, I generally don’t pretend to have a clue about particular prospects. But is it not a possibility that TT would trade our 1st and 2nd to Tennessee for their 1st? We end up losing 100 points on the trade value chart, but I’m pretty sure we lost out on point value in the Matthews trade. If Thompson thinks this is really a deep draft, we will have a couple extra late rounders to make up for that lost 2nd rounder. Just a guess…

  20. I can’t see Ted trading up this year. His M.O. has always been to trade down for more picks. Trading away picks to move up would jeapordize the Pack’s “Youngest Team in The League” status. He’ll trade down, won’t sign an OT in free agency, and Aaron Rodgers will be running for his life if Clifton or Tausher either get hurt or don’t return. Ted’s M.O. has been great for WR & QB, but has left the Pack thin at positions where youth & inexperience aren’t necessarily desirable.

  21. RS: I haven’t closely looked at the free agent OTs yet, NcNeill was one guy I am familiar with.

    Ruppert: We got a 3rd round pick last year for Favre – was used in the Matthews trade, if I remember correctly.

    Tod: I think he may surprise this off season and sign a few guys.

  22. Hey, foundinidaho, I was pretty high on Iupati. But he has one problem that just will not work with us: He holds too much.

    Our team is one of the most penalized every year. The last thing we need is a guy that commits MORE penalties.

    Other than that, he’s athletic, he’s strong, he has the mean streak. He’s raw, but the talent is there.

  23. I believe Ted will stay at 23 and take the best player available (I hate that phrase) but if he is excited about someone higher than 23, I think he could see whats out there using his #23 plus another (comp pick for Cole? a third?) just to see if he gets any takers. I dont think he will, but he could surprise.

    The area I think he will surprise is in free agency. I also think he will be more active this year. He shocked last year by trading up. He would shock again this year by being semi active in FA.

Comments are closed.