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