NFL Draft: What will the Packers do?
We know this much about Packers general manger Ted Thompson: when it comes to the NFL Draft he is the ultimate wild card. Who knows what he's going to do? This leads to rampant speculation as to what the Packers will do with the 26th pick. So at the very least we can narrow it down to three possibilities, in order of least likely to most likely:
Trade Up Trading up was an anathema during Thompson's first four years as GM. But starting in 2009 Thompson began trading up and last year he moved up three times. However the Packers only have eight picks (one of which is not tradeable) and moving up comes at a cost. The price tag to move up will likely be too high for Thompson and this is a draft class that seems to have a lack of impact players.
Trade Down For weeks I've been saying that this is a good spot for Thompson to move down. A big key will be if quarterback Geno Smith falls out of the top five. If that's the case he might free fall all the way until 26th where a couple of teams (most notably Philadelphia) might be willing to trade up. In the last week or so there's been a lot of buzz about quarterback Ryan Nassib as well which could prompt a few teams to move up to the 26th spot. By moving down Thompson could still get a quality player in the early second round while picking up an extra pick or two for the weekend.
Stay at 26 This year's class is loaded at positions of need for the Packers, making the 26th pick a valuable one. At offensive line the Packers could go with D.J. Fluker or Menelik Watson. At defensive line there's Sylvester Williams and Kawann Short. The hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker spot is robust with guys like Datone Jones and Bjoern Werner. In the secondary the Packers have their pick among safeties (Matt Elam, Eric Reid) and cornerback (Desmond Trufant, D.J. Hayden). The Packers could go running back if Eddie Lacy is there. Even tight end is an option with Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz.
When you look over that list you come to realize why it's so difficult to handicap what Thompson will do. There are several directions he can go in, assuming of course he stays at 26. And with Thompson at the helm nothing can be assumed.