Wednesday, April 21, 2010

With the 23rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft the Green Bay Packers select...

For some reason I have a feeling that Ted Thompson is trading back in the first round which will NOT sit well with Packer fans that watched the first three hours of the draft only to have to wait another day.

Ted Thompson could also trade up like last year when he nabbed Clay Matthews at the end of the first round but that seems highly unlikely, especially since Thompson doesn't have an extra 3rd round pick at his disposal (from the Jets in exchange for B. Favre). Quick tangent, that still boggles my mind that Brett Favre only netted the Packers a 3rd round pick, how is that possible? That trade illustrates how overvalued draft picks are in the NFL.

Back to the 2010 NFL Draft, assuming Thompson keeps the pick the Packers are in a great position to take the best player available because they do not have any glaring needs. Even though I am advocating for Thompson to take the best player available in the first round, the Packers definitely do NOT need a quarterback, fullback, tight end, or middle linebacker that early.

Besides the aforementioned positions, Thompson should take the best player available. If the Thompson stays put at 23, some household names will be long gone (Bradford, Suh, Spiller, etc) but there are always a few sleepers that go earlier than expected. Do I smell a Tebow sighting before 23? Hopefully not because the Vikings have the 30th pick in the draft.

In any case, it is reasonable to think the Packers can get a stud that can contribute next year at 23. Here are my ranking, meaning if all the guys were available I would want Thompson to select the first guy on the list and so on:

- Taylor Mays (Safety, USC): you can't teach size and strength. There is a chance Mays goes #8 to the Raiders because he is an absolute physical freak of nature at 6'3" with a 4.31 40-yard dash. Either way I see him as a hybrid linebackers/safety in Dom Capers' psycho package which is a huge upgrade over Chillar trying to play that hybrid position.

- Jerry Hughes (OLB, TCU): the guys at Football Outsiders debuted a new stat a couple of days ago called SackSEER which tries to predict how many sacks a defensive end/outside linebacker will have in their first 5 years in the NFL. The stat takes into account four factors: vertical leap, short shuttle time, sacks per game in college, and games missed in college. The stat looks very robust and Mr. Jerry Hughes is #1 on their list of 2010 draft entries ahead of much more heralded players like Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech), Everson Griffen (USC), Brandon Graham (University of Michigan), and Sergio Kindle (University of Texas).

- Charles Brown (T, USC): there are always a few guys that shoot up draft boards the week of the draft and Charles Brown is that guy this year. In all likelihood Brown will not be there at 23 but I included him for two reasons. First, because I think Brown is the Michael Oher of the 2010 NFL Draft minus Sandra Bullock as his movie step-mom. Second, to show how much I like Mays and Hughes.

- Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas): even though he has an obscenely low SackSEER projection, Kindle would be a good value at 23. I have a few counters to drafting Kindle though. One, why not give Brad Jones a year or two to develop? Two, why not move Chillar/Poppinga opposite Matthews?

- Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers): make Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packer beat writer and Rutgers alum Greg A. Bedard happy and allow him to cover a Scarlet Knight that looks like a promising young cornerback.

- Jared Odrick (DE, Penn State): really hope he gets picked before 23. Would be a "good value" according to the talking heads at 23 but just not sold on him for no good reason really.

- Javhid Best (RB, Cal): has some concussion issues which is never a good thing, especially if you are a rookie running back. With that said, I am all for the Packers lighting a fire under Ryan Grant while addressing their return needs all at once.

Check back throughout draft weekend, I will react to Thompson's moves as much as possible.

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