Should The Packers Trade Out Of The First Round?

I'll spend most my time, and most mock drafts, writing about who the Green Bay Packers should select with their first round pick. But it's just as likely that they'll trade out of the first round. What could they expect to receive?

The last time they traded out of the first round, they sent their 2008 first round pick to the Jets (No. 30 overall) in exchange for the No. 36 overall pick in the second round, and an extra fourth round pick. The Jets took TE Dustin Keller, and the Packers took WR Jordy Nelson. That extra fourth round pick was traded again, and eventually the Packers ended up with DE Jeremy Thompson (4th round) and OL Breno Giacomini (5th round). Of course, neither player is with the Packers any more. They probably did all right on a straight up swap of Keller for Nelson since Nelson's paid less as a second round pick.

If the pick in the second round isn't so high (going from No. 30 to No. 36 isn't very far), then they might expect what the Ravens got last year, who received three picks (second, third and fourth) from Denver for their No. 25 overall selection. Depending on who's remaining on their draft board, dropping down twenty spots might be a good deal if they want the extra picks. There are many free agents, such as WR James Jones, that they might want to replace with a younger player instead of re-signing. Those extra picks would then help.

The final option is to trade for a future first round pick, which is something the Patriots commonly do. I'm not a fan of that strategy because you have to wait that extra year. I'd rather target a player now because the future is always unknown. The Patriots won the future first round pick lottery in 2007 when they traded their No. 28 overall selection for a 2008 No. 7 overall (plus an extra fourth round pick). And even then, there's a case to be made that the 49ers did just fine in the deal.

And that's the problem with discussing whether to trade down. We don't know who's still available, and who the Packers have on their draft board. And we don't know what the Packers will do to re-sign their free agents. If they re-sign everybody, then having more 2011 draft picks that might not make the team isn't so welcome. As of right now, I'd prefer they keep their first round draft choice and select the best player available.

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