I also point out, that we have several needs.
1. A solid DE who can be the Cullen Jenkins for the next 5-8 years.
2. A good OLB who can put pressure on the QB from the other side more consistently than the collection that we've got already.
3. A solid, competent CB who will step into Charles Woodson/Tramon Williams' shoes after Woodson Retires. I don't think this draft pick will have to be a Woodson clone, since I believe Williams will take that role over. But someone who can cover fairly reliable like Williams (when healthy) is more what I'm looking for.
4. Most likely a Center who is competant enough to either start right away and not make a complete mess of the inside of the line, or be able to replace EDS within a year or two.
5. A competant backup QB now that no matter what, Flynn is gone.
6. Possible a Free Safety who will replace Nick Collins who still hasn't been cleared for play and we're not sure if the doctors will allow him to play.
I don't expect us to make a splash in free agency, unless we get someone who is willing to take less money to play with a champion (most likely a Center). I'm proud of our fanbase here who doesn't say retarded things I've heard on NFL radio and we blogs like, "This offseason will be a failure if we don't get Mario Williams." It seems like every team wants him. duh. It's nice to wish, and except for the whole TnT thing, we've kept our collective retarded heads out of the clouds of dreamworld.
So, since I don't think we're gonna do much in Free Agency, we'll have to look at all our needs in the draft. In the draft, you can pretty much look at the rounds like such:
1st round - should be expected to start and make an immediate imact. This is a future star on your roster.
2nd/3rd round - should be expected to either start, or play significan time on your roster. they're not supposed to be stars, but are expected to perform their duties competently.
4th/5th round - should be expected to fill the backup role on a position. they should be counted on not making a complete fool of themselves in a spot start or when the player comes off the sidelines. these players could also do very specialized roles on the team; such as 3rd down pass rusher, kicker, ect.
6th/7th round - should be expected to make your team at least unless the team is very deep and talented. will not be expected to do a lot, but when called from, if they do well, the team is pleasantly suprised. will typically need to sit and be coached for several years before they can consistently contribute for their team.
Undrafted FA - these are experimental players. If your team consists of more than 10% of UDFA's you may be in trouble. Most often, these players need several years of practice squad developement before they can become contributors to your team.
So, of course, it would be nice to trade up and turn some of our lower draft picks to get a higher pick in the 1st round, but those picks, but a lot of teams won’t be willing to give up higher picks for a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round pick – and that is what it would most likely take. But that only fills 2 positions, and we need more than 2 positions to fill.
This makes trading out of the first round a viable option. There are two potential teams that have the ammunition, and may be willing to trade out of their spots.
The New England Patriots, who have the 16th, and 31st picks in the second round as well as the 31st and 27th in the first. We wouldn’t get the 1st rounders, but it may make having 3 late 1st round picks an intriguing thought for Bellicek and friends.
The Philadelphia Eagles have the 14th and 19th picks in the second round. They’re in "win-right-now-at-whatever-costs" mode so they may be willing to part with those picks to get the guy they really want in the end of the second half.
In addition to those teams, there may be several teams who are in the top-10 of the second round who would be willing to give us their 2nd and 3rd round picks, and possibly a later round pick for our 1st rounder.
For arguments sake, let’s say the Patriots pull the trigger on the trade. I think giving up 2 mid-2nd rounders would make Philly a little apprehensive, but for New England, I can see them giving up a mid and late-2nd round pick to get that 3rd 1st round pick.
Our draft order would then give us 3 second round picks: the 16th, 28th, and 31st picks overall, in addition to our 3-28, 4-28, 5-28, 6-28, and 7-28 picks. In addition to this, we can expect to see 2 compensatory picks this year; one from the loss of Spitz, and the other is from the loss of Jenkins. Jenkins, let’s assume is a 4th round pick, and Spitz may be wither a 4th or 5th rounder – let’s say, for argument’s sake, it is a 4th round pick. So we’ve got 3 4th round picks, 2 of which cannot be traded away.
Those two compensatory picks could make it tempting for TT to make a run to get a little higher up in the 3rd round by trading 3-28 and 4-28. Having those 2 compensatory picks would make this trade more likely because we wouldn’t be missing out in the 4th round. Let’s say, for Argument’s sake, that Dallas takes this particular trade bait, and we get a 9 pick upgrade from those two picks.
So back to our needs
DE (1) OLB (2) CB (3) Center (4) QB (5) FS (6)
Looking at the latest big boards, there are players available at these positions in the draft. So, our final drafting order, could look like the following, along with possible people we could possibly draft at these positions:
2-16(48) Vinny Curry DE (41), Jayron Hosley CB (42), Jamell Fleming CB (44), Peter Konz C (47), Chase Minnefield CB (49), Alfonzo Dennard CB (50), Bruce Irvin DE (61), Kevin Zeitler OG (52), Shea McClellin OLB (53)
2-28(60) Beandon Weeden QB (56), Jared Crick DE (57), Lavonte David OLB (57), Stephon Gilmore CB (59), Josh Chapman DT (61) – I would have him as DT with Raji taking over at DE.
2-31(63) Brock Osweiler QB (63), Casey Hayward CB (65), Ronnell Lewis DE (67), Markelle Martin S (69), Tyrone Crawford DE (72), Chandler Jones DE (73)
3-19(83) Trumaine Johnson CB (77), Harrison Smith S (78), Sean Spence LB (not sure if ILB/OLB) (79), Ben Jones C (78),Josh Robinson CB (84), Kirk Cousins QB (86), Nigel Bradham OLB (91), Bobby Wagner OLB (92), Keenan Robinson LB (93), Trevin Wade CB (94), Dwight Bentley CB (95)
4-Comp(97-105) – Best Player Available (BPA) vs Team Need (TN) – In this spot, the C from Ohio State and Michigan should be here.
4-Comp(97-105) - BPA v TN – a FS should be available here
5-28(appx 133) – BPA v TN - the QB from Miami / Russell Wilson should be available here.
6-28(appx 175) – BPA v TN -
7-28(appx 210) – BPA v TN
There are clearly several players in each draft spot that would fit the bill for each of our top 3 needs in this situation. We could walk away with a CB, OLB, and DE – all in the second round, instead of having to hope for luck that someone we want will fall to us in each of the first three rounds. Our 3rd round pick could be to bolster one of those initial positions or select a talented player in a different position of need.
I believe that this is the more likely direction of a trade, and I believe that this is the proper route for our beloved Packers. In the end, it is not up to us, but in TT and MM we trust.
Tell me what you all think.