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Packers Draft Rumors: Does Ted Thompson Want Marqise Lee?

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NFL sources reportedly think the Packers are targeting a particular wide receiver with the 21st pick. What should we make of these rumors?

Norm Hall

This rumor about the Green Bay Packers' stance on a possible first-round pick was brought to our attention by the fellows over at Arrowhead Pride, the SB Nation blog for the Kansas City Chiefs. Apparently, Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that "everybody in the league" thinks that USC wide receiver Marqise Lee will be the Packers' selection at pick #21 this evening if he is on the board at that time.

Adding Lee to the Packers' stable of offensive weapons sounds intriguing, but does this rumor really hold any water?

Why would this make sense?

Lee's production certainly makes him a bona fide candidate as a number one receiver, and though the Packers aren't in need of one in 2014, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb's contracts are up after this season and the team lost Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and James Jones in the last three offseasons. Lee also has a diverse skill set, which the Packers like, and his Scouting Combine measurements are almost identical to a certain former Packer:

Lee: 5' 11-3/4", 192 lbs, 40-yard dash: 4.43 s
Greg Jennings: 5' 11-1/8", 197 lbs, 4.42 s

The team has a great possession receiver in Jordy Nelson and an exciting and productive slot man in Randall Cobb. Lee could be a great option as a cheap and explosive playmaker in the Packers offense and would ease the burden of replacing James Jones' production.

Why doesn't this make sense?

This smoke is all coming from other teams' impressions of what Ted Thompson and company will do. Sure, they may have a feeling about what Ted likes, but that doesn't mean that they have any insight into what's going on in Ted's head. After all, remember what Ted Thompson said last Thursday in his press conference:

I know for a fact that they don't have any inside information, because sometimes I'm the only inside information, and I'm not telling anybody.

Unless Mortensen's sources are psychics, I won't believe anything I hear about the Packers' pick until the card is turned in. There's also the fact that the Packers' defense, not the offense, went through some serious issues last season, both at the safety and linebacker positions. Granted, that particular argument speaks more to need than to the "Best Player Available" mantra that Ted abides by, but the Packers need an impact player on defense significantly more than they need another impact player on offense.

Perhaps Marqise Lee is one of the top players on Ted's draft board - perhaps not. All we know for sure is that the board is only available in two locations: Ted's brain and the Packers' War Room, and we're not getting a look inside either one any time soon.