Every NFL general manager claims they draft the best player available rather than the best player at a position of need. Few mean it, but Packers GM Ted Thompson is one of those that do.
Such is the only reasonable takeaway from the Packers' first three draft picks. Though cornerback was one of the team's positions of need entering the week, few expected Thompson to take a safety with the intention of transitioning him into a cover man. Likewise, selecting another corner one round later caught many off guard. However, Green Bay stuck to their best-player-available approach and took the top rated prospects on their board.
The same appears to be true with third-round selection Ty Montgomery. The Packers certainly aren't lacking for wide receiver depth with All-Pro Jordy Nelson returning and Randall Cobb re-signing in free agency, not to mention promising second-year wideout Davante Adams. The team also spent two Day 3 picks in 2014 on Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis.
Still, no organization has a better track record when it comes to drafting receivers than the Packers, and Montgomery may be their latest quality find. At 6'0", 221 pounds, the Stanford product has a versatile body type. He possesses the strength and quickness to come out of the backfield as well as line up at multiple receiver spots on offense. Montgomery also projects as an NFL-caliber returner, averaging 27.4 yards per kickoff and 18.3 per punt during his college career.
At the same time, Montgomery is still developing as a receiver. He needs to learn how to set up defensive backs to create extra separation and fill out his route tree. Until he does, his contributions in Green Bay are likely to be limited to special teams.
Regardless, the selection of Montgomery makes it clear that the competition at wide receiver behind Nelson, Cobb and Adams will be intense this year. Those roster spots will be earned, not awarded.