On Wednesday morning, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson spoke to reporters at Lambeau Field to discuss the upcoming NFL Draft as well as the team's roster and free agency moves.
Thompson started the press conference by saying that he is "not very comfortable with" being the center of attention during the draft process. "It's not warranted because we have a whole team," said Thompson, referring to his extensive network of scouts and executives who help put together the Packers' draft board each spring.
That board is mostly finalized, though Thompson suggested that it's still fluid with eight days until round one begins. "We think we're getting close to where we need to be," Thompson said. "Do you ever get to a point to where you really need to be? I don't know."
It has also become something of a ritual for Thompson to receive questions about his draft strategy each April, and on Wednesday he went back to the standard line about taking a best player available approach. He further explained this plan by saying "the conversation about needs is usually a temporary one," referring in particular to injuries and other events that affect a team's roster. He even joked that "things are going to change between now and next week," which implies that the roster evaluation is fluid even with all players back at team facilities.
As far as positions of need go, Thompson does not appear concerned about the caliber of players that he has on his roster at the inside linebacker position - at least not publicly. He called the unit "a pretty good group" twice in the span of a few sentences. The only description he gave beyond that, however, was that they've been able to get some experience," which in and of itself is not much of a glowing statement.
That position was not one in which Thompson went outside of his own organization to sign a free agent this offseason, but he did sign a pair of players from other teams, which is a bit of a surprise compared to his typical draft and develop mantra. Jared Cook and Lerentee McCray come to Green Bay from the Rams and Broncos, respectively, and Thompson addressed both players briefly. He described McCray as having "good athletic ability", something he has shown in limited action in Denver. He echoed that feeling when discussing Cook, saying "he's very athletic" and that he has a "great catch radius."
Overall, Thompson sounds pleased with the current makeup of the team. "I think it's a good roster," he said, adding that the team has more work to do. Of note is that he mentioned "late free agency" as an avenue through which the Packers will be adding players to their roster before training camp, besides just drafting players and signing rookie undrafted free agents. Reading into that statement, the possibility of re-signing fullback John Kuhn or linebacker Mike Neal remains open over the next few weeks and months.
The next time we'll hear from Thompson should be on the evening of Thursday, April 28th, after the Packers make their decision with the 27th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.