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Cheese Curds, 4/26: Packers must consider linebackers at 27, and Noah Spence is a top option

Edge rusher or inside backer? Which is Green Bay's more critical need with a first-round pick?

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Ted Thompson rarely does what you think he will in the NFL Draft. Sure, he had a stretch of a few years when he drafted Nick Perry, Datone Jones, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round and all of those positions seemed to match what people were projecting. However, those picks were the result of letting the board come to him, as he does seemingly every year, and is likely to do again on Thursday.

However, with the overwhelming majority of mock drafts projecting the Green Bay Packers to select a defensive lineman in round one, do not be surprised if Thompson's script is a little different and he ends up taking a linebacker instead. Sure, Reggie Ragland is a popular choice as well (if he is on the board at 27), but my hunch remains that if Thompson does not go for a tackle, he will end up taking a pass-rusher instead.

In today's curds, we find plenty of examination of the linebacker position, as well as some looks at several of the top edge rushers in this year's draft class.

Plenty of draft attention on linebackers |
And there's plenty of attention on them today alone. We all know the drill - the Packers need an inside linebacker who can cover, and outside linebackers to rush the passer in the future when their current group likely moves on next spring.

Nerve injury clouds draft prospects of Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith |
If the needs were reversed, though, and the Packers needed long-term depth on the inside, Smith might be farther up their board.

Edge rushers could tempt Packers |
The Press-Gazette's Ryan Wood sees Emmanuel Ogbah as a potential sneaky pick, but don't sleep on Noah Spence or Kamalei Correa in round one either.

Noah Spence could be the best edge rusher in the 2016 NFL Draft -
The reason for Stephen White's assessment of Spence in this manner is that he can not only beat his man, but he can do so with both speed around the corner as well as inside rush moves.

Jordy Nelson, Eddie Lacy still popular in NFL merchandise sales - ESPN
Those two joined Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews on the list of top 50 players in terms of sales of jerseys and other player-branded merchandise.

Reps from 24 NFL teams to attend pro day of Baylor hoops star -
Maybe 6'6", 273-pound Rico Gathers could be the Packers' tight end of the future?

Eagles 'blindsided' by Sam Bradford's trade request -
Bradford plans to sit out the entire voluntary part of the offseason while he hopes that the Eagles can find a way to move him (and are willing to absorb his $11 million signing bonus on this year's cap). Maybe Philly should have employed a little thing called a workout bonus when structuring his contract in order to get him to show up.