The Green Bay Packers traded back up in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday after moving back thirteen slots from 14 to 27. In moving up from 27 to 18, the team sacrificed its third-round draft pick, the #76 overall selection, leaving them with just one pick on day two of the draft.
However, the Packers now own six picks between the start of round four and the end of round five on Saturday, and a move back up into the third seems practically inevitable. This morning, we’ll look at some of the ways that Brian Gutekunst could climb back into the second half of the third round tonight by leveraging those day-three picks.
As a reminder, here are the remaining picks that the Packers have in the draft:
Round 2: pick 13 (#45 overall)
Round 4: pick 1 (#101, from Browns), pick 33 (#133, compensatory)
Round 5: pick 1 (#138, from Browns), pick 10 (#147, from Saints), pick 35 (#172, comp), pick 37 (#174, comp)
Round 6: pick 33 (#207, comp)
Round 7: pick 14 (#232), pick 21 (#239, from Bills), pick 30 (#248, from Seahawks)
Here are some different trade scenarios that work out based on the draft trade value chart.
Going for broke
Say the Packers want to go as high as possible in round three — even approaching their original 76th pick. It will take a lot of those day-three picks, but they can make it happen.
101, 133, 138, and 147 for 78
This is probably the only package that would allow Green Bay to get back within a pick or two of their original third-round pick at 76, and it’s probably unlikely that they would sacrifice all of these selections to do so. It would strip them of each of their first four picks on day three, including the first picks in rounds 4 and 5 plus their 4th-round compensatory pick (133) and the 5th-rounder they added from the Saints in the trade back on Thursday. The Chiefs might go for it, since they had no picks in the top 50 and only one in the first two rounds at 54. If Gutekunst really has their hearts set on a player on the board in the mid-70s, it’s a possibility, but given the talent level likely still available around the turn of the fourth round, it might be a bit steep.
101, 133, & 138 for 84
If the Packers only feel the need to get back into the mid-80s, they’ll likely need to send their first three Saturday picks — the first picks in each of the fourth and fifth rounds, plus their fourth-round compensatory selection. That would come out to a 171.5 value on the trade chart, which should get them up to pick 84 (170 points), currently held by the Chargers.
101, 138, and 172 for 87
This might be my favorite value trade of all of these possibilities; moving up 14 spots from 101 to 87 is a nice slide up, and losing picks 138 and 172 wouldn’t hurt too much. That’s because the Packers would still keep three of those top six in day three: the fourth-round comp pick at 133, that 147th pick from New Orleans, and pick 174 as well.
With those picks still in the back pocket, they could even package 147 and 174 to get back into the middle of round four on Saturday, potentially climbing as high as number 120 overall.
Sacrificing just one extra pick
Maybe the Packers don’t want to trade away multiple additional picks in rounds four or five to move up from 101; here are the slots that they could feasibly reach by getting rid of just one of the picks that they hold between 133 and 174.
101 & 133, 138, or 147 for 91, 92, or 93
If the Packers only want to give up one selection to move up from 101, they could do it in a couple of different ways, depending on the trade partner. Sending the 133rd overall pick should get them to the Saints’ 91st pick (hello again, New Orleans!).
Moving downward on the Packers’ pick list, they could send pick 138 (the first pick in round five) to get up to the 92nd pick held by the Steelers, or they could ditch the 147th selection that they received in the trade down with New Orleans on Thursday and get to 93 (Jaguars).
101 & 5th-round Comp for 95 or 96
As you can see above, every 8-to-10 slot drop in round five is about a one-spot difference in round three. Thus, sending one of the compensatory picks at 172 or 174 instead of the Saints pick at 147 would cost the Packers two or three more slots in the third.
Avoid losing pick 101
Let’s assume that the Packers really want to hold on to that 101st pick. This is going to be much tougher to do, because pick values drop off considerably in round four. Still, there’s one potential possibility here.
133, 138, and 147 for 98
If Gutekunst sends all three of his selections around the end of the fourth and the start of the fifth rounds, that could get them into the very back end of round three. Houston at 98 might be a candidate; with no picks in rounds one or two thanks to the DeShaun Watson trade, they might be willing to part with one of their three third-rounders to pick up another trio of picks in an area that they have no selections.