"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." - Ted Thompson
That's one of my favorite quotes from the Green Bay Packers' general manager, and it illustrates just how ridiculous rumors about teams' interest in players are this time of year. However, we are in the heart of NFL Draft season, and any report about the Packers will be analyzed, dissected, broken down, buried in soft peat for three months, and recycled as firelighters.*
Furthermore, any rumor involving the Packers and an inside linebacker immediately sets off alarm bells, which is why we are bringing you this report. One player that the Packers have been regularly connected to during this process is Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony, something draft analyst Tony Pauline has reported on more than one occasion.
Now there is a report brewing that the Packers are keenly interested in Denzel Perryman out of Miami. This report comes as part of Peter King's mock draft, in which he predicts the Packers to select Perryman. That mock in and of itself might not be noteworthy, but it is for this little nugget:
Could the Packers get their desperately needed plugger linebacker in the second round? To be sure. They might even be able to get the 5-11, 236-pound Perryman there. But the Pack loves Perryman, and Ted Thompson’s never been afraid to take a shot on a player others don’t value as highly.
Perryman's size (specifically his height) has been a consistent narrative throughout his draft process. When asked about it at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, he referenced the success that Chris Borland, another shorter inside linebacker, had in his rookie season and said that he often would get compared to the former Wisconsin Badger. While that comparison does not necessarily reflect a similar style of play - Perryman said "I'm my own man" when asked about Borland - he did make the point that "My play makes up for my height - I don't play like I'm 5-11."
When the Packers are on the clock with the 30th pick, they should have their pick of a number of talented inside linebackers. Will they reach for one of them, select a player at another position, or trade back? As Ted suggests, nobody but him knows, but we'll eagerly await April 30th to find out.
*Bonus points if you get this reference.