Well, that was anticlimactic.
The Green Bay Packers, after waiting for their turn, traded out of the first round with the Cleveland Browns acquiring the 29th overall pick and the Packers getting the first pick in the second round (33rd overall) and the first pick of the fourth round (108th overall).
Packers general manager Ted Thompson met with the media after executing the trade. Here are a few of the highlights:
On what it means to have the first pick on day 2: “I think it’s very good strategy wise. We know where we’re at and what we’re gonna do. There’s a couple different ways of looking at it in terms of being helpful to us. It could be that we highlight a player that we know we can get and they can’t take it away from us, it could be that a team sees an opportunity to maybe trade up and take a player they didn’t think they could get and is a trade that could work for us.”
On if they could trade back again: “Oh yeah. You can put that down. That’ll save us a couple of phone calls.”
On the trade back: "We wanted to add a little meat to shoring up the roster and that sort of thing. We thought it was important to get a little more oomph out of it. Thanks to the people up there working their tail off we were able to do exactly that. We’ll see where it goes tomorrow because the board is still strong. "
On the team's draft board: "The board is still strong. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?"
The board really did fall in the Packers' favor. While many Packers fans wanted Wisconsin Badger T.J. Watt, he was not a universal first round pick. Thompson did have this to say about Watt, who went at #30 to the Pittsburgh Steelers: “Great player. If he wasn’t a Wisconsin guy I wouldn’t say anything at all. But good for him.” Among the players taken after the 29th pick, Reuben Foster at 31 overall (taken by the San Francisco 49ers) was also likely on the Packers' draft board.
Therefore, the trade back makes perfect sense. The Packers now set the pace on Friday (unless they trade back and acquire more picks) and Saturday and their board is largely intact. Green Bay is now in prime position to get some great value.
The draft has fallen exactly how someone like Thompson would like. While fans are no (pun intended) fans of waiting, this could reap big benefits for the Packers.
Stay tuned. One day down and two to go. The fun has just begun.