Amazingly, the 2015 NFL Draft is just 22 days away. Much to the chagrin of those loser Jets’ fans- is there another kind?- the draft this year is in mighty Chicago, which means that loser Bears’ fans will be replacing said loser Jets’ fans.
Hell, some Packer fans might even show up.
With the countdown started and having already gone over areas the Packers need to improve, it’s time to consider the overall draft philosophy that the Packers should stick with starting in Round 1 of the upcoming draft.
It is also time to consider foregoing this article until some season when the draft philosophy should actually change from all prior years. Perhaps then we’ll have something more sexy to talk about. But not THIS year.
This year the clear route for the Packers is to do what Ted Thompson, and most GM’s, proclaim to do every year, and that is to take the best player available when it is their turn. Yes, nearly every GM says it, but not necessarily every GM practices what they preach, at least to the extent that Ted Thompson does.
Last year, the stars aligned perfectly when the consensus best player available on the board when the Packers came up in Round 1 happened to play the exact position where the Packers had the most need. Other than Clay Matthews, for whom TT had an out-of-body experience and actually traded up to get, the haters can say that the other two decent first round selections by TT- Aaron Rodgers and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix- fell conveniently right in TT’s lap. Okay, Bryan Bulaga is turning out to be a pretty good pick too. No one said being a hater was easy.
The Packers can not necessarily hope for a like cosmic event to happen again. Fortunately, they don’t have to. The Packers do not need to reach to fill a glaring need because they have no glaring needs. They have needs, of course; we all do, but I define a glaring need as a position at which you must get a starter. If you consider Clay Matthews a starting inside linebacker, which I do, then the Packers have no position in need of a quality starter.
Think about it. What position can the Packers draft for where whoever they draft is very likely to be a Week 1 starter? Inside linebacker? Only if you move Clay back outside or bench Sam Barrington. Corner? Only if you lock Casey Hayward in slot corner purgatory, or even more foolishly put Micah Hyde on the bench. Tight end? Only if you cheat and consider the two tight end set as the regular set for the Packers, which it isn’t, or if you think anyone you draft is going to immediately have the upper hand on Richard Rodgers.
No, once again, what Ted Thompson needs to do in this draft is IMPROVE this team, regardless of what positions actually see the improvement.
Certainly some positions are in more need than others, and we’ll take a closer look at that in our next article. However, no position’s need is so great that the Packers should do anything but take the best player when their number comes up.
Yes, that means if Melvin Gordon or Tori Gurley are sitting there when the Packers come up, Ted Thompson should give it a strong consideration. The same goes if one of the top receivers falls to number 30. Fortunately, it is very unlikely that a quarterback will be the BPA when the Packers come up, so Ted won’t have to make that decision.
Regardless, the player is more important than the position.