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Packers Have Been Active on Draft Days

It might come as a surprise to learn that Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson is a draft-day wheeler-dealer and especially so based on the most recent five drafts.

In 2016, the Packers made a draft-day trade with Colts to move up from 57th to the 48th overall pick, and also giving away their round 4 and round 7 picks. The deal brought them tackle Jason Spriggs.

In 2015, Thompson did a draft-day exchange with the Patriots, getting the 147th overall pick and giving up the 166th (round 5) and round 7 picks, to acquire quarterback Brett Hundley.

In 2013, the Packers dropped down in the draft by exchanging their 55th pick and round 3 pick for the 49ers’ 61st pick and round 7 pick, and thus acquiring running back Eddie Lacy. Next they dropped back by giving their round 3 pick to the Dolphins for Miami’s round 4 pick, and acquiring tackle David Bakhtiari, as well as Miami’s round 7 pick. They also traded with the Broncos to move up from 146th to 125th, by giving up their round 6 pick, in order to acquire running back Johnathan Franklin.

In 2012, Green Bay traded up eight spots in round 2 with the Eagles, and giving up its round 4 pick along the way, to acquire defensive tackle Jerel Worthy. And in one of his bigger draft-day deals, Thompson got the Patriots’ round 2 pick (62nd overall), but gave up his own round 3, round 6, and two round 7 picks – all to acquire cornerback Casey Hayward.

From 2005 through 2009, Thompson made a number of high-round draft-day deals.

In 2009, Ted got a second first-round pick by trading his round 2 and two round 3 choices to the Patriots – netting linebacker Clay Matthews.

In 2008, he gave up his round 1 pick in 2008, and moved down to get Jordy Nelson early in round 2. That year was a trading frenzy, as further trades with the Jets, Vikings, and Rams led to the Packers getting three picks whose names haven’t been heard of since.

In 2006, the Packers made four draft-day trades.

Finally, in 2005 after nabbing Aaron Rodgers in round 1, Thompson got safety Nick Collins in round 2. To do so, he moved up in the round by trading away a player, cornerback Mike McKenzie, instead of a draft choice,

What’s remarkable is that Thompson has so often made draft-day trades to maneuver himself in the critical first and second rounds. These deals involved many of the team’s best players over the last 10 years, including Nick Collins, A.J. Hawk, Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, Casey Hayward and Eddie Lacy.

In these earlier years, however, Green Bay often had the luxury of having from 10 to 12 draft picks to use as bait. The high-water mark was 2006, when the Packers drafted a dozen player. In the last few years, however, the team has generally entered the draft with only from six to eight designated picks.

Given his past history, we should expect Thompson to exchange draft choices again this year – while the draft is underway – to move either up or down to obtain the players that he’s after.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. icebowl April 4, 2017

    Good research Rob, as always.

    I question if this strategy is going to provide help in plugging porous secondary – dependance on untried rookie talent was major problem last season… recall reading that there is not much talent available in that area this year.

    TT needs to use draft picks to trade for experienced DB.

  2. Big B April 4, 2017

    I see a trade down, something like the Browns get our #1(29) for their #2(33) and a seventh rounder with a swap of second round picks- we move up to 52 and they get ours at 61. We end up with 2 of the top 50 players plus that late round pick while the Browns get a player with the fifth year option. That would bring us an edge rusher plus a CB. I’m hoping for McKinley, Charlton, or Watt.

    1. icebowl April 4, 2017

      Dude, instant headache reading that..

  3. Kato April 4, 2017

    Too bad most of the manoeuvring yielded zilch, at least recently. Worthy, a name I would rather forget.

  4. PF4L April 5, 2017

    A better article would be Titled….”How Ted has actively ruined this team over the years with his failed draft’s.”

    If anyone thinks, this one draft will improve this team…THIS year, i feel sorry for your false hope. I’m not being negative, i’m being a realist. You have the same problems on defense (nothing was fixed in free agency). Ted also added to the team’s problems by ridding himself of a starting Pro Bowl guard, and capable back up at tackle. That my Packer friends, is a serious problem. What was a strength on the line, is now a weakness in one off season. If we get any injuries on the line, we are fucked, we might be fucked anyway as the interior of the line is weak. Just watch.

    First year players rarely make any real impact on a team. But…..as it turns out….that’s the sad scenario were counting on.

    I can see Ted not even drafting a corner early, because he thinks he already has them, simply because he drafted them 1 and 2. For all we know, Ted doesn’t even consider the secondary as a real problem, he sure doesn’t act like it.

    As Ted so often says in interviews….”things will work themselves out.” I guess that means we still have Aaron Rodgers…idk.

    I go back to the playoffs, and i ask anyone to discuss all the players on defense who….made a play.

    That’s a very short discussion my friends.