It seems pretty clear who the Green Bay Packers really want in the NFL Draft at this point. Every indication is their top two guys are Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward and Florida State safety Derwin James, in whatever order.
My feeling is they’d be happy as hell with either guy.
Both are stud athletes. Both fill a need. Both are unlikely to be available when the Packers make their selection at No. 14 in the first round.
We’ve talked about this possibility and it now appears the Packers are actively exploring a trade up.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 26, 2018
If the Packers move up, the most likely spots are No. 10, owned by the Oakland Raiders and old buddies Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden, or No. 6, owned by the Indianapolis Colts, who are actively trying to get the hell out of that spot.
And so what would that cost?
No. 10 is likely going to be a swap of first-rounders and the Packers’ second-round pick. For No. 6, the Packers are likely going to have to throw in their third-round pick or fourth-round pick obtained from Cleveland, in addition to the former.
Is that price worth it?
Hell, if the Packers can land a generational defender, then sure.
Current general manager Brian Gutekunst is definitely more aggressive than Ted Thompson ever was. The only time Ted moved up in the first round was by trading back into it (he selected B.J. Raji at No. 9 that year) to take Clay Matthews at No. 26 in 2009.
I guess technically that isn’t moving up in the first round. It’s moving into it for a second time. The point is, that was it.
So what about the player?
I would not be disappointed if the guy was Ward, but everything we’ve seen and heard about James puts him at the top of the list. Not only a playmaker, an athletic stud, but also an alpha. A leader in the locker room. The Packers sorely need that sort of guy on the defensive side of the ball.
Gute the Bad.
If the past in any indicator, I would not be surprised if they trade back and take another swing at a defensive lineman in the first round (Harrell, Raji, Jones, Clark). I mean, nearly half the picks in the first round have been defensive lineman in the last 10 picks.
If this happens, then we can probably assume Thompson still has a lot of say in the draft.
Don’t. Do. It.