Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's Draft Day, Kids!

It just seems to fit. A day in the upper Midwest that feels more like late October than late April. In other words, it's football weather. And that means: the NFL Draft is here! (Yes, I know. The weather doesn't cause the NFL Draft to's a bit of hyperbole...but that also is very fitting for draft day, isn't it? I mean, if the NFL Draft isn't about hype what is?)

So, anyway, the latest news -- or at least, speculation -- is that the Packers will trade down out of their #30 first round pick. Certainly given GM Ted Thompson's proclivities and history, that wouldn't be a shocker.

One of the ideas being tossed about this a.m. on Milwaukee's 620WTMJ radio station by sports guy Jay Sorgi is that the Packers would do a deal with Atlanta. Huh? OK, stay with us now. Under Sorgi's scenario, Atlanta -- which has the #3 pick overall -- needs a QB. Many mock drafts have the Falcons picking Boston College QB Matt Ryan. But the Rams might also go for Ryan and they're sitting at #2. Or, the Falcons might decide their greatest need is on defense, where they would likely go with LSU DT Glenn Dorsey, or a running back where the hands-down choice is Darren McFadden. So, carrying on with Sorgi's scenario, if Ryan is gone or they decide to go with Dorsey or McFadden, the Falcons will still need a quality QB while the pickings are still good. If Ryan is off the board, and the Falcons don't have him, they may savor the Pack's pick at #30 if the next highest QB prospect is still on the board. That would be, under Sorgi's view and that of some other analysts, Louisville's Brian Brohm.

Now, here is where this scenario becomes interesting (I know, finally, right?). Atlanta has three picks in round two, including two of the first six selections. Hmmm...would Thompson give up #30 to perhaps pick up an additional two second rounders? That would give him four picks in the second round. Gotta admit, that does sound intriguing. Especially since Thompson has already said they are going to stick by their draft board and always take the best available player. If I was Ted, I'd do this deal.

But is it likely that the Falcons would pass up Ryan? I have to concur with many of the mock drafts out there that have the Falcons taking him at #3. In which case Sorgi's idea -- as fascinating as it is -- goes down the drain. That's not to say, however, that something like it might not happen. You can read more about Sorgi's scenario here.

And for excellent overviews of the Packers needs, draft possibilities, etc., check out the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's analysis here, as well as this article from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, which also says it's likely Thompson will trade down...but which also raises the name of Oregon RB Jonathon Stewart as a possible pick, while acknowledging it's unlikely he'll make it to #30. And given the Packers other needs -- despite Thompson's best player available approach -- it's unlikely he'd take Stewart over some of the other prospects available at #30.

Having said all that, my expectation is that Ted will trade down to acquire more picks. Which team or teams that will happen with, and for which picks, remains to be seen (that's not too obvious a statement is it?). But it's an exciting day, Packer fans!

Keep checking back here to for updates and comments throughout the draft today and tomorrow.