Green Bay Packers general manger Ted Thompson has a long history of trading back in the NFL Draft in order to acquire more picks. And with the 2015 Draft just days away, Thompson and the Packers should look to trade out of the first round as he’s done in the past in order to find better value, while also potentially having a better chance of filling a need at cornerback or inside linebacker.
This year’s draft class is one with depth but it’s far from top heavy. Most teams and scouts are handing out around 20 first-round grades to players, meaning that when Green Bay picks at No. 30 near the end of the first round, the Packers will likely be selecting a player with second-round talent instead of first.
That doesn’t mean whoever Green Bay picks won’t be a good player, just that the Packers would be able to find a player with similar talent at some point in round 2, making that selection a much better value.
Of course just because a team wants to trade down, doesn’t mean it can. The Packers would need to find a partner, which could prove to be difficult, unless a desirable player such as Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon falls and a team wants to trade back into the first round to select him.
If the Packers are forced to stay at 30, there should still be some intriguing prospects available at the end of round 1 such as corners Jalen Collins of LSU or Marcus Peters of Washington, even Byron Jones of UCONN. Inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney should certainly be there as well as a number of defensive lineman.
So there are good prospects available, yet, if Green Bay could move down and grab an extra second or third-round pick, it would allow the Packers to get a better value, while at the same time getting a second bite at the apple to hit on a position of need.
The Packers will certainly wait and hope that a player with a high grade falls to them and come draft day, we all know anything can happen. But if that’s not the case, Thompson and the Packers must do what they’ve always done, which is search for value in the draft, trade down or up if the value makes sense and find the best player available for their football team.