After months of waiting, the 2017 NFL draft is now literally hours away. Hopefully, (if they don’t trade out) the Packers will have a new player on their football team tonight.
The question is, who will that be?
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It’s tough to answer, especially with Ted Thompson. But after looking at a lot of players and a lot of mock drafts, plus listening to a lot of experts, I think the safe thing to say is that there are some intriguing options for Green Bay at the end of round 1.
Certainly, anytime you are near the end of the round, trading down is always a possibility and the Packers should consider it, if it makes sense for their board. Otherwise, they need to try and snatch an impact defender with the 29th overall pick.
While that sounds easy, it’s actually much harder to do. Only about half of the guys that go in the first round will even make the Pro Bowl and I mean come on, we all know how easy it is to get into that thing anymore.
Defensively, the Packers two biggest needs are corner and pass rusher. Thankfully, this year’s draft class is strong in both of those areas. It’s possible there is a run on edge rushers or corners tonight. Even inside linebacker has some good first-round prospects. But at the end of the day, I think the pick will be T.J. Watt.
Watt just seems to have Packer written all over him. He’s big and physical and could probably play right away. He also had 11.5 sacks last season and 15.5 TFL.
He’s still raw, he was a tight end a couple years ago, but with Clay Matthews and Nick Perry starting at outside linebacker, he wouldn’t have to play a ton of snaps immediately. It would however, give Matthews the flexibility to play some at inside linebacker, which is desperately needed if an upgrade doesn’t arrive in the draft.
While I would personally rather see the Packers address corner in the first round, there is a lot of depth at the position and they should be able to land a decent talent Friday.
The Packers defense is at its best when its pressuring the quarterback. Watt will be able to help with that right away. And long term, the sky is the limit. In around 12 hours, we’ll know if I’m right.