OK everybody, let's dive right in. Haven't heard anything about King's recovery, not that you can take at face value whatever they're saying. There has to be some long-term concern, these things can become chronic. They need him, that's for sure. Big, fast guy with talent.
They do need an impact player, that's for sure. A couple of the scouts I talked to last week were really high on Davenport, think there's a lot of talent there. There is a little more hit-or-miss risk because he didn't play against a very high level of college competition. But sounds like he loves football, enjoys the process of preparation and all that, so that bodes well. It all comes down to what Brian Gutekunst thinks. If he thinks Edmunds or James is a cut above and will be a real difference maker, he should move up. As I've said before, based on recent trade history, a fourth-rounder should be able to move them to 11 or even 10, but that also depends on if any of the QBs still is on the board too. But maybe Gutekunst thinks Davenport is the better long-term prospect. Only he and maybe a couple other people know the answer to that.
I think it's a real possibility, especially second round. I'm not getting the feeling that many if any scouts think Ridley is so talented he should go in the top half of the first round, so seems like first round is unlikely. But second round? That would make a lot of sense. Adams has a concussion history, Cobb is in the last year of his contract, and overall the Packers just aren't that talented or (especially) fast at wide receiver. It's a priority position. I keep changing my mind on whether WR or OL is the higher priority (right tackle and guard). Close call.
At least for now, a week away from the draft, that's the way it's looking. Sounds like Ward would be a no-brainer if he's still on the board at 14, but also sounds like that's highly unlikely. Then it gets shaky whether any other CB is a good pick at 14. Hughes has to be in play, though he's only 5-10 1/8, that might move him down the Packers' board. Jackson from Iowa, sounds like he isn't not a willing tackler, and if that's the case I'd think 14 is too high for him. Davenport is a true 3-4 OLB, played it in college. Landy was a DE but is an outside rusher. Sounds like Edmunds is a really intriguing talent who can play 3-4 OLB. That's three good candidates there, though it sounds like Edmunds has the least chance of the three to make it to 14. Roquan Smith is an ILB and an interesting guy but sounds like he might not make it out of the top eight or nine, if that. One scout I talked to thinks he's one of the three best players in the draft.
I tend to agree on ILB, less so because of Martinez than the position itself, and in fact even when it comes to Roquan Smith, who scouts all seem to love, I wonder. In fact, I made a point of asking every scout I talked to last week about taking an ILB that high, whether it's worth it because even the best ILBs (Wagner, Kuechley) get picked on in coverage by the premier QBs. But they all said it's worth it for a guy as good as Smith, that he can stay on the field all three downs and covers close to as well as a safety. Sounds to me like Edmunds could and would play OLB if a 3-4 -- he's kind of like Matthews coming out in that he can play any LB spot in either 3-4 or 4-3.
By the way, I overlooked Fitzpatrick in the earlier answer, he's another CB who could be available at 14 that they'd have to think really hard about taking. So that's a CB who actually might be on the board when they pick who could be worth taking at 14. Some scouts are pretty high on him, but two of the five I talked to about him think his ceiling isn't that high, that he can play a lot of positions fairly well but won't truly excel at any of them. As far as the players you name, that's a big pool of players, especially when they're picking as high as they are. So it's a pretty good bet the guy they take will come from that list.
A lot depends on how much of an upgrade Cousins is at QB. Is it a small upgrade or a big one? The Vikings also get back Dalvin Cook, he was looking really good until he tore his ACL last year. Now, we don't know how much the injury will take from him, but he's a talented back. Vikings are definitely much, much better than the Packers on defense. Rodgers has to be the Packers' equalizer, and then they really could use a player or two in this draft who don't just play a lot, but play well and improve the team. That's how the Packers will make up ground, because they didn't do a lot in free agency, though maybe they think Wilkerson is going to make a real difference as an inside rusher. Vikings definitely have a more talented roster top to bottom, it's not even close. But the QB is so important, if Rodgers is on top of his game the gap shrinks a lot.
That's a point worth remembering. I urge you to go to drafthistory.com and look at the first rounds every year for the past 10 or 15 or 20 years. So many guys who were busts or at best fairly ordinary players. But one pattern that you can pick up on even from that is, while the odds are always against you, the chances for finding a really good or great player go up as you move up the first round. That's why I'm not trading back if I'm Gutekunst unless there's a really, really, really good reason to. They don't pick this high in the first round very often, so sit there and pick, or move up a little. It's the best chance they'll have of finding a difference maker.
I'd say even one or two really good picks would make a difference. The Saints really did have what's looking like an outstanding draft -- things can change over the next couple years, but they hit on several picks, especially Lattimore and Kamara, difference makers both. It's really hard to do, but the Saints are proof it can be done. Just as Schneider had a couple great early drafts in Seattle, and Thompson here, though the impact wasn't as instant as New Orleans last year.
I'm not positive on this but think he might go to some of the campus Pro Days, and even if not I get the sense he has a lot of friends in scouting. So you never know who he might be talking to. Also good to remember that this is misinformation season, so you can drive yourself crazy trying to decide which reports to lend credence to. GMs have to do it but they also have their own networks of friends and sources, so their guesses are more educated than the rest of us. As for Jackson, I didn't see Iowa play but a big red flag went up when I heard he doesn't tackle. If true, that would really worry me for taking him in the first round.
Of course this is just a guess, but if they end up keeping all 12 picks, I see them taking at least two corners (maybe even three?), probably two outside linebackers, maybe/probably two tight ends. I'd think at least two OL also, though that's really not one position, so maybe one guard and one tackle.
Sure he could, can't rule out a move, especially if they think the ACL injury will affect his long-term mobility. I have trouble seeing them taking a tackle in the first round but of course you can't rule it out -- they do have an open starting spot on the right side. But with all their other needs, it just doesn't add up. Second round is more of a possibility, though with their success in finding OL in the fourth and fifth rounds, I'd be tempted to wait if I were them. Depends on how strong they think the draft is at OL in the middle rounds.
I'm not convinced any of those CBs is so talented that he'd be worth trading up for. Not saying no way, as always it depends on what Gutekunst thinks, if he sees something special in one of those guys. But none of the handful of scouts I've talked to thought any of those guys was worth the trade up. Maybe Ward would be if he got to 10 or 11.
My opinion could change in the next week, but right now I'm thinking there's a chance Davenport and Fitzpatrick will be there at 14. If by chance that happens, I'd think Gutekunst would take one of them.
I do wonder if they'll go after the CB Breeland when he's recovered from the infection in his foot -- he'd signed with Carolina but then failed the physical, so he could be back in play. Probably depends in part on how many CBs the Packers draft. Bryant is an interesting one. The longer he's out there, the more I wonder if the Packers might kick the tires if they haven't already. Several pros and cons to signing him. Gotta be worth a serious discussion at 1265, I'd think.
Don't know if I'd do that if I"m the Packers, that's a long drop from 14 to 23.
In 2012 I think it was the Cowboys picked at 14 and moved to six for their second round (like the Packers, the R2 was No. 45). I'd think to get in the top five would cost next year's R1.
Because he's 35 years old. Amazing, really, that he's still in the league, speaks well of him and his talent. But that's ancient for a CB. It could turn out to be a good signing -- he knows Pettine's scheme, knows the Packers, great locker room guy. It made all the sense in the world to sign him. But he is 35, so there's a chance he could hit the wall.
A little bit if they picked James. But if they pick James, they'd obviously have some kind of plan in mind to get both on the field together. And then they'd have both guys if they decided not re-sign Clinton-Dix next year. But taking James also would tell me that they think he's a difference maker, a guy who really impacts games. If they draft Fitzpatrick, I'd have to think it would be primarily as a slot CB, at least at first, which they need immediately. I wonder that about Jones. Another example of that is Bucannon in Arizona, he was a safety who moved to ILB. But at least at the owners meetings McCarthy said Jones is going to be a safety this year.
Just a wild guess, best odds are staying put, maybe 70 percent. Maybe 29 percent move up. One percent for move down. Take it for what it's worth.
Possibly, but he'd probably have to make it to the mid-20s at least, not sure that's very likely.
That height and length is helpful for a couple reasons. Knocking down passes is one. Keeping offensive linemen off their bodies is another, if they can lock out the O-lineman they can see in the backfield better. Bigger is usually better.