OK, I'm sure there will be plenty of questions, so let's get to it. If I were a betting man, I'd bet the odds of moving back from 12 are a lot better than moving up. though get a No. 2 they'd probably have to move back about 10 spots.
I'm thinking there's a chance at least one of Sweat and Bush will be there at 12, though in part it depends on how many QBs go in the top 11. With Sweat it's all medical. How big a risk do the Packers think his heart condition is? I talked with two teams yesterday who said they considered it a low risk.
I've read where teams such as NE have only a handful of people in the war room on draft day but keeps its scouts in the building so they can bring them into the war room for consultation if needed. But sending them all home, I've never heard that one before.
You're right, the position value gave me pause. But this guy runs like a DB (4.43), which is unusually fast for that position, so he's the rare, true three-down linebacker who can cover backs and TEs. He just seemed like the most talented guy I thought would be available, though almost all the mock drafts I looked at this morning had him going at No. 10 or 11, and Sweat in the teams or later. I still think someone might bite on Sweat earlier, and I'm still thinking at least three QBs will go in the top 11, that teams will trade up to get them. As for Smith at No. 30, the thing that I wonder about is his height, he's only 6-2 3/8, that's pretty short for a tight end. Gutekunst likes big receivers, and really, that's the point of the TE position is to get size and catch radius for going over the middle. So I'm not sure he'll be to the Packers' liking. Not saying they won't take him, but I wonder about that. I'm thinking it's kind of shaky whether Thornhill makes it to 44. Might have to grab him at 30 if they want him.
They could save $5.8M in base salary, though he has a $700,000 roster bonus, and I'm assuming most or all of that was a March bonus that they've already paid, so that would be money wasted. I don't
I'm thinking the guy would be a ridiculous pass rusher if he'd played FB all his life. But he'll make a lot more money in BB.
I've heard and read lots of good things about Wilkins too, though a couple of the scouts I talked to thought he was a little limited for top 15 consideration.
Just in case anyone else reading hasn't seen, I picked Michigan ILB Devin Bush for the Packers at No. 12 and Maryland S Darnell Savage at No. 30 (almost went with Virginia S Juan Thornhill there, close call).
When I made the list of guys who won't be there at 12 and ran it past a couple scouts yesterday, Oliver was on it, and the scouts agreed. So I'm thinking the chance of him making it to 12 are slim to none.
I don't think there's any way they'd take an OL with both first-rounders. With one of the two, sure. But both? Too many other needs.
Probably Quinnen Williams. Sounds like he has a chance to be special as an inside player/rusher.
I've seen a mock or two where Sweat fell out of the first round, but the people I talked to thought the farthest he'd fall was between 15 and 20. My guess is that if, for instance, Bush and Hockenson were there at 12, they'd go with Bush.
It's true that there's a cap/financial advantage to having a young starting QB (if the QB is good), but more important than that is having a good QB, period. There's much truth to the saying that the hardest time to find a QB is when you need one. So you get them when you can, within reason. This season would be a tad early for the Packers, in my opinion, but not outlandishly early.
Sweat was the hardest guy for me to get a handle on. Everything I read the last couple days suggested he's really dropping, but the two teams I talked to about his medical grade said they rated him a low risk, and his heart condition didn't affect their grade on him. So that made me think somebody in the top 11 is going to be fine with him and take him. I could very well be wrong. It does sound like the WR Metcalf won't go until late R1 or maybe even R2 after being projected as a possible top 10 pick after the combine.
That seems highly, highly, highly unlikely to me.
They need help everywhere. I think RB should be a high priority, though a couple scouts told me there's pretty good value at that position in rounds 3 and 4. OL, TE, S and ILB and even OLB also should be priorities in my mind.
He didn't, but I'm thinking it has to be for vets only and before the draft. I don't know that for a fact but think it's the case.
I tried to do some research on it yesterday but didn't have enough time to really, really dive in. From what I could tell there are different levels of severity/concern, because though it's rare it can cause death in young athletes. But I think it depends on the symptoms and severity, and for many it doesn't prevent them from playing. A source told me yesterday that Mississippi State discovered it when he enrolled there in '17, and its doctors cleared him to play, and he had no issues. From what I was told he needs only to get it checked once a year (I don't know what checked means, but I'm assuming a thorough testing and maybe a scan). I'm sure retirement is one risk. Another is death. Some teams simply don't want to risk the liability if something catastrophic happened.
I'm not a scout and don't pretend that my opinion on this counts for much. All I can tell you is I asked three scouts I trust that very question, and all three said Bush.
I didn't go to the Packers' practice or open locker room, so all I saw was the tweets saying he didn't practice. I couldn't find any info for why, and I suspect he wasn't in the locker room to answer those questions. So I don't know what's going on there.
It sounds like he very much believes it. He said as much at the owners meetings when asked about what he likes about big receivers. And from what I've heard he's very much been a proponent of size for years. That said, he did draft Jaire Alexander, who's a shade under the 5-10 1/2 height requirement for DBs that the Packers generally have gone by dating back to Ron Wolf. When I was trying to predict Gutekunst's first-rounder last year I dismissed Alexander as a possibility because of his height. Yet Gutekunst took him. So that left me open to thinking he might take Bush, especially because you're just not going to find an ILB who can really run who has height. If they're 6-2 and can run like that, they're almost surely going to be pass rushers.
Savage was not on the list of 25 visits our Tom Silverstein uncovered (teams get 30 total). I noticed the testing was similar to Collins too, and Savage's 4.36 40 jumped out to me. That's why I picked him over Thornhill for the Packers at 30, it's always good to have a safety who can outrun his mistakes. But that was just a guess, he's only 5-10 3/4 and maybe the Packers prefer Thornhill, who's also a ballhawk and is almost as fast (4.42 I think) and his a little taller (6-0 1/4). I'd think either of the two would appeal to the Packers, because besides the good physical testing they also appear to have football instincts and ball skills.