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Demand For Quarterbacks Could See Packers Trade Down

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Demand For Quarterbacks Could See Packers Trade Down

Cheesehead TV reader BubbaOne was ahead of the curve.

Over a month ago, he sent me an email, of which this is an excerpt:

If the Bills, Cincy, AZ, Titans, Queens, and Redskins don’t address their QB needs in the 1st round some or all could be looking at Christian Ponder, who is currently slotted early second round, as their franchise QB. This could put the Packers in a great position.

The idea has been gaining steam across the NFL. Any number of teams that don't draft a quarterback in the first round pick could be seeking to trade up late in the first round or risk addressing the most important position in all of football.

Dan Pompei of the National Football Post wrote in a recent column:

Seven teams are desperate for a quarterback. They are the Bengals, Cardinals, Forty Niners, Panthers, Redskins, Titans and Vikings. Seven other teams could be in the market. They are the Bills, Broncos, Browns, Dolphins, Jaguars, Raiders and Seahawks. There may be others too.

If this was a normal year, some of those teams would already have acquired a veteran quarterback and scratched off quarterback from their draft day wish lists. But since the draft is expected to precede free agency, the quarterback vacuum on draft day could be more powerful than ever.

Based upon where you get your information reports will vary wildly, but two quarterbacks seem to be good bets of coming off the board early in round one––Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and Auburn's Cam Newton.

Beyond those two, Ponder, Washington's Jake Locker, TCU's Andy Dalton, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick are all good bets to be drafted in the second and third rounds.

If any of those aforementioned teams by Pompei don't draft either Newton or Gabbert early in round one and they become enamored with, say, Dalton, there's a punter's chance they'll be looking to trade up either in the late first round or early second round.

If not, the quarterback they want may be gone by the time their next selection comes around.

And that could suit the Packers very well. As Super Bowl champions and a team with as much depth as any in the NFL, they're in a good position to trade down and add another second or third round draft pick as compensation.

As Packers fans know, general manager Ted Thompson has a history of trading down a dozen times in his career running drafts for both the Packers and the Seahawks, including in 2008 when he sent his first-round draft choice to the New York Jets and later scooped up wide receiver Jordy Nelson in the second round.

There's certainly no guarantee the Packers are going to trade down, but it's a development worth watching in a year where free agency has been delayed by an NFL lockout.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (31) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Wiscokid's picture

Pick #32 is essentially the first pick in the second round anyway. If they could could parlay that into multiple picks, why not. Unless, of course, somebody that they think might be a guy they have rated as a mid first round talent is still on the board.

Trust in Ted.

ZaphodBeeblebrox's picture

Depends on how far they'd have to move down. If it's 3-4 spots and they pick up a third round pick, do it (and no, I didn't look at any draft pick value charts). Move down 20 spots? Eh...

Jeff's picture

I hope they trade their 1st rounder for someone's 2012 1st.

redlights's picture

Not a bad idea, though I'm thinking more of their first for somebodies 2nd and 4th (no draft chart here, either).

PackersRS's picture

The only thing against this is, as Peter King pointed out, there's a full day between the 32 and 33 pick. They will have more time to think about trading for the 33 than for the 32.

But, of course, that could also lead to some team trying to outsmart everybody and jump to the 32 to pick even earlier.

Nerdmann's picture

Definitely. If a team wants a player who is still on the board, they should nab him, because the entire league is gonna have all night to strategize before the draft starts up again the next day.
Turns out it's not such a bad position for the Packers to be in after all, imo.

ZeroTolerance's picture

We don't need to be stocking extra picks. If anything - move UP!

PackersRS's picture

I very much agree with this.
We have 70+ players on our roster already. Quality players, that is. What are the chances that 9 players selected at the bottom of their rounds make the 53 man?
Better to pick few but surer players IMHO.

Think about it. Any OLB drafted has to compete with Zombo, Walden, Poppinga and Jones for what seems to be 2-3 spots. At ILB, with Barnett, Chillar, François and Wilhelm for 2 spots. At CB, with Pat Lee, Jarrett Bush, Brandon Underwood, Josh Bell and Josh Gordy for 3 spots max.

Can you find guys at the bottom of the 6th or 7th better than Chillar or Pat Lee? You can, but chances aren't that great.

ZeroTolerance's picture

I look at it like we have no first round pick, and then we have picks at the very top of rounds 2-7.

sammer's picture

There's a good chance that the new CBA will expand the active roster beyond 53...

BubbaOne's picture

I disagree...More players than you think will be gone. MM hinted Chillar (3 shoulder surgeries) may be one, Barnett possibly. Briggs, Wilhelm, EDS, and Wynn were cut before or were mid season street pickups. And what if we have another Lang or Bigby surgery scenario. And what about the likelihood of increased injuries during camp/preseason that some are suggesting b/c of the effects of the lockout.

You're always looking to improve the bottom half of the roster. Plus, you can find diamonds in the later rounds: Sitton 4th, Kampman 5th, Bishop 6th, Tauscher and Driver 7th. TT's more-bites-at-the-apple strategy has worked so far. Why give it up.
That's also why TT may take a chance on Ponder/Dalton. He knows he has 8 more picks to address needs. And if Ponder/Dalton look like the real deal he could then trade Flynn for a high pick next year or a quality player now.

PackersRS's picture

I thought about that, more picks means more chances of a player panning out.

But, ultimately, the later the rounds, lesser the chance of finding a great player.

jeremy's picture

Maybe a good mix of the two philosophies it to trade up early and trade back late. There is only so much elite talent at the top. At the back end the difference in talent is small and it's a guessing game.

PackersRS's picture

Very good point.

I don't think TT will be set with any philosophy, though.

If he sees a guy he really covets falling to the early to mid 20's, or if he sees a top 3 prospect falling to a range where he can trade up, I believe he'll do it.

Likewise, if at 32 there's noone he covets available, or if he receives a proposal too good to pass on, he'll trade down.

Anyway, expect at least 1 trade in this draft. IIRC, he has done it every single year so far.

redlights's picture

Typically, the best value comes in the 2nd round. I'm basically saying that I think there's a high probability that we will have trade offers for our pick, which we can use to target other players that slip later.

Interesting about targeting next year's FA (Flynn). I've thought about that, but would see a much better probability of drafting QB in rounds 2-4. More teams are going to overvalue QB's, want the 32 pick, then a raw talent will be available for TT. I think Flynn get's traded (after CBA mess) only for a first round pick; TT didn't trade Kampman, either; play him (Flynn) and get the comp pick the year after, meanwhile have the security of a solid backup QB. That will make a repeat possible.

aussiepacker's picture

Do you think if J.J Watt is still around at pick 20-25 TT might trade up to get him? or is that just to much of a longshot.

BubbaOne's picture

If he happened to fall to 26, the cost would be our 1st (32) and 2nd (64) to the Ravens for their 1st (26) and 3rd (90).

An interesting discussion may be who Is worth the cost if they fell to 26?

BubbaOne's picture

Brian, thanks for the acknowledgement.

W/ Dalton and other QB's now in the mix heightens the likelihood this scenario plays out.

Here's a curveball to my earlier email and I can thank A-NAG (sorry Aaron couldn't resist), who said if you want to get an idea of what TT will do look at who will become FA's next year. So w/ Flynn becoming a FA, AR having 2 concussions this year, and TT taking BPA, I would not be shocked if he took a QB at 32.

PackersRS's picture

I would be shocked and angry, quite frankly.
Our roster is stacked as it is. If you add all the injuried players to it, we have somewhere around 70 players.

The probabilities of 3 QBs making the roster are extremely slim.

If Flynn gets traded before the draft, I could see TT getting a guy in the 2nd our 3rd round.

But 99% out of possibility (with TT you can't say 100%) that he gets a QB in the 1st round.

And there's also the very distinct possibility that no QB will be the BPA in that round, which makes it even less possible.

aussiepacker's picture

Man i would be pissed if he took QB at 32. Look at flynn, a good backup and he was a 7th round pick. Much more important needs than QB to be looked at in the first.

Cole's picture

You don't draft someone in the first to be a backup. It would be a stupid pick. You don't draft a QB that high hoping that you can trade them later for a first. It makes no sense.

packeraaron's picture

"You don’t draft someone in the first to be a backup" Like Aaron Rodgers?

PackersRS's picture

Rodgers was drafter to be the heir to a 36 year old Brett Favre.

This probably wouldn't be the case with Rodgers and a possible drafted QB.

Rodgers is 27. Let's give him an average retiring age, 35. That's 8 years.

It's a little odd to draft his replacement 8 years before he retires... Well, one can never be too precautios, right? And the guy would be a master of the system by then...

cole's picture

Yes, RS, that was my point. You draft the backup if you know he will become a starter within a few years, not if you have Aaron Rodgers entering his prime.

packeraaron's picture

"I would not be shocked if he took a QB at 32" - I wouldn't be shocked. Mildly surprised, but not shocked.

BubbaOne's picture

Aaron, didn't you write that you would only be surprised if TT drafted a punter in the 1st round...or did I mis-remember?

packeraaron's picture

That sounds about right...

WoodyG's picture

Interesting discussion on what to do with #32 ...... Trade up or trade down & add a pick or two .....

Consider this ..... The 2010 AP NFL All-Pro team consisted of 31 positional players on the 'O' & 'D' ...... 19 of the 31 were 1st round picks .....

If TT is looking to add an impact player in 2011, odds are it will have to happen in round 1 ...... If TT moves up in round 1, he's almost has to be drafting an immediate starter ( Watkins at G or Ayers or Houston at OLB) ..... I'd trade-up at least a few spots (if need be) for any one of those 3 .......

PackersRS's picture

Hmn. I don't think Watkins will be a 1st rounder, not at 26 years old... And I don't like the other two prospects (I actually like Ayers, but only if he falls to us.)

I agree with the premise, though. Here's my personal list of players to move up for:

OLB Von Miller: any circumstance we can get this kid, baring trading the whole draft or multitude of future picks. Specially if he falls out of the top 5 somehow.
CB Peterson: if he falls out of the top 10
DE JJ Watt: If he falls out of the top 15 (though I'm pratically in love with him, wouldn't mind us picking him 1st overal)
OT Tyron Smith: If he falls out of the top 15
DE Cam Jordan: If he falls out of the top 20
OL Mike Pouncey: If he falls out of the top 20
OT Nate Solder: not a starter, but one hell of a project. If he falls to the late 20's.

WoodyG's picture

TT would have to be bold & willing to give up picks to move high enough for Miller, Peterson, etc. ...... If there was ever a time, it's this year's draft.

PackersRS's picture

He sure had the "cojones" to trade a load of picks for CM3. And to send Favre packing.

I don't know if we have the ammo to do it, though. It would take quite a bounty. Specially with the innability to trade any current players (Flynn, Barnett).

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