Conspiracy theorists and the guys that ran FireTedThompson.com might have a beef with the Packers general manager when West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey slipped through Green Bay's fingers, and according to the old trade-value chart, the Packers "lost" each of three trades on Friday.
In our instant analysis podcast last evening, I asked Al Bracco of AllGreenBayPackers.com if he thought the Packers were targeting Bailey with pick number No. 93 overall, a pick originally acquired through a trade backwards with the San Francisco 49ers.
"Absolutely," said Bracco, succinctly.
As we now know, Bailey came off the board exactly one pick before the Packers were set to select, at No. 92 overall to the St. Louis Rams.
Bracco isn't the only one that thought Bailey was the Packers' preference late in the third round. Cheesehead TV's own Zach Kruse mused the following via social media...
Another trade down from the Packers. With the Dolphins, this time. Maybe they wanted Bailey, lost him and decided to move down?
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) April 27, 2013
When the Packers couldn't land Bailey, they found a familiar face as a trading partner. The Miami Dolphins, led by former Packers assistant Joe Philbin as their head coach, gave the Packers their original fourth rounder (109) an extra fifth rounder (146) and seventh rounder (224).
So what did the Packers lose out on Bailey? Only the best route runner in the entire draft, according to Bracco. Bailey led the nation in receiving touchdowns last season, finding paydirt a whopping 25 times.
According to the old (some would argue antiquated) trade value chart, the Packers got the short end of the deal in their trade with Dolphins, 128 to 111.
They also lost out on both deals to the 49ers too.
When the Packers made their first deal of the night and dropped down from No. 55 overall, they got the 49ers' original second round pick (No. 61) and an extra sixth rounder (No. 173). The trade value chart says the Packers "lost" 350 to 314.2.
The 49ers entered the draft armed with the most selections in the entire NFL at 13, an embarrassment of riches for the NFC's representative in the Super Bowl.
One line of thinking is that the 49ers could afford to give up more than they actually did in their trade with the Packers.
No clue why #Packers didn't get SF's fifth-rounder in their first trade. That would have almost evened things out on trade chart.
— Packer Report (@PackerReport) April 27, 2013
Maybe the 49ers balked at giving up a fifth rounder and the Packers knew they'd get a running back they wanted anyway, if not Eddie Lacy, then Johnathan Franklin or Montee Ball.
Looking at the trade that way, the Packers got something in exchange for nothing. After all, they had only moved back six spots, which wasn't exactly a steep drop.
In their second trade with the 49ers, the Packers traded back from their spot in the third round (No. 88) and got the 49ers' third (No. 93) and an extra seventh rounder (No. 216). Again, the Packers "lost" 150 to 133.
This was the trade that could have resulted in Stedman Bailey, so perhaps the Packers lost in more ways than one.
But in defense of Thompson, maybe "Trader" Ted is smarter than some give him credit for.
According to a Harvard study released in 2011, researachers attempted to update the trade value chart and assign more more realistic and less arbitrary values to draft picks.
If you're to believe the Ivy League study, the Packers were the big winners in all the swapping they did on Friday.
In the first trade with the 49ers, the Packers "won" 185 to 140.2. In the second trade, the Packers "won" 144.2 to 105.3. And finally, the Packers fleeced the Dolphins to the tune of to 194.4 to 101.1.
It's an interesting dichotomy. If you believe the Packers wanted Stedman Bailey and lost out on the West Virginia wide receiver, you might think Ted Thompson outsmarted himself.
On the other hand, if you like the value that 10 draft choices on Day 3 represents, you might think the Packers are laughing all the way to the bank.
For a team that just signed Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews to mega-deals, they're about to get an influx of young, cheap talent.
It's going to be impossible to keep every single player out of a group set to become free agents next season: B.J. Raji, Jermichael Finley, James Jones, Morgan Burnett, Ryan Pickett, Evan Dietrich-Smith, John Kuhn and potentially Sam Shields.
Some of the players the Packers select on Saturday will end up replacing that veteran-laden group listed above.
However, if Stedman Bailey ends up being a Pro Bowler, the criticism might never stop.
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