You don't need to know much about football to know the defensive side of the football was the weak link in Green Bay last season.
And yet, through their first four picks and three rounds of the NFL Draft, the Packers have given their defense little immediate help outside of the obvious and justifiable selection of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round.
Yes, it's difficult to argue with the selection of wide receiver Davante Adams in the second round. Based on the Fresno State product's raw skills and college production, he has the looks of a potential No. 1 receiver in the NFL.
But by the time the third round was done Friday, the Packers added an overlooked sleeper on the defensive line and another toy for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
If general manager Ted Thompson hits on these selections, he'll once again be hailed as a football savant, but it's hard to see at this juncture how the Packers' third-round selections are going to make the Packers defense better in 2014 if they have any aspirations of going any deeper in the playoffs than they have in any of the last three seasons.
In Khyri Thornton, the Packers picked a player that's already 24 years old. As someone who was invited to both the NFL Combine and the NFLPA All-Star Collegiate Bowl, Thornton isn't a quantity that's an unknown to professional football evaluators, but he was selected far higher than probably anyone outside the Packers organization anticipated.
The view from afar is that the inside linebacker position on the Packers roster is in need of an upgrade in talent. Sure, there was a major dropoff in talent the moment Ryan Shazier and C.J. Mosley came off the board, but it's not as if there aren't going to be other inside linebackers selected between now and the end of the draft.
The Packers could have had their pick of who they feel is the best inside linebacker still available in the third round, and there's guys still available that aren't considered chopped liver between Carl Bradford, Shayne Skov, Lamin Barrow, Max Bullough and Jordan Zumwalt.
In the secondary, players like Antone Exum and Pierre Desir appear to have such high ceilings that they'd be difficult to pass up.
Maybe the Packers don't hold these players in such high regard or maybe they feel they'll still be available later on. Perhaps they feel the 2014 edition of the Packers got all the help it needed between the additions of Clinton-Dix, Julius Peppers and Letroy Guion.
Obviously they felt Thornton and tight end Richard Rodgers were too good to pass up, otherwise they wouldn't have selected them.
One line of thinking is that the Packers could have waited another round or two to grab both Thornton and Rodgers later in the draft and they'd still be there for the taking. In the meantime, they could have taken someone that could at least compete for a starting job, even if they don't win it.
With the center position still up for grabs, even taking the best interior offensive lineman would have made sense.
But Thompson and the Packers scouting department have their own way of doing things. The "best player available" philosophy is being put to the test.
Between the interviews they've conducted with Thornton and Rodgers, the workouts they've attended, the film they've assessed, the all-star game practices they've watched, the conversations they've very likely had with their college coaches and others that know them, the Packers know these players more intimately than any fan or media member could dream to know.
Let's just hope Ted Thompson gets it right, because visions of Shayne Skov in a green and gold jersey with that mohawk and eye black covering his face and making plays all over the field sure look good in the figment of my imagination.
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