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The Biggest Need?

The Biggest Need?


I hate to theorize on anything if I can avoid it. But, with all the 'let's find a hole in the draft and complain about it' homers roaming around, I think the educated Packer fan has overlooked perhaps the biggest need of all...






...center.


Let's explore this a little bit and see if we can get into the mind of Ted Thompson a little bit as he looked down his to do list. For starters, I am pretty sure the Ted Thompson most likely thinks Daryn Colledge is a douche. He publicly chastised his tender (something Ted does not like) and also criticized the organization and coaching staff. I guarantee that Ted would like nothing more than to let Colledge sit on his rear, at home, for the rest of the season. Or at least he did, until his draft plan fell apart.


I was on the phone with Brian Carriveau during the first round of the draft. After sitting through hours of special teams talk (heh), finally pick 13 and 14 started to roll around. Now, we all know the Packers made a push to try and move up at that point, but the big question was always why? My answer all along: Ted really wanted Maurkice Pouncey a guy he had been enamored with all along.


It really all makes sense now, especially why Ted seemed so unenthused about landing Bulaga. Thompson also knew he had just lost all leverage with Colledge. Think about it, without Colledge in the picture, what happens if Wells goes down?


The way I see it the Packers line looks like the following right now:


LT - Clifton

LG - Spitz

C - Wells

RG - Sitton

RT - Tauchser


If Wells goes down, Spitz moves over, and either T.J. Lang or someone unknown fills in at guard. Now if something were to happen to Spitz, or his back isn't right, you really have no center outside of Dietrich-Smith. Now, I know Nagler thinks Smith is going to be a player, but that's not the scenario I want to see happening during the most important half-a-second in football.


By moving up and snagging Pouncey, Ted would have not needed Colledge, had a guy who played both center and guard at a high level, and ultimately a long-term replacement for Wells who isn't getting any younger. It also would explain how Neal was so high on their board, since they no longer needed one of the remaining 5-6 tackles. So, even though the Packers had the tackle they needed for the future, Thompson knew he must now either negotiate with Colledge, or a sign a center. Two things I imagine ol' Ted really doesn't want to do.


I think the Bulaga pick was bittersweet for Ted Thompson, and I too am happy we got him. However, if you start to factor in injury posibilites down the road, the situation at center is perhaps the scariest one of all.


Anyone seen Duke Preston?





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Comments (39)

Aaron's picture

I agree that Pouncey was a possible target but I don't think Thompson was/is 'unenthused' by the Bulaga pick. He always has the same demeanor no matter who he picks. Heck, I'm pretty sure if you put on his press conference after he picked Aaron Rodgers and after he picked Bulaga, other than the details, they'd pretty much be the same press conference...

Jim Rarick's picture

What about Newhouse? With him backing up Spitz in the event of injury to wells or Spitz, Colledge is still expendable. Nevertheless, I am not so sure that Thompson really wants to give Colledge up. He really can be a dependable backup even though he has been a tool.

crichar3's picture

I recall reading that GB is high on Dietrich-Smith (I think it might have been Wilde that noted it). So it might not be just Nagler who see possibilities in The Hyphen.

PackersRS's picture

Newhouse, Evan dietrich-Smith.

I don't think C is a problem at all. I don't think we have problems in our OL anymore, actually...

Our biggest problem, quite frankly, is the OLB depth...

Stan's picture

yeah a lot will depend on how Newhouse performs. I think they're projecting him at LG so we'll see.

Mr. Bacon's picture

If we find a Center, he must be able to answer 40 questions on a thyroid issue, before he can answer anything football related.

PackersRS's picture

AND about short arms.

Money quote: "I've never been in a situation where I though, man, I wish I had bigger arms..."

FITZCORE1252's picture

Don't agree with you on that one Alex.

I think that is actually a position of considerable depth on our squad in relation to a couple others (OLB, S). Wells, Spitz, EDS, Newhouse?

Interior lineman don't often go highly in the 1st, and there's no way I can see Ted inquiring about moving up, to take a Center, given all it would cost. I'm thinkin' they were inquiring about Brandon Graham, then Philly swooped in a crushed that idea. That's my theory.

GBP 4 LIFE

Max's picture

I think it's quite possible Ted wanted Pouncey, but as long as we're speculating, I think Ted really wanted to trade up and get Earl Thomas.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Thomas most def could've been the guy.

packerslounge's picture

I'm telling ya, it was Pouncey. Seriously, I hope I don't have to come back to this post.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Haha, fight the good fight Alex

Bryce's picture

Interesting insight.

jsutlookin's picture

Should we try and get Frankie bag o donuts back?

Jason's picture

Just to sum up, we should have traded up in the first round to pick a center because of the possibility that our starting center gets injured, our back up center gets injured, and our third string center might not be that good.

Seriously?

You can use that argument for every position on every team.
Trading up for a Quarterback would've made more sense, we don't even have a 3rd string QB

FITZCORE1252's picture

True. Smart Assy, but true. LOL

packerslounge's picture

Be better if he had read what I said though.

Jason's picture

No, I did read what you said. First of all, in the article, you never talked up Pouncey, or referred to him as a "phenomenal center and guard," or discussed what only he could bring to the Packers and how better they would be with him.
Secondly, your reasoning for center being the biggest need is just based on one big hypothetical scenario made up of four smaller hypothetical scenarios as follows:
Darren Colledge is not a Packer next year
Scott Wells gets injured
Jason Spitz gets injured
Evan Dietrich-Smith is no good

Your argument that "if you start to factor in injury posibilites [sic] down the road, the situation at center is perhaps the scariest one of all" is just based on coincidence, and coincidence affects all teams and all games all the time.

I'm not scared by the situation at center and the possibility of two injuries, especially when just one injury could destroy the OLB, QB, S, CB, TE, or RB positions.

packerslounge's picture

Seriously? This wasn't an article about how great Pouncey is. It's about Ted trying to trade up to get him and why. As soon as someone throws out that we are one injury away at OLB I quit arguing anyway. Now that is misinformed.

It is no stretch that Thompson was targeting Pouncey, a dual role player. His insurance value alone is greater than Bulaga. Not to mention, it was well known that Thompson had big eyes for Maurkice.

Jason's picture

I have a feeling you didn't account for the draft picks that would've been given up to trade up, namely their first, second, and at least fourth or fifth picks. The math does not work out for trading three picks for a dual role player, but also would've prevented us from getting "insurance" at multiple other positions. A third round or later LT is not ready to play this year, and would leave nobody behind Clifton again. Bigby is often injured and Jolly might be suspended, and we would've been left with nothing but low draft picks for "insurance" at other positions. Therefore, Pouncey's net insurance value has a negative effect on the team, because it takes insurance away from other positions, whereas Bulaga's net insurance value is higher because we didn't have to mortgage depth on defense, since he fell to us. Thompson obviously went for depth this year and you don't get that by trading picks away.

I still don't see any reason from you for taking Pouncey other than that our centers might get injured. If you read the article, Alex, you will see that that is the only reason you give. First two paragraphs are introductions, third is hypothesis, everything else discusses injury possibilities. He's "phenomenal," you later say, just like almost every other top 20 pick.

As far as OLB, one of the reasons you give for trading up in the first round is "insurance value," but you're ok with our insurance at another position being nothing but undrafted rookies? Expecting Obi or any of those other guys to step up this year is no crazier than expecting Evan Dietrich-Smith to step up this year.
Great excuse, though. I totally believe that the only reason you want to stop arguing is over some off topic issue.

packerslounge's picture

Thirteen linebackers. Nine of them outside, for two positions. Eleven corners.

Who says a third rounder cannot play this year. Brad Jones would totally disagree. You take Pouncey because you are pretty sure the Colledge is not going to be around, moving Spitz and leaving you with only DS to sub at center. Since by your theory Newhouse won't be able to ever start this year being such a low pick, that leaves us in a world of hurt with ONE injury.

Ted has said, before signing any UFA's the OLB was fine. When you are Ted I'll take your assessment more seriously.

Jason's picture

I grow tired of this.
I tried logic, albeit snarky, and that didn't work.
I tried to open your eyes beyond just Colledge and Wells, and that didn't work.
You want hypothetical scenarios? Fine!
We drafted Bulaga and...
1. We keep Colledge. Oh no, a former starter at LG being our back up at LG, but he's a jerk. Fact of the matter is that it is Thompson's job to put the best team on the field, and trading away draft picks, for someone who only builds through the draft, just for an "excuse" to get rid of a player he doesn't like is selfish and unacceptable. And depth for the interior can easily be found later in the draft, which is why so few interior lineman go in the first round. Move Spitz over to center, Colledge at left guard
2. Colledge is gone, Wells doesn't get injured, it's possible. Three picks was a rip off for a player who doesn't even have to start.
3. Colledge gone, Wells injured, your favorite. McCarthy says Lang is a natural LG, so move Spitz and plug in Lang, or Bulaga, or even Newhouse. I didn't say 3rd round or later players can't start, I said 3rd round+ LTs can't start at LT(be better if you had read what I said though). If you think Newhouse can play LG, then I guess we didn't need Pouncey anyway.
4. Colledge gone, Clifton injured. Your whole argument hinges on an offensive lineman getting injured, and you don't even assume the most injury prone lineman, Clifton. Pouncey doesn't address that need, and I'm not confident in Lang (his coaches don't even think he's a LT) or the best LT available at pick 86, or maybe later. Bulaga at LG is a lot less scary than any other LT possibilities.

There you go, scenarios. Hypothetical scenarios showing that center isn't the biggest need or the scariest position on the team. Also, it seems like you missed it the first time, so please look at my previous post, and scenario 1 in this post, to see the negative effects of trading up, which you failed to answer.
Again, let's not forget about DE and S; if we traded up for Pouncey, this post would probably be about one of those positions, or LT, being our biggest need, and I wouldn't argue.

Now, for those 9 OLBs. Here's a number, 7. Well, 7.3ish if you include Obiozor. That is the combined NFL experience, in years, of those 9 OLBs. 5 of those belong to Poppinga, who couldn't beat out a rookie seventh round draft pick for playing time, 1 for Matthews and 1 for Jones. After them, nothing but undrafted rookie free agents, that you're not worried about, because Ted Thompson says it's not "dire."

The following will be my final comment on this post:
It is a quote from a Green Bay Press Gazette article from April 16th titled "Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson confident in offensive line" by Rob Demovsky. Actually the title is enough, but I'll keep going, '“I think I feel better (about the line) than you guys do,” Thompson told reporters during his annual predraft news conference." It continues, '“I have a lot of confidence in our guys,” Thompson said."
"Confidence," to me, sounds much better than "not dire."
So, here is Ted's assessment, to be taken seriously, by you. You use his not "dire" quote for OLB so something has to give. If you're right about OLB, you're wrong about Pouncey, because a confident man wouldn't blow 3 or more picks on a center, or vice versa. Bulaga was a pick for the future (you said it yourself in your article), not this season, so don't try to turn his first round pick around.
I think I covered everything, so that's it, nothing else to be said.
I bid you farewell, and thank you for making my first comment section argument a victorious one.

packerslounge's picture

Believe what you must. Your whole argument really hinges on an assumption that we would would have lost multiple picks trading up.

packerslounge's picture

I'd also like to know in your expert opinion who Ted was trying to move into the 16 spot for? It's well known he was trying.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Alex, unless Teddy ballgame was able to orchestrate one-helluva deal, we would have lost multiple draft picks, that's just a fact (unless he were to throw in a signed player instead).

I can't think of one instance where a team moved up 7 spots in the 1st without giving up their 1st along with a later pick (or two)... can you?

And I must have missed something, I know there were probing conversations about moving up, which many teams do and usually that's as far as it goes (due-diligence), but I didn't read anywhere that Ted was actively pursuing it. Not being a smart ass, but, do you have a link? I'd like to read it.

GBP 4 LIFE

packerslounge's picture

It was said several times at pick 15 during the draft. I was watching the stream on NFL.com with Carriveau. Titans.

packerslounge's picture

It's also worth re-reading the live blog 8:18 forward is prime time. Rich Eisen even announced it, so did Nagler from Radio City. The rest of it is worth reading too.

http://packerslounge.com/green-bay-packers-news/packers-nfl-draft-2010/

packerslounge's picture

In addition, the value on the chart to swap picks at that position is a 3rd rounder. There is no multiple in that.

I'll take what Nagler says in the first comment, first sentence, along with what I heard on draft day.

FITZCORE1252's picture

What chart are you looking at?

Because the one I see -

http://walterfootball.com/draftchart.php -

puts the 15th pick @ 1050
our #23 @ 760

for a deficit of 290

"OUR" 3rd is valued @ 155

leaving a deficit of 135

our 4th is valued @ 54

leaving a deficit of 81... and so on. And don't forget, teams wont trade unless they "come out ahead", so in most cases in order to move up, you're gonna give up more than what the chart says is an even trade.

The only way we could've moved up (using exclusively this years draft) without using multiple picks was to give up our 1st and 2nd for a combined value of 1100. Which is probably about what kind of value any team would need to see to trade down. +50 that is.

GBP 4 LIFE

FITZCORE1252's picture

I see a lot of people talking about it, nothing more. All it takes is one person to get some bad intel in a setting like that and all the sudden it spreads like wildfire. I didn't see anything written by a credible source post-draft that corroborates any of that.

packerslounge's picture

Dude, Rich Eisen is good enough for me.

FITZCORE1252's picture

But he's just being fed info on the fly in a situation like that. They're pumping it into his headpiece. It just seems to me that if it was that well known and there was much truth to it, somebody like Bedard or Vanderdouche would have written something after the fact, I guess not though.

I'm done :-)

packerslounge's picture

No we wanted to trade up to grab a phenomenal center and guard. I'm telling you, that's who Ted wanted, and it makes perfect sense.

Greg C.'s picture

I don't think center is that great a need, but it is fun to consider the fan reaction had Ted traded up in the first round and then grabbed a center. That would've been a lot of fun to watch--for Bears and Vikings fans, that is.

Wells has proven himself to be a decent center in the NFL and is only halfway through his career, Spitz is on the same level as Wells, and Dietrich-Smith may be an up-and-comer. And who did we have at left tackle, the most important position on the O-line, before the draft? A balky-kneed Chad Clifton, backed up by good ol' Darryn Colledge and an out-of-position T.J. Lang. So I think you could make just as good a case that if Ted's first round draft strategy was driven by his desire to replace Colledge (which I don't think it was), Bulaga was a better pick than Pouncey would've been.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Haha, I couldn't resist. Not that his view means jack-squat, I was just curious to get his take on the matter.

5:07 -

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20100503/PKR01/305030117/105...

GBP 4 LIFE

packerslounge's picture

Money Line:

"Ted Thompson has said the Packers don't have the "dire" need at outside linebacker that everyone seems to think. And that was before they brought in not one, not two, but three OLB free agents. That tells me Thompson likes the job Brad Jones did, and he added depth through undrafted free agents."

packerslounge's picture

Good question Fitz. What he fails to say is that if Colledge doesn't sign, Spitz will probably play guard. You can argue that Big Brian will move to that spot, but the dude is a rookie that hasn't played guard.

PackersRS's picture

Spitz will be the starting LG.

EDS will be the backup C. And a damn good one.

If Colledge doesn't sign, Newhouse will be the backup RG and LG

FITZCORE1252's picture

OT -

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Cushing-suspended-for-violating-NFL-...

I know there were rumbles about this when he was @ USC. Remember how Clay weighed 78 lbs(slight exaggeration) his Senior year of HS, and 4 years later was a 245 lb STUD? And couldn't get on the field 'till his Senior year @ SC when he literally "BURST" onto the seen?

I know the 2 of them were tight, and the way CM3 seemed to turn 'BEASTLY' in such a short amount of time raised eyebrows, but this is America, and until somebody says they have a positive test result for him... he did it in the weight-room, the right way(fingers crossed).

GBP 4 LIFE

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