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Packers Hoping To Avoid Big Draft Mistake

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Packers Hoping To Avoid Big Draft Mistake

With less than a week before the NFL draft, the Packers brain trust is hard at work doing last-minute research on prospects.  It's the equivalent of cramming for a big exam.  While the regular season is ultimately the final exam, the draft is a large part of what will become the team's final grade.

Teams always want to avoid the big mistake in the draft.  That's hardly a news flash.  But teams miss on players every year and that sometimes includes the Packers.  Whether it's an inability to adjust to and grasp the pro game (otherwise known as a "bust"), issues off the field, or questions about whether a player can match his college tape (see T.J. Watt), making a mistake (especially in the early rounds) can loom very large for teams both in the short and long term.

The Packers are still looking for more from first rounders Kenny Clark and Damarious Randall.  In Randall's case, they should probably already know what they have.  That they don't may linger in the minds of the personnel team and general manager Ted Thompson as they make their first few selections.  They've already lost 2013 first rounder Datone Jones and that can be labeled a miss.  They also have success stories in Nick Perry (although his took five seasons) and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to draw on as well.

Teams work tirelessly to uncover every detail on a player that they can.  They want a good return on their investment.  If it's a player with character issues, they dig into every aspect that they can from hiring a private investigator to scrubbing the player's social media accounts.  Teams also perform extensive interviews and ask questions such as "tell us everything you can do with a rock".  

When it comes to players with character issues, most teams need ownership approval to select them.  Sirius NFL Radio's Pat Kirwan recently described the process of getting that buy in.  Owners don't want any surprises or bad press stemming from a lack of information on a prospect.  To see an uncovered incident come to light or allegations of more trouble surface as soon as a player is drafted could spell the end for the GM who made the pick. 

When it all comes down to it, teams want to avoid surprises.  Recently it was discovered that top prospect Reuben Foster failed a urine test at the Combine due to a diluted sample.  That could be from his consuming too much water or from a deliberate attempt to hide something that he feared he might test positive for.  In a case like Foster's, teams may have to scramble to adjust their boards that they've painstakingly worked to put together up to this point.  Other teams may see that as an opportunity for Foster to fall to them when he was not previously expected to.  The trickle-down effect can travel amongst a few or many teams.

In the case of the Packers and with their unique organizational structure, it's hard to know exactly what the expectations are of team president Mark Murphy down to Thompson.  The Packers seem to avoid drafting players with many known issues, although that has not stopped the team from bringing them in for meetings and further examination.  The last thing the team wants is a situation where they have to do damage control (see Makinton Dorleant).  

While many of us are filling with anticipation over the upcoming draft, there are hundreds of men and women giving the blood, sweat and tears to try and ensure that it turns out to be everything they (and we) hope for.  

To us it's just a game.  To them, it's "hit or bust"

-- Jason is a freelance writer and has been on staff since 2012.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Point Packer's picture


snowdog's picture


Tarynfor12's picture

Taking 5 seasons to be considered a success is ridiculous much less still having severe questions hovering is absurd.

dobber's picture

And the winner for best title in a Packer blog goes to...

The TKstinator's picture

Nailed it.

al bundy's picture

TED pick a corner with size and speed, a real novel idea you dipstick moron

stockholder's picture

I see TJ watt. Still think they should draft him. While the scouting staff likes west coast players. Maybe they should have stayed in the big ten.

Nick Perry's picture

I like Watt too but something tells me if he were there TT would draft someone else. Ted is "Old School" so I could see him being hung-up on Watt's experience playing the position and taking someone else for that reason. If McKinley is there I think that's TT guy.

dobber's picture

Didn't stop him from taking Rollins... ;)

Nick Perry's picture

As usual great point! You've now given me more hope TJ Watt will be a Green Bay Packer!!

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

Its possible he is there at 29 but man this draft is loaded from what I see. Hey we could do a lot worse at 29 and have in the past.

Nick Perry's picture

Agreed....I'm really optimistic the Packers can draft at least 2 players in this draft that can help the defense THIS season. This draft is deep enough at CB, Edge, and DL where the Packers can go BPA and improve no matter which position is drafted. You also have to be optimistic that one or all (Clark, Frackrell, Martinez, or Lowry) takes a big jump from last season. I think all 4 progress with Clark and Frackrell taking the biggest jumps.

stockholder's picture

More than likely two. If TT listens to his scouts on the west Coast, the TJ Watt pick may not happen. And I think thats where TT is passing the BUCK. (Especially since they hired the scout from San Francisco) I do not think TT goes back to UCLA. ( T. McKinley pick ) The packers did not go back to Florida, for years, after the Carrecker pick. And I think D. Jones was a mistake to give up on. We've Had a lot of DEs picked in GB. (KGB, Kampman, G.Wilkins.) So why did they fail with D.Jones. When Raji moved to DE, it was a failure. (He was better at NT.) And they can fail again and again. The fans picked Ha Ha more than any player according to the polls. TT needs to listen to the fans again, and pick TJ Watt. We pay the money. And I believe the worst thing the Packers staff could do, is over think the pick.

dobber's picture

" The fans picked Ha Ha more than any player according to the polls. TT needs to listen to the fans again, and pick TJ Watt. We pay the money. "

In all honesty, if you think TT picked HHCD because the fans picked HHCD, you're kidding yourself. I don't want a GM who listens to the fans. What do we know about talent evaluation, roster building, and cap management? We don't have a tendency to play the long game...we live in the "right now". I want the GM to be accountable to the Packers organization and only the organization.

stockholder's picture

Honestly your correct on a Gm being accountable to the organization. But not passing the Buck as I stated. So why didn't TT fire his scouts on the draft picks that didn't make it. And How many times have you seen a draft on espn, and watch a team change their direction. All to select someone dropping, as opposed to their need. Football drafts are still a PR game, and they all suck up to the audience. Let me remind you that it's still about the money.

vj_ostrowski's picture

TT doesn't fire his scouts for a pick like Datone Jones, because every GM misses on picks - yes, even Belichick. Even in the 1st round.

C'mon man. The Packer fan stockholder mentality is something I'm so tired of. Accountability to the stockholder apparently means someone gets fired every year. It's a bad way to run an organization that has been pretty successful for a couple decades.

And TJ Watt is no sure thing either.

stockholder's picture

Are you TTs son. ? Holy COW! You know I'm not a TT fan. But I'm making you question TTs ways. And thats good. I want better is all. I've seen to many picks that are not going to be all-pros. And the history of the packers is winning. Not mediocrity. Yes TT can gloat because of MM and A-rod. No one is better in the division. If you love him . Ok. I just want a player that I can wear his jersey and be proud of. Someone that can stay in the line-up. And play better than a FA.

stockholder's picture

UMMMMM- You Wrote=
April 19, 2017 at 11:33 pm
Now, granted I'm just some internet dumbass, but: Congrats, Cody - you found what must be one of the only configurations of the 1st round where I'd be happy to get TJ Watt. And I mean that sincerely.

It reminds me of the year we drafted Ha Ha. The board otherwise fell so shitty for us that he was really the ONLY pick that made any sense in that spot. Luckily he filled a dire need and most Packer fans wanted him too. It seemed like destiny. Last year, it felt like everyone I wanted, including Clark, were all still there at our pick.

I'm pretty nervous that this is a year where we're left picking at one guy left on the tier and if it's Watt, then so be it. I'll certainly be cheering him on.

dobber's picture

Is the draft a PR game? Sure. We're going to see that with Mixon this week. Sometimes you hear analysts assert that GMs make picks for "immediate impact" and bypass long-term potential in an attempt to save their jobs. But if you're implying that TT sucks up to his audience, then he's doing a gosh-awful job of it.

Why doesn't TT fire his scouts when a pick fails? Because the scouts don't make the picks. They bring a variety of info to the war room and the buck stops with TT. He makes the picks. I'm sure that many here would love it if TT canned himself when a pick fails, though... ;)

Draft flow changes over and over with teams making a left turn to scarf up a falling talent, but I doubt teams change their draft strategy by having facebook polls asking fans who they should take with their next pick.

stockholder's picture

Buck stops with TT. Yes you and Dan are correct. But you both must have missed My other posts. And TT comments about the draft over the years. He stated that if a coach, or scout, thought they really wanted a player. He would do all he could to get that player! And that is the part I'm referring too. That if that player fails. Either TT is to blame, or the guy that wanted that player. TT will say it's his pick. (I'm referring to some very bad choices that keeps this team short of the super-bowl. ) If All you care about is winning your Division. TT should be the greatest Gm of all time. And were seeing it's not the coaching that is taking any blame.

Bob Wysocki's picture


The TKstinator's picture

Just hush.

LayingTheLawe's picture

Which team is the one that's hoping to MAKE that big draft mistake?

vj_ostrowski's picture



dobber's picture

From a recent post at

"An NFL personnel man and a scout believe the Packers‘ No. 29 pick will be coveted among teams antsy to snag one a quarterback. “I think there’s going to be some action there at the end of the first round,” the scout said, via Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “With these quarterbacks, they need a five-year contract because they’re not ready. I think there will be a lot of movement coming up [into the first round]. With the depth of this draft at defensive end and safety and corner and tight end, I would be looking to trade down.” The personnel man added that the quarterbacks are going to “drive this draft.” With players like Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes expected to go before the Packers pick at 29, it’s conceivable talents like Davis Webb or DeShone Kizer could be coveted at the end of the round."

vj_ostrowski's picture

If a team is dumb enough to spend the capital to trade into the 1st round and then spend said 1st on Davis freakin Webb, then I'd love to be the team to fleece them. Hell, I'd even let a division rival trade with me if that were the case.

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