It is so difficult to track down who a particular NFL front office is going to take with any one of their NFL Draft selections. However, if you nitpick enough, you can discover little tendencies here and there.
Some teams prefer to trade up in hopes of finding a franchise-type player, as the Atlanta Falcons did in 2011 when they selected Julio Jones with the sixth overall selection. Others like to trade back in an effort to find depth on their team at various positions. GM Ted Thompson prefers to do the latter, and his track record suggests that it’s possible he could trade down in May’s draft for the Green Bay Packers.
He traded back in 2006 with the 36th overall pick to get wide receiver Greg Jennings toward the end of the second round. He traded back again in 2008 with the 30th overall pick to secure Jordy Nelson six picks later. Surprisingly, Thompson was overly aggressive in the 2009 draft, trading two second-round picks and one third for Clay Matthews at No. 26.
In 2010, the GM continued being aggressive, trading a third and fourth-round pick for Morgan Burnett; likewise in 2012, when the team swapped a slew of picks with the Philadelphia Eagles to move up in the second round to select Jerel Worthy. Yet, the front office countered that move in a draft-day trade with the New England Patriots to move back and select Casey Hayward.
Finally, Thompson strategically moved back in last year’s draft to select future star running back Eddie Lacy with the 61st overall pick in a draft-day trade with the San Francisco 49ers. If the 61-year old GM has a prospect in mind at a particular position, he will certainly give up a pick to load up on picks later in the draft.
What makes the potential of trading back enticing this year lies in the fact that the pool of prospects is loaded. Sure, the top guys are obviously better in talent, but the others are not far behind, especially in the realm of what the Packers need on both sides of the ball. Don’t be surprised if Thompson takes advantage of this.