For just the second time in the past thirty years, the Packers chose to trade away their first round draft pick.
Green Bay found itself on the clock at #29 with a number of potential options. Instead, Ted Thompson capitalized on a relatively deep draft and decided to trade back four slots. The Packers sent their pick to the Cleveland Browns, who selected Miami tight end David Njoku.
T.J. Watt, the Wisconsin product mocked to Green Bay in many predictions, heard his name one pick later, going to Pittsburgh. While many wanted to see the Packers make a first round pick, many others predicted Green Bay would move back.
The Packers received Cleveland’s first picks in the second and fourth rounds. Those represent #33 and #108 overall. Overall, Thompson made a great move by trading back. For starters, he drafts historically well in the fourth round, adding talent like David Bakhtiari, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton, and Mike Daniels.
Additionally, Green Bay now holds the first pick on Friday and Saturday. That means they’ll have plenty of time to make sure they get the pick right. The Packers could also trade back again, as teams have expressed interest in moving back up to #33.
Finally, and most importantly, the draft looked deep at two of Green Bay’s positions of need. Both running back and cornerback have high-caliber players who could fall to later rounds. The Packers should still bolster their roster, and now have an extra pick with which to do so.
The last time Green Bay chose to trade out of the first was in 2008, when the Packers moved back to select Jordy Nelson. That pick definitely worked out, so Green Bay (and its fans) now hope for a repeat performance.
If Green Bay doesn’t trade again, the Packers will have three selections on Friday and six picks on Saturday.