An interesting discussion about the Packers draft and develop philosophy broke out in the comments section of this post the other day.
The basic question that came out of the discussion was this: What does draft and develop mean to you?
Draft and develop might mean different things to different people. The various meanings appear to include:
- Having players on the roster who can immediately and adequately fill in when a starter is injured.
- When an upper-echelon player leaves the team (for whatever reason), there’s another player on the roster than can immediately play at a similar level of the departed star.
- Accumulating as much young talent as possible.
There is no right answer to the question, but if I had to select one of the above, I’d select the third option. However, that answer is a little broad. There isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t want to accumulate as much young talent as possible. That franchise goal isn’t unique to the Packers.
Perhaps I need to add a fourth option: Accumulating as much young talent as possible and having the patience to stick with that philosophy and actually make it work.
Draft and develop has paid off for the Packers because they didn’t ditch it at the first sign of trouble. It’s also worked because the front office appears to be on the same page as the coaching staff, which is a lot more rare than we think. (It’s also worked because the Packers have Aaron Rodgers.)