Packers general manager Ted Thompson covets his draft picks like nothing else. He often trades down, gets the player he’s targeting and adds late-round picks in the process.
And at first glance, this draft appears tailor-made for Thompson.
The Packers hold the 26th overall pick in this year’s draft, and the team will certainly have plenty of options at that point. Perhaps Thompson would consider moving up if a player falls to a certain point in the draft, but in my opinion, moving down is a much more likely scenario.
There are a few scenarios in which I think the Packers would be wise to stay at No. 26 and make their pick. In the unlikely event that Kenny Vaccaro or Jonathan Cyprien fall to the Packers, either player would be a great pick. If Datone Jones is available at 26, he would also be an option.
But this year’s draft lacks star power at the top, and rounds two and three figure to be loaded with NFL-ready talent, especially at some of the Packers’ positions of need. Let’s take a look at five potential targets if the Packers trade out of their first-round pick.
#1) DE Margus Hunt – Southern Methodist
The Packers have a handful of guys on the defensive line that are effective in one specific area. Mike Neal is a solid pass rusher in the nickel, C.J. Wilson and Ryan Pickett are stout against the run, while B.J. Raji is probably the Packers’ best all-around defensive lineman.
But between Neal, Wilson, Raji, Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels, the Packers lack a prototypical body type for a 3-4 defensive end. Margus Hunt would fill that void.
Hunt (6-8 277) has a monstrous frame to which he could afford to add 15-20 pounds and keep his explosiveness. He blew people away at the NFL Scouting Combine in February by clocking a 4.53 in the forty-yard dash and putting up 38 reps on the 225-pound bench press.
It’s definitely possible that the Packers would consider drafting Hunt at No. 26, but he’d be a much better value with one of the last picks of round one or one of the first few picks of round two.