Thompson alters approach, drafts on need

Cynical Packers fans likely went into Thursday night expecting to not see anyone added to the team. Many probably thought GM Ted Thompson would simply trade out of the first round and draft the best player available a few picks later. Maybe we’d end up with another try-hard wide receiver or linebacker. Instead, Thompson showed signs that he feels the team might be done simply turning over the roster and ready to build for something.

Cynical Packers fans likely went into Thursday night expecting to not see anyone added to the team.  Many probably thought GM Ted Thompson would simply trade out of the first round and draft the best player available a few picks later.  Maybe we’d end up with another try-hard wide receiver or linebacker.  Instead, Thompson showed signs that he feels the team might be done simply turning over the roster and ready to build for something.  While there are little arguments that Bryan Bulaga was the best player at pick 23, he also fit a glaring need for the team.  It doesn’t matter if he isn’t ready to be an NFL left tackle this season.  He can play on the right side or at left guard, and the Packers need help in both spots.  We now have a legitimate offensive line prospect to develop for the future, but who can also help the team immediately.  In the 2nd round, Thompson addressed a position of concern with the defensive line.  Jolly and Jenkins are potentially gone after this season (and Jolly’s legal situation is an ongoing concern), so getting another big body who can play the 5-technique is a very smart move.  Neal can find his way into the rotation immediately but is under no pressure to start this season.  Finally, Thompson surprised people a bit by trading up in the 3rd round for Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett.  Burnett is a prototypical Thompson player, with more athleticism than football acumen, but he definitely addresses a need.  Hopefully he can start alongside Nick Collins and offer a bit more security in the deep secondary and against the run than the team got from Atari Bigby over the past few seasons.

While there aren’t a lot of quality corners left, I would expect that to be one of the next positions Thompson targets.  Dominique Franks could be a good pickup for that position.  Another concern might be running back, where there is no quality depth behind Ryan Grant.  Joe McKnight and Jonathan Dwyer are still on the board and either one would make a quality back.  McKnight would likely be the better fit as he’s a speedy guy who can catch passes.