The anticipation is building. There’s excitement in the air. Playoffs are going on and the NFL Draft is tomorrow! Right now, even though many other sports leagues are conducting their playoff series, the 2015 NFL Draft is dominating the conversations throughout the sports world. Questions like, “Who will go number one? Who will my favorite team pick and what will happen in the draft?” are asked every single day. Tomorrow though, all of these questions will be answered!
A few predictions that I have for the draft are that Jameis Winston will be picked number one overall, as he’s arguably the best quarterback in the draft and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need a quarterback and that Marcus Mariota will be drafted somewhere in the top 10. My dark horse prediction is that somehow, someway, Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles will trade up and draft Mariota.
While it will be very interesting to see what every team will do in the draft, especially teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans that are shrouded in trade speculation and intrigue, I’m more excited to see what the Green Bay Packers will do in the draft, as they are my favorite team. Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson has been one of finest overall general managers in the league during his tenure and where he really excels is the draft, building the team from the draft and undrafted free agency.
Thompson has a way of finding great talent during the draft and he never seems to make a decision based on emotions. He always seems to be cool, calm and collected during the draft, which has served him and the Packers well. He never seems to make desperate, risky moves in the draft and is more in favor of good, solid moves.
Sometimes, Packers fans may like it if Thompson would trade up to get more talented players, or make more exciting big moves in the draft by trading players but instead, Thompson stands pat and follows his board, to great success. Thompson rarely has traded up but when he has, he has drafted players such as Clay Matthews and Casey Hayward. When he’s stayed pat, or even traded down, he drafted players like Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Josh Sitton.
While Thompson is usually pretty successful drafting players, he and the Packers Personnel Department are also very adept at finding quality undrafted players and bringing them in. Some of the more notable undrafted free agent signings Thompson has made are cornerbacks Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and offensive lineman Don Barclay. Williams and Shields have developed into Pro Bowl players and Barclay has developed into an adequate starter and versatile backup on the offensive line.
For the draft this year, I hope Thompson does what he usually does in the draft and stands pat, or trades down. He tends to be more successful in the draft when he makes those kinds of moves. There are two players I hope Thompson and the Packers do draft, as I think they could become great players for the team.
I hope they draft Linebacker Stephone Anthony out of Clemson with their first, or second round pick. Inside linebacker is a major need for the Packers and the team needs an athletic linebacker that can cover running backs, tight ends and possibly wide receivers. Anthony excels in these areas. Cornerback Jacoby Glenn out of UCF is also a player I hope they draft in the second or third round.
Glenn is a solid tackler and is a ballhawk with fantastic hands and would be an asset to the Packers secondary. The Packers have lost a couple cornerbacks in free agency this year so by drafting Glenn, they gain a solid player with great potential. Plus, it never hurts to have more solid cornerbacks in league that is passing the ball more and more.
So, while the 2015 NFL Draft is filled with intrigue and speculation regarding where players like Winston and Mariota might be drafted and what moves teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans might make, I am more interested to see what Thompson will do in this draft and what moves he will make. I am confident that once again, Thompson and the Green Bay Packers will have a solid draft and find some great players for the team.