While this decision isn’t always a fan favorite, trading out of the first round this year could make a lot of sense for the Green Bay Packers.
Trading back in the draft, especially out of the first round, is a concept that can irk many football fans. And for fans of the Green Bay Packers, most remember all to well that they had the opportunity to select T.J. Watt back in 2017, but instead chose to drop out of the first round and eventually ended up with Kevin King.
While to this day many still wonder “what if” when it comes to Watt and King, as we look ahead to this year’s upcoming draft where they have the 30th overall selection, once again trading out of the first round is a real possibility for Green Bay.
Of course, whether or not that happens is largely dependent on what happens in free agency. For example, we have seen many mock drafts having the Packers select an inside linebacker at pick 30. However, if in free agency they land Cory Littleton at $13 million a year, obviously the chances of them selecting an inside linebacker in the first round greatly decreases. And this is something that needs to be kept in mind as we all look at mock drafts prior to the free agency period.
So as we continue to look ahead to April’s draft, there are a few scenarios that could very well take place and result in the Packers moving out of the first round.
For one, if the Green Bay Packers re-sign Bryan Bulaga and land an inside linebacker in free agency that they feel can be a difference-maker, given the depth at wide receiver in this class, trading back a few spots to land additional picks makes sense.
Another example includes if they don’t land their much-needed inside linebacker in free agency and Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen are already off the board by the time Green Bay is on the clock. Once again with the depth at receiver and the drop-off in talent at inside linebacker after Murray and Queen, trading back is certainly an option for them in this scenario.
Or simply, what if Brian Gutekunst receives an offer that he can’t refuse? In recent years we’ve seen teams give up a boat load to land a quarterback and if one prospect falls to the bottom of round one like Lamar Jackson did, the Packers could be in a position to take advantage of that situation as long as they are comfortable with their free agent acquisitions and which players are left on their big board.
There are other scenarios that can be conjured up and at this time I’m not advocating that Green Bay should trade back, but my point with all of this is that what they do on draft night is strongly correlated to what happens in free agency.
And just because most would agree that Green Bay needs an inside linebacker and needs to add more receiver talent, that doesn’t mean that trading out of round one isn’t an option. If they’ve met certain needs in free agency, or know they can address needs later on in the draft while accumulating extra picks, or even if the value just isn’t there with the 30th pick, all of those scenarios could lead to a trade.