The Yo-Yo of Draft Season Continues

The Green Bay Packers are heavily into the throes of preparing for the upcoming NFL draft, especially with two first-round picks.

Since the NCAA football season ended, the mock drafts and big boards have been flying, as they do every year.  Players rising and falling with every workout and interview posted.

At the end of the Packers 2018 campaign, the top team needs were offensive line, tight end and edge rusher and not in that particular order.  

With the team letting edge rushers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry walk in free agency, there was heavy emphasis on linebackers.  We heard all about Jachai Polite, Montez Sweat, Brian Burns and Clelin Ferrell (Nick Bosa has been assumed off the board before Green Bay picks).

If you put out a Twitter poll a month ago asking which player or position the Packers should emphasize at 12th overall, you would have seen a large slant towards edge rusher.

A free agency later and the Packers now have two veteran linebackers who will man those spots and so the emphasis has changed.

Or has it?

If you're like me, you may tend to lock in on a guy or two that you like most, regardless of team need.  There are still plenty out there who want Burns or Sweat at 12 no matter what.

But for most, the focus has changed.  With two veterans locked up, many are now looking at tight end or the best player available at 12, position aside.

Houston's Ed Oliver has been mocked to the Packers in several recent posts by draft experts.  His Pro Day only boosted his stock.  He ran a 40-yard dash in the same time that receiver Anquan Boldin did (4.72), a short shuttle slightly faster than Saquon Barkley (4.24), a vertical just short of Von Miller's (37 inches) and a 10-foot broad jump, same as Amari Cooper.

Packers fans were on board with Oliver before his pro day.  Now not only are they on board, but there has been some discussion about whether the Packers could use a player like that as an interior linebacker.  Oliver's ride has definitely been the up part of the yo-yo.

Then there's Polite.  Many had Green Bay taking the Florida end early and had him as one of the best pass rushers in this year's class.  His Combine showing, subsequent reported hamstring injury and recent Pro Day have done nothing to help his case.  His 40 time was slower at his Pro Day than the Combine.  Hamstring injury to blame?  Possibly.  But then why run?  Poor training and prep?  Seems more likely, but I'm projecting.

Polite also exhibited one of the intangibles during this time of year, which was a glimpse into his mindset.  He told reporters at the Combine that several teams that he interviewed with "bashed him", one team being the Packers.  He noted that he understands that teams are going to test players mentally and try to see how they respond to stress, but any player going to Indianapolis should already know that. So why say it?

As Pro Day results pour in, we'll see more movement of players' stock.  And we're not even into the heavy part of the off-field issue reporting on many of them as well.  There will likely be incidents between now and the draft that turn these mock drafts on their behinds and teams will start putting up smoke screens left and right.

While we're all here, I have to shamelessly plug our own site for the mock drafts that Ross Uglem puts up from time to time.  Here is the latest from early last week.  Take each one for what it's worth and consider the source.  Mel Kiper, Jr., for example, does both a mock and a big board.  Big boards are simply a ranking of the best players, regardless of position or where they'll likely be drafted.

From one draftnik to the next, a player can go anywhere from round one to undrafted.  Last year, cornerback Josh Jackson was mocked often in the first round, only to fall to the Packers in round two (while we're coming clean, this author had the Packers taking Jackson with their first-round pick).  Mocks are published and then. . mocked by the fan bases, leading to interesting defenses of why a player was projected so high or low.  Draft SZN never disappoints! 

It's always interesting to look back to early January and who you thought you wanted your team to draft and then see who you want on draft day.  Then there's who the Packers actually draft.  Settle in, the yo-yo still has a lot of work ahead.

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (27)

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Coldworld's picture

April 01, 2019 at 06:17 am

I’m looking at BPA alone. That’s one of the things Gute bought with his FA activity. If that turns out to be a TE, so be it, but if not, that shouldn’t affect the rest of the draft.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

April 01, 2019 at 07:37 am

I Polite ly say. No thank you.

Seriously though. I think the only attribute for this guy is his bendiness. But, I see Gute and Pettine moving away from bendy OLBs to guys who can contain. I just don't think he fits the scheme.

The only fit I see there is his foot; in his mouth.

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BradHTX's picture

April 01, 2019 at 11:36 am

Well played, JJB.

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Handsback's picture

April 01, 2019 at 07:40 am

Absolutely BPA is the way to go at 12. Packers have holes in their rosters everywhere so they need major talent. IF edge player is best, take him. IF its a TE...take him. Doesn't matter the position, all roster spots, except QB needs work.

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rminahan's picture

April 01, 2019 at 09:20 am

Removed

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

April 01, 2019 at 07:44 am

You're missing some steps, Jason. For me it's "who did I want in September? In January? After the Senior Bowl? After the Combine? After the Pro Days?" :-D I keep all of those predictions, and it's interesting how often the players make a circle and come back to some of the September values.

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Packer Dave's picture

April 01, 2019 at 07:46 am

Polite seems to have Eddie Lacy syndrome - lots of physical gifts but no will to stay dedicated.

Would a guy like Zach Allen make sense in round two?

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stockholder's picture

April 01, 2019 at 07:58 am

Ross said Polite would be a very good player. So what if he wants to play for the patriots. The mocks are Hype. With are holes it doesn't matter who is the BPA. We all want that favorite player. But does that favorite player want to be a PACKER. They don't like rebuilding. Fans don't either. Happiness is winning. Most players want to win. So what do we need to win. Free Agency changed are edge. The trench wins the war. And the best DL will be gone by the time the packers pick. The ILB position is the heart beat of the defense. That is the position we need to fix. Gute needs a ILB. April fools day has just begun. It won't stop until the draft is done. Lets not be fools and take a TE, when the heart of the defense pumps us up.

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Packer_Fan's picture

April 01, 2019 at 08:05 am

We can't presume what Gute will do. Picking the best player available, or picking the best in the areas you want to fill or trading down to get more picks. I lean towards trading down and getting more picks in the first three rounds. Trading up is taking a risk that the player will be what you think will be an all pro. Too much risk for me. Last year the top three picks, only one was ready last year. Will Jackson and Burks make a second year jump? Who knows. The point is last year, only one third of the top three picks made it quick. So I say get up to five picks in the first three rounds by trading down. Perhaps two will be ready the first year and one or two develop.

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Lare's picture

April 01, 2019 at 11:38 am

"BPA" sounds good in theory, but in reality I don't think it really exists in the purest form. If it did, all teams would have to do is rank players on a computer and let the computer make the selection when it was their turn.

Instead, there are lots of considerations for how players are ranked by a team based on position, value, interviews, injury concerns, needs (both current & future) and salary cap considerations. What many people see as needs of the team, they may actually think they're pretty well set and vice versa.

That said, I think the Packers still have some holes to fill in this draft both at starting positions and to add quality depth at many other positions. And I think we're going to see some surprises from Gutekunst and the Packers this draft.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 02, 2019 at 05:51 am

Agreed. What if the BPA in every round is the same position? I’d advise against drafting seven guards, or seven safeties, or seven wide receivers, etc.

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RCPackerFan's picture

April 01, 2019 at 08:52 am

The Polites of the world are the reason why combine and pro days are important. He has outstanding game tape, but then when it gets to the testing and measurements they don't add up. There are now red flags.

So now you have to go back and watch the game tape to see if you see flaws in his game.

The hard part to evaluate with players is when their game tape doesn't match the tests.
Is he one of those guys that won't match up well against NFL caliber players?
Is he one of those guys that just tests poorly?

There were the comments about when he was talking about teams bashing him. Personally I don't have issues with what he said there. He was just being honest, and I think media ran with it a bit.

It will be really interesting to see where Polite goes in this draft.

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lowcsp's picture

April 01, 2019 at 09:42 am

Can some one please show me this great game tape Polite has out there I see a guy that likes to rush the passer but if he has to defend the edge or a tackle gets in his way he will stop an watch the play. I think that was the biggest concern teams had is he looked like he never gave 100% out there and now its attitude I think he now has a chance to go undrafted.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

April 01, 2019 at 10:04 am

He has great plays. I don't see great games either.

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Swisch's picture

April 01, 2019 at 11:01 am

Trading up or down for draft picks. Drafting for need or best player available. Considering which positions in the draft are deepest in talent.
Evaluating players from college stats, game film, combines, pro days, interviews, impressions, background research.
It seems the options and opinions regarding the draft are so varied that maybe the way to go is to just put your favorites in a hat -- and then, on draft day, pull one out selection by selection.
These young men at about age 22 are still developing physically and personally, and it's so hard to know who they'll be in a year or two.
Perhaps the Packers keep things simple. Stay put in our draft positions; sift through the information overload as best as possible without going crazy; then go with their best hunches as to the right guys for our team as far as talent and character.

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Spock's picture

April 01, 2019 at 09:41 am

PACKERS AND BROWNS TRADE QB'S AND DRAFT PICKS!!!
Well, heck, it is April fools day after all. :) All these mocks are interesting but I always have a problem with the term "draft expert" applied to anyone. I've yet to see one of the supposed "experts" really get much, if any, of the later rounds correct. There's just too many draft day surprises, panics, "runs" on position players, etc. That's what makes the draft so interesting. Even the first round typically can go completely sideways after just a pick or two and throw over half the mock drafts out the window. Still fun to watch!

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4thand1's picture

April 01, 2019 at 10:31 am

FA settled the yo yo position of the d-line. The Pack has the ability on paper to pressure the QB up the middle and on the edge. Gute and co did this for a reason, to work their board to their advantage. We experts have no idea what the board looks like, but it's fun to speculate.

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albert999's picture

April 01, 2019 at 11:00 am

politely stay away from polite
go OL at 12
S at 30
OR VICE VERSA

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cheesehead1's picture

April 01, 2019 at 11:13 am

At pick 12 would really like White or Oliver. Most mocks predict White will be gone so Oliver looks more likely.

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albert999's picture

April 01, 2019 at 11:18 am

I believe they will both be gone by 12

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cheesehead1's picture

April 01, 2019 at 11:25 am

Hopefully not, think positive.

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albert999's picture

April 01, 2019 at 01:52 pm

I am thinking positive and realistically

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stockholder's picture

April 01, 2019 at 11:49 am

Try Devin Bush. He's a better athlete and a better tackler. Will not go out in pass coverage sets. The size of his heart makes up for his height. I believe he's in play @12. And the packers won't give away picks taking him @12. Pencil him in as a starter day1. Rumor is Pittsburgh will take him. But the packers won't sweat 8 picks here. His first 5 years will give you more! Then waiting 5 years for a guy to develop. He's not boom or Bust. The boom or bust are DK, Brown, Simmons layoff, Polite.

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albert999's picture

April 01, 2019 at 01:53 pm

Bush would be a great fit for the Pack!

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SteveGleicher's picture

April 01, 2019 at 04:54 pm

I think it is the media that yo-yo’s. What the team is thinking is never publicized. If you listen to what Gute and most GM’s say, it is about the tape of the games. I believe the first round is BAP and how a team rates a players draft position. If the guy on your board is worth the draft position then draft him. It is usually not that clean as a team may have 2-4 players rated closely therefore moving down makes sense as you will get the BAP / rated close to others “given up” and an extra pick. First couple rounds BAP for the long term. Draft for need rounds 5-7 but even then within the framework of your board.

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PatrickGB's picture

April 01, 2019 at 07:34 pm

Yes it’s the media who yo-yo on draft value. They write the draft boards and as writers they tend to employ herd mentality. They also ignore BPA and look at what they see to be a teams needs before projecting him to a certain team.

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4thand1's picture

April 01, 2019 at 06:36 pm

Did it ever get settled how much cap space the Packers have?

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