It might come as a surprise to learn that Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson is a draft-day wheeler-dealer and especially so based on the most recent five drafts.
In 2016, the Packers made a draft-day trade with Colts to move up from 57th to the 48th overall pick, and also giving away their round 4 and round 7 picks. The deal brought them tackle Jason Spriggs.
In 2015, Thompson did a draft-day exchange with the Patriots, getting the 147th overall pick and giving up the 166th (round 5) and round 7 picks, to acquire quarterback Brett Hundley.
In 2013, the Packers dropped down in the draft by exchanging their 55th pick and round 3 pick for the 49ers’ 61st pick and round 7 pick, and thus acquiring running back Eddie Lacy. Next they dropped back by giving their round 3 pick to the Dolphins for Miami’s round 4 pick, and acquiring tackle David Bakhtiari, as well as Miami’s round 7 pick. They also traded with the Broncos to move up from 146th to 125th, by giving up their round 6 pick, in order to acquire running back Johnathan Franklin.
In 2012, Green Bay traded up eight spots in round 2 with the Eagles, and giving up its round 4 pick along the way, to acquire defensive tackle Jerel Worthy. And in one of his bigger draft-day deals, Thompson got the Patriots’ round 2 pick (62nd overall), but gave up his own round 3, round 6, and two round 7 picks – all to acquire cornerback Casey Hayward.
From 2005 through 2009, Thompson made a number of high-round draft-day deals.
In 2009, Ted got a second first-round pick by trading his round 2 and two round 3 choices to the Patriots – netting linebacker Clay Matthews.
In 2008, he gave up his round 1 pick in 2008, and moved down to get Jordy Nelson early in round 2. That year was a trading frenzy, as further trades with the Jets, Vikings, and Rams led to the Packers getting three picks whose names haven’t been heard of since.
In 2006, the Packers made four draft-day trades.
Finally, in 2005 after nabbing Aaron Rodgers in round 1, Thompson got safety Nick Collins in round 2. To do so, he moved up in the round by trading away a player, cornerback Mike McKenzie, instead of a draft choice,
What’s remarkable is that Thompson has so often made draft-day trades to maneuver himself in the critical first and second rounds. These deals involved many of the team’s best players over the last 10 years, including Nick Collins, A.J. Hawk, Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, Casey Hayward and Eddie Lacy.
In these earlier years, however, Green Bay often had the luxury of having from 10 to 12 draft picks to use as bait. The high-water mark was 2006, when the Packers drafted a dozen player. In the last few years, however, the team has generally entered the draft with only from six to eight designated picks.
Given his past history, we should expect Thompson to exchange draft choices again this year – while the draft is underway – to move either up or down to obtain the players that he’s after.