Packers Draft Q&A With Dave-Te' Thomas

Dave-Te' Thomas, who scouts for the NFL, took a timeout from league meetings in New York to answer your questions. The outside linebacker position is a hot topic, and Thomas outlines his 12-pick Packers draft.

Who fits better for the Packers at No. 28? Vinny Curry or Shea McClellin, and will both still be there when the Packers pick?

Dave-Te': McClellin all the way. His versatility, whether needed as a rush end or to take over for Zombo at right OLB, would fill a pressing need and get immediate value. Do not bite into the Curry, Branch, Upshaw types, as all three lack the lateral agility/and or pass coverage ability to fill the ROLB vacancy. I'm not convinced Zombo is a long-term answer there.

No offense, but if those are the only two pass rushers left at No. 28, I'd rather we trade back. There certainly has to be better value with the 28th pick, i.e. Andre Branch.

Dave-Te': McClellin is the answer, but New England has caught a serious liking to him. I'd look to trade back, but only if I could get an early two, where I think a running back like Doug Martin or David Wilson, or perhaps safety Harrison Smith, could be secured.

With 12 picks in this draft, what's your feeling on the likelihood that Ted Thompson could trade up this year? And if you suspect so, any inkling as to a possible player of interest that might be a trade up target as well?

Dave-Te': Outside of moving up big time for a linebacker in the Luke Kuechly mold or snatch Michael Brockers from LSU, I'd stay right where I am at 28, because there are really only six sure-fire types in this draft and none fit the Packers' needs.

Do you see Whitney Mercilus making it to the Packers at 28 or is he a player we'd have to consider trading up to grab? How do you view him as a potential 3-4 OLB? Last year, I was pretty dead set that Ryan Kerrigan was best fitted for a 4-3 DE but he proved me wrong. What do you see out of Whitney that could make him a star player opposite Matthews?

Dave-Te': I'm not a Mercilus-to-OLB fan. I feel, as he is rapidly developing upper-body power, that if someone leaves him at defensive end, he's the next Richard Dent. As an OLB, I am concerned that he lacks the drop-back quickness to cover in the flats in passing situations.

Put yourself in Ted Thompson's shoes for the draft. This draft looks to be lacking depth in the pass rushing department. If you know your biggest need is a pass rush at outside linebacker and the defensive line. How would you approach it? Would you trade up to grab your player or stay pat and let the board play it's self out and why? Thanks for answering our questions. Loved your work last year! Very insightful.

Dave-Te': I feel I am better off standing pat and seeing if McClellin is still there. If not, I look at Lavonte David as a likely second-rounder, snatch Casey Hayward in Round 3 for the safety vacancy (Nick Collins), steal a "manster" in Brett Roy with one of my fours, use another four on Miami (Ohio) guard Brooks and my third fourth on an Aaron Kampman clone: Jake Bequette. In the fifth, I pray ILB Terrell Manning is still around. In the sixth, I take Jacques Smith, an outside linebacker/defensive end from Missouri. In the seventh, I stay local with fullback Bradie Ewing, Beloit College's Derek Carrier, see if Pitt rush end Brandon Lindsey is around, and if there is a running back like Brandon Bolden available, that's my draft!

I'm assuming signing Jeff Saturday means they won't draft Peter Konz, which is good because of his injury history. Who do you like as someone good enough to become the center next year?

Dave-Te': I'm a Kevin Zeitler fan there, but doubt if he'd still be around. I'd look at a scrapper like David Molk or Phil Blake in the fourth-round area.

After reading what you wrote about B.J. Coleman, I'm wondering who else would be a solid mid- or late-round quarterback pick if Coleman goes to someone else.

Dave-Te': Round seven: Kellen Moore, Ryan Lindley or Austin Davis would be a nice developmental guy.

Dave-Te Thomas has more than 40 years of experience scouting for the NFL. With the NFL Draft Report, Thomas handles a staff that evaluates and tests college players before the draft and prepares the NFL's official Draft Packet, which is distributed to all 32 teams prior to the draft.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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