Ted Thompson traded out of the first round on Thursday night.
He could do the same thing to start Friday.
The Green Bay Packers sent their first-round pick, No. 29 overall, to the Cleveland Browns for the first pick of the second round, No. 33 overall. They picked up the first pick of the fourth round, No. 108, as part of the deal.
In a deep draft class in which Thompson has several quality options remaining -- even after seeing outside linebacker T.J. Watt go to Pittsburgh at No. 30 and inside linebacker Reuben Foster go to San Francisco at No. 31 – Thompson might be tempted to accumulate another pick by moving back again.
“We’ll see where it goes tomorrow because the board is still strong,” Thompson said.
Does that mean he’s openly shopping the pick?
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “You can put that down. That will save us a couple of phone calls.”
Asked again, Thompson said, “We’re taking calls.”
Thompson, so used to playing the waiting game since his team usually picks at the end of rounds, no doubt was enjoying holding the NFL Draft equivalent of the high ground. There are plenty of talented players available at positions of major need, including pass rushers Jordan Willis and Tyus Bowser and cornerbacks Kevin King, Chidobe Awuzie and Quincy Wilson. Thompson could take one of them or keep on moving down the board in a strength-in-numbers approach to fixing the defense, bolstering the backfield and fortifying the rest of the roster.
From a league perspective, those players are available -- as are quarterbacks DeShone Kizer and Davis Webb, running backs Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon and Alvin Kamara, and offensive linemen Forrest Lamp and Cam Robinson. No. 33 could set off a bidding war, which Thompson seemed to be encouraging.
“I think it’s very good strategy-wise,” he said. “We know where we’re at and what we’re going to do. There’s a couple of different ways of looking at it in terms of being helpful to us. It could be that we highlight a player that we know we can get and they can’t take him away from us, so we sit there and pick him. It could be that a team sees an opportunity to maybe trade up and get a player they didn’t think they could get and maybe it’s again a trade that works well for us. There’s a couple of different ways to look at it.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.