Sydney Speaks! Two positions of extreme need

Harry Sydney has spent many draft weekends inside the Packers draft room. He offers his insight on how he feels Packers general manager Ted Thompson will go about selecting players in the first two rounds of the NFL draft this weekend. Sydney also lists players that Thompson should strongly consider selecting.

Last week I talked somewhat about the situation general manager Ted Thompson might find himself in as the clock starts ticking from New York this Saturday in the 2007 NFL draft. As you hear them say, ‘The Green Bay Packers are now on the clock' and he can't move anywhere because there aren't any takers, who does he take?

I am hoping if he does stay there he will pick someone to improve this offense because this offense needs playmakers badly. So if that's the case does he go running back or to the wide receiver position? Notice I only mentioned two positions. I didn't say tight end because there are no playmakers at the tight end spot. I know that everyone likes this guy Greg Olsen from Miami because he is supposed to be this workout madman, but I hope Ted doesn't buy into this guy's hype because there are more important needs for this team than what he would bring to the table. So let's talk about if the Packers stay in the first round. Who should they pick at either running back or wide receiver?

Running backs
Of course the best one in this year's draft is Adrian Peterson by far. He's a difference maker and home run threat. I could go on and on about what this guy would bring to the Packers, but unless Ted Thompson does something that isn't in his character and move up in the draft the Packers will never see him unless they play the Vikings because many think that's where he will end up. Trust me, for all Packer fans he could be everyone's worse nightmare.

After Peterson it might be Marshawn Lynch, but many think he lacks breakaway speed and has had some off-field issues as well as a back injury that could cause him problems. Even though he has passed all the physicals, the question mark is still there. These are the only two running backs that scouts and teams have as first round picks, which leads me to think that Ted Thompson, who lives by the board, won't pick a running back until the second or third round where, if available, I'd pick Kolby Smith from Louisville. This guy has size quickness and can catch the ball. I like him over Antonio Pittman of Ohio State and Kenny Irons of Auburn because of his size and his all around ability. If they can get this guy in the third round it would be a great pick up for the Packers. So in this case the Packers still have to pick someone with the first pick. Remember when I said the board let me try to explain it to you quickly.

One the board the coaches, scouts and Ted Thompson have assembled every college player that they believe will be drafted and put them in the rounds that they belong in according to them and other scouts around the league. They have them by positions and by rounds and they have a name tag for every player. They will not pick any player out of their slots. What I mean by that is if they have a running back slotted for the third round they will not usually pick him in the second round, even if they need him. They will go to another position with a second round tag.

Quite often you hear about a priority list, and that happens when there are two number ones available. Then they go to the player that can have the most impact that they need the most. That's why I believe they will probably pick a wide receiver with their first pick. Just like the Packers won't see Adrian Peterson they won't even get a sniff of Calvin Johnson. But after him it's wide open for receivers. It's all about what the Packers want. Some lean toward Ted Ginn Jr. because of his speed and return abilities, but not me. He only weighs 178 lbs and only stands a little over 5-11 which is small compared to the other receivers in the first round and I'm not sure he is as physical as he would need to be for this team because they ask the receivers to do a lot of blocking down field so they might be leaning toward another receiver with a bigger body.

Wide receivers
I think it's going to be a toss up between Robert Meachem of Tennessee and Dwayne Bowe of LSU. If it was up to me I would go with Dwayne Bowe because he is used to pressure and knows how to make the athletic catch. He's not scared to go over the middle and knows how to catch the fast ball. If he can catch JaMarcus Russell's fast ball I'm sure he can catch Brett's.

So even though I wanted them to take a running back I understand why they might not with the first pick because not only is it about if can they play, but it's also about what they will cost, their agents and who do they listen to. For example, one of the issues that people are talking about with Ted Ginn Jr. is having to deal with his father, and some might be staying away because of that relationship and might not want the headache. Then the Packers have to ask themselves with whomever they are drafting: Is he worth first round money?

If the Green Bay Packers, with their first pick of the 2007 draft, select wide receiver Dwayne Bowe from LSU, I won't be surprised, and neither should anyone else. Of course, this could be all about nothing if they trade for Randy Moss, then a safety might fall into the first round picture so TED DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO!!!!

Harry Sydney

Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at

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