Ted Thompson wanted to make one thing clear to the NFL’s other 31 general managers Thursday night: Having already traded the Green Bay Packers’ first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns to move back, he’s willing to do so again on Day 2 of the draft.
“Oh yeah,” Thompson said with a smile. “We’re taking calls.”
The Packers sent the 29th overall pick to the Browns to move back four spots to the first pick of Friday’s second round (No. 33). They also got a fourth-round pick (No. 108).
It marked the second time in Thompson’s 13 drafts as the Packers’ general manager that the team did not make a first-round selection. In 2008, Thompson traded back from No. 30 in a deal with the New York Jets and selected Kansas State wide receiver Jordy Nelson with the 36th overall pick.
By adding the first pick of the fourth round, the Packers now have nine picks on the draft’s final two days: Two picks in the second, fourth and fifth rounds, and single picks in the third, sixth and seventh rounds.
“We felt like today went pretty good,” Thompson said. “Things fell like we felt was advantageous to us – especially for the next couple days. We feel good where we are, (even though) we didn’t draft anybody.”
The Browns used the 29th pick on Miami tight end David Njoku. One pick later, the Pittsburgh Steelers took Wisconsin outside linebacker T.J. Watt, a player many thought would interest the Packers given their dire need for pass-rushing help. The Packers also have pressing needs at cornerback, running back and inside linebacker.
Thompson said he made the deal because he felt he had a number of players he liked still available on his draft board. Among the most highly regarded players who fell out of the first round are Washington cornerbacks Kevin King and Sidney Jones, Kansas State pass rusher Jordan Willis, Houston pass rusher Tyus Bowser, Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson, Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon.