The Packers will be waiting until pick #23 tonight before making their first selection in the 2010 Draft. A plethora of "needs" come to mind, and yet, none are as pressing a need as we've had in the past. The Packers are definitely making picks for the future, whether it be selecting an heir apparent for Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, or an heir apparent for Charles Woodson and Al Harris.
About the only position that seems to truly stand out as a "need" lately is the OLB spot opposite of Clay Matthews, which is why for many pundits out there, Jerry Hughes, the linebacker from Texas Christian, appears to be the odds-on favorite. Running a close second in safety Taylor Mays, the USC physical monster that some folks think could be moved up to OLB if he didn't pan out replacing Atari Bigby.
Two things I have learned from watching Ted Thompson draft over the last five years:
* He never does what you expect (other than drafting AJ Hawk in 2006). The rumors last week that he was "very interested" in bust-in-the-making OT Bruce Campbell was likely a smokescreen. Or was it? Just when you have him pegged for trading down, he pulls off the most unpredictable trade-up in Packer history.
* Everybody is a genius when it comes to predicting NFL talent until after Thompson makes his picks. Everette Brown seemed to be everyone's darling up until Thompson passed on him twice in the draft last year, and suddenly, everyone flopped and said what a one-dimensional tweener he was.
So, I don't put too much stock into what everyone is predicting for the slot at #23 until after pick #23 has gone by.
My prediction, bound to be wrong, as usual: There's too much talent similar to what is in the end of the first round to take right away. I think that Thompson trades out of the first round and we end up with very little to talk about until tomorrow. In the second round, I see a secondary pickup like Nate Allen or Devin McCourty and a offensive lineman like Jared Veldheeer or John Jerry.
My dark horse prediction would be something we haven't seen from Thompson yet: a trade of the first rounder for a veteran player. Don't know who, but we've known Thompson to have such trades on the table in the past (Randy Moss), and this might be the year to trade for that prove pass-rusher to play opposite of Matthews.