GREEN BAY – In 2006, Ted Thompson knew the guy he wanted relatively early on: Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk. Holding the No. 5 overall pick that year, it wasn’t too hard for the Green Bay Packers general manager to peg how the previous four picks would go and the options he’d likely have at No. 5.
Eight years later, picking 21st, Thompson isn’t as certain who’ll be on the board when the Packers go on the clock. So a week out from the 2014 NFL Draft, Thompson isn’t enamored with any player to the point of hoping he’ll be there after the first 20 selections.
And if there is a player he likes, he’s not saying.
“Do you think I’d tell you?” Thompson said during his annual pre-draft press conference Thursday at Lambeau Field. “I was just checking.”
In truth, Thompson says, he can’t get his hopes up about any player because so much can happen during those first 20 selections.
“I think when you’re picking in the 20s, you kind of just let it come to you,” Thompson said. “You can think of different scenarios and you can read the [mock drafts], where they’ve got this team picking this [player], and none of those things are usually as accurate as you might think. So I try to stay open to the possibility of anything happening.
“You go through the ideal circumstances and you go through the less-than-ideal circumstances, and you come to grips with it and there you are.”
The Packers hold four of the first 98 selections in this year’s draft picking at No. 21 in the first round, No. 53 in the second round and No. 75 in the third round with their own selections, then again at No. 98 with a compensatory pick at the end of the third round.
Asked how he felt about having that many picks early – the first round is next Thursday night, while the second and third rounds are Friday night – Thompson chuckled.
“It’s good,” he deadpanned. “If we could, we’d have more. More is better; it gives you better odds.”
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