PACKERS ENTER 2009 NFL DRAFT WITH NINE SELECTIONS
In just over a week, the Green Bay Packers will welcome the newest rookie class to its roster at the NFL Draft, held April 25-26 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
-Armed with seven of its own selections - plus a third-round choice from the New York Jets and a sixth-round pick from New Orleans - the Packers will have plenty of opportunities to add to their roster.
-For the second time under General Manager Ted Thompson, the team has a top-10 selection (No. 9). It will draft ninth overall in each subsequent round.
-The NFL made new changes to the NFL Draft again this year, as the event kicks off one hour later at 3 p.m. CDT on Saturday, April 25. Rounds 1 and 2 will be held Saturday, with each team allowed 10 minutes for all first-round selections and seven minutes for each Round 2 pick. Rounds 3-7 will be held Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. CDT, with each selection allocated at five minutes.
-The Packers will have two selections on the first day of the draft (Nos. 9 and 41) and seven selections on the second day of the draft. A look at where Green Bay currently is slated to pick:
1st Round, 9th overall
2nd Round, 41st
3rd Round, 73rd
3rd Round, 83rd (from N.Y. Jets)
4th Round, 109th
5th Round, 145th
6th Round, 182nd
6th Round, 187th (from New Orleans)
7th Round, 218th
THOMPSON ENTERS FIFTH DRAFT IN GREEN BAY
Looking at the current core of the Green Bay Packers, it's clear that General Manager Ted Thompson has used the NFL Draft to revamp the roster.
-Thompson first employed this strategy in Seattle, where he spent five seasons (2000-04) running the draft room as vice president of football operations. Nine starters on Seattle's Super Bowl XL team, along with kicker Josh Brown, were drafted by the Seahawks on Thompson's watch.
-Thompson's draft history shows that there will almost always be a trade involving the Packers at some point over the weekend. In each of his four previous drafts, Thompson has opted to accumulate picks by moving backwards in the draft.
-On the heels of a 4-12 season in 2005, he entered his first draft with Green Bay armed with seven picks. Through draft-day trades, he wound up with 11 selections, including QB Aaron Rodgers (first), S Nick Collins (second), LB Brady Poppinga (fourth) and DE Michael Montgomery (sixth).
-Similarly in 2006, Thompson began draft day with seven selections, this time turning those seven picks into 12. Among those selected were LB A.J. Hawk (first), G/T Daryn Colledge (second), WR Greg Jennings (second), C/G Jason Spitz (third), CB Will Blackmon (fourth), T/G Tony Moll (fifth) and DE Johnny Jolly (sixth).
-Thompson added to the Packers' core in 2007, turning nine draft choices into 11 selections through trades. Nine of those draft choices remain on the roster.
-Last April, Thompson turned eight choices into 10 draft picks (nine players and a future pick). All nine players are still with the team.
-Thompson also had a first as Packers G.M. - he traded up to get LB Jeremy Thompson in the fourth round.
-Of Thompson's 43 draft selections (2005-2008), 29 remain on the roster today. Only three players remain from the four drafts prior to Thompson's arrival (2001-04).
GREEN BAY HOLDS FOUR IN FIRST 83
Compared to its counterparts around the league, the Packers appear to be in a position of strength with four selections among the first 83 picks in the 2009 NFL Draft.
-Only NFC North rival Detroit (five) has more selections in the first 83 picks. The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, like the Packers, have four choices within the first 83 picks.
-It should give the Packers ample opportunity to build upon their young base as well as add some players who will have the opportunity to contribute immediately this season.
-The last time the Packers took four or more players in the top 83 was 2006, when they chose five times in the first 75 selections. Among those drafted were current starters A.J. Hawk (fifth overall), Daryn Colledge (47th), Greg Jennings (52nd) and Jason Spitz (75th). All four were primary starters in their rookie season.
DRAFT HEADQUARTERS AT PACKERS.COM
For Packers fans, the team's official Web site is the best source for up-to-the-minute information on draft weekend and the only place to see live press conferences from Lambeau Field in their entirety, in addition to an exclusive sneak peek into the Packers' Draft Room.
-In a special weekend feature, Packers.com will provide biographical information on each Packers pick as it happens, with additional coverage by the Packers.com team.
-Want to see more than just a 15-second snippet on the nightly news? Packers.com is the only place to see press conferences in their entirety featuring General Manager Ted Thompson, Head Coach Mike McCarthy, Packers' assistant coaches and members of the personnel and scouting staff. All press conferences on the site will be carried live via Flash video and also archived for later viewing. Additionally, a live video stream from the Packers' Media Auditorium will be available during draft hours.
-Packers.com also is pleased to provide an exclusive peek into the Packers' Draft Room with the 2009 Draft Cam. This unique, behind-the-scenes camera will bring updated images every minute during the draft.
-Fans can watch the draft unfold as it happens on NFL.com, which will stream NFL Network's live telecast and have instant pick-by-pick analysis from the NFL.com team.
NINE PLAYERS INVITED TO NEW YORK CITY
Per tradition, some of the expected top picks were invited to Radio City Music Hall for the NFL Draft.
-This year, nine players will make the trip, increasing the likelihood that the Packers' first overall choice could be in attendance in New York.
-Invited college players are: Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree, Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry, USC LB Brian Cushing, Kansas State QB Josh Freeman, Virginia T Eugene Monroe, Mississippi T Michael Oher, Texas DE Brian Orakpo, Baylor T Jason Smith and Georgia QB Matthew Stafford.
WHO'S BEEN THERE AT NO. 9?
For the second time under General Manager Ted Thompson, the Packers will have a top-10 selection in the NFL Draft.
-So when was the last time the Packers chose at No. 9? It was 1977, when Green Bay selected defensive end Mike Butler from Kansas. Butler played seven seasons (1977-82, 85) with the Packers and saw action in 95 games.
-Like any pick in the draft, the No. 9 selection has produced its fair share of Pro Bowlers and busts over the past 25 years. Among the more notable picks at No. 9 were RB Gerald Riggs (1982-Atlanta), DB Terry McDaniel (1988-Los Angeles Raiders) and a trio of Pro Bowl offensive lineman: T Lincoln Kennedy (1993-Atlanta), G Bruce Matthews (1983-Houston) and T Richmond Webb (1990-Miami).
-More recent Pro Bowlers drafted at No. 9 include RB Fred Taylor (1998-Jacksonville), LB Brian Urlacher (2000-Chicago), DT John Henderson (2002-Jacksonville) and DT Kevin Williams (2003-Minnesota).
CHANGE TO DRAFT ORDER IN 2010
NFL owners voted recently to change the draft order of picks 21-30 based on the teams' performance in the playoffs.
-The new system, which will take effect in 2010, will not change how the teams that do not make the playoffs are slotted in the draft (worst record picking first, etc.).
-For teams that make the postseason, there will be a re-seeding based on how far they advance. The losers of the wild-card contests will be seeded 21-24 based on their records. The losers of the divisional games will be slotted 25-28, and teams losing in the conference championship games will be picks No. 29 and No. 30. The Super Bowl loser will pick 31st, with the Super Bowl winner picking last at No. 32.