Notebook: Draft Format Change An Adjustment

Packers General Manager Ted Thompson admitted that waiting around all day for the first round to begin at night was a challenge, one he and the rest of his staff will face again on Friday for the second and third rounds. - More Ted Thompson Press Conference Transcript - April 22


Packers General Manager Ted Thompson admitted that waiting around all day for the first round of the NFL Draft to begin at night was a challenge, one he and the rest of his staff will face again on Friday for the second and third rounds.

For the first time in history, the first round was moved to the Thursday night prime-time format, with the second and third rounds scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. (CT) on Friday. The final four rounds will be conducted on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. (CT).

"I don't want to get in trouble with the league, but I liked it the old way," Thompson said. "I liked going three rounds and then four rounds the next day and getting it over. I think sitting around all day today was hard. It probably was for you guys too.

"Sitting around again tomorrow, there's more time for teams to think up things. It's possible something will surprise me tomorrow. Most of the time, things aren't a real surprise, but it's possible somebody might pull off a trade that surprises you."

Thompson said he spent the day running through several different scenarios that could present themselves on Thursday night, and watched some more film as well.

"What if this happens, what if this happens, and I caught myself going back into another office, because I usually watch tape in the draft room, but that was made over," Thompson said. "So I watched some more stuff and tried to make sure where we are.

"But we've been doing this for eight or nine months trying to figure this out, so you kind of overcook the goose sometimes. But in fact I was talking with my staff today. I think in the future if in fact it goes like this or even goes beyond this, which it probably will, to maybe have a normal set of tasks, whether it's working on the month of May and scheduling and assignments for different scouts, or maybe working on our summer plans for training camp. Something that you can do, something that's productive rather than walking around the building and wondering who you're going to get to pick."

Thompson said that the team probably wouldn't do much tweaking to their draft board based on what happened in the first round, but added there could be some trades over the next day or two with teams having a surplus of players at a certain position if they added players there during the draft. That could mean teams trading veteran players on their roster, something Thompson will consider as well.

"We considered all kinds of things," Thompson said. "Leading up to the draft, we talk about a lot of different players. But we're not that anxious to do anything, and most people are the same."

Trade talk

After moving back up into the first round last year to select outside linebacker Clay Matthews following the selection of nose tackle B.J. Raji at No. 9, there was some pre-draft speculation that the Packers could be on the move in the first round again this year.

While Thompson said the team had some discussions about trading up in the first round, the talks never got serious.

"We were fishing going forward, we were fishing going backwards, but we're always doing that, and we'll be doing that tomorrow night and on Saturday," Thompson said. "Nothing really of significance, though."

Denver slid up two spots in a trade with New England to jump one spot ahead of the Packers at No. 22 to select wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from Georgia Tech, but Thompson said that trade had no impact on what the Packers wanted to do with their pick at No. 23.

Iowa connection

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin joined Green Bay's staff in 2003 after spending the previous four seasons on Kirk Ferentz's staff at Iowa as offensive line coach.

Philbin said he did talk to some of his contacts at Iowa about first-round pick Bryan Bulaga, and credited the experience Bulaga got in the Hawkeyes' scheme that showed his versatility.

{sportsad300}"It's hard when you watch college tape these days, there are not a lot of teams that run the ball, line up in a three-point stance, zone block left, zone block right, pass set out of a three-point stance," Philbin said. "Sometimes all these guys are doing is standing up in a two-point stance.

"We like to play our guys in a couple of different (stances). We like them in a three-point, we like them in a two-point, we like to move them to the right, move to the left, and a lot of times we don't really get the chance to evaluate guys doing that. This is a kid that has done a lot of those things. We're comfortable with what we saw on tape and we like what we saw on tape."

Dominating the top

With quarterback Sam Bradford being selected No. 1 overall by St. Louis, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy drafted by Tampa Bay at No. 3 and offensive tackle Trent Williams going fourth overall to Washington, the University of Oklahoma became the first school to have three players selected in the top 4 of the draft.

There have been schools that have had three players go in the top 5 before, including 1946 when Notre Dame accomplished the feat.

The No. 1 overall selection that year was quarterback Boley Dancewicz, who was chosen by the Boston Yanks. He has a connection to a quarterback on Green Bay's current roster, as he is the grandfather of Packers signal caller Chris Pizzotti.

Pizzotti spent time on Green Bay's practice squad last season and is expected to compete for the No. 3 quarterback spot this year.

Got the number

Bulaga, who wore No. 79 at Iowa, will wear No. 75 with the Packers.

Veteran nose tackle Ryan Pickett has held the No. 79 since coming to Green Bay in 2006.

The No. 75 was worn by two of the better tackles in Packers history, Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg (1956, 1958-70) and Ken Reuttgers (1985-96).

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