Thinking Outside the Box: You Make the Call

draft logoAll of Packernation knows that the Packers needs lie in the middle of the defense and at the outside cornerback position. Most are probably more comfortable with the cornerback position than the inside linebacker position (debatable, of course) and if there is any discomfort surrounding this year’s draft, it is in the questionable nature of the ILB position options. This year’s draft has a good cornerback class so the best player available at pick 30 may be a cornerback. But I am going to make a bold statement here. 

I would not be at all surprised if the Packers first round pick is an outside pass-rusher (dedicated pass rusher). I think this is likely partly because of the strengths of this year’s draft and the fact that Ted Thompson picks the best player available. Add to that the fact that the Packers have shown that they will get their best players on the field and bend the scheme to fit (Clay Matthews at inside linebacker) and a team like the Packers can take a pass rusher (high value) and find a way to get him opportunities in our rotational scheme. The Packers just completed a season in which, when the run defense faltered, they thought outside the box and moved Clay Matthews to the middle. This is proof that a great player can convert and be effective. If the Packers have the chance to get a great player…trust me they will choose him. The scheme bends to fit the players, not vice versa.

In this draft, there could be as many as 8 wide receivers and two or more running backs that go in the5052aa0d8896b.preview-620first round. With a a strong O-line representation and so many good defensive linemen and rushers, it would be no surprise if Thompson’s best player available is not an edge rusher. Now, I can easily see Thompson trading out of the first to stockpile picks in this draft as well, but here’s my question;

If the Packers pick up an edge rusher, should they play Clay Matthews in the middle or groom up the draft pick to play the inside? Clay Matthews has shown he can be effective on the inside and still get sacks, however, many believe he was unhappy with the move. Does the veteran get the nod to stay at the outside and the unproven rook have to make the adjustments? Is it better to keep Matthews there and keep the re-learning to a minimum for the rookie? What do you think Packernation. If the Packers pick a first round edge rusher, what should they do with him?

NB: In this scenario, if the edge rusher chosen was a defensive end in college, he would be a linebacker in our base defense as the pass rush generally comes from the linebacker position in this defense.


Whatever the case, the draft is almost here and the Packers will be an improved team. With the best player available mentality, Packernation should be very happy with the position of this team going into 2015 as long as we realize that the Packers are willing to think outside of the box when creating schemes that put our best players in position to be successful.
Go Pack!

Thinking Outside the Box: You Make the Call
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