are you planning on watching the draft next week? me too. do you have a couple of players who you would like to see in Green and Gold this year? i do. maybe you have the perfect pass-rusher/outside line-backer/EDGE guy planned for the Pack. how about that mid-round corner or running back? maybe, like me, you have your eye on a draft sleeper that you hope to be available in the 6th round.
unfortunately, because there have been a lot of other, less friendly, eyes looking at our respective pass-rusher/outside line-backer/EDGE guy or sleeper picks, we may wish to appropriately curb our hopes for draft day. if we are lucky, TT will get our guys before the other 31 teams get the chance. BUT, the odds are..
before its our turn, any of the other 31 teams might draft our favorite collegiate player. and, due to needs elsewhere, some teams are more likely to draft that pass-rusher/outside line-backer/EDGE guy, that corner, that running-back or that guard prospect of our desires.
so.. to add a little drama to the draft viewing experience, i have created a list of teams whose current needs correlate with the needs of the Packers. i call them our draft-time rivals. they are direct competitors to our attaining our dream team.
strangely, the rivals we cheese-heads are accustomed to during the regular season, like the Vikings or Bears, are not really our rivals during this draft. Actually, the Vikings and Bears are two organizations which are not very likely to draft our favorite prospects.
so.. which teams are our draft-time rivals in 2017? which non-Wisconsin NFL franchises are likely to draft our coveted prospects? well, to increase your stress during draft weekend, i have listed 14 teams below. i have broken them up into 2 lists of 7. [note: for purposes of this post, i have simply dropped the 7th round from consideration.. i am assuming none of us have our draft hopes resting on a late 7th rounder.] here we go:
group I. the “Menacing 7”:
1) currently, the Saints have 6 picks to crush our visions of draft satisfaction. i expect the Saints to draft a CB, an EDGE rusher, a runner and a WR.. all of these players who could be high on the Packer's big board. let's hope they at least pick a QB to dilute their draft strength in these other areas.
2) Cleveland has a ton of draft power this year.. a whopping 11 choices in the first 6 rounds. even if they go for their QB1 in this draft, the Browns still have lots of selections to snatch away our favorite EDGE guy.. and/or our favorite corner prospect too. boo!
3) the Dolphins have only 6 choices in the first 6 rounds; however, their draft needs seem eerily familiar: linebacker, corner and guard. before Miami selects: drum roll, please.
4) here are the Indianapolis Colts needs after solving RT: CB, EDGE, RG, running back. Sound familiar? the Colts will have 7 chances to wipe out our draft dreams.
5) revenge of the Cowboys? the 'boys are extremely likely to draft a corner just ahead of the Pack. an EDGE guy is also a likely selection, again, RIGHT BEFORE the Packers can pick. Dallas may use all 5 of their pre-seventh round picks on defenders.. Dallas is a rival in all ways.
6) Tampa Bay is going to look for a corner, a running back, a receiver and maybe a defensive end in this draft.. the Bucs have their full allotment of picks to search.. and destroy our wishes.
7) the Steelers may or may not search for the successor to Big Ben. regardless, they have 8 picks in the first 6 to pick: an OLB, a CB and a running back to back up Lev Bell. Only one grace for Packer fans here: the Steelers are scheduled to pick immediately after the Pack.
group II. 7 dangerous beasts and machines:
1) the Jaguars are likely to get an EDGE guy, as well as a runner and a guard. 6 picks to sink our hopes.
2) as well as drafting a WR, the Tennessee Titans are very likely to hunt for a corner and a pass-rusher. the Titans have 7 potent picks in the first 6 to dash our plans at the Packs' positions of need.
3) the Bengals are virtually guaranteed to pick an offensive lineman (our guard?), a running-back and an EDGE guy. Cincinnati is loaded with 10 picks in the first 6 rounds.
4) the Jets may look for a QB. But, undoubtedly, they will look for a corner, and a line-backer. will we cry after the Jets select?
5) the Ravens have 7 picks in the first 6 rounds. in addition to a receiver, it has been written that they would like an OLB and a lineman. let's hope they pick guys we don't want.
6) surprisingly, the New England Patriots, while currently having neither a 1st nor a 2nd round draft pick, still have 6 picks in the first 6 rounds. besides OT needs, the defending champs may look for a DE, a TE, and a runner.
7) the Eagles have 7 picks in the first 6 and want a corner (our corner?) and a running back.
so, dear fellow Packers fans, in summary: if you like some guys in this draft, be nervous pretty much every time one of the following 14 teams are on the clock:
1. New Orleans
6. Tampa Bay
11. the Jets
13. New England
of course, there are 17 other teams who will be looking at improving their rosters also.. maybe they too will augment their teams with the prospects of our hopes and aspirations. (but, may those teams chose the uninteresting athletes instead.)
in conclusion, if the Packers have the opportunity to draft even just one of our valued guys, it will be very fortunate.
as he drafts this year, we implore for Ted to be prudent, to protect our dream prospects from the likes of the Menacing 7 and the 7 dangerous beasts and machines. Mr. Thompson's choices will make a substantial difference in the quality of the Packers' play in the soon hereafter.
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