Jermichael Finley stiff-arms Tennessee Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon after catching a pass at Lambeau Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Why are so many mock drafts projecting a tight end for the Green Bay Packers?


Notre Dame Fighting Irish former player Tyler Eifert is interviewed during Notre Dame pro day at the Loftus Center. Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports photograph

I guess anything is possible when one starts considering the direction Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson will take in the NFL Draft, but the closer we get to the D-Day (Draft Day) the more I’m convinced a tight end will not be the first round selection for the team.

But why are so many mock draft composers out there in love with the Tyler Eifert-to-Green Bay pick? Take a trip around the Internet and you will find many, including walterfootball.com, who are projecting Eifert going to Green Bay.

I don’t see it.

Number one, Mike McCarthy loves Jermichael Finley – he’s said so more than once – and he’s going to do everything in his power to keep him around after this, Finley’s final season under contract with the Packers.

Number two, the Packers have Andrew Quarless and D.J. Williams in reserve roles and Ryan Taylor, the special teams ace, already on the roster.

Number three, the Packers have too many other more important holes to fill before even thinking about a tight end. Consider offensive line, defensive line and safety among those needs.

As for Finley, he was the Packers most proficient pass-catcher the second half of last year behind Randall Cobb. His value, despite the angst he causes the fans, is astronomical for the Packers. Yes, his salary is third highest, at this point among those players on the roster, but he is also instrumental in the Packers offensive success.

Yes, there are times he disappears from the statistics, but that doesn’t mean his presence isn’t felt. He draws double-teams and occupies space in the middle of the field to open up sideline routes and running  back routes. He’s a talent that must be accounted for on the field – a value that McCarthy feels is important to making his system go.

So, why not draft Eifert or another tight end?

Because I feel the Packers are going to try to commit long-term to Finley. His upside is too huge to let him walk … and even if they don’t commit long-term, they still have him for one more year to allow them to take the time to continue to develop the players in-house.

Even more importantly, there is no imminent need to draft a tight end if the Packers lose Finley after this upcoming season, they can then take the steps to address the situation.

There is no need at this point and I feel Thompson will see it that way, too.

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Tags: Green Bay Packers Jermichael Finley Mike McCarthy Ted Thompson Tyler Eifert