Packers: Why trading down could make sense in 2020 NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
2019 NFL Draft (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Trading down in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft should be a consideration for the Green Bay Packers.

Fixing the needs at inside linebacker and wide receiver should be the top priorities for the Packers this offseason.

But GM Brian Gutekunst won’t have the benefit of picking early in the opening round. With the 30th overall selection, a case can be made for trading out of the first round entirely, picking up additional draft picks in exchange.

Why? The depth at receiver in this year’s class.

If Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen are off the board when the Packers hit the clock, it wouldn’t make sense to reach for another inside linebacker prospect. Instead, Gutekunst could decide to strengthen the defensive or offensive line, or address the other top need at receiver.

Again, the very best of the wide receiver class will already be gone. But there is excellent depth at the position. So while the Packers would have the opportunity to take their pick of a talented group, they could also look to trade down a few spots and still land a very good receiver early in the second round.

The Packers have traded down from a similar spot in the past.

In 2017, they owned the 29th overall pick. Then-GM Ted Thompson decided to trade down four positions, receiving an additional fourth-rounder in return. The Packers would select cornerback Kevin King with the first pick of the second round. An argument can be made that they should’ve stuck at No. 29 that year to select edge rusher T.J. Watt. And I get it, but that doesn’t mean trading down can’t be a good move.

Take 2008 as an example. The Packers held the 30th pick but struck a deal with the New York Jets. Again, they received a fourth-round pick in exchange for moving down six spots. The Packers ended up selecting Jordy Nelson in the second round. It’s fair to say that trade worked out for the Packers.

Trading down isn’t always the best option, but it should be a consideration. If there is a player on the board Gutekunst loves at No. 30, he should make the pick. But if he likes a number of receiver prospects still available and there’s a chance to move down a few positions, it could be a smart move.

The Packers would still end up with a talented player at a position of need, but would also receive a mid-round pick in exchange. If Gutekunst then wanted to trade up later on, he’d have more picks to work with.