GREEN BAY–With the NFL Draft a little more than a week away, Packers GM Ted Thompson expressed his gratitude to those who have been working feverishly to prepare for it.
“Everybody works so hard to try to help us put it all together,” Thompson said at his annual pre-draft press conference. “It’s an enormous amount of work.”
Thompson pointed to waiting as one of the most challenging aspects of the draft.
“There are gut-wrenching times when you’re so close to getting what you think is the perfect player for your team, and then that player might get picked right in front of you.”
When asked about picking the best available player or picking for need, Thompson was clear in his philosophy.
“If we can take the best player available, that’s the way we want to try to do it,” Thompson said.
Thompson was also asked about a couple of recent free-agent additions to the team.
On TE Jared Cook: “He’s very athletic. Great catch radius. Big target.”
On LB Lerentee McCray: “We thought he had some good snaps over there in Denver,” Thompson said. “We think he’s got a nice body type. He has good athletic ability. He shows the ability to be an outside backer.”
When it comes to the draft order, Thompson has seen both ends of the spectrum since taking command in 2005. The Packers have picked as high as 5th in the first round in 2006 and had the 32nd slot in 2011 after winning Super Bowl XLV. So, which does he prefer?
“It’s more enjoyable when you pick 32nd,” Thompson said, hinting at the obvious implication. “There’s nothing that can be done to make your smile go away.”