Fans watch the 2013 NFL draft on Friday at Curly's Pub in the Lambeau Field Atrium. / H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media
Ted Thompson got back into the business of acquiring more draft picks.
Like he did in his early days as the Green Bay Packers’ general manager, Thompson made three trades Friday to acquire more draft picks. Those trades netted him five more picks, doubling his total for the draft’s final day.
If he stands pat, he will end up with 12 picks in all, four more than he had when the draft began Thursday.
By trading twice with the San Francisco 49ers and once with the Miami Dolphins, Thompson gave up two of his original picks — a second-round selection (No. 55) and a third rounder (No. 88) — and also dealt the third rounder (No. 93) he got from the 49ers.
All told, the Packers hold 10 picks Saturday in rounds four through seven. They are: Nos. 109 and 122 overall in the fourth round, Nos. 146, 159 and 167 in the fifth round, Nos. 173 and 193 in the sixth round and Nos. 216, 224 and 232 in the seventh.
Since Thompson took over as general manager in 2005, he has made 26 draft-weekend trades. In 20 of those, he traded back, including 13 of the first 14 times he has traded. Only in recent years, like when he traded up three times during last year’s draft, has he gone the other way.
“We came into this hoping to build and maybe add some picks for tomorrow,” Thompson said after Round 3 ended Friday night. “It worked out today. Sometimes we move a fairly significant amount and got another pick, but we’ve still got to finish it tomorrow.”
According to a universally accepted trade value chart on the website DraftCountdown.com, the Packers gave up more than they received. In the first trade with the 49ers, the Packers gave up No. 55 (worth 350 points) for the 49ers’ 61st (292) and 173rd (22.2) for a difference of minus-35.8. In the second trade with the 49ers, the Packers sent the 88th pick (150) for the 93rd pick (128) and 216th (5) for a difference of minus-17. In the trade with the Dolphins, the Packers gave up the 93rd pick (128) for the Dolphins’ 109th (76), 146th (33) and 224th (2) for a difference of minus-17. The final tally was minus-69.8.
Thompson said he had no issues with the value or that he allowed one of his main competitors in the NFC — the 49ers, who knocked the Packers out of the playoffs and who host the Packers in the season opener — to move up to take a player they coveted. The 49ers took Rice tight end Vance McDonald with the 55th pick and Auburn linebacker Corey Lemonier with the 88th.
“Well, it’s just numbers,” Thompson said. “It’s not like you’re trading guys. I don’t look at it like that. It’s more of a function of numbers and what they might see in a player. Then you’re trusting your own scouting department in terms of what we see and how we’ve built the board.”
When the Packers moved six spots back in the second round in the first trade with the 49ers, Thompson still felt good about his chances of getting one of the players he had pegged for that spot. He took Alabama running back Eddie Lacy with that pick, No. 61 overall, but there was some risk involved because Thompson said it didn’t necessarily mean he had six players he wanted.
“The numbers don’t work quite like that,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be an exact same number. It could be hypothetically depending on where you are and what round that sort of thing, it could be four or it could be three or two.”
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