In 2014, the Packers were very close to the Super Bowl. I’ll spare you the details of why they didn’t make it, but I will point out that they had previously beat the Patriots that season – the team that eventually won the Super Bowl.
The Packers were ready to compete for another title in 2015.
They were so close.
They brought back almost the entire team, re-signing key free agents like BJ Raji, Bryan Bulaga (Iowa), Randall Cobb, Letroy Guion, and of course John Kuhn.
The only contributors of note that the team lost in free agency were cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Davon House (and backup cornerback Jarrett Bush).
The temptation in times like this is to say “No problem, just draft a couple cornerbacks to replace them!”
So they did.
The Packers gave into temptation and, instead of drafting the best players available, they took cornerbacks. Because they needed cornerbacks.
They took Damarious Randall with their first pick. Sure he was a safety, but they made him play cornerback.
They took Quentin Rollins with their second pick. Sure, he was a basketball player, but they made him play football.
They did what so many fans always want them to do: plug the holes and go all in!
And how did that work out?
The Packers could have drafted guys like Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins, Pro Bowl linebacker Erik Kendricks, Pro Bowl running back David Johnson, or Pro Bowl defensive linemen Frank Clark and Danielle Hunter,
Oh, but they didn’t “need” a safety or a linebacker or a running back or a defensive lineman, they needed cornerbacks!
Well, they got cornerbacks.
In a terrible year for cornerbacks.
It was such a bad year for cornerbacks, that the best they could do was get a safety and a basketball player and make them play cornerback.
When the Packers picked at 30, there were 14 future Pro Bowlers on the board… none of them were cornerbacks.
The Packers reached for need and it resulted in what is one of the worst Packers drafts since Lindy Infante was in town.
Drafting for need just plain isn’t a good idea.
Going all in fails 99% of the time.
When the Packers won in 2010, they didn’t load up to go all in. They were built to compete long-term and they broke through.
The draft is for building a team that can compete long-term. Take the best player available.
Remember that when you’re watching the next draft.
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