Next Thursday will mark the beginning of Ted Thompson's 10th draft as Packers G-M, and while there's always pressure, the man in charge of making Green Bay's picks always enjoys the process.
"The actual draft itself is a fun thing,' Thompson said Thursday in his annual pre-draft press conference. "It drives you nuts, because you don't know what's going to happen. The whole, 'to-and-fro' and 'are you going to trade?' and is this going to happen?' and all along making sure that whatever you do, you're making the team better, it's just a fun thing."
A scheduling conflict in Radio City Music Hall pushed back this year's draft to May, but Thompson said that hasn't changed his staff's preparation.
"The draft's two weeks later so a lot of our stuff started two weeks later, it also gives us a little extra time."
It seems everyone and their brother has a mock draft, and with the event being pushed back, predictions are more plentiful than ever. Thompson and his staff make it a point to steer clear of all the speculation.
"I know for a fact they don't have any inside information, because for the most part, sometimes I'm the only inside information, and I'm not telling anybody."
While close to the vest on the draft, Thompson did comment on his big free agent signing of the off-season, Julius Peppers. It was a high-profile move that some would say was out of the ordinary for this franchise.
"People who say we don't use free agency are wrong. We've always dabbled in free agency. He's a good player. We obviously followed him throughout his career, and we look forward to seeing him in a Packer uniform."The Packers own 9 selections in the 7 round draft, including the 21st pick in the first round on Thursday night.