Episode 29 - Draft Picks, Contract Options, and Tex Western

Blue 58, powered by WTMJ Mobile, goes beyond the headlines to help you become a smarter fan of the Green Bay Packers. Hosted by former WTMJ newscaster Jon Meerdink and his friend Gary Zilavy, Blue 58 brings you a unique, upbeat perspective on your favorite NFL team, as long as that team is the Packers.

This week on Blue 58, the Packers lock up a former first round pick, try to trade a former fifth round pick, and get a third round pick for a guy who’s not around any more. Then, we talk with Tex Western of Acme Packing Company and check in on all of this year’s draft picks.

Here's the headlines we covered on this week's episode:

Packers Pick Up Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s 5th Year Option

Though Clinton-Dix is entering just the fourth year of his now five year rookie contract, the Packers were obligated to make the move now due to a league imposed deadline.

Jon: How much of a no-brainer was this decision?

Gary: It’s a total no-brainer, and the decision to draft Clinton-Dix looks even better when you examine the other safeties selected high in 2014. The closest comparison is Calvin Pryor, selected by the Jets with the 18th pick. New York declined his fifth year option on Tuesday, and drafted two safeties in the first two rounds of this year’s draft. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 74th best safety last year. Other safeties taken high like Jimmie Ward and LaMarcus Joyner have moved to corner, so Clinton-Dix seems to be the only one to excel at, well, safety. Oh, the pick directly after Ha Ha? Johnny Manziel.

The Packers Almost Traded Brett Hundley During the Draft. What’s Next?

The Packers reportedly “came close” to trading backup quarterback Brett Hundley during Friday’s second and third rounds of the NFL Draft, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

Jon: Assuming the Packers still want to trade Hundley, what’s the way forward?

Gary: First, Hundley has to stay healthy and play well in the preseason. Second, hope that these five teams don’t find a quarterback before next year’s draft: the Bills, Jets, Browns, Jaguars and Broncos. Third, hope that one of these four teams --  the Chargers, Steelers, Giants or Saints -- decides to draft a quarterback in the first round. Fourth, hope that one of the top quarterback prospects in college -- UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and USC’s Sam Darnold -- underperforms. 

If Hundley leaves in free agency and signs a contract similar to Brock Osweiler or Mike Glennon, the Packers will get a 3rd round compensatory pick in return. So, ideally if you’re going to trade him, you’re looking for a 2nd or better. That’s what has happened in trades involving Kevin Kolb, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Schaub and Matt Cassel in the past.

Ted Thompson Traded T.J. Lang for Jahri Evans and a 3rd Round Pick

If next year’s compensatory picks pan out as they’re currently projected, Ted Thompson’s decision to let T.J. Lang walk should be considered less an unpardonable sin and more highway robbery.

Jon: If we framed the Lang situation as a swap for Jahri Evans, is there anyone who wouldn’t make that deal?

Gary: I can see both sides of this. Evans is a full four years older than Lang, and we’ve already spoken at length this offseason at how one of the major questions about Lang long-term is whether he can perform at a high-level for the three years he signed for in Detroit. It’s my opinion that the Packers have sufficiently replaced Lang, and done it effectively. Doesn’t mean I won’t miss Lang, or still wish he was on the team.

Interview with Tex Western

We're excited to welcome Acme Packing Company's Tex Western (@texwestern) to Blue 58 this week. Tex is the managing editor for Acme Packing Company, an SB Nation site, and we're proud to contribute there along with our work on The Power Sweep. He was kind enough to join us to talk about his alma mater Wisconsin Badgers, the Packers' haul in the NFL Draft, and give his hottest and coldest takes. 

What can we make of the Packers' draft?

It was an uneventful Thursday as Green Bay traded out of round one, but Friday and Saturday saw plenty of new faces make their way onto the roster. Jon and Gary tackle three big questions about the draft:

  1. What did the Packers accomplish this weekend? 
  2. How do the new guys fit?
  3. Who is the most interesting player from the new draft class?

Support The Power Sweep

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We have a lot more great stuff coming from The Power Sweep and Blue 58 as we get ever closer to the draft and beyond, and we’re hoping you’ll continue to read and listen. It means a lot to us, and your support allows us to keep producing great content without worrying about whether we’ll be able to keep the site alive.