The Packers tore up their depth chart at inside linebacker, cutting ties with A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore.
Several sources close to Clay Matthews say he wants to get back to playing outside linebacker full-time. He took one for the team in 2014 shifting inside in an emergency.
Besides Sam Barrington, who was adequate in 32.6% playing time, the Packers' other hope is that Carl Bradford can find himself inside. He certainly looks the part, and the club is high on his chances.
Either way, the Packers have to draft at least one inside linebacker.
After the first 20 players or so, it doesn't make much difference. Thompson could very easily choose one of the five inside linebackers at 30, and few of his colleagues would call it a reach.
A Journal Sentinel poll of 21 scouts revealed close voting at the position. Mississippi State's Benardrick McKinney led with 76 points, but close behind were Clemson's Stephone Anthony (65), UCLA's Eric Kendricks (58), Miami's Denzel Perryman (57) and Texas Christian's Paul Dawson (46).
Last year, the Packers were set to take either of two inside linebackers, Alabama's D.J. Mosley or Ohio State's Ryan Shazier, but they were picked four and six slots ahead of Green Bay's 21st choice that wound up being used for safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
The consensus among scouts is that Mosley and Shazier were much better prospects than the five this year.
Neither Barrington, who ran a 4.76-second 40, nor Bradford (4.68) has the speed to be ideally suited as a three-down player.
"Dawson and Kendricks and Anthony can play all three downs," one personnel man said. "Perryman and McKinney are more thumpers. They both run well enough to do it. They're really aggressive, though, and may not be quite as good on third downs as the other guys."
Regardless of how far down the Packers would trade back into the second round, there's a legitimate chance one of those five linebackers still would be there at their second-round pick (No. 62).