It's been commented here a few times recently that Ireland drafts for his head coach. That begs the question, what does his head coach like to draft?
Albeit Ted Thompson has a better rep than Ireland and Mike McCarthy was HC not Philbin, I took a look at the five drafts in GB that Philbin was Offensive Coordinator. I'm not matching these picks off against perceived needs of GB each year, as that gets messy and subjective. Simply a look at what they drafted and where.
A few interesting trends emerged, I'll focus on the offensive side as he likely had a minor influence on the defensive side:
In 5 offseasons with Philbin as OC, Green Bay drafted 6 offensive tackles. Count em. 6. Two were taken in the first round - Bulaga (#23) and Sherrod (#32). Both have been injured recently so difficult to project whether they were good choices.
The other four tackles were drafted in Rounds 4 (1) and 5 (3). TJ Lang is now starting left guard, Newhouse starting left tackle (may move to RT this year), Giacomini is no starting RT for the Seahawks and Jamon Meredith is starting tackle for the Bucs.
In summary, GB has a PHENOMENAL hit rate on tackles in the 5 years under Philbin, particularly in R4/5. The fact they used their first rounder on tackles 2 season in a row shows that Philbin isn't afraid to prioritise the position where there is a hole. No tackles taken in rounds 2 or 3 in 5 years.
2) Tight Ends
GB drafted 5 tight ends in 5 years under Philbin. That's a fair a number. The highest was Finley in R3, the rest later on. All bar a 7th-rounder in 2007 are still on the roster, but probably not for long. Only DJ Williams has really contributed in any significant way, though Quarless probably would have it it wasn't for major injury. You could say "Philbin loves TEs so much he's got 5 on his roster in GB". In reality though, it's Finley and a bunch of guys following, one or two of whom will be cut probably.
In summary, you could argue GB's bargain basket approach to TEs hasn't really worked. I wonder if this causes a change in tactic. Taking a TE at #12 seems out of character for Philbin, though. Never say never and every draft is different, but my guess is that there's a mid rounder with one of McDonald (I hope not), Escobar, Kelce Reed or Gragg pencilled in.
3) Wide Receivers
This is an informative group, because it's at serious odds with Ireland's past strategy. Philbin's GB drafted Jones, Nelson and Cobb in the 2nd/3rd round range over those 5 years. Only 2 other guys later than that, one of whom is David Clowney, who is still a decent roster R in the NFL, taken together with James Jones in 2007. Jennings was drafted the year before Philbin became OC (though he was in the Packers staff) in R2 also.
In summary, you have to think we'll be rounding out our WR roster with a guy in the R2/R3 range. If we don't and we take a guy later, perhaps Jeff is his own man after all. It's not definitive, but you'd have a job to convince me Philbin isn't a proponent of taking WRs in that range (with some justification to back him up). One to watch out for.
Based on that history - we'd hypothetically be looking at something like: