For some reason, some Packer fans think first round picks are sure things. That Ted Thompson should have no problem picking a Hall of Famer, or at the very least a Pro Bowler every time.
Some Packer fans think the only draft pick Ted Thompson ever picked is Justin Harrell.
Putting it nicely, these fans frustrate me.
We get it. Not many teams had Harrell that high on the draft board. He has accumulated stats in only 11 games since then due to injuries. There has been no production.
Sometimes picks fizzle out. But the key to success is consistently finding players to produce and being able to find unknown players that turn out to be difference makers. Ted Thompson has shown he can provide the insight to unearthing valuable players.
Believe it or not though, the Ted Thompson has actually drafted players besides Harrell. Here are some you might recognize:
- Nick Collins
- Brady Poppinga
- Mike Montgomery
- A.J. Hawk
- Daryn Colledge
- Greg Jennings
- Jason Spitz
- Will Blackmon
- Tony Moll
- Johnny Jolly
- Aaron Rouse
- Mason Crosby
- Desmond Bishop
- Korey Hall
All started for the Packers this past season. Collins made the Pro Bowl. Jennings was named an alternate. Crosby led the NFL in points in 2007. Blackmon has three punt returns for touchdowns in the past two years.
Besides the most recent class of Packers, Green Bay has added at least three starters from each class. Seven players from 2006 alone have started.
Ted Thompson cannot draft? Ridiculous.
In 2005, our receivers were Donald Driver, a disgruntled Javon Walker, and no one else worth mentioning.
Since then, he has compiled the arguably best one through five receiving team. In 2007, the media picked up on the Packers statistic of being ranked number one in yards after catch. This past year they fumbled only twice.
Another complaint from many fans is that Thompson has done nothing except trade down when valuable players are still on the board. However, the Packers have plucked several important parts to the team in later rounds. Montgomery, Jolly, Hall, Bishop, and Crosby were all sixth rounders.
Drafting down does have its merits. No player is a sure thing, and with the way the Packers have drafted, more picks are better.
Another gripe the Packer faithful have is Thompson's best player available strategy. With injuries to Harris, Barnett, Wells, Bigby, Jenkins, and more, it is impossible to draft according to need. In the game of tackle football, there is always a chance any position suddenly becomes a need.
Give Thompson his due. He has added quite a few pieces to make this young team something that will continue to develop and mature for the coming years.
Please do not pin an entire evaluation on just one player.