From The Draft To The Super Bowl: Finding Success In The NFL

Mike BablContributor IApril 4, 2009

I know there are those among you who feel like a poor kid looking into a McDonald's PlayPlace every year during Free Agency.  For you, I'd like to show you how the last four Super Bowl Champion teams were built and compare it to the Packers.

2005-2006 Super Bowl XL, Pittsburgh Steelers

Percentage of starters drafted by the Steelers:  77.3% (17 of 22)

Percentage of roster drafted by the Steelers:  51.8%

2006-2007 Super Bowl XLI, Indianapolis Colts

Percentage of starters drafted by the Colts:  86.4% (19 of 22)

Percentage of roster drafted by the Colts:  46.4%

2007-2008 Super Bowl XLII, New York Giants

Percentage of starters drafted by the Giants:  54.5% (12 of 22)

Percentage of roster drafted by the Giants:  45.3%


2008-2009 Super Bowl XLIII, Pittsburgh Steelers

Percentage of starters drafted by the Steelers:  72.7% (16 of 22)

Percentage of roster drafted by the Steelers:  42.0%

2008-2009 Worst Team of Super Bowl Era, Detroit Lions

Percentage of starters drafted by the Lions:  45.5% (10 of 22)

Percentage of roster drafted by the Lions:  48.3%

2009 Green Bay Packers (pre-Draft)

Percentage of starters drafted by the Packers:  54.5% (12 of 22)

Percentage of roster drafted by the Packers:  49.3%

I didn't take into account undrafted free-agent signings (they are included in the players undrafted by a team) and the Super Bowl XLIII Steelers and 2009 Packers rosters include practice players.

Still, the teams that have won Super Bowls since Ted Thompson has been the General Manager of the Packers have acquired at least half of their starters through the draft.

It is my opinion that free agency is a tool used to create competition in both weaker positions and positions of strength.  That is, incumbent players will play better to try to keep their job and newly signed free agents will elevate their game to try to win a job.  

I think that is what Ted Thompson means when he says that he is looking to get as many good football players as possible.

Rest easy, Packer fans.  The future is bright.

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