This is the first of a seven part series, looking back at Ted Thompsons draft selections, round by round since his appointment as Green Bay’s General Manger in 2005.
It is six weeks to the day of the 2010 NFL Draft and this series will every week cover a round at which Thompson has selected.
Each round will be graded A-F and in a nut shell will be looking back at Thompsons hits, misses, busts and gems of his five year tenure at Green Bay.
Starting off the series are Thompsons seventh round draft selections.
Round Seven - (number selected)
2005 – LB Kurt Campbell, Albany (245) and G William Whitticker, Michigan State (246)
2006 – DE Dave Tollefson, Northwest Missouri State (253)
2007 – RB DeShawn Wynn, Florida (228) and TE Clark Harris, Rutgers (243)
2008 – QB Matt Flynn, Louisiana State (209) and WR Brett Swain, San Diego State (217)
2009 – LB Brad Jones, Colorado (218)
Draft Grade - C
Selections - 8
Starters in 2009 – Brad Jones (week 12 onwards)
Roster made in 2009 – Matt Flynn, Brett Swain, Brad Jones, and DeShawn Wynn (IR)
The arrival of Brad Jones in week 12 was a much needed silver lining in Green Bay. Packer favourite Aaron Kampman sustained a season-ending injury during the week 11 matchup against the 49ers, leaving Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy to ponder at who would replace the two-time Pro Bowler.
Whether Jones can replace Kampman and become Green Bay’s staring OLB, come 2010 is yet to be seen. What Jones has shown is that can be a solid back up in the NFL and has proven to be a nice selection by Thompson.
On paper Jones’ production looks solid; four starts, 33 tackles, four being sacks at OLB looks promising. However at times Jones struggled against the run and didn’t win enough one on one battles with opposing tackles. His lack of quarterback pressure allowed teams to double fellow rookie Clay Matthews, who excelled in Green Bay’s new 3-4 defense.
2007 selection DeShawn Wynn looked promising in his rookie season, rushing for 203 yards, averaging 4.1 yards per carry, recording four touchdowns. However Wynn struggled staying healthy for Green Bay and with the acquisition of Ryan Grant in 2007, Wynn lost his starting job and any chance of having a future in Green Bay.
Former LSU quarterback Matt Flynn and San Diego State wide out Brett Swain have yet to show Packer fans their true potential. Thompson rewarded Flynn to play back-up to Aaron Rodgers, beating out former second round pick Brian Brohm. Thompson also brought back Brett Swain, who spent a year on the Packers practice squad.
The final notable signing for Thompson in the seventh round was released after his first season with the Pack. Defensive end Dave Tollefson did not factor for Green Bay in 2006 however won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants a season later. After just completing his fourth year in the league, third with the Giants, Tollefson has recorded 4.5 sacks in a situational role in the "Big Apple."
Overall Ted Thompson’s seventh round selections have made some impacts for Green Bay and Jones contribution filling in for Kampman was heartening. Having four of these seventh round selections on the 53-man roster at the beginning of the season 2009 was encouraging to see.
Thompson receives a C due to previous misses in the 2005 and 2006 draft classes, in addition to Wynn’s inability to remain healthy. Not knowing whether the likes of Flynn and Swain are fully NFL ready leaves Thompsons grade as a solid C.
Look out for the sixth round analysis on Sunday!