Longtime Packers GM has seen the franchise experience a yo-yo existence under his guidance, but he’s driven fans in Green Bay mad and past the point of frustration with questionable draft selections and personnel decisions since assuming his role in 2005.
While an armchair writer can easily nitpick at decisions made by every GM, Thompson hasn’t lived up to the hype of somebody with excellent talent evaluation skills.
His discretion to allow Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila earn a $6 million bonus showed a lack of due diligence.
Reviewing draft decisions, I don’t include crapshoot picks made between the fifth and seven rounds. Including fourth-round selections is probably pushing it but here’s a quick rundown of Thompson’s picks from 2005 to 2009:
1st- Aaron Rodgers
2nd – Nick Collins (B+) / 2nd – Terrence Murphy
4th – Marviel Underwood / 4th – Brady Poppinga
First – A.J. Hawk
Second – Darryn Colledge / Second – Greg Jennings
Third – Abdul Hodge / Third – Jason Spitz
Fourth – Cory Rodgers / Fourth – Will Blackmon
First – Justin Harrell
Second – Brandon Jackson
Third – James Jones / Third – Aaron Rouse
Fourth – Allen Barbre
Second – Jordy Nelson / Second – Brian Brohm / Second – Pat Lee
Third – Jermichael Finley
Fourth – Jeremy Thompson / Fourth – Josh Sitton
It’s still early to grade how the ’09 class will turn out but Clay Matthews was fantastic his rookie year, and B.J. Raji is talented but many experts feel he’s a bust-in-the-making. Beyond Rodgers and Collins—no, I’m not sold on Hawk—it’s easy to see most of those picks were wasted.
Many of his moves contributed to an almost unheard of seven-game slide for one of the more storied franchises in NFL history.
Right or wrong, he will always be connected with how Brett Favre’s legacy ended in Green Bay. Favre ending up in the NFC North and leading the Vikings to a beat-down of the Packers probably didn’t sit well with cheese heads.