2011 NFL Draft: In Ted We Trust: Packers in Good Hands with GM Ted Thompson

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2011 NFL Draft: In Ted We Trust: Packers in Good Hands with GM Ted Thompson
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Packers GM has another finger to raise for his critics after building a Super Bowl Champion last season.

Ted Thompson stirred the proverbial pot when he said so-called draft experts don't know what they're talking about. 

He later clarified by saying he has respect for people who scout players for a living, like Mike Mayock or Mel Kiper Jr. 

The irony, of course, is Thompson tends to be right exceedingly more often than he's wrong, even if he's not particularly politically correct about the way he says it. 

He was talking about Kiper, McShay, Mayock and every other analyzt or self-proclaimed expert following the draft and he's right: compared to him, they don't know much at all. 

Remember, this is the same guy who told Brett Favre "Thanks, but no thanks," unarguably the gutsiest call in franchise history. Aaron Rodgers, belt around his waist, proved beyond any doubt, Thompson made the right call. 

Still, a contingent of couch-sitting Monday morning quarterbacks will question Thompson. They have since he came to Green Bay. 

"How can you turn your back on a legend?" "Thompson pushed Favre out." That's how it started. We now know that to be unequivocally false. Brett Favre closed the door on Green Bay, Thompson just locked it behind him. 

"This team is too young. They can't win a close game," other critics screamed. In Green Bay's final seven games last season, including the playoffs and the Super Bowl, the Packers held a double-digit lead in every game except one. 

ESPN was running a promo for the 2011 NFL Draft based on the success the Packers, particularly under Thompson, had finding quality players.

They went 6-1 in those games, with the lone loss on the road in New England with Matt Flynn at quarterback.

The one game without the big lead was a game in which the Packers won on a late touchdown pass by Aaron Rodgers to beat the Bears and seal a trip to the playoffs. 

I think you remember the rest. 

A mind-numbing amount of stats could be used to show how effective Thompson has been at drafting and building a team, but any Packer fan who has been conscious for the last year knows. 

Green Bay doesn't win the Super Bowl if Ted Thompson doesn't draft Josh Sitton in the fourth round when most draft experts (there we go with that phrase again), said he was an undrafted free agent at best.

He's now, at best, the top interior lineman in the league, and at worst in the top 5.  

Mel Kiper doesn't even mention Sitton in his analysis of the Packer's draft that year. 

Speaking of undrafted free agents, the Packers don't win a title last season with the help of Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Frank Zombo, Eric Walden and a gaggle of guys who bring the phrase "rag-tag" to life. 

And I haven't even mentioned Greg Jennings, Nick Collins, Jordy Nelson, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji, Desmond Bishop or A.J. Hawk.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Derek Sherodd (#79) wasn't a flashy pick for the Packers in April's draft, but could be Chad Clifton's eventual replacement at left tackle.

The reality is Ted Thompson is playing chess, just about everyone else is playing checkers.

So you don't like Derek Sherrod, Green Bay's first round pick, because you wanted the Pack to trade up and get Mark Ingram.

Why?

Do you know what Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew and Arian Foster have in common? They're four of the top six rushers from last season and each has a legitimate claim to being the best back in football. 

You know what else they have in common? They were all watching the NFL playoffs from the couch.

There's nothing wrong with being a spectator, of course, except when your job is supposed to be on the field. 

But when you're a fan, your job is to support your team. It's the right of a fan to question what their team is doing whether it's the players, coaches, or management. 

However, this Packer team, including its coaches and staff have proven worthy of the fans' trust. 

I question the decisions my friends and family make sometimes, but I trust they know what they're doing. I trust them to do what is best for them, particularly when their judgment has worked out so well in the past. 

If you're a fan, you want a person running your team who believes in his formula and cares about winning more than he does about anything else. 

Derek Sherodd looks like a potential decade-long starter at left tackle, protecting Aaron Rodgers' blindside. We won't know until he has to try and block Jared Allen, Julius Peppers and the beastly defensive lines in the NFC North. 

Randall Cobb looks like a perfect fit for the Pack's up-tempo offense and could be the answer in the return game. We won't know until he takes the field, whenever it is we have football. 

We, as fans, can look. We can watch. Ted Thompson sees. His vision has been the best in the business over the last five years.

Ted Thompson's message to the blogosphere, talk radio and even the television big shots of the NFL draft was simple, "Shut up."

As for Ted, he just lets his shiny new trophy do the talking. With the team Thompson has assembled, there's reason to expect a pretty gregarious trophy case as long as No.12 is under center, Mike McCarthy is on the sidelines, and Ted Thompson pulls the strings.  

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