Ted Thompson’s Success: John Schneider and John Dorsey?

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Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson

I friend and I were talking about the success of Ted Thompson in the draft. This conversation centered mostly on the 2012 draft and the lack of production from that draft, in light of the release of safety Jerron McMillian.

He suggested that the departure of personnel execs John Schneider to the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 and the departure of John Dorsey to the Kansas City Chiefs after this past season have played a role in that. After all, both of those teams are very successful right now.

Reggie McKenzie also left for the general manager’s job in Oakland, and although they’re not successful right now, the departure had to hurt the Packers’ front office.

But back to Schneider and Dorsey.

The Seahawks are the best team in the NFL right now. The Chiefs, a year after winning two games, are 9-3.

That’s not all because of the GM, but while those teams have few personnel issues, the Packers have a lot. And since the Packers only build through the draft, that falls at the feet of Thompson.

By the way, neither Schneider or Dorsey have followed that philosophy. They sign free agents, much like the architect of this whole team of personnel guys did. If you didn’t know, that guy was Ron Wolf.

In any case, it’s interesting to look at these guys’ moves to see if maybe, Thompson relied on them more than anyone else in the Packers’ next-man-up organization would like to admit.

In his first draft in Seattle, Schneider landed Russell Okung, a stalwart left tackle and one-time Pro Bowler; safety Earl Thomas, a two-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All Pro; Golden Tate, a starting receiver; and safety Kam Chancellor, who’s made one Pro Bowl.

Schneider also traded for All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch during the 2010 season. The Packers were in the conversation for Lynch, but Thompson didn’t pull the trigger.

In 2011, Schneider landed linebacker K.J. Wright, a starter who has 77 tackles so far this season; and Richard Sherman, who’s widely considered the best defensive back in the game.

Okay, so that wasn’t a huge draft, but Richard Sherman.

And how about 2012? Defensive end Bruce Irvin, who had 10 sacks as a rookie; linebacker Bobby Wagner, who has 80 tackles this season and two picks; oh, and some guy named Russell Wilson.

In the 2013 draft, Schneider doesn’t have much to speak of, but let’s be honest. Seattle was a Super Bowl favorite coming into the season AND they signed some prime free agents in the offseason. Namely, defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.

Bennett has 6.5 sacks so far and scored a touchdown on Monday night. Avril has 7.5 sacks thus far.

There’s something Thompson would never do. And damn their production! We build from within!

Now, Dorsey has had just one draft class and we’ll be honest, he isn’t getting a lot of production from that class.

Dorsey did make the trade for quarterback Alex Smith, though. While you can argue that Smith hasn’t been spectacular, he never was. He’s exactly what the Chiefs needed, though.

He makes smart decisions and doesn’t turn the ball over.

Dorsey also wasn’t afraid to sign some free agents. He signed or re-signed 22 guys — only five of them being re-signings — to remake the interior of the roster.

How do the Packers remake the interior of their roster every season? Undrafted free agents.

You know, so they can remain the youngest team in the league. And DEVELOP FROM WITHIN!

So really, this wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t look at Thompson’s drafts since 2010. And we already know he hasn’t signed any free agents who’ve made a contribution since then. So, here we go.

There have been zero Pro Bowls among the Packers’ 2010 draftees. The most notable of those guys are tackle Bryan Bulaga, who’s been pretty average; safety Morgan Burnett, who’s getting paid like a Pro Bowler, but isn’t; outside linebacker Mike Neal, who’s a situational pass rusher; and tight end Andrew Quarless, who’s an NFL backup.

There are only four guys from the 2011 draft class still on the Packers’ roster. Only one of them is a starter — Randall Cobb. Cornerback Davon House, tackle Derek Sherrod and tight end Ryan Taylor are the others still on the roster. Only House plays any sort of somewhat-major role at this point.

We’ve been over the 2012 draft. Four guys who didn’t make it through their second season. At this point, there are two sometime-contibutors — defensive tackle Mike Daniels and outside linebacker Nick Perry, when he isn’t injured. Cornerback Casey Hayward may become a stalwart, but we don’t know that right now because he’s out for the season.

So, let’s be honest. Where did Ted really hit since Schneider left?

Two times: Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy, his second-round pick prior to this season.

In that same period, Schneider hit on eight guys, and we’re leaving out Golden Tate because we don’t believe he’s top-level talent.

What’s more, both Schneider and Dorsey have taken the Wolf approach. That is, we’ll acquire talent however we can to make our team better, while Thompson has stood by the draft-and-develop philosophy.

It seems pretty obvious how that’s playing out.

Draft-and-develop only works if you draft well and the Packers haven’t done that very often in recent seasons.

Maybe it’s time for another philosophy.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

63 Comments on "Ted Thompson’s Success: John Schneider and John Dorsey?"

  1. E. Wolf

    Know how long it took Nick Collins to come into his own? Four years. Perry, Datone Jone, Neal, some of the other guys do show potential. Clean up the injuries, bring in a new DC, address safety and defensive tackle I think things will be ok.

    • Mike

      Why settle for OK when you could settle for grand? Why not shoot for the moon and get even better results? It is glaringly obvious that you love the Packers! Your POV’s show that , and you are really what a fan (short for fanatic) is. Your cognitive dissonance regarding the Packers is admirable albeit a tad naïve. But what is wrong with really wishing your team is the best? even though all data, trends and results prove different these past few years?

      • E. Wolf

        Please don’t argue semantics. FOr me being ok means being regular Super Bowl contender.
        We agree about the past few years. I believe it is a mix of coaching and injuries. I have seen these players make plays, just not consistently. The ability is there.

        • Ivomitonvikingfans

          I would hardly call them regular Super Bowl contenders. Do you know how long it took Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas to come into their own? Not 5 fucking years. I am not advocating that TT be fired, but he needs to draft better and if(when) that doesn’t work then he needs to find the talent through FA or trade. Status quo isn’t working.

  2. Big B

    Interesting thought-loss of big hitters in the line-up. I wonder who in the building can TT bounce ideas off of. I doubt Eliot Wolf will stand up to him. It seems like there is a lack of checks/balances in the GM/personnel office. TT is the last man standing and the past couple of years he has not been getting results. One guy needs to make the final calls, but he needs quality input, and that doesn’t seem to have been replenished.

  3. Mike

    Great article! it is about time that someone pulled the covers off the “fugal” GM TT! I have always believed that he was just a “part” of a bigger reason as to our (TT’s) early success! I firmly believe that he is not making good draft picks as he was, and furthermore, as stated in the article, not getting any “stud” FA’s! Contrary to the belief of half the people on this board that there are GREAT players to be had through F Agency if due diligence is used!!! Bravo!

  4. PF4L

    Credit is givin to TT for handling Favre, drafting Rodgers. I stood behind TT when he did it, when the majority of Packer fans hated TT with passion over the Favre issue. TT did the right thing, he put his ass on the line. For that i give him credit.

    Now….Who made who?

    Since 2008. I don’t know what the Packers success or record would look like these last 5+ years if we didn’t have Rodgers

  5. Shawn Iltarion

    A team that has made the playoffs four straight seasons has major personnel issues? Wow. Who knew?

    Everyone who is good on KC was there before Dorsey got there. Alex Smith is a mediocre QB who the Chiefs will never win a Super Bowl with. Dorsey spent his first round pick on a left tackle who has struggled.

    John Schneider? You mean the guy who gave oft-injured Percy Harvin $25 million guaranteed to sit the bench? That guy?

    Yeah, you can make those kind of mistakes in free agency when you are only paying your QB $600,000 a season. That shit is ending shortly. The Packers don’t have such a luxury.

    I don’t agree that Seattle is the best team. I’m not sold on their offense, and though their defense should be great, it has had its poor moments- like against Tampa Bay. Personally, I think the 49ers drub them in San Fran.

    • PF4L

      Making the playoffs are fine, if thats the only goal you have.

      We made the playoffs, and make no mistake about it, got our asses kicked and embarrassed. Yea, we made the playoffs…GREAT.

      You say KC will never win the Super Bowl with Alex Smith?
      Only 2 people could know that, you and God. Will you be my higher power?

  6. Shawn Iltarion

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, having those guys didn’t hurt. There was a reason why they were hired by other teams. There was an article about the triumvirate and their parting on this site before this season.

    However, let’s see…

    Datone Jones, Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin, David Bakhtiari, Micah Hyde… Yeah, I don’t know. Seems like things are going just fine without those guys.

    • PF4L

      Franklin?…1 103 yard rushing game does not make a great draft pick. Jury out

      Lacy, so far so good, a bruiser.

      Bakhtiari..Promising, struggles..Jury out

      Hyde..Promising, good tackler, gets lost in coverage, jury out

      The drafted players listed in the article are mostly Pro Bowl players.

    • PackAttack

      Iltarion. Are you fucking serious? Are you fucking serious with those comments? I sware your a fucking 13 year old sexual predator living in your mom’s basement. Do you watch games or just hit the box score after games? Are you truly this fucking clueless?

      David Bakhtiari? What? Is he some All Pro T or something I don’t know about? Wake the fuck up Iltarion, he’s ranked as the 62nd T in the NFL right now. Micah Hyde? What….the….fuck? Who are you comparing these guys to? Datone Jones? Jury is as much out on him as it is on Nick Perry, neither have done shit. And by shit meaning All-Pro, meaning productive game in and game out, forcing consistent pressure, producing numbers, staying healthy and WINNING GAMES!

      Do I need to list the picks Thompson has busted on again?

      Do you realize the Packers, this whole fucking team, this whole fucking defense is worthless without ONE FUCKING PLAYER!!!! ONE PLAYER makes this team! ONE GUY! ONE FUCKING GUY Iltarion!

      If these drafts picks were worth anything at all we’d be better than 0-4-1 without Rodgers.

      You are a clueless motherfucker, and yet again you just amaze me with your absolute lack of intelligence.

      • Phatgzus

        The research you’re quoting regarding our LT is at least 5 weeks old, and (as is the case with most stats) offer only a restrictive view.
        http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/1802203-rankings-dont-tell-whole-story-about-packers-rookie-lt-david-bakhtiari

        That story also references an article from PFF released two weeks prior that listed the Packers O-line as the 7th best; including a statement about our LT in that he has been generally good but when he gets beat, it happens quickly.

        https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/10/09/ranking-
        the-2013-offensive-lines-first-quarter/4/

        The point being stats used selectively are fantastic artifices that must be interpreted with a grain of salt and a measure of diligence.

        • PF4L

          The O lines ranking with and without Rodgers, would be night and day. Just because Rodgers makes a pathetic O line look ok on some stat sheet because Rodgers can elude sacks, can pass for yards, and throw a lot of TD’s doesnt mean we have a substantial O line. Check the O line stats, with Rodgers and without Rodgers and tell me what you find.

          Iltarion? You want to cry the defense was on the field too much?
          That is true, but why was the defense on the field too much? BINGO..Because Rodgers wasn’t there to extend drives keeping the offense on the field. Everything comes back to Rodgers doesn’t it? Why? Because Rodgers makes the team go, good, or bad.

          You also insinuate things went to hell when EDS went down. But you fail to explain why. I have an idea. Is it because we don’t have any O line depth to replace him at center? So then they have to start rotating lineman positions? IS IT BECA– — USE WE ARE UNPREPARED FOR INJURYS? Who’s fault is that? McCarthys? Nope. Capers? Nope. Mark Murphy? Nope…..Are you thinking Ted Thompsons fault?…BINGO!!

          • PF4L

            Meant to address E Wolf, not iltarion. I get those 2 Teddy sack worshipers confused. My bad.

      • E. Wolf

        Do you think Tolzien and Flynn would fare better if Cobb and Finley were on the field? Did you bother to note how things really hit the fan in Detroit when EDS went down? Did you note that the defense was one the field for over 40 minutes in Detroit? Do you think the defense would play better if Matthews, Perry, Datone Jones, Sam SHields were 100 percent?

  7. Harbor Bar

    Well, I was thinking the same thing while watching Seattle.. how many Packer coaches/managers/execs actually went there to help develop what they are today…

  8. ay hombre

    I generally tend to agree with Iltarion, but his whole argument is based on the fact that we made the playoffs 4 years in a row and therefore could not have personnel issues.

    Thing is, the only reason we’ve been a playoff team all four of those years is because of one guy.

    The one that’s hurt and not playing now…Aaron Rodgers.

    • Savage57

      And 3 of those 4 years the Packers made the playoffs, what did they do?

      Say it with me now: Shit the bed.

      Just fucking stellar personnel and performance.

      All is well.

  9. Deepsky

    My theory is that Dorsey and Schneider knew they were leaving, so a the last couple drafts they ran were duds. I think this years draft is already showing signs of a being a good one.

  10. Deepsky

    My theory is that Dorsey and Schneider knew they were leaving, so a the last couple drafts they ran were duds. I think this years draft is already showing signs of a being a good one.

  11. Savage57

    And ne’er the twain shall meet.

    In the last however long, but certainly more so in the last year, Packernation has become a house divided. Those that are recognizing the fallibility and liability of ‘The Thompson Way’, and those that fondly recall past success and hold to hope that their faith will be served. If I see ‘In Ted We Trust’ one more time…

    For all the bullshit that gets tossed around about how sound his ‘draft and develop’ approach is, how about he try out this little gem…like ‘draft and play’ maybe? And sometime during my fucking lifetime, for the team I support.

    If you do any empirical, objective review of TT’s drafts the last three years and can take off the rose colored glasses and set the grape kool-aid down, his hit rate is about 28% (and no, I’m not gonna type all the shit out I had to look up – you want to know it, look it up yourself). Not stellar by any means, and as we are finding out, barely competitive. And fuck the injury excuses, too. Why is it that all of the Packer reserves play like it’s their first time on a football field when they have to replace an injured player?

    Short story here – TT ties one arm behind his back due to his steadfast refusal to use all the avenues to acquire personnel. And if it was just his dumb ass he was handicapping, that’d be OK and no one would care. But it’s not and when the result is a steady crop of marginal players, with few splash players to be seen, the result is the downward trend from the pinnacle he rode on AR’s coattails. And the saddest part is, the reason he does it is because that’s how he made it to the NFL, and by the fuck christ, he’s gonna grind on the fucking axe he’s been carrying around for 30 years that you can make a championship team out of ring-meat players just like him now that he’s sittin’ in the big chair.

    And E. Wolf, here’s a pre-emptive go fuck yourself.

    • E. Wolf

      And fuck you, too.

      If you do any empirical, objective review of TT’s drafts the last three years and can take off the rose colored glasses and set the grape kool-aid down, his hit rate is about 28%

      It is impossible to do an objective review because other factors come into play, particularly with defensive players. A lot of the guys that people are unsure about (Neal, Perry, Worthy, Datone Jones among others) have at least shown ability to make plays intermittently. That suggests COACHING. And then a number of these guys are playing hurt.
      Change out Capers and maybe some of this staff, and a lot of potential here could be realized. We see it now in KC, New Orleans, for just two examples.
      Oh and did I mention that Nick Collins really came into his own in his FOURTH year.

  12. PackAttack

    I cannot get over how fucking stupid Iltarion is. How can you be that fucking dumb?

    This team sucks. It’s 0-4-1 without ONE PLAYER. This team has nothing, no defense, no playmakers, nothing. It’s an awful franchise and poorly built — has the last month not been a reflection of just that!

    Thompson is a clueless fuck who is overrated as anyone in the game today. He has not drafted well AT ALL! It took him 6 years to take a decent RB in the draft (SIX FUCKING YEARS), never makes trades, never signs FA. Hasn’t replaced Collins, hasn’t replaced Woodson, hasn’t fixed the OL, hasn’t established a pass rush, hasn’t been able to protect his franchise QB. What has he done? If you ask Iltarion he’ll tell you that Micah Hyde and Bakhtiari “aren’t too bad” — yes Iltarion you fucking moron, Micah Hyde and the 62nd ranked tackle in the NFL — great fucking moves. I can’t wait to see Hyde show up on the NFL All No Namer List. You fucking moron.

    THIS TEAM IS WINLESS WITHOUT IT’S ONLY GOOD PLAYER. Sorry, it’s a fact! It’s fucking concrete that this team and this franchise is NOTHING without Rodgers. Has that not been clearly established? Is that not writing on the walls yet or do we need to loose 5 more games without Rodgers before Iltarion will finally buy into the fact that this team and Ted Thompson literally suck at life.

    The common excuse? Injuries. Injuries. Injuries.

    But AJ Hawk, Brad Jones, Morgan Burnett, Nick Perry and Tramon are all healthy? I see a lot of contract extensions in that group, a few 1st Round picks and the ending result is THE WORST FUCKING DEFENSE IN THE NFL! So what am I missing on defense? What injury is so crippling to this unit that they have an excuse for being this fucking bad? Or is it just time to admit that Ted Thompson just flat out sucks!???

  13. hate faux fans

    Lol wow calm down there,i rarely call people band wagon fans but your last post warrants such statements. If you honestly believe there are no stars aside from Rodgers you must not be to bright, now I’m sure you switched from a team who isn’t used to winning and joined packer nation but for done one to even say the packers are a bad franchise is idiotic

    • PF4L

      I never understood, how someone on the internet, can call someone they don’t know, a bandwagon fan.

      It seems to me, packattack has more passion than most about the Packers. So how you come up with bandwagon fan, is beyond me.

      He might have been a Packer fan longer than you have been trying to type coherent sentences.

    • PackAttack

      I’m a fan of Rodgers, Cobb, Nelson, Lacy, heck I even like Flynn, I don’t mind J-Finley, I actually like Raji and found his one and only commercial good for a laugh. I loved Desmond Bishop, I really like Shields when he plays the way he’s capable. Loved Woodson. Loved Collins. Loved the guys who made plays and cared, showed passion unlike AJ Hawk, Brad Jones, Marshall Newhouse, David Bakharti, Morgan Burnett, MD Jennings and the now overpaid TraMON.

      The lifespan of NFL players is short, damn short, so why in the fucking hell should I be happy watching another WASTED fucking season go down the drain when there is suppose to be 2 more fucking months of football???? How in the fuck is that suppose to be a good thing? Giving up with a month left? Sweet, let’s wait another 365 days for football season because Franchise QB’s play forever in their prime right?

      Unfuckingreal. Giving away time in the NFL is a joke. Play the fucking game, play to win. Turd Thompson wastes years like this one and last year for what??? Draft picks like Nick Perry who don’t give a fuck and don’t produce.

      Fuck that.

  14. Richard

    These aren’t the Green Bay Packers anymore, they are the Green Bay Rodgers. They are a proven house of cards. Most teams freak out when a massive contract is given out because it waters down the rest of the roster (see Romo, Tony and Flacco, Joe) but in this case it is perfectly appropriate. Ted Thompson will not have to worry about signing any of these rookie shitbags to any blockbuster deals. If anything Rodgers should double his salary after this shitshow.

  15. Taurean

    So you are suggesting we sign free agents. Screw up our team chemistry and also in a couple of years cut and gut because of a bad salary cap and lose guys like Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy. Yea i don’t buy that. That doesn’t sound like a good idea at all

  16. Cuban

    So signing free agents would hurt team chemistry, im not sure if you noticed this or not, but by how shitty defense and special teams look, those units dont really look like there chemistry is that great, unless they are all on board with being pieces of shot, in which case great chemistry

  17. cbrouch@yahoo.com

    Fellas fellas, lighten up Francis! Be passionate, be excited, but good ness gracious….the commentary above is way too crazy for a past-time. be this passionate about your parenting, about your church, or your volunteering. But c’mon, this is football.
    I am as passionate about the Pack as most! I own my stock and am a season ticket holder. But there is a matter of prioritization you need to keep in life.
    2 quick thoughts to the discussion:
    1. The losing streak is not JUST Rodgers being out. Cobb, Finley, Barclay, Matthews, Perry, Sheilds, Heyward and Brad Jones ALL have missed time during this stretch. That’s a total of 9 of 22 starters…that’s not ONE guy missing. take that many significant guys off ANY team in this league, and my bet is they are not winning too many games either.
    2. Question: at 5-2 before all these injuries, was TT and the Team’s strategy, and personal as bad as all the screaming is about? Just curious.
    Go Pack Go!

      • PF4L

        Another injury whiner. E-Wolf found a friend. “Goodness gracious”.

        You make a good point cbrouch (bs). Funny thing is, we won games, when Cobb,Finley,Clay, and others were out. Nice try. Those games were won because Rodgers was playing.

        The losing streak is not just Rodgers being out? Really?Goodness gracious.

        • E. Wolf

          It seems you are unfamiliar with the concept of a multifactor equation–something which demonstrates the mentality of a child. Rodgers being is obvious. But it stands to reason that if Finley and Cobb were available, it would improve the performance of the third and fourth stringers.
          It beggars belief one would have to explain something like that. I see you continue to enjoy responding to your own posts.

    • PF4L

      2. Question: at 5-2 before all these injuries…

      Excuse me cbrouch…..All these injurys happened after 7 games?

      Don’t say things so utterly false and transparent. Makes you look like a moron. Goodness gracious.

        • Kenny

          Ok great. But the problem is, most of those guys are back. Actually, the only opening day starters out right now are Rodgers, Finley, Cobb, and Bulaga. Pretty sure they still have all of their defensive starters. Last week they SHIT the bed at detroit. Actually, they luckily tied one of the worst teams in the league starting an autistic qb, lost to mediocre teams like the giants and eagles. Teddy is better than about half the GM’s out there. But this stretch without rodgers clearly shows how overrated he is. Truth is, with an average qb, this team would maybe win 5-6 gams. Maybe. This team does have some talent, but I think coaching is a major issue. The talent development, particularly in the secondary has been very lacking for the last number of years. For the amount of supposed talent back there, and the salaries of the guys back there, they sure do get a lot of new assholes torn.

          • E. Wolf

            Casey Hayward is not back. A number of those other guys are back, but are not 100 percent. As for offense, those are your star players.
            Another thing, I have a hunch the defense has just cashed it in for the year. That also goes to coaching or lack thereof.

        • PF4L

          @wolfie…He said what he said……He said 5-2 before all these injuries…..Isn’t that what he wrote?….Don’t be such a moron, no wonder people in here hate you.

          • E. Wolf

            Actually, a lot of people on here like me–Tucson Packer, Iltarion, Chad Lundberg. Monty has also forwarded me a couple of fan emails. So there.

          • Savage57

            Who the fuck besides a 5 year old girl in pigtails uses the comeback “so there”?

            E. Wolf, that’s who. Fucking brilliant.

  18. Cuban

    So apparently out of this 5 game stretch, the only time this defense has played like shit was the detroit game when they were on the field 40 minutes, that right?

  19. Cuban

    What was the excuse opening game against 49ers, let me guess injuries to burnett and heyward, because we all kno how good they were once they came back

  20. vj

    Thanks for writing this article Monty. It looks from the comments that our conversation about this topic the.other day.was a good topic to cover!

  21. Cuban

    Ur right, hes not back, but he came back, sucked a dick, got hurt again and placed on ir

    Its not like he didnt come, and its not like he played well when he did come back, he played like shit hence why they ir’d him

  22. Cuban

    You love using this whole injury bullshit as an excuse, but you completely ignore how even when they come back from the injury they suck

    Then you expect us not to know as if noone else is satching games but you. Do you honestly believe they would have ir’d him if he had played shutdown corner when he got back, especially considering how “well” the rest of the secondary has played

  23. cbrouch@yahoo.com

    LOL!!!!
    You guys kill me! If you have to spend your days being this angry at me, TT, or the world,,,,life must really suck! Go get a puppy, or atleast an ice cream cone to cheer yourself up!
    E Wolf has it right,,,
    Clearly, Rodgers injury was the backbreaker,,,but it is far worse with all of the additional challenges that came with the rest of these injuries.
    Now, about that ice cream….McD’s has cones for about a buck! hop to it!

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