2011 Draft is the Low Point for Ted Thompson

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Derek Sherrod

Derek Sherrod

For a guy who more or less only builds his football team through the draft, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson didn’t do his one and only job very well in 2011.

That draft class is, without question, the low point in Thompson’s career.

Five years later, only one selection from that class remains on the Packers’ roster. That player is receiver Randall Cobb, who Thompson chose in the second round at No. 64 overall.

Here’s a look at the picks.

1. Derek Sherrod, T, Mississippi State, 32
2. Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky, 64
3. Alex Green, RB, Hawaii, 96
4. Davon House, CB, New Mexico State, 131
5. D.J. Williams, TE, Arkansas, 141
6a. Caleb Schlauderaff, G, Utah, 179
6b. D.J. Smith, LB, Appalachian State, 186
6c. Ricky Elmore, LB, Arizona, 197
7a. Ryan Taylor, TE, North Carolina, 218
7b. Lawrence Guy, DE, Arizona State, 233

What do you notice there?

It’s not that most of those guys aren’t playing for the Packers anymore. They’re out of the NFL entirely.

In addition to Cobb, cornerback Davon House and defensive end Lawrence Guy are the only players still in the league.

House was never able to become a full-time starter for the Packers and signed as a free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015. He is a starter there, but the Packers didn’t hesitate to let him walk. That says plenty.

Let’s review the rest.

Elmore and Schlauderaff couldn’t make the team as rookies. Elmore was released before final cuts and has never appeared on an active NFL roster. Schlauderaff was traded just prior to the 2011 season (because he wasn’t going to make the roster either) to the Jets, where he served as a backup through the 2014 season.

The Packers gave up on Smith, Williams and Green after just two seasons. Smith played in just two more NFL games. Williams played in nine. Green played in 13 with the Jets in 2013, his final season in the NFL.

Taylor, who was basically only around because he could play special teams, made it through the first five games of the 2014 season before being released. He hooked on with two other teams that season, but hasn’t played since.

You know the story of Sherrod. It’s one of injuries.

The Packers finally gave up and released him in October 2014. He hasn’t played since.

The one anomaly here is Lawrence Guy.

Guy never played a snap for the Packers, losing his rookie season to injury and then getting cut prior to the 2012 season. Guy spent two seasons with the Colts, two with San Diego and has been in Baltimore since 2014. In 2015, Guy had 46 tackles and 4.5 sacks while starting six games.

That was by far his best season as a pro.

Here are the numbers on those draft picks.

  • 9 of 10 no longer with the Packers
  • 7 of 10 out of the league entirely
  • 7 of 10 haven’t played since 2014
  • 6 of 10 played two seasons or less with the Packers
  • 3 of 10 never played a down for the Packers

Every team hits and misses in the draft.

However, you have to wonder if Thompson was still drunk from the Super Bowl when he made these picks. The total misjudgment of talent in 2011 is almost incomprehensible.

About The Author

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.

18 Comments on "2011 Draft is the Low Point for Ted Thompson"

  1. RUPackFan

    To be fair, letting Davon House walk is giving us a 4th rounder back. For a guy like Ted who’s going after value and picks, he certainly got it there. It yielded depth for a few years and a similar selection this year.

  2. Kato

    Not to sound like a broken record, but to be fair, the 2010 and 2011 drafts were not good classes in general. Only like 7% of the guys drafted in those classes combined made the pro bowl. The 2011 class was fairly top heavy but didn’t have a whole lot of depth

  3. Kato

    I can’t believe we made it like a week without bashing Ted Thompson on here. You would think our GM was the eagles GM or Matt Millen. Btw, the patriots only have two players left from that draft class, one of them being the #17 overall pick. So slightly better than the packers, but not by a lot. The Seahawks were actually about the only team that came out with a strong draft class.

  4. ItsATeamGame

    I agree with Kato. The 2011 draft was all around in general. Sherrod and Green were injury issues. Cobb was a stud. They got good years out of house and turned it into a compensatory. They traded Schlauderaff. Other teams wish they had that much success in that crappy crappy draft.

  5. Kato

    Howard- yes. When you lose those guys I think it does have an effect on a team’s front office. They also lost John Dorsey shortly afterwards as well as Reggie McKenzie. As much as some people on this site would love to try and lead to believe, this is not a poorly run team that relies on just Aaron Rodgers to win. This is a very well run organization that is the model for any franchise. There is a reason that teams have been poaching their front office for the past 7 years. The packers have lost more front office guys to other teams than any other franchise in the past decade.

  6. PF4L

    You’re right Joseph, the Packers didn’t hesitate to let House walk. you also mentioned “that says plenty”.

    What you didn’t mention, was that House had a better year than Shields

  7. vj

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/history/fulldraft?season=2011
    click on the link to be taken to the actual 2011 nfl draft. To be fair, the Pack did pick last in Rd1. However, several players drafted after She-rod were better players (as in any draft class year). Maybe had he not gotten injured he would’ve been a stud but that was not the case. At the end of the day, it’s a crap shoot. Half the players selected never pan out in the long run but it’s at least interesting to go round by round and play the “what if” game….

    • Phatgzus

      Murray, Kendricks, Wright, and Houston pretty much the only what-ifs, talk about a shit draft class, there’s almost no one productive left in the NFL who wasn’t a first-rounder (and the Packers selected two of them).

      It is indeed a crapshoot, e.g. Jonathan Baldwin selected 2 rounds ahead of Justin Houston.

  8. vj

    This is also why being smart about acquiring players through Free Agency or “Street” Free agents is so vital to a teams success. You can never have enough GOOD football players.

  9. vj

    Take a look at that shitty Alex Green pick, a few picks later (4th round) went K.J. Wright, Clint Boling, Jordan Cameron among others….SHEESH!!!!!!

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