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NFL Draft Prep: Ted Thompson’s Best Rounds

Laughing at Ted Thompson

Earlier today we laid out how Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson does not draft for need, even though he pretends he does. Now, we’re going to explore what rounds Mr. Draft and Develop has his best success in.

Thompson has had the most picks in the seventh round (16), followed closely by the fifth and fourth (14). He’s had the fewest picks in the third (7).

Trader Ted! You know, you’ve got to get rid of as many third-round picks as possible so you can stockpile those sevenths! That’s where all the hidden gems are!

After a lot of thought, it seems like the best way to determine the impact of these classes by round is their number of starts for the Packers. We’ve also thrown in the number of Pro Bowls for each round, as well as how many guys are no longer on the team.

Anyway, let’s get on with it.

First Round (9)
2013 Datone Jones
2012 Nick Perry
2011 Derek Sherrod
2010 Bryan Bulaga
2009 B.J. Raji
2009 Clay Matthews
2007 Justin Harrell
2006 A.J. Hawk
2005 Aaron Rodgers

Starts: 385, Pro Bowls: 8, Not on the roster: 1

Average: 42.8 starts

Second Round (13)
2013 Eddie Lacy
2012 Jerel Worthy
Casey Hayward
2011 Randall Cobb
2010 Mike Neal
2008 Jordy Nelson
Brian Brohm
Pat Lee
2007 Brandon Jackson
2006 Daryn Colledge
Greg Jennings
2005 Nick Collins
Terrence Murphy

Starts: 365, Pro Bowls: 6, Not on the roster: 7

Average: 15.9 starts

Third Round (7)
2011 Alex Green
2010 Morgan Burnett
2008 Jermichael Finley
2007 James Jones
Aaron Rouse
2006 Abdul Hodge
Jason Spitz

Starts: 204, Pro Bowls: 0, Not on the roster: 6

Average: 29.1 starts

Fourth Round (14)
2013 David Bakhtiari
J.C. Tretter
Johnathan Franklin
2012 Mike Daniels
Jerron McMillian
2011 Davon House
2009 T.J. Lang
2008 Jeremy Thompson
Josh Sitton
2007 Allen Barbre
2006 Cory Rodgers
Will Blackmon
2005 Marviel Underwood
Brady Poppinga

Starts: 215, Pro Bowls: 1, Not on the roster: 7

Average: 15.4 starts

Fifth Round (14)
2013 Micah Hyde
Josh Boyd
2012 Terrell Manning
2011 D.J. Williams
2010 Andrew Quarless
Marshall Newhouse
2009 Quinn Johnson
Jamon Meredith
2008 Breno Giacomini
2007 David Clowney
2006 Ingle Martin
Tony Moll
2005 Junius Coston
Michael Hawkins

Starts: 82, Pro Bowls: 0, Not on the roster: 11

Average: 5.9 starts

Sixth Round (13)
2013 Nate Palmer
2011 Caleb Schlauderaff
D.J. Smith
Ricky Elmore
2010 James Starks
2009 Jarius Wynn
Brandon Underwood
2007 Korey Hall
Desmond Bishop
Mason Crosby
2006 Johnny Jolly
2005 Mike Montgomery
Craig Bragg

Starts: 239*, Pro Bowls: 0, Not on the roster: 10

Average: 18.4 starts

* we’re counting Mason Crosby as a starter

Seventh Round (16)
2013 Charles Johnson
Kevin Dorsey
Sam Barrington
2012 Andrew Datko
B.J. Coleman
2011 Ryan Taylor
Lawrence Guy
2010 C.J. Wilson
2009 Brad Jones
2008 Matt Flynn
Brett Swain
2007 DeShawn Wynn
Clark Harris
2006 Dave Tollefson
2005 Kurt Campbell
Will Whitticker

Starts: 74, Pro Bowls: 0, Not on the roster: 11

Average: 4.6 starts

What does all of this tells us?

Well, first let’s get the obvious out of the way. You’re going start guys you draft in the first round unless one of their legs fall off, which we’re pretty sure is what happened to Justin Harrell and Derek Sherrod. Not surprisingly, the most starts come from that group.

Similarly, very few seventh-round picks end up sticking for long in the NFL. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that that’s the the group that’s produced the fewest starts.

What should be surprising is what a shit show Ted’s fifth-round picks have been. The Packers are getting, on average, a little less than six career starts from their fifth-round picks under Ted Thompson. That’s awful.

The team is getting an average of over 10 more career starts per man from their SIXTH-round picks.

If you look at the picks, two of those guys didn’t even make the club — Meredith and Clowney. Four others only made it one season with the team — Manning, Hawkins, Martin and Giacomini.

We’re pretty sure once the fifth round rolls around, Ted takes his big board off the wall, takes a gigantic dump on it, smears it all around and then just walks out of the room.

Ted has actually taken quite a few dumps in the second round as well. The average of 15.9 starts per guy is lower than that of the third and sixth round and nearly even with the fourth (15.4). In other words, Thompson has made his fair share of bust-worthy picks in the second, including Pat Lee, Brian Brohm, Brandon Jackson and through no fault of his own, Terrence Murphy. We suspect Jerel Worthy will be joining that group soon enough.

The other surprising thing is, Ted Thompson has made only one third-round pick that’s currently on the roster — Morgan Burnett. Granted, he’s had only seven third rounders overall, but it’s not a good sign when six of them are no longer with the team.

So if history tells us anything here, it’s that there’s a good chance Ted is going to swing and miss on a guy in the second, trade out of the third and that he might as well not even participate in the fifth.

Either way, buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Monty McMahon

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



  1. Howard May 7, 2014

    Maybe you should also compare to other teams since the Packer are in a league. in addition a lot depends on if you are drafting at the first of the draft or at the end of the draft most years. All I know is if Ted is drafting toward the later half of the draft each year and we keep the most players that were originally drafted or signed by the organization then someone is doing something right other than taking a dump on the draft board.

    You can not hit on all the picks, you cannot take them all, and the more picks you have the better chance you have on finding the gems.

  2. E. Wolf May 7, 2014

    There needs to be a statisical analysis compared to other GMS, weighted with draft order. No one bats 1000. It is just not possible.
    At the time people were gushing about Derek Sherrod. A lot of experts also questioned Eddie Lacy AND David Bakhtiari. I think Pete Prisco gave the latter a -C minus or something, which should invalidate any draft grades within two or three years after the fact. Several teams, including the Steelers and Broncos, put Lacy on the do not pick blacklist as well.
    If it does show one thing, it is really really hard to draft well consistently.

  3. Ed west May 7, 2014

    Don’t write off jerel worthy yet

  4. Niko May 7, 2014

    I think the most shocking thing is that TT has only drafted 1 Pro Bowl player in rounds 3-7 in 9 drafts (Josh Sitton).

    I know he’s done well finding UFAs, but that’s still a startling fact.

  5. Niko May 7, 2014

    1 out of 64 selections. And the hit or miss 1st round tendencies make for a pretty scary picture.

    We find decent football players to surround the 2-5 stars/really good players, but it’s not enough to beat the truly elite teams. And of course injuries have been a huge factor, but it makes you wonder what could be, if that 1 for 64 was even 5-8 out of 64

  6. Vijay May 7, 2014

    That’s a lot of swings & misses and middling selections for such and heralded draft guru ;)

    As GM I’d target specific players and do my best to trade back and then up again to grab exactly who I wanted. Ted typically likes to accumulate about 11 picks per draft…he’s a couple short so I’d expect him to trade down a get a couple more shots at the dart board. Too bad he’ll probably just sit there and play the waiting game after trading down. Collecting more ‘guys’ with limited potential who’ll not be on this team in a year or two.

  7. elafave May 8, 2014

    The thing that bears consideration is that a few if the heavyweight teams have been drafting at the beginning of the first round for a few years. Teddy has been drafting in the 20’s out of the first round fairly consistently.

    The Niners had how many early first round draft picks for 10 years straight? The fact that the Pack avoids the “he that is first, shall be last” designs on parity that the NFL Draft promotes is a feat in and of itself.