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.