Everyone — or most everyone — would be happy if the Green Bay Packers handed over Ted Thompson’s role as general manager to either Eliot Wolf or Brian Gutekunst after this failure of a season.
That’s probably not going to happen, in my estimation, but it’s becoming more and more likely that one or both of those guys will end up elsewhere. Wolf has already been mentioned as a candidate for the New York Giants’ GM job.
Both interviewed with multiple teams last year. They obviously want a top job. Both, we suspect, will get one.
But let’s look at this another way. It’s pretty clear that Ted Thompson hasn’t been able to assemble a roster good enough to compete for championship, once again. This year, glaringly so. I’ve probably said this 100 times — his draft-and-develop philosophy only works if he drafts well.
Lately, Thompson has not drafted well.
Let’s name some of the recent draft acquisitions who are total crap. First of all, the team cut three of their draft picks from this year’s draft coming out of training camp.
But let’s go back to just four years ago.
2013: Datone Jones (1st), Jonathan Franklin (4th), Josh Boyd (5th), Nate Palmer (6th), Kevin Dorsey and Sam Barrington (7th)
None of them are with the team. Franklin was an injury case, but everyone except Dorsey started multiple games for the Packers during their tenure. That says something about misjudging talent.
2014: Khyri Thornton (3rd), Richard Rodgers (3rd), Carl Bradford (4th), Jared Abbrederis (5th), Demetri Goodson (6th), Jeff Janis (7th)
I’d happily throw first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix into the mix here, but I know that would make some of you insane. But let’s be honest. He’s the new A.J. Hawk. Clinton-Dix was garbage this season and he coasts on his name and first-round pick status. That clown would be on the bench if he weren’t a first-round pick. Meanwhile, Micah Hyde is a Pro Bowler and likely All-Pro for the Buffalo Bills.
2015: Quinten Rollins (2nd), Ty Montgomery (3rd), Brett Hundley (5th), Kennard Backman (6th)
Yes, I am including Montgomery because, at best, he’s going to be the Packers’ third-string running back next season. They would be better off moving him back to receiver. Plus, the guy is injured more often than not. The jury remains out on Damarious Randall.
2016: Jason Spriggs (2nd), Kyler Fackrell (3rd), Trevor Davis (5th)
Spriggs will stick because he was okay after taking over for Bryan Bulaga at right tackle. Probably not a full-time starter in this league. I’d be surprised if the other two guys are on the team next season.
2017: Everyone but Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones
Like I said, three of those draft picks weren’t even good enough to make the team — receiver Malachi Dupre (7th), guard Kofi Amichia (6th) and receiver DeAngelo Yancey (5th). Kevin King (2nd), albeit playing injured, wasn’t the No. 1 corner the Packers needed (that could still change). Josh Jones (2nd) played like a rookie and basically had one impact game (the Cincinnati game) and one impact play (the pick against Cleveland). Montravius Adams (3rd) is on the inactive list more than he’s on the game-day roster, which tells you all you need to know. Vince Biegel (4th) can’t get on the field over Fackrell. Devante Mays is in the doghouse because he can’t hold onto the ball.
We’re not going to judge this draft class just yet, but here’s the ultimate question.
Has Big Ted been buoyed by his lieutenants over the years?
Let’s look at that for a moment.
The Packers last went to a Super Bowl following the 2010 season. Here’s who has left the organization since 2009. (h/t PackersWire)
2010: John Schneider, director of football operations hired by the Seattle Seahawks as the executive vice president/general manager.
2012: Reggie McKenzie, director of football operations hired by the Oakland Raiders as general manager.
2012: Shaun Herock, assistant director of college scouting hired by the Oakland Raiders director of college scouting.
2013: John Dorsey, director of football operations hired by the Kansas City Chiefs as general manager.
2017: Tim Terry, assistant director of pro personnel hired by the Kansas City Chiefs as director of pro personnel.
I remember when I was a kid and people said Ronald Reagan was a puppet president. That he had already forgotten more than he already knew. The real thing he did well was surround himself with people who could actually do the job.
Is Ted Thompson the Ronald Reagan of Green Bay?
Are his current assistants in the personnel department actually capable or are they just sitting around waiting to get a real job?
It would seem, based on recent history, that Thompson is not capable and neither are the people under him. Unless they’re just sabotaging Big Ted to get the top job…
And what sort of organization would want that type of person getting their top job?
If the Packers get rid of Ted Thompson, which is obviously long overdue, they should pick someone from outside the organization. Fresh blood and a fresh perspective.
I have great doubts it will happen, but it most definitely should.
Clinton-Dix is in permanent “prevent defense” mode. He has an uncanny ability to be about 10 yards from any catch at the time it’s made. Totally agree with you, he’s garbage.
I would LOVE to switch back to a traditional 4-3 defense. A tough, hard nosed defense.
The pussy nickel (so-called 3-4) is so soft. We’ve had a laughable defense for several years now. I hate it. It’s reliant on turnovers which are fluky. Matthews is over-paid & rarely uninjured. Never had a dominant middle linebacker or a real solid lock-down corner either. Sam Shields was in the middle of the NFL pack in his prime.
I wanted Greg Schiano as our D-cord years ago. Now I’d be happy with anyone else. The players probably would too.
You conveniently forgot to mention the draft picks that have exceeded expectations thus far: (2013) David Bakhtiari, Micah Hyde (obviously no longer with the team-is that a Ted issue or a Dom issue?), (2014) Davante Adams, Corey Linsley-both of whom should get paid this offseason, (2016) Kenny Clark and Blake Martinez. No general manager turns every draft pick into a bonafide nfl success. Rather than nitpicking the front office deficiencies why don’t you focus on the on-field application of the defensive personnel by the defensive coordinator, Dom Capers. His 3-4 defensive scheme and all of its colorful moniker manipulations (nitro, psycho, elephant, etc.) have grown stale in the ever-evolving nfl landscape. While I don’t agree with Ted Thompson’s approach to avoiding unrestricted free agency in the hopes of preserving conditional draft picks, your scrutiny on the matter is focused on the wrong man.
So…in 4 drafts you mention 5 players, most of whom are serviceable, Bakhtiari and Adams exceeding expectations. Adams succeeded because of coaching, most teams wouldn’t have given him that long of rope.
Micah Hyde is a Ted issue, because the last time i checked he’s in charge of player personnel.
4 drafts, he hit on 2 draft picks…..WOW…..what a genius!!!!…..Ted must be the envy of most NFL owners. Surprised he hasn’t been plucked away yet with rich contract offers from other teams.
You conveniently forgot to mention the countless bust Ted has drafted high, but that didn’t fit your narrative Mr Scott_Richard, or whoever you are.
You also forgot to mention that in a span of 5 drafts, Ted has kept only 7 players to show for it, in a draft and develop philosophy.
We won’t even get into issuing out huge contracts for substandard performance.
Try telling the whole story.
In Ted we Trust!!
Hey packers fan for life (cute little acronym btw), I think you’re missing my overall point, but let me present it to you in simpler terms: Draft and development isn’t the issue with the team; the issue with the on-field product of the team is coaching. Let’s look at Micah Hyde, for example. He was a 2013 5th round pick and he, objectively, performed at a clip higher than a 5th round draft pick. So, Ted did well in drafting him (forgive me for dumbing this down, but, again, I’m trying to get you to understand). Do you really think that if Dom Capers thought he was such a valuable component to the defense that Ted would have let him go without a competitive offer? Probably not, but who the hell knows outside of the organization. (hence, why I said, “Is that a Ted issue or a Dom issue?”) If he’s playing at a pro bowl caliber level for the Bills maybe he wasn’t best utilized here in Capers’ defensive scheme – much like Casey Hayward.
How the hell do you know that Adams succeeded because of coaching? If he succeeded purely because of coaching then why hasn’t Trevor Davis been more impactful on offense and why hasn’t Jeff Janis utilized his raw skillset more effectively? Oh wait, I know! That’s because he’s more talented. Coaching doesn’t tell the whole story. Davante Adams was a great draft pick.
Okay you say Ted has drafted “countless” busts, right? But, since 2013 (the timeframe the article is based on) really the only draft picks you could consider to be busts are Datone Jones and Quinten Rollins (maybe throw in Jason Spriggs but the jury is still out on him). All things considered, do you really think that’s a terrible draft resume? Even Bill Belichick and the Patriots have as many, if not more, in the same time-frame. Let me say it one more time, drafting is not the issue.
Also, what 5 drafts are you talking about? Because if I’m counting correctly, they’ve retained 28 players since the 2013 draft. Are we still talking about the drafts since 2013 or did that not suit your narrative?
I’m not saying I totally agree with Ted’s personnel acquisition, but his drafting has not been the issue.
I believe the key loss was Dorsey. Dorsey was director of college scouting from 2000 to 2011. Then was director of football operations for 2012 before he was snatched away. If the Packer draft picks is the sole problem (which it is not) then look at Dorsey leaving the director of college scouting position in 2011.
I don’t see the Packers picking up a GM from outside the organization, or who has not been involved in the organization in recent history.
Drafting is about 60% of the problem. Not having any accountability is 20%. Dereliction of Duty is 20%.
I give no fuck where they get a new General Manager, whether it’s in or out of the organization.
Just get someone.
Some very good points. I am in total agreement with getting an ALL NEW brain trust in the front office. I am definitely NOT with most people on the E. Wolf fantasy. How good was Michael Jordan’s offspring? or any famous celebrity (you fill in the name), it almost never equates to a mirror image! So E. Wolf IS NOT R. Wolf . . . Ha Ha Clinton Dix? Fuck NO! he is anything but All Pro!. Back to the brain trust . . . When all of those guys that were with TT left for other teams, so did the potential dynasty that we all thought might happen . . . most have made themselves a good name, or at the very least done a few very impressive things. TT is a fucking DOLT. He is rarely hitting on anything. He has a Coach who cannot coach and a DC who is a defensive luddite. How many times do we all say what the O or the D are going to do before it happens? Why is it that the Packers D is so fucking porous and open in the middle? Why does this Buffoon continue to play under performing players every fucking week? While giving them breaks for the same mistakes that he crucifies others for? The vanilla Offense has become so predictable that my wife is calling out the play before it happens (she hates football btw. But endures part of the game just to hang out with me . . .) Now that is fucking shameful that a football neophyte who hates the game can guess what these charlatans are going to do most every play . . . This is definitely the time for some major changes for Packer football organization. If something is not done immediately, Aaron Rodgers could just fly the coop (and should) These fuckers have stymied him and are ruining a great career PERIOD. Would any of you blame him if he did? I can say that I certainly would not . . .