In some circles, former Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson is considered an NFL draft genius.
And you have to be that if you’re only going to acquire players in that manner, as Thompson did.
In this circle, Thompson is largely considered a dipshit. Draft and develop. Well, that only works if you draft well, doesn’t it, dummy?
In recent years, Big Ted hasn’t drafted so well. Personally, I feel he coasted on that reputation of draft genius simply because he picked Aaron Rodgers.
Nothing speaks to Thompson’s draft failures more than his 2015 draft class, however.
Let’s run this crap down real quick.
First round: Damarious Randall — A safety miscast as a cornerback. Traded to the Browns in early 2018 after a season in which veteran team leaders wanted him released because of his crap attitude.
Second round: Quinten Rollins — The cornerback was released last week after three progressively worse seasons.
Third round: Ty Montgomery — A receiver converted to running back who is a backup. However, Montgomery is the only guy from this draft class on the Packers’ active roster.
Fourth round: Jake Ryan — The linebacker has started some games for the Packers, but was surpassed as the team’s top inside linebacker by Blake Martinez last season. He tore his ACL this preseason and will spend the year on IR.
Fifth round: Brett Hundley — The quarterback was disastrous as a starter when Aaron Rodgers went down in 2017. He was traded to Seattle before final cuts and will now back up Russell Wilson.
Sixth round: Aaron Ripkowski — I was somewhat surprised, but the Packers released their top fullback over the weekend. They have apparently realized you don’t need a damn fullback in the NFL.
Sixth round: Christian Ringo — Four career tackles, according to league stats. Split last year between the Bengals and Lions.
Sixth round: Kennard Backman — The tight end hasn’t been on an active NFL roster since his rookie season with the Packers.
If you were keeping count there, only one of Big Ted’s genius 2015 draft picks is currently playing for the Packers. And he’s playing as a backup. Jake Ryan likely has a future role if he comes back from the ACL, but there were a lot of misses here.
And even the “hits” aren’t anything to brag about. The two guys potentially still on the team are a backup running back and an inside linebacker the Packers maybe use half the time.
Big Ted. Draft genius or guy who lucked into Aaron Rodgers?
I will always go with the latter.
Well… Ty Montgomery initially looked well as a slot receiver, but we already (and allegedly) had Cobb manning that spot. Then, the transition to RB, the injuries… but this was not a bad pick. Jake Ryan may not be exceptional, but still a good pick. So much that we needed a guy in his mold to hold his spot. Ripkowski was good, but at a dying position. I don’t know (haven’t looked again) how many teams still carry a fullback. Was decent as a situational RB, did have a decent ypc average.
Now, the doubtful-and-below-doubtful picks: Randall and Rollins gave us good rookie seasons, prompting us wrongly to let other CBs walk. Hundley, the preseason hero, gave some questionable service holding the fort and somehow BG got a sixth rounder for him (BG you thief!). Ringo may be jumping from PS to roster-bubble player, a borderline NFL talent. Maybe getting experience will end up helping him solidify a role for himself, probably for another team as part of a DL rotation. We barely saw Backman play or get targeted, so no much to say about him. He was believed to be part of the Janis-Backman-Munn trio by a TP writer (that made my day guys, I kept that article in pdf format), thus no targets from Rodgers.
This is just a small sample. The big picture is drafts from 2011 -17. I don’t have time to pick them apart right now, but i didn’t need the 2015 draft to tell me Ted’s story after the Super Bowl. Ted made some nice moves back in the early years, and he enjoyed the lengthy “free ride” that came with it year after year courtesy of McMurphy. Ted’s Legacy is hardly Hall of Fame worthy.
It’s very possible that if Ted was removed some years ago when he should have been, we’d be enjoying legitimate optimism about the team being strong enough to contend the last few seasons.
Instead here we are, trying to repair some of the same problems year after year, and worse yet, trying to fix newly created problems because of his mismanagement.
Will we be looking for corners next season? O lineman? Our 4th straight tight end in as many years? Edge rusher(s)? A safety? And so on and so on and so on….
You’re on the clock Gute. Good luck.