Packing the Stats: The 49ers, Ted Thompson, and Draft Class Contributions

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Packing the StatsYou know what’s been bugging me about some fans’ reactions to the 2013 NFL Draft? They look at the San Francisco 49ers, who have been lauded for their draft results, and feel like the Green Bay Packers’ selections were utterly underwhelming by comparison.

Yes, the 49ers had a great draft. They were able to get some highly regarded players who could definitely make their great team even better. But I have a few counterpoints to the assertion that the Packers had a terrible draft in comparison. First and foremost, the 49ers started out with thirteen picks to the Packers’ eight. According to the traditional trade value chart, San Francisco’s total value of picks was about 1,958 points, compared to Green Bay’s total value of about 1,318 points.

In other words, the 49ers started out with 48.6% more draft value than the Packers. Of course they’re going to be able to get more out of it!

Secondly, these players have yet to play a single down in the pro arena. We should very well know by now that high draft picks can be phenomenal busts, while low draft picks can be hidden diamonds in the rough. It’s worthwhile to compare draft value based on scouting grades and reports; however, it’s rather silly to make concrete future predictions based on that.

Which leads to my third and most important point: a team’s draft picks don’t contribute that much in their rookie season. We call it “draft and develop” because these players don’t come ready-made for the NFL. They have to be coached, and they have to improve their technique and football knowledge in order to be effective at the professional level.

Let’s take the San Francisco 49ers for example. They reached the Super Bowl in 2012, but do you recognize any of these names from their rookie draft class? A.J. Jenkins, LaMichael James, Joe Looney, Darius Fleming, Trent Robinson, Jason Slowey, and Cam Johnson played a combined total of 12 games and zero starts. That means the 49ers were a Super Bowl team in the making over several years and that drafted players take time to really make an impact.

Of course, I don’t want to rest my assertion on that one example. I wanted to make sure that this claim actually has some validation to it, so I started doing some research.

My goal was to look at the Green Bay Packers’ draft classes since Ted Thompson became GM and see how much each one has contributed to the team. How much does a rookie class generally contribute to the team? How long does it take for a given draft class to hit its peak contribution? In other words, when does a team finally see its highest value of return from a single draft?

Before I started compiling and calculating the statistics to answer these questions, I had to determine the best way to measure a draft class’s “value.” The single best measurement I could figure was number of games played and number of games started by each player, averaged out by draft year and sorted by season. It’s not a perfect measurement, I know, but it’s the only one that could be compiled and applied to all players. (Number of snaps played would be similarly effective, but I couldn’t access that kind of data.)

The biggest drawback is that certain players contribute more on a per game basis than others. A good example would be Aaron Rodgers and Mason Crosby. Both players have started in every game they’ve played in for the past five seasons, but we can easily say that Rodger’s starts have more value to the team’s success than Crosby’s.

But again, it’s hard to get around that. Without some complicated formula, how do you compare the stats of a kicker vs. a quarterback? Or a running back vs. a cornerback?

So the best statistics for a player’s general contributions is games played and games started. It’s not perfect, but it should give us a fairly relative idea of how draft classes contribute to specific seasons.

Here are the first two sets of statistics calculated from the raw data. They show the average number of games played and started with relationship to “player year.” That is, in a given season, how many games did the Packers get from drafted rookies, second year players, third year players, and so forth? Also note that since we’re only looking at Ted Thompson’s draft classes, we won’t have a full column of data for each year.

draft_agpags_player

At face value, the data shows something rather interesting. There seems to be a higher correlation with regard to contributions by draft class than contributions by player year. In respect to average games player (AGP), rookies in each season saw between 7.0 to 11.4 games; however, their average games started (AGS) spanned 0.3 to 5.5 games. As we look at the contributions by more veteran players, their numbers are more consistent yet lower. (This makes complete sense when considering player attrition.)

However, a view along the diagonals shows us some interesting data for specific draft classes. I highlighted a few to show this point. The green numbers are from the 2010 draft class, yellow is 2009, and orange is 2006. These three draft classes showed a few of the highest contributions in regard to AGP and AGS. The 2009 class, in particular, showed a very high AGP in their rookie year, while the 2010 class showed an even higher AGP in its second season. And the 2006 draft class had a fairly consistent set of starters from their rookie year through their fourth year.

Even though it is a completely logical conclusion to come to, the strength of a draft has more impact on the team than how much experience the players have.

Which brings me to a reshuffling of the data, so to speak. Below you will see the AGP and AGS numbers sorted by draft class. In simplest terms, it compares how each draft class did in their first year, second year, and so forth. Take a look:

draft_agpags_year

I think this presentation of the data actually reveals some more insight on the trends, especially when looking at the averages by year. In regards to games played, there is a steady decline from the first year on, though some draft classes see spikes in their second or third years. When it comes to games started, however, you can see that the average draft class peaks in years three and four.

This should make sense, as younger players will contribute more on special teams and as second- or third-string players. They’ll play in the games but won’t be starters. As the years continue, the future starters will hit their peak development while those who can’t cut it will be replaced by the new groups.

I highlighted the 2009 draft class, because in addition to being a really strong group, they show this concept clearly. They started out their first year well above-average in games played, but were only about average in games started. The big contributors to this effect were T.J. Lang, Quinn Johnson, Jarius Wynn, Brandon Underwood, and Brad Jones. Yet as guys like Lang and Jones saw increased success and eventually starting roles, the rest were simply replaceable and eventually cut from the team.

One more calculation we can make is what I call the “AGS/AGP Ratio.” It’s essentially a percentage of how many games played were starts. Thus, 1.00 would mean that all the games played by that draft class were also starts, while 0.00 would mean that none of the games played were starts. In other words, it gauges how strong the draft class’s contributions were on a general level.

draft_agpags_ratio

You’ll notice the obvious trend: the ratio is directly proportional to the number of years played. Aaron Rodgers, the sole remaining player from 2005, starts every game that he plays.  You can also look at how individual draft classes compare. Despite being a relatively strong class, the 2009 group doesn’t really compare in this category with the 2006 group. The latter draft class had a much higher AGS/AGP ratio, even though their total games played was rather average.

(Top picks A.J. Hawk, Daryn Colledge, Greg Jennings, and Jason Spitz all saw starting time very quickly in 2006.)

There’s a lot to digest here, but hopefully it will shed some new light on this aspect of a team’s management. That said, this only represents a Ted Thompson-built roster. Were we to do the same data mining with other teams, we could possibly see some different trends.

There’s also the effects of injuries to consider in looking at the numbers. The 2011 draft class didn’t get a lot of chances their first year due to how stacked the team already was, but their second year was further hampered by injuries to Derek Sherrod, Davon House, and D.J. Smith.

Back to my original premise, though, and you can see that it’s generally not common to see rookie draft classes make a big contribution to a team’s success. Yes, particularly strong draft classes can make a difference, but even then it’s mostly in back-up and special teams roles. Aside from the top picks and the sleepers, most players are developed into starting talent, rather than being ready to go on Day One. Even players who start their first year aren’t playing at their ceiling yet.

So while the San Francisco 49ers might have a potentially strong 2013 draft class, we don’t know that for sure yet, and it will still take them a couple years before they hit their peak value. Likewise, we should temper expectations for the Packers’ rookies. Both teams will have to rely on the talent they’ve already been developing for the majority of their success in 2013. Whether that makes you feel better about this season or not is another conversation altogether.

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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  • marpag

    I would say that the number of games started is actually entirely irrelevant. The teams that drafted the best and the teams that drafted the worst all had exactly the same number of starters. No one had more starters and no one had less.

    Here’s MY biggest beef with people who want to compare SF’s draft with GB’s: SF is praised to high heaven for snapping up players with injury concerns, while GB is penalized for getting players who’s medical concerns are far less.

    People say, “Ooooh, look at the GREAT VALUE San Fransisco got in Lattimore or Carradine” (both of whom currently have blown out knees). Lattimore in particular suffered just about the most catastrophic knee injury a guy could have, tearing three out of four ligaments. Basically, that means that without radical reconstruction he no longer had a knee! And this is the SECOND time that Lattimore has blown out his knee.

    But Lacey? “Oooh, I don’t know. He’s an injury risk. He has an ouchy hamstring. He had surgery on his big toe. Gosh, let’s all wring our hands and hope that he holds up. GB really took a risk here.”

    Bah.

    Never mind the fact that Lacey only missed two games in his entire college career…

    • Dobber

      Those nicked players the ‘9ers picked up don’t need to play in 2013. They were luxuries borne of the fact that SF had a bazillion picks and players who are established ahead of them.

      I agree on Lacy, though. Lattimore may never play again (effectively), but Lacy has played on that fused toe and played effectively. I think it’s the same thing that happens when they grade college recruiting classes: where the player chooses to go ultimately impacts what the analysts say about them.

      • PackersRS

        This logic is perfect till said starting players are too old to produce.

        Then you need those draft picks, that should’ve developed, to “pick up their slack”.

        But what happens when you’ve been drafting thinking it’s a luxury and betting on players with injury risk? Chances are the majority of them won’t live up.

        So, in the end, they may get a gem out of this draft, and it’s true that they can afford the luxury NOW.

        In 2, 3 years? Then the chances come back to bite their asses.

        Good thing the NFL ended in 2011.

    • Chad Toporski

      I can see what you’re saying about the starters, and that’s a valid point, but you also have to consider the FA signings that teams make, both veteran and undrafted. So the starts by drafted players won’t always be totalling the same number.

    • lacy can barely do

      a bench press b/c of a pectoral injury

      • Mudduckcheesehead

        It’s a good thing he won’t be bench pressing the football in his job as a running back then, isn’t it?

      • Dobber

        If that pec injury was surgical, it would’ve been done. It doesn’t concern me.

    • Batavia Greg

      I think that it was a risk to select Lacy in the second round. It would have been far less of a risk, and probably more of a reward, had TT selected Jesse Williams, despite his arthroscopic knee surgery, in the fourth round before he fell into Seattle’s lap in the fifth.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      hmm, this might be the highest number of “thumbs up” votes recorded so far… Wish i could say you win a prize…

      • marpag

        Cash will be fine :)

  • Lucas

    Assembling a combination of your work with Profootballfocus.com’s ratings of starters from each draft…may differentiate between Crosby v. Rodgers starts.
    Poor teams should have more rookies starting with the combination of being poor and having a high draft pick. It’s a tricky question, because a great team has fewer weaknesses. I completely agree though, a team without a great QB has a bigger hole than a team without a great K. How do you differentiate?

    • Chad Toporski

      I think I’ve seen PFF mention somewhere before that their grades are really only comparable among the same position groups. I could be wrong, though…

  • Tarynfor12

    Kudos on the job Chad but…

    Drafting for need..
    Drafting for depth..
    Drafting for scheme change..
    Drafting best player available period

    Players start/play based on need..
    Players start/play based on injury..
    Players start/play based on scheme

    All plays a huge part in who and much a player gets in starts and games played.

    • Chad Toporski

      Oh I know. Even if these exercises in statistics don’t reveal anything worthwhile, I think they’re always interesting and can at least point to *something*, even if it’s a small something.

      • http://Jkevinturner@comcast.net Kevin

        This time of year is good for exactly this type of exercise. With no games being played for several more months its fun to look at the team from a different angle. Nicely done.

        • Turophile

          Harbaugh (49ers version) is known for his dislike of putting rookies in the lineup. MM is known for the opposite. He will put guys in there, a next man up philosophy.

          harbaugh had an almost perfect season for his system (almost no injuries in 2012). If his team gets injuries in bunches this years (like GB has had twice recently), his team will struggle mightily, because he relies so heavily on vets.

          McCarthy puts young guys in there. Everyone on that team knows it. It makes them more ready (greater expectation to play) and games they have already featured in give them a big head start on someone who has pretty much spent all of Sunday on the bench.

          The downside on MMs way, is having green guys in the team who are learning as they go. I prefer that way myself, though I can see both ways have upside and downside.

          As for the 49ers draft. It was ok I guess, not special. I prefer the Packers draft by a considerable margin.

          • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

            Thank you Turophile! Another thig is the 49ers sucked for what, 10 or 15 years before they started to win the last two seasons? When you draft in the top 10 EVERY draft you’re bound to get some excellent players. But they’ve been extremely lucky on the injury front. The Packers were devastated 2 of the last 3 years. The 49ers lose one player and were making excuses! GIVE ME A BREAK! If the Packers get hit hard with injuries again this year, I’m really going to start to question the whole conditioning program they have in place. At least more than I do already.

            • Dobber

              It’s one thing if the injuries are hammies, obliques, backs, etc.

              When they’re contact injuries (broken bones, torn ligaments, concussions, etc.) it has little to do with conditioning…unless it’s happening at the ends of games and players are tired and losing their technique.

  • Nopainnogain

    Good article. I agree with the premise, though I don’t think the data used to make statistical comparison is very valid due to small sample size and the numerous other factors that might cause someone to get playing time or become a starter.

  • BubbaOne

    Chad,
    Was an alternative headline:

    “Cow42, check and mate!”

    For some the post draft focus has been to compare TT’s draft class to the 49ers, so I’m not surprised this was where you went. There’s 32 NFL teams so if TT’s draft class ends up in the top 3, 5, even 10 it was a successful draft esp when the inverse order of drafting promotes parity. Let’s see if the 49ers and Seahawks can maintain success over the next 5 years. Fans, and some pundits forget the Packers are on a .722 winning clip the last 4 yrs.

    • cow42

      rank in order the rosters you would take RIGHT NOW…

      here’s mine…

      1. 49’ers
      2. Seahawks
      3. Packers

      that’s just using the teams you mentioned in your post. i would put Ravens, Falcons, Broncos, Patriots, Giants all above the Packers as well.

      seattle and san fran have outstanding rosters because of their drafting. i’m not sure that i feel that this article changes that fact one way or another.

      by the way – i could not care less what their winning percentage over the PAST 4 years is.

      this is about getting better.

      the Packers talent has regressed over the last 3 seasons.

      again – of the past 3 Packer drafts (not including this past one) we’ve gotten Hayward and Cobb as legit quality contributors… that’s it.

      too may misses as of late.

      • MarkJohn

        Your roster analysis is entirely subjective (not contesting your right to rank as you see fit) and weighted too heavily on last year. Seldom do things stay the same year to year in the NFL and your rankings may require immediate re-evaluation. As far as meaningful contributors, there are numerous others you failed to mention; some have been impeded by injury: Sherrod, Perry, Worthy.

        • cow42

          we HOPE those 3 players become quality contributors… as of this very minute, none of them can hold that title.

          …and I’m beginning to have extremely strong doubts that Sherrod will ever play another down as a Packer.

      • Stroh

        What did SF get from last years draft? Or Sea?

        When you draft in the top 1/2 of the 1st round for almost a decade (like SF and Sea), you tend to get a lot more playmakers. When you draft at the end of the 1st round year after year, its much more difficult.

        I would absolutely take the Packers roster over Balt,NYG and Atl.

        Sf and Sea will be finding out what its like to draft at the bottom of the 1st. SF got Jenkins last year at #30 and he did nothing and they seriously reached for him. This year they got Reid who I liked a lot, but moving from 30 up to #18 to get him was another serious reach. IMO they could have sat at #31 and still probably gotten him.

        Sea got Bruce Irvin, who I also liked a lot, but we got Hayward who performed as well or better. They did hit the Jackpot at QB w/ Wilson, but so did the Packers w/ Rodgers a few years ago.

        SF and Sea aren’t that far ahead of GB, IF they indeed are ahead.

        • Dobber

          Certainly NYG and Balt took their hits in the last year. That’s what happens when you’re at the top for awhile…and it happens to the Packers, who have been able to replace players.

  • Scott1956

    Who cares who drafted better? The problem with the 49ers is their strengths match the Packers weaknesses. Their O-Line and their D-Line are superior to the Packers. And that’s still where most games are won and lost.

    • Dobber

      And since the Packers strengths match well with the weaknesses of about 26 other teams, that means that an evolutionary process is in order…not a revolutionary one.

  • Chad Toporski

    To the Packers, this year’s 49ers are last year’s Giants. They’re the team that knocked us out of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion who everyone is suddenly now afraid of. Yet just like last year, they could end up not making any difference come the playoffs.

    Any given Sunday, any given year…

    • Scott1956

      The Giants also killed the Packers last year! Before and after that game the Giants had a losing streak. Then they play the Packers, and beat them handily on national TV!

      • Chad Toporski

        Oh, those 9-7 Giants who didn’t even make the playoffs and couldn’t have even kept the Packers out of the Super Bowl if they wanted to? THOSE Giants?

        Yeah… Soooo afraid of them.

        • Scott1956

          If any team beats you consistently, you should be afraid of them!

          • Chad Toporski

            Huh… Well, up until 2012, the last time the 49ers beat the Packers was the 1998 regular season.

            I guess one year and 2 games is suddenly a mark of “consistency.”

    • Dobber

      Who had the most success against the ‘9ers last year? The RAMS!…you know, that team that didn’t even make the playoffs? Sometimes the cards align themselves…don’t you think SF is glad that the Rams didn’t make the playoffs?

  • Nopainnogain

    Cow42, how are they supposed to do anything but regress from a Superbowl? You expect them to win every year? If you are so envious of Seattle & San Fran go be a fan of one of those teams and see how long if lasts until those fall back to the average. I don’t see how you can ignore draft position in this discussion. Due to terrible coaching, the 9ers have drafted in the top 16 eight of the past eleven seasons. Now they are reaping the benefits with a decent coach but they havent had to maintain the success yet. Packers have only even drafted in the top 22 three of the last eleven years. I don’t see how you can hold them to the same standard for this year’s success. Clearly have a ton of spoiled fans here.

    • cow42

      there are a billion reasons/excuses to explain why Seattle and San Fran have passed up the Packers talent-wise.

      some are real some are not, but the fact of the matter is that from top to bottom those 2 teams have better rosters.

      it’s really all about the trenches.

      the Packers are incredibly weak on the offensive and defensive lines… and it’s because they have done a poor job of drafting/developing at those positions.

      • Lucas

        “the fact of the matter”??? Prove it. We’ll wait for facts to substantiate your claim. No opinions or hyperbole, just facts. Have a rating system or find some talent evaluation rubric to evaluate the rosters.

        • cow42

          you’re a homer.
          watch the teams play.
          it’s obvious.

          • Dobber

            If all the homers got up and left, there would be nothing but tumbleweeds around here.

          • Lucas

            I never made the claim that I disagree/agree.
            Sure I’m a homer, says the reader of the best Packer blog. Why would I be on a Packer site without loving my team?
            How does that change my desire to substantiate claims with facts?

  • Oppy

    Just throwing this out there without a whole lot of thought put into it, but two of the draft classes that we can visually see “tumbling” across the charts with increased starts are 2006 and 2009.

    2006 was MM’s first year as HH and TT’s second year as GM- and the rebuild from the cap-hell left from Sherman’s time as GM was in full swing now that he was completely gone. Old guard was being ushered out and the new guard was entering en force.

    the 2009 draft was similar in regards to the ushering in of Dom Capers and the retooling of the defense to fit a 3-4 base scheme. Out with the players who weren’t going to fit the new scheme, in with the players who would.

    Accelerated player starts for both draft classes.

    Again, I didn’t take the time to comb the data. Just off the hip.

  • Chad Toporski

    I think some people around here never got enough love in their childhood.

    Either that or they just need to eat more cheesecake.

    • Dobber

      Admit it: if it weren’t for the doom-and-gloomers, this site would get pretty dull… ;)

  • JR

    My biggest problem with this year’s draft is the way that TT lined up his draft board. The Packers rated and drafted players that didn’t fit where we drafted some of them. Please follow my logic. Ted Thompson did not need to trade up to get Jonathan Franklin, RB, with the 4th round (125) pick. He could’ve easily taken him only just 3 picks before that in the 4th round with the (122) pick. Why not take Franklin 3 picks before we traded up for him? I fully believe that J.C. Tretter, G/T, from Cornell (4th round, 122) would’ve easily been available with the next pick that the Packers had in the 5th round (146) or beyond. At least 1 of those 2 offensive linemen in the 4th round would’ve slipped into later rounds, perhaps both of them to be quite honest. Therefore, we didn’t need to trade away that 5th round (146) pick and the 6th round (173) pick in order to trade up to get Jonathan Franklin. We lost a 6th round pick in the process. Man, that burns me; I love extra draft picks! I love them probably more than TT! I’m pumped up just as much as anybody about having Franklin. I love the guy.

    However, Ivy League J.C. Tretter, G/T, from Cornell is not that kind of 4th round value, and he would’ve easily slipped into the 5th round or beyond. To quote writer, Vic Ketchman, from Packers.com about EJ Manuel, “The Bills still made a terrible mistake: They drafted Manuel out of order. He didn’t fit where they drafted him.” The Packers did the same thing in the 4th round with Tretter. I also believe they reached for Colorado’s David Bakhtiari in the 4th round (109). Thus, I fully believe the Packers could’ve kept an extra pick in this draft, a total of 12. We had 12, but the Pack ended up with 11 when all was said and done. Draft picks are golden opportunities to improve your team. Ted Thompson wisely traded down in this draft and accumulated 12 picks by the 4th round. I’ll give him wonderful credit for that; he can work some trading magic! But we should’ve ended up with the 12 draft picks that we had until the 4th round, instead of trading up to get Franklin. We could’ve easily taken him 3 picks ahead of that and retained an extra draft pick.

    That being said, it was a decent draft overall; I know hindsight is 20/20. I’d grade the Packers draft a solid B. Although I would’ve definitely taken the Bacarri Rambo, S, out of Georgia with that extra 6th round pick. He was taken by the Redskins with the 191st pick in the draft. I have no idea why he slipped down in the draft so low… That’s where that extra sixth round pick would’ve come in very handy! Or we could’ve picked Shamarko Thomas, S, out of Syracuse with that other 4th round pick (109) that we used to pick Bakhtiari, OT. Shamarko Thomas was snatched up by the Steelers within the 111th pick in the draft. Either way, we could’ve picked up a different safety or another player altogether. This was the deepest draft for safeties that I’ve ever seen. The more chances we get to swing the bat, all the better. Ted Thompson and the Packers need as many as humanly possible. Who knows how many homeruns we might find in the process?

    • Dobber

      It only takes one team to decide a player has similar value to yours to lose a guy you covet. Stedman Bailey is a name that pops up in this context, someone that many have linked the Packers to. Rams decided they wanted him and aggressively jumped up to get him.

      Once you get past a certain talent threshhold, as some of the writers here have said and I’ll parrot (giving them appropriate credit), the difference between a UDFA and a 6th-5th-or even 4th-rounder is scheme and preference. To assume a player would have been available 5, 10 or 40 picks later is always speculation. If there’s a guy you covet, and you have a reasonable expectation that he may disappear, why not pick him?

      As for the S argument (I was someone who wanted to see a S in the first two days of the draft), all I can say is this: at some point you have to look at the commodities on your roster and make a commitment. You only play 2 safeties at a time: Burnett is one. They’ve got 3 guys biding their time…McMillian, Jennings and Richardson. At some point, you need to trust your developing talent so you can address other needs. In round 4 and later, would the other S candidates be an upgrade over what they already had? Likely not a significant one.

      The love for Baccari Rambo, a player who benefitted by being surrounded by an extremely talented defensive squad at UGA, is tempered by the issues he’s had legally. Hello? Johnny Jolly? If you don’t have the discipline or strength of character to keep yourself out of trouble enough to capitalize on your gifts, why should the Packers burn a pick on you?

      • JR

        Granted, you make many great points, Dobber. However, the only thing I was saying was that I feel we could have taken Franklin instead of Tretter at 122. You can’t tell me that Tretter wouldn’t have slipped till later rounds. I know the Packers have their own board with players rated on it with specific spots and positions in mind. Here’s my point though. We could’ve retained an extra draft pick because of that. Take and pick a safety, pick an extra lineman, take whomever at whatever position… It doesn’t matter. The point is that the Packers would have an extra player on their team.

        The problem with UDFA’s is that they can pick whatever team that they want to go to. That’s my biggest gripe with UDFA’s. They’re definitely an integral, important part of building your team. But the UDFA’s can pick and choose the teams they want to go to. The UDFA has the choice. The power is in their lap. What if a UDFA (a wide receiver, for instance) wants to an NFL team with a poor receiving corps? They’ll have a better chance of cracking the roster and making that team. What if a UDFA wants to play for a warm weather team? On and on the questions go. The power rests with the UDFA. All they have to do is analyze NFL teams and figure out their best chances of making the team’s roster.

        But if the Packers draft a player, they are bound for the Packers. Whatever NFL team drafts a player, that player is set to go to the team that drafted them. So my point is that 12 picks is better than 11 picks. More is better than less. We didn’t have to take a safety. My only point is that I believe we could’ve retained that extra draft pick.

        Re: individual players, you’re right; I agree with you. It’s a risk/reward issue. The Pack needs to weigh the character of each and every individual that they pick to go to their team. They also need to develop the team that they have. Each player on the roster needs to make progress (McMillian, Jennings and Richardson). True, Baccari Rambo is a player with character issues. Yet, so are some of the players that the Packers drafted. Yes, I’m surprised to have found this to be true. Check out the the bio on Charles Johnson… In the end, they could’ve picked anyone. It didn’t have to be Rambo…

        • Dobber

          “You can’t tell me that Tretter wouldn’t have slipped till later rounds.”

          You’re right! I can’t! ;)

          • JR

            Good point. Touché! He might’ve slipped; he might not have slipped. I just feel very strongly that he would have… There aren’t many players being drafted out of Cornell. Plus, he’s a project guy, a guy that’ll need to be developed.

            • Dobber

              …and I believe that you’re very likely right. All I can hope is that when the Packers set up their board, they either 1) had a 4th round (or higher) grade on Tretter, or 2) liked him so much that they didn’t want to risk waiting on him. As soon as you change one pick on the board, the whole flow changes.

              Whatever the case, Tretter reads like a project with a tremendous upside and may prove to be the Packer C for years to come. He also might not do squat.

              As for Rambo…I used to live in GA and I absolutely despise the Bulldogs. On top of that, I think he’s overrated. Look at the unit he was playing on…how many of those guys were drafted in the first two days? Four?

    • marpag

      Sorry, but in my opinion people who talk about how far a player might have fallen are just talking about things that they don’t know. Your own example proves that no one really knows what other teams are going to do. Suppose a certain team really, truly believed that EJ Manuel was going to be the next Russell Wilson, a potential franchise QB, and they planned on getting the steal of the draft in round three, because “no one will draft him before then.” Oops! Sorry, Vic Ketchman! Looks like Buffalo actually had the stones to go and get him, while you were speculating in the dark about other teams’ intentions. Better luck next time.

      You stack your board, you set a value on each player and you make your picks. You don’t worry about other teams.

      I remember people complaining that TT was guilty of a horrible reach because he traded up for some dude named Clay Matthews…

      • Oppy

        Sooo true about Clay Matthews, although many Packers fans will deny there was an outcry when he was picked.

        THere was a very loud “They took the wrong LB!!” cry from a substantial contingent of Pack fans.. Many wanted Rey Maualuga and professed what an idiot Ted Thompson was.

  • Zeman

    Cow is right, The Packers offense and defense of line is incredibly weak! They are not tough I don’t care what Mike McCarthy says. He can paint that picture however he wants the truth is their weak. I just hope we’re not spending year three crying about Losing Cullin Jenkins.