The 2013 Class is Packers’ Best Draft Yet Under Thompson

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Packers RB Eddie Lacy leads a ridiculously strong 2013 rookie class for the Green Bay Packers

Ted Thompson has made a lot of brilliant draft picks since taking over as Green Bay Packers general manager in 2005.

He drafted some guy named Aaron Rodgers in the first round in 2005, Greg Jennings (current issues aside) in the second round in 2006,  Jordy Nelson in the second round in 2008 and both Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji in the first round in 2009. Don’t forget Randall Cobb in the second round of 2011 either.

The middle rounds have seen success too. James Jones was a third rounder in 2007 and Josh Sitton was selected in the fourth round in 2008.  Sitton’s partner-in-crime, T.J. Lang, was a fourth rounder as well in 2009.

This is just a partial list of great picks Thompson has made during his tenure with the Packers.  He’s hit more than he’s missed and has Green Bay poised to be in Super Bowl contention for the next several years.    We could go on and on about how deft Thompson has been at drafting over the years and that doesn’t even include undrafted free agents.

That being said, no draft class of Thompson’s has made quite the impact, especially right out of the gate, as the 2013 class of rookies.  Some of it may not have been planned on due to yet another injury epidemic on the Packers’ roster, but this group of youngsters has come to play and very well could down as Thompson’s finest draft class to date.

To review, here is the 2013 Green Bay Packers draft class:

1. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

2. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

4a. David Bakhtiari, T, Colorado

4b. J.C. Tretter, T, Cornell

4c. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA

5a. Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa

5b. Josh Boyd, DE, Mississippi State

6. Nate Palmer, LB, Illinois State

7a. Charles Johnson, WR, Grand Valley State

7b. Kevin Dorsey, WR, Maryland

7c. Sam Barrington, LB, South Florida

Go down that list and you will see many reasons why the Packers are still in control of the NFC North despite Lambeau Field once again doubling as an infirmary.

Look at Datone Jones, for example. While his stat line is basically flat (he only has one credited tackle on the year), his addition to the defensive line, along with the triumphant return of Johnny Jolly, has helped improve the performance along the line. The defensive line is much more physical than it was a year ago and has helped make things easier for a depleted linebacker squad.

The next two players on the list really need no explanation, but the addition of both running back Eddie Lacy and tackle David Bakhtiari have helped the Packers withstand injuries at both positions.  Many felt confident Lacy would be able to fill in well for DuJuan Harris who went down in camp with a season-ending knee injury.

Lacy has not only filled Harris’ shoes, but he increased the size.  His bruising yet quick running style has been key to one of the most remarkable turnarounds in a team’s running game that the league has ever seen. Coach Mike McCarthy swore the running game would be improved and the Alabama rookie has helped his coach make good on his promise.  Lacy has been so good, along with the reborn James Starks, that it makes some wonder where Harris will fit on the roster in 2014.

As for Bakhtiari, his insertion into the starting lineup was met with much more pessimism than Lacy’s.  When Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay’s best offense tackle, went down with a torn ACL in training camp and McCarthy put Bakhtiari at left tackle, there was concern for how well Aaron Rodgers’ blind side would be protected.

Instead, Bakhtiari has been stellar for a rookie especially one taken in the fourth round. There is no better evidence of this than the performance the rookie from Colorado had on Sunday night against Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, one of the best in the NFL.  What was Allen’s stat line Sunday night? Zero sacks and zero tackles.

Not bad rookie, not bad at all.

Immediately after the draft, J.C. Tretter actually was the player everyone thought would play the role Bakhtiari has so far this year. Unfortunately for Tretter, a broken ankle derailed that idea and opened the door for his fellow fourth round pick.  Bakhtiari has since walked through that door and pretty much slammed it shut for the time being.

The last of the Packers’ fourth round selections, running back Johnathan Franklin, has been a bit of an enigma.  Initially it was thought he and Lacy would duke it out for the starting job or at least the backup behind Harris before he was injured.  After a lackluster camp, Franklin found himself third on the depth chart behind Lacy and Starks.

Franklin still got his chance however and had a 100-yard rushing day in Cincinnati against the Bengals after Lacy missed the game with a concussion.  Since then, thanks to a healthy Lacy and Starks, he has been relegated mainly to special teams duty. Still, Franklin has potential and could make a solid one-two punch with Lacy if Starks were to leave.

Looking now at the fifth round picks, it’s becoming clear Micah Hyde may go down as one of the biggest steals of the 2013 draft.  Hyde broke open Sunday night’s game against the Vikings thanks to his 93-yard punt return for a touchdown and likely has become the Packers’ new returner with Randall Cobb both hurt and, when healthy, a crucial part of the Green Bay offensive attack.  Hyde is even leading the league in punt return average with 18.6 yards per return on ten returns.  He very well could return kickoffs as well on Monday night against the Bears thanks to Franklin’s struggles against the Vikings.

It’s not just Hyde’s return skills that will make him a steal, however. He’s also a solid cornerback.  Hyde has shown a nose for the ball and is a good tackler.  He’s not afraid to get up on the line of scrimmage and isn’t afraid to hit hard, something the Packers have needed on a defense that has been frequently criticized as “soft.”  He’s basically only been used as a dime back, but if he can continue to show playmaking ability it’s not totally out of the question he could make Tramon Williams sweat a bit.

The rest of the 2013 draft mainly were depth selections, but for the Packers to find immediate contributors in the first five rounds is remarkable.  Looking at the rest of this year’s rookie class, defensive end Josh Boyd can watch and learn thanks to the depth on the defensive line. Linebacker Nate Palmer, a sixth round pick, has been forced into action thanks to injuries to Clay Matthews and Nick Perry but he hasn’t become a liability as of yet and that is a good sign.

Wide receiver Charles Johnson has since been waived and thanks to the depth at the position, not much was expected from him anyway. Kevin Dorsey, the other seventh round wide receiver, has been place on injured reserve and will be a long shot to make the team next year.  Linebacker Sam Barrington, the final Packers pick of the 2013 draft, has been limited to special teams has been solid there.

It’s been Thompson’s best class top-to-bottom and that doesn’t even include the undrafted free agents. Of that list, linebackers Andy Mulumba and wide receiver Myles White have been big contributors so far thanks to the injury situation.  White in particular is looking more comfortable every week and judging by the Vikings game, Rodgers is beginning to trust him more which helps White’s future prospects on the team.

Tight end Jake Stoneburner is also on the active roster, but has been relegated mainly to special teams. It remains to be seen what he can contribute in the passing game.

Thompson is a notoriously strong drafter and the Packers already were loaded with talent heading into this spring’s draft.  Looking at what the current class has done so far, the future appears even brighter for Green Bay. They keep getting better with each draft and that’s really all a fan can ask for out of the general manager each spring.

What could Thompson possibly do for an encore in 2014? The rest of the NFC North is already shuddering at the thought.

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com.

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  • msj127

    I was just thinking about this yesterday, and the thing that hit me is TT has surrounded himself with great scouts.These guys do the early study on these players and must give TT some great intel not only on their talent, but also on their character and intelligence for the game. Ted makes the final decisions, but he has great information to work with!

    • BZ in BA

      This is a really good point. We all think of TT as being the one responsible, and while he is the boss, and it is his “machine”, the fact of the matter is that he has done just as good of a job assembling the scouting squad as he has done with the 53. I wouldn’t trade TT for any other GM in the league! :.)

      • Stroh

        Thompson does more than people realize. He travels and does more actual scouting than any GM in the NFL. He’s on the road during every week of the college season. He goes to every camp setting like the SR bowl, the texas bowl, etc… He goes to as many Pro Day workouts as he can when colleges hold them.

        Packers have some quality scouts to be sure, but none of them outwork Thompson who still does his share of actual scouting.

        • Dobber
          • Dobber

            Sorry. Wrong place. Move down one comment.

        • Ed Schoenfeld

          Agreed that TT doesn’t just delegate, but what has really imporessed me as that we sent guys like Reggie McKenzie and John Dorsey to other teams, have had some turnover in the front-line scouting ranks as wee, and the machine just seems to get better over time. That speaks to TTs talents as a leader, not just as a scout.

        • Brett Johnson

          All right…enough is enough…Who is the moron who ‘Dislikes’ the previous three intelligent, well thought out comments?

    • martin bean

      The scouting staff is nearly the same as the one that he inherited from Sherman. I am sure they are top notch, but it still takes a great GM who can filter through the data; have overall direction; balance opinions of scouts and coaches; and make a final decision.

      • Ed Schoenfeld

        See my comment above. There has been considerable turnover in the ranks, so saying that TT just inherited Sherman’s scouting team is not really the case.

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      Ted also has had several other guys like McKenzie, Dorsey, and John (Last name escapes me), the GM in Seattle go on and become GM’s. I understand some of these guys were here when Ted came to Green Bay, but at this point, the GM tree is beating the McCarthy coaching tree with just Philbin getting a head coach job. That say a lot about Ted T and the rest of his staff. He continues to draft and develop excellent football players.

  • Dan Collins

    A correction: Charles Johnson wasn’t waived. He was snatched off the practice squad by Clevelan, who then discovered his ACL issue. It’s a little disturbing that it wasn’t diagnosed by the Packers’ medical people.

    • Dobber

      He was released, then signed to the practice squad. But you’re right: the question of why he was just sitting on the PS with a torn ACL is a good one.

      • Stroh

        The ACL had to happen in Cleve. The players get a physical when they change teams and an injury would nullify they transaction. Don’t you realize this? Its pretty elementary stuff!

        • Dobber

          It is, isn’t it?

        • Outis

          It isn’t clear that Johnson’s injury happened in Cleveland. According to Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk, “When a player is signed from another team’s practice squad, a physical isn’t given before the player joins the team. It’s presumed that, if the player is practicing with another team, he’s healthy. . . the Browns didn’t do anything that any other team wouldn’t have done” Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel surmises that Johnson may have torn the ACL on the 2nd day of Packers’ training camp, but the medical staff thought it to be a tear of the IT band and Johnson himself stated that was a sprained MCL. If Johnson can prove that his injury happened with the Packers, they may be responsible for paying for his rehab or his salary and he may even revert back to the Packer’s roster. So, this isn’t “pretty elementary” after all.

          • Ed Schoenfeld

            Specifically, Cleveland was able to report Johnson’s injury as a ‘non-football’ injury, meaning that it happened before he worked out with their team and the Packers did not report it as taking place while he was here. That doesn’t mean the injury didn happen while Johnson was with the Packers, just that Green Bay did not report it, due to misdiagnosis or whatever.

            This isn’t the first time diagnoses have change for Packer players once there was a second opinion, so I am a bit concerned about the medical process for the team. But it may well be no big deal — every player is different and so is every doc. I am sure that the medical staff is reviewed like anything else at the appropriate time.

            As to why Cleveland did not cancel the transaction, the nswer is that there was no transaction to cancel. Practice squad players are Free Agents, so there was no deal between the Packers and the Browns to cancel. It was up to the Browns to handle their deal with Johnson however the contract rule allowed, and they chose to put him on IR.

            • Ed Schoenfeld

              Note that there being no ‘deal’ between the Packers and the Browns will not in itself prevent the Packers from being liable is some ways if it is determined that they should have know about the injury. So it is a little complex, as anything involving doctors, lawyers, and money wuill be.

        • packett

          it is also elementary to post respectfully. Don’t you realize this?

          • Oppy

            Let me answer that for him:

            No, he most assuredly does NOT know that.

  • majik

    Another part that should be mentioned.is that the packers picked up chris harper….a fourth round.pick with potential that has been active since his arrival. If he can continue to contribute, that fourth round was a huge round for the packers….if you put harper as part of that. I liked harper in this draft…he could end up being what we had hoped johnson would be…..a development wr that blooms like boykin in a couple years.

    • Dobber

      Harper had a poor camp, was cut,and then was in the process of being converted to TE (this was in SF and Sea). He’s a big guy, not a speed guy, and looks more like an Aaron Hernandez than a Charles Johnson to me (based on my limited exposure). That’s not a bad thing. You’re right: the fact that he’s active on game day (mostly on ST) is meaningful.

  • majik

    I think the cm3 and raji draft is still better…..but time will tell. A lot will need to be seen on how tretter, palmer, barrington and dorsey pan out….and boyd. Right now….they arent doing much…..they need to continue to improve.

    • marpag

      It depends on how you want to judge a draft, I suppose. Here, the author is talking about a “top to bottom” assessment, which strengthens his case, IMO.

      On the other hand, if you WEREN’T talking “top to bottom” but were just looking at what brings the most wins, I would take ARod all by himself over any draft class in TT’s tenure.

      • Ed Schoenfeld

        ^This

    • Nopainnogain

      I agree. Lang and Brad Jones were also in that draft and have played very well.

  • Ted

    Let’s please not forget about Nick Collins. He was on his way to a possible hall of fame career and along with Rodgers made 2005 one of TT’s best.

    • BZ in BA

      True that. What a painful loss! Jermichael Finley was also a D3 selection.

    • marpag

      More than that, TT was blasted by a LOT of media people for taking the little known safety from Bethune-Cookman in D2.

      If TT were a bragger, he could have made a lot of people eat crow on that one.

      • Dobber

        People are often swayed by the power conference, high-profile kids, and the small-school workout warriors. In the end, the question is: can he play football? I think that’s where TT has found some gems. He’s had his mis-steps, no doubt, but he doesn’t make a lot of huge gaffes. That may be his legacy in the draft.

      • Ed Schoenfeld

        He did make a lot of people eat crow. He won a Super Bowl with that kid from D2 running his defense.

      • Brett Johnson

        …am sure you meant braggerT…agreed…Most people had never heard of him…similar to McMillan from Maine…not sure how this one will work out, but, Collins was a gem!

  • Brett Johnson

    Great article! Have been extremely pleased especially with Lacy, Hyde, and Bakhtiari, but, as mentioned, many others have been solid contributors. The added depth has helped greatly, after injuries to Harris, Bulaga, our LB’s, and Burnett. Hopefully in next years draft TT can find two studs: at Safety and a TE to replace Finley.

    • BZ in BA

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go after a big center as well – EDS is OK, but can you imagine what are OL would be like with a monster in the middle? Lacy’s standard 7 and 8 yard breaks would suddenly be more like 10 and 11….

      • Dobber

        As much as people here, including me, were concerned that the OL situation would derail this team before the season even started, it’s become a solid unit–if not a strength.

        The dynamics on the OL will be interesting to watch. Sherrod may be activated shortly (he’s practicing and his PUP window closes soon), and if Bulaga and Tretter return from injury in good form, they’ll have an abundance of bodies for the OL. They may be forced to move some guys via trade (if there are takers).

        • Brett Johnson

          After two injured-scarred years for Bulaga, I do not believe he becomes our de facto Left Tackle in 2014. If not, what position will he battle for? Right tackle?

          • Dobber

            It’s a good problem to have!

          • KW

            I know they figured Bulaga to become the team’s LT, but I’ve always thought he’d be a better RT. Barclay is doing really well, but once the rust gets knocked off, Bulaga will probably step back in at RT. They have a good chemistry going right now, and I seriously doubt they’d mess with it at this point in the season.

      • Jay

        We’re 1st in runs in the A gaps (between Center and gUards). YOu have to think EDS is at least somewhat responsible for that. Of course it helps that he has two guards playing excellently beside him, but I think we should keep him around.

  • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

    I’ve been critical of Ted in Past but not anymore. While I still wish he’d consider mid level FA from time to time, he clearly has a plan and is always thinking 2 years ahead and keeps the cap healthy. I remember what many were saying when he traded down several times in the 2nd round and again out of the 3rd all together. I thought right after the draft this year that he had nailed it, especially with Lacy, Franklin, Bakhtiari, and Hyde. Where Ted seems to excel above every other GM is finding UDFA. Shields, Willians, Lattimore, Boykin, Barclay, and EDS to name a few. It’s amazing that year in and year out he continues to find gold in the UDFA pool.

    • BZ in BA

      If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. I am still amazed by the stat that 50 of our 53 have never played for any other team, whereas the next in the league comes in at only 40 – and from that it is all downhill. Amazing! This is the way to assemble a real “TEAM”: from the ground up. Of course, having chosen #12 with his first ever draft pick has made everything else much easier for him…. My conclusion: smart people make good decisions, and TT is a VERY smart man.

      • Shavager

        Not to be nit-picky, but the Sun nite crew that came up with that stat-50 of 53 players have never played for another team is INCORRECT, it’s 49 of 53: Pickett, Kuhn, Seneca Wallace and Chris Harper-Harper was signed after being cut by the Niners just a couple of weeks ago right after JJones and Cobb were injured. Harper was draft pick of Seahaws this year, cut and picked up by Niners before Thompson signed him for WR depth.

    • Oppy

      I don’t even know if TT is better at finding UFA talent than any other GM’s in the league.

      I do know that UFA’s- and their agents- know that historically, Green Bay under Ted Thompson gives UFA’s a legitimate shot to not only make the final cut, but also to get significant reps if they can play. We’ve also cultivated a positive buzz because the Packers repeatedly sign players to the active roster from their practice squad, and are occasionally willing to pay practice squad guys with talent a pretty damn nice premium.

      In short, Green Bay has become a preferred destination for UFA’s

  • marpag

    I can’t really argue with your opinions, Kris – and don’t really want to argue, either – but it’s waaaaaay too early to tell.

    Datone has promise, but has been a minor disappointment for a first rounder. To suggest that he is a significant reason for the improved DL is a bit doubtful IMO. Jolly is the main reason.

    Lacy is a stud and a potential ROY. His yards per carry and ‘explosive runs’ are only average, though.

    Bakhtiari is solid, and a tremendous value at round 4. Right now, he’s an average LT, with great upside.

    Tretter is almost a complete unknown.

    Franklin had one nice game, which he also lost almost single-handedly with a game changing fumble. He needs to work on his confidence and decision making.

    Hyde is a nice player, esp in round five, but “steal of the draft” is going too far.

    The rest of the drafted players are either already gone, or are unlikely to be more than backup material.

    All in all, it looks good. But give it time and we’ll see.

    • Dobber

      It seems that people have a tendency to look at that first-round pick and judge a draft based on that. There’s that expectation that your first round pick is going to make an immediate impact and help your team. In that sense, unless Bakh/Lacy/Hyde turn into pro-bowlers, I think this draft will always be viewed through “Datone Jones”-colored glasses.

      I think that, with Lacy, he’s someone who can get more than what’s blocked for him (whereas the Cedric Bensons and Ryan Grants couldn’t). His YPC is hampered by a significant number of 0-2 yard rushes, many of which are a function of the OL. When it comes down to it, the OL has been good, but there’s still too much penetration and too many hits in the backfield on run calls.

      • calabasa

        When the coaches were gushing about Datone in training camp, I think everybody’s expectations went sky high. I know mine did.

      • Ed Schoenfeld

        DL often take a little more time to develop, players like JJ Watt are the rarest of exceptions. This is especially true at the *end* of round 1, as opposed to the first 5 picks. Datone is part of the rotation and good enough to give the Big 3 a rest now and then, whcih is all one can reasonably expect 8 weeks into the season.

        As for Lacy, I think people may be forgetting that part of having a running game is taking on those 0-2 yard gains and continuing to pound. That is what sets up the 10 yard gashes later in the game, as the back (and the playcaller) start to understand where the defenders weaknesses are. Yes Lacy does not have ‘breakaway’ speed — but he wopuldn’t be able to hammer the opposition as effectively if he were a fast (as opposed to a ‘quick’) back. This is what an effective running game looks like, and Lacy has the field-tilting smashmouth talent to make that happen even with a patched up OL. There are teams who are kicking themselves for not getting him before the Packers did.

      • http://allpackers.com NICK PERRY

        Defensive Line is also one of the most difficult positions to learn and excel at, especially as a rookie. Look at all the other picks taken right around Jones and they aren’t tearing it up either. Williams in Denver, Shariff Floyd in Minnesota from Florida St., once considered a top 5 pick hasn’t produced much either. I’ll wait and see on Jones. I mean look at Daniels in just his 2nd year. Imagine when we get Perry and Matthews back!

      • Brett Johnson

        Dobber, you and I appear to have a very similar perspective concerning Lacy. He is a helluva a RB…There are maybe 30-35% of his runs where everyone knows he’s going to get the ball. They stack for the run, there is no hole, sometimes he loses yardage because 1 or two players have penetrated and have clear, unabated hits on him. His YPC is misleading. For example, we’re on the one, one gets the sense, Lacy is getting the ball, the other team has 9 men in the box, they get penetration, and he loses a yard or two. Is this because of poor running? Of course not. In any event, this draft is paying-off now.
        It is true that Dorsey and Tretter have been out all year and have not played nor contributed. Charles Johnson sounds like he was misdiagnosed and should have been placed on IR, so never played nor contributed. Josh Boyd has mainly been inactive, so, his contribution has been minimal, at best. Bakhtiari has had a very solid impact, continues to improve, and may well prove to be our left tackle of the future, not Bulaga. Franklin gave us a taste that he could be a special back, especially running outside tackle, but, he needs to eliminate fumbles. Hyde has shown flashes everywhere he has played. Datone Jones, looks like the vast majority of TT’s 1st round picks: too early to tell. Hopefully, he pans-out and proves he is a stud hoss. Barrington and Palmer are getting playing time now because of injuries to C Matthews, Nick Perry, and Brad Jones. This exposure to playing serious minutes in their first season, should pay dividends later down the road. But, overall, seven games into the first season of the 2013 draft, I am very pleased with the players who were chosen. The draft choices from this year’s draft are helping us win games. That is the bottom line.

    • http://Allpackers.com Nick Perry

      I think Franklin could turn out to be one of the best picks, just not this year. I have a feeling MM will begin to try to use him in space more, especially with the injuries at WR. Franklin has fumbling problems until his last year at UCLA. He’s a smart, tough kid who will turn out to be a excellent pro.

    • Shavager

      Lacy’s production is more about him POUNDING D-lines during a game and increasing his production. Packers O-line doesn’t get him much daylight as the game starts but those 230+ LBS of BEEF hitting defenders punishes them, begins to show up with missed tackles and more yardage. It sets up run game for speedy runners Starks and Franklin to gash the defense with fresh legs against tired tacklers.

  • Since ’61

    Normally, I would say that we need 2-4 seasons to judge a draft and put it into perspective. However, the reality of today’s NFL high attrition rates due to injuries requires that you have some rookies who are ready to play. This is where I think TT, the scouts, MM and his staff have a great job for the Packers. Their rookies, whether drafted or UDFA’S are contributing significantly to the Packers winning games. Compare the Packers to Atlanta. Atlanta has had several injuries and they are dropping out of contention because they don’t have players to step up. Pittsburgh is another team that is unable to close the injury gap this year and I could probably name 2-3 other teams that are unable to win with their backups. The Packers consistently win with their reserve players due to their good drafts and quality preparation every week. However, I would still prefer to have the “A” team healthy and ready for the playoffs. There is no substitute for experience and quality players come playoff time, especially if our opponents have healthy rosters. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  • Eric

    Is no one going to mention Chris Banjo? Cut by the worst team in the NFL (Jaguars) and now is a contributing member for the Green Bay secondary.

    • Dobber

      The funny part is that if the Packer defense were not improved this season, everyone would be saying, “Look at the Packers having to dredge the Jags cuts to find people to play safety!”

      …which begs the question: does he look good because the front 7 is improved? To which the answer is: who cares!

    • Brett Johnson

      Eric, you are right on the money and are the first to mention Chris Banjo, who may become the starting safety opposite of Burnett. Also, Mulumba, Lane Taylor, Jake Stoneburner, and Myles White are contributing and having playing time because of injuries to starters. Most of these players I had never heard of before the Packers picked them up via UDFA, and they are contributing. How can one not be impressed?

  • the real russ letlow

    kudos Ted Thompson, kudos!

  • Archie

    I think Jones, Tretter and Boyd are going to develop into quality long-term starters. If so, when combined with what we have already seen from BAK, Lacy, Hyde, Franklin and Palmer, we are looking at 8 possible quality players from this draft. I believe that is a high for TT. Of course, his first draft, hitting on AR, NCollins and T Murphy will go down as his best. CMIII was a great pick but we had to give up a boatload of picks for him. Raji not much value for 9th overall pick. Would have been better off taking Crabtree or Oher. Short arms and big bellies don’t make for guys who can make impact plays. If TT gives Raji 5 years and $50 MM contract I will be very disappointed. Guy just isn’t worth that kind of money. $5 to 7 MM/yr = tops for a space eater.

    • Ed Schoenfeld

      How have Crabtree and Oher been doing in the league? Not as well as Raji, I think. Crabtree’s been a prima donna who wouldn’t have fit in Green Bay, and Oher was switched to Right Tackle — he doesn’t play the premier blind side position any more.

      BJ has been plenty good enough for an overall 9th, if you remember that the top tier talent that year was gone by about pick 6.

      • Archie

        “…if you remember that the top tier talent that year was gone by about pick 6.”

        That’s certainly not true. Crabtree was ranked #1 and went 10th while Oher was in top 10 a swell. Even Raji was a surprise to still be there at 9.

        Crabtree put SanFran in the Super Bowl last year.

        Oher has been a top OT since he was drafted.

        Remember year Pack drafted Bulaga? They passed on Dez Bryant.

        My point was the 2013 draft may turn out to be an extremely good for TT. Also, I think Raji is like Hawk, not top 10 pick worthy.

        • Stroh

          Bryant wasn’t even considered by Thompson for a couple reasons. We were deep in WR talent and Bryant is a F’in headcase! THe Packers don’t draft me 1st, give me the damn ball headcases that need babysitters 24/7 365!!!

  • Mike Sherman

    Disagree. Bak won’t even be starting once bulaga and Sherrod are both healthy next year. Hyde isn’t going to make anyone sweat on defense. Special teams and maybe nickel back are as far as he gets on our defense. too early to tell on anyone else, other than Lacey is a good running back. Best draft from TT? This draft is going to give us maybe 3 long term starters, too early to talk about pro bowls. If Jones end up a pro bowler it’s a good draft, certainly not the best. Also, Myles white sucks

  • calabasa

    Am I crazy that I still expect Sherrod, Worthy and Perry to pan out, despite the injuries?

    • Ed Schoenfeld

      No

  • Charlie Kelly

    I’m excited to see where they go next draft. The only spots I can see that need immediate help are center, safety, and tight end if Finley can’t come back. Otherwise, we’ll be set up pretty well for the immediate future.

    • Dobber

      They drafted (and kept) help at DL last year and this year to cover themselves in case of departures.

      They’ll need to look at the WR position with the possibility of losing Nelson and Jones in the next two off-seasons.

  • Mojo

    I’ll make this easy. 2005 draft > 2013 draft. Why? Because 2005 had Rodgers who is more valuable than all of 2013 combined. It also had Nick Collins, but not much else.

    Now if Datone shows me something, I could be swayed a little.

    I will say, based on the shear quantity of quality(I like that: quantity of quality) then 2013 is way ahead.

  • Mojo

    “Lacy has not only filled Harris’ shoes, but he increased the size. His bruising yet quick running style has been key to one of the most remarkable turnarounds in a team’s running game that the league has ever seen”

    “What could Thompson possibly do for an encore in 2014? The rest of the NFC North is already shuddering at the thought.”

    One mans hyperbole is another mans enthusiasm.

    • Dobber

      “One mans hyperbole is another mans enthusiasm.”

      I’ll have to remember that one!

  • BRinMilwaukee

    It was an amazing draft. A starting rookie left tackle in the fourth round?! Even more amazing is that this draft took place after Dorsey, Schneider, etc. left for other teams!

  • aaronqb

    TTs best draft was the 2005 draft based on Aaron Rodgers alone. He is on a collision course with Canton.

    2013 is also shaping up to be a great draft. He arguably got the top RB and the top OT in the draft. He also got one of the top DBs. Datone Jones, Tretter, Palmer, Barrington and Hyde are all wait and see. It often takes several years to determine a player’s success. None of these guys have played enough (or healthy enough) to judge them. Even if none of these 5 pans out, it will still be a great draft.

    TT is hitting it out of the park. We are lucky to have him guiding the ship.

    • marpag

      Let’s be realistic… Bakhtiari was a great pick, but there’s no way he’s the top OT based on the season to date.

      • aaronqb

        Up to this point, he is performing better than the top 2 tackles (top 2 guys picked overall) – Fisher and Joeckel.

      • Nopainnogain

        I agree, we should pump the breaks a little. we as fans are probably a bit tunnel-visioned and don’t pay much to rookies on other teams. I’d put Fluker and Bowie ahead of Bak and you could make an argument for a couple others. many others could also easily make big strides after they get experience. I’ll temper expectations, though what I’ve seen so far is encouraging.

  • Archie

    No. I think all three will turn out to be solid starters even if not great. I will say that the DL that went to SD one pick before Worthy was the DL to get from the three that ranked closely that year. The other one, Devon Still at CINCY, has not done much but he is playing behind a couple of studs.

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    Thanks to fantastic acquisitions TT could be using “excess” or higher paid guys (like t. Williams, brad Jones … or one of the o- or d-linemen) as trade bait for that center, safety, TE, returner, or …..MORE DRAFT PICKS….. Draft day with tt is like being a kid seeing what’s under the tree on Christmas. His track record is not only best in nfl, it rivals Santa’s!

  • Katsuya

    I would have to disagree and say that the 2010 draft class till this day contributed the most its first year. Bulaga, Quarless, Starks, and Wilson all helped GB win the Bowl.
    Now if we win the Super Bowl this year, then you’re right.

  • Jimi

    After watching the last couple games, with injuries coming in like the locusts, at first I thought, “It’s the system McCarthy had with the ends being able to catch and Rodgers throwing very accurate, they look good and the only thing they have to do is not forget what route they run. But that was not the only position affected. The offensive line proved just as well with a couple guys out. The linebackers… ditto. All up and down the chart, these guys come in and look like near all-pro. What’s up wit dat, Jak? I’ll tell you thins. In 50 years of football I have never seen a team come close to doing what Green Bay has done, with one exception: The NY Yankees, but they do it with money. There is a certain Magic in the air and more so on the field with the Pack. No other team can or has done it like they did the last couple games and throughout the season for that matter. Past seasons have shown this at times but not every single player that replaced someone like this years Packers. Keep the Magic, Packers, just keep it going.