Cory’s Corner: Ted Thompson averages a draft whiff a year

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Packers general manager Ted Thompson selected future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers with his first pick as the Green Bay GM.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson selected future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers with his first pick as the Green Bay GM.

This will be Ted Thompson’s 10th NFL Draft as the Packers general manager. He has been arguably the biggest lightning rod for criticism over the years.

There is inherent value in every round of the draft, but the most consistent value lies in rounds 1-3, which is where I also focus my attention.

Thompson did a masterful job early on. When you land a guy like Aaron Rodgers as your first pick to begin your new job, things are looking pretty good. He added safety Nick Collins and wide receiver Terrence Murphy, who were both forced to leave pro football early after suffering neck injuries.

The next year, Thompson did another excellent job by adding fifth overall pick in linebacker A.J. Hawk, second rounders in guard Daryn Colledge and wide receiver Greg Jennings and third round guard Jason Spitz. The only guy that was a question mark was third round linebacker Abdul Hodge because injuries forced him to only start one game in four NFL seasons.

But after hitting so many home runs in his first two seasons, Thompson was due for some whiffs. And that’s exactly what happened in 2007. Justin Harrell, arguably the worst pick of Thompson’s career, started just two of 14 games in his three-year career. It was a little head scratching that the Packers even used a first round pick on Harrell, who entered the league hurt after tearing his biceps at Tennessee.

Brandon Jackson is another strikeout. The former Nebraska track star/football player was able to play bit roles but is now looking for a job. James Jones gave the Packers a good return on its third-round investment. He proved he could start but was never capable of winning the top receiver job. The final whiff of 2007 is Aaron Rouse. The safety played just three seasons before signing with the now-defunct United Football League.

The following year, there were two more whiffs sandwiched in between a couple of home runs. Obviously, second rounder Jordy Nelson has carved out a pretty nice career as one of Rodgers’ go-to targets. However, second rounder Brian Brohm, after not being able to get comfortable with the speed of the NFL game, is now playing quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. The other miss was second round cornerback Patrick Lee, who only started one game in his Green Bay career. The other great get that Thompson secured was third rounder Jermichael Finley. Although his mouth got in the way early on, Finley was one of the most athletic tight ends in the game when healthy.

And that takes us to 2009, arguably the toughest year to call. B.J. Raji has taken a lot of heat by myself and others for his acting uninterested in a contract year last season. But the biggest reason why Raji would be labeled a whiff is because he had to miss his entire junior year at Boston College because of academic issues. Combine that with his uninspiring play the last two years and he’s not worth a No. 9 overall pick. The other guy in this draft, Clay Matthews, certainly was worth the 26th overall selection and certainly worth trading a second rounder and a pair of third rounders. The outside linebacker has lived up to the billing by being selected to the Pro Bowl in four of five seasons.

Although I don’t see any whiffs in the 2010 draft, I am seeing one question mark. Bryan Bulaga has started 33 of 37 games in his four-year career and the first rounder has done it by playing musical chairs on the offensive line. Mike Neal burst onto the scene last year by becoming the most versatile defender last year. The second rounder will continue to get better after tying for third on the team in sacks. The question mark is safety Morgan Burnett. The Packers gave the third rounder $8.25 in guaranteed money this past summer despite consistently getting exposed in pass coverage.

The next year was another whiff year. Derek Sherrod, who has had trouble staying out of the trainer’s room and the disabled list, was recently informed that the Packers are washing their hands of him and will not pick up his option for next year. There aren’t too many teams willing to give up on a first rounder, but the Packers didn’t have much choice. Sherrod was followed by second rounder Randall Cobb and Thompson really hit a home run here. Cobb is the other pass catcher alongside Nelson that will be hauling in passes from Rodgers for years to come. Cobb is the multidimensional threat teams love and Rodgers has said that Cobb has the ability to catch 100 passes a year. The final whiff of 2011 is Alex Green. The third rounder looked great coming out of Hawaii, but after tearing his ACL, he became a bit player and is now looking to just see the field for the Jets.

The 2012 draft was nothing special for Thompson. First rounder Nick Perry proved that his motor is limitless but his lack of speed, especially on the edge, has been a concern. Compare that to second round defensive tackle Jerel Worthy and the Packers had to watch helplessly as he played hard in a very limited nature. Casey Hayward is just waiting to break out. The second round corner has started eight games in two seasons and could be getting a bigger role soon.

And finally, we make it to 2013. First rounder Datone Jones showed how tenacious he could be with 3½ sacks last year. The defensive end will only get better with Julius Peppers on the team. And second rounder Eddie Lacy finished the season with the No. 7  single season team rushing mark and Rookie of the Year honors.

That’s 10 Thompson whiffs as he enters his 10th grueling draft weekend. That comes out to just one a weekend. That sounds pretty good in a sport that despite all the scouting and future innovations, still cannot get it right consistently.

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Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn

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74 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Ted Thompson averages a draft whiff a year

  1. The NFL draft is not a science. It is more like a crap shoot. It is based on what was done in college and what you hope will be done in the NFL. Hindsight does not count nor does the re-draft game. Be happy with what you got because it could be a lot worse.

    1. The draft is not a crap shoot. If you do your research you can avoid being burnt in most cases. You can find out more about the player you want then his mother knows about him. Any chance he is a head case, stay away from him. Injury prone, stay away from him. Show boat, stay away from him. Diarrhea of the mouth(Finley), stay away from him.
      You can almost make it a science. The one wild card would be a nasty freak injury. Can’t control that. Draft the Iowa boys, at least you know they won’t be a head case.

      1. Ron Wolf said if you hit on 1/3 or your picks that become starters for your team your doing quite well. There is no science in projecting how 20-22 yr old boys will mature into NFL players and mature men capable of the discipline needed to play in the NFL!

        Your a fool if you think there is science in it. They try to evaluate all aspects of a players psyche to figure that out and still miss as often as not!

      2. There are no guarantees. Every player has negatives, and if they fail in the NFL you can then say the drafting team should have realized. If limit your draft to players who are injury free, saintly, level headed, quiet, etc. then you need to forget about the combine and start scouting the college Glee club.

        1. Its like poker, you evaluate as best you can and then make your decision. Even pocket aces gets beat sometimes, though. But if you know your odds and play smart, in the end you win more than you lose.

          There is no way to determine on God’s green earth how each player is going to react to suddenly becoming a multi millionaire. Some still work hard, but others start to enjoy a life they could never come close to affording. Do you want to hit the gym or take a hot babe you just met to a fancy restaurant?

  2. I don’t understand the Thompson haters. I remember the Packers of the 70’s and 80’s. What this team has accomplished under Thompson is heaven compared to then. Enjoy it while you can.

    1. I hear you Doug. The parity in this league is remarkable. To win our division despite some bad injury seasons tells the real story. I remember those days (70’s and 80’s), lived through those poorly managed teams and crappy drafts. I thought that we were heading back to those times when Mike Sherman took the reins. I am thankful that Ted Thompson took over and has us at the top this last half decade. Enjoy it while you can indeed.

      1. Well said Razer. I remember the ’70s and ’80s also. That was tough to take after the Lombardi days. We’ve been fortunate since 1992. TT has put together an organization that gives us a chance every season. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  3. I don’t know if TT will whiff this draft, but he has a way of giving me heartburn.
    Last year when he traded back in the 2nd round for an extra 6th round with Lacy still on the board gave me the runs.
    I’m glad the Broncos preferred Montee Ball.

  4. So, according to this article, if a player gets injured, it’s considered whiff? Don’t get me wrong, Harrell, Brohm, Lee, Rouse, Hodge are all tremendous whiff’s. Saying Perry’s problem is speed on the edge is just flat out false. Cory, once again, you are playing so loosely with the facts to create your story. There is nothing wrong with Perry’s speed. Injuries are clearly holding him back. — to call Raji a whiff because of his junior year at BC? How is his college career even relevant to the discussion of whether or not he is a good pro player? If Raji is a whiff, it has nothing to do with his college career. I sometimes don’t understand your writing style. The overall theme of this article has merit, I just don’t get the need to manufacture items to fill the page. GoPack!

    1. Scheny,

      B.J. Raji must be graded on a different scale as a Top 10 pick. He didn’t deserve to be a No. 9 pick and after he played in a fog last year, he further proved his whiff status.

      1. Cory, raji’s college career is irrelevant to his whiff status. You are using something in your argument that does not have any basis on his pro career. Your statement about Perry is simply false. It appears as though you wanted to “find” 10 whiffs so you could “prove” your argument that TT whiff’s once/draft. Find the facts, then write a story. Don’t come up with a theory and then bend the facts to fit your headline.

        1. Scheny,

          It is relevant. The college career is part of what makes a whole player’s career.

          1. Then how do you explain all the players in the NFL who had marginal college careers, and then busted out once they got to the dance? There was even a DT that played for the Cardinals years ago that never went to college. College may have relevance for character development, but it remains a relatively poor training and proving ground for NFL talent.

      1. Raji looked great in 2010. Definitely not a whiff in 2010. The problem is, it’s 2014. Hopefully moving to nose tackle will help Raji re-engage himself, so his performance is not all about nostalgia.

      2. No Raji, no Superbowl. Not only not a whiff, but a good pick. If you could do the pick over again, only a fool would do something different. The goal is to win the SB afterall.

  5. Cory, if I read this correctly, the Packers are done with Sherrod. I believe I predicted that in an earlier post. I was crucified by the TT malt liquor drinkers. I would be willing to bet that none of them will eat crow however. It really drives my point home… Love for TT will blind you.

    1. As will hate for TT. You’re as guilty on that side as the “do no wrong” folks are on their side. The real place to be is in the middle, where you can point out both positives and negatives. That would make you rational. The constant TT bashing and the TT can do no wrong arguments are both unfair and irrational. And from this viewpoint, both can be dismissed as irrelevant opinions.

    2. People are completely misunderstanding not picking up Sherrod’s 5th year option. First, Sherrod’s 5th year is 2015, not this season (2014). Second, the option would pay $7 million for that year, which would give Sherrod something like the 5th biggest cap hit on the team in 2015, equivalent to about the 15th best tackle in the league.

      What the Packers are saying to Sherrod is not ‘go away.’ They are saying Sherrod right now clearly is not one of the top offensive tackles in the league and should not be paid like one (Duh). They are saying that 2014 is Sherrod’s year to prove he can play and earn a second contract. They are also saying that Green Bay may want to be in that contract negotiation with Sherrod, just not with a $7 million *minimum* number that provides NO ability to manipulate the cap hit with signing bonuses and incentives.

      People also thought the Packers were ‘letting Shields go’ when they did not tag him back in March. But that didn’t turn out to be the case — not tagging Shields was a move in an extended contract negotiation that said, basically, ‘no more than x $. But Shield eventually was signed anyway, and for less (on average) than the tag number.

      While the players aren’t comparable, the role of the ‘option’ in an extended contract negotiation is the same as a franchise tag — it sets an upper limit on what the team is willing to pay right now for unrealized potential. Do not confuse setting that limit — the team covering its rear end financially and with regard to the salary cap, not saying they don’t want the player.

      Here is a link to an Andrew Brandt article on the 5th year bonus:

      http://mmqb.si.com/2014/05/02/nfl-2011-draft-fifth-year-option/

      1. Forgot to add, on 2015 that $7 million would be **guaranteed** — no way at all to negotiate a lower number unless the drop the option, which they had to do **NOW** per the CBA contract terms.

      2. In short, it’s called, “Show us you can get back on the field and stay there, show us you can play a little ball, and then we’ll talk.”

      3. Ed, you have it exactly right! GB is not giving up on Sherrod. I am sure that Sherrod never expected his option to be picked up. It was a rational business decision. I have posted that both Buylaga and Sherrod are essentially in contract years since there was no chance GB would exercise the option for 2015, and suggested that GB might draft a tackle in rounds 3-5 because of that scenario. But GB will give Sherrod the opportunity to compete for one of the tackle positions, and possibly for back-up at guard. I have to conclude that either Cory made up this “fact” or did not understand how the option works.

    3. Big T; I think most people are in the middle of your bi-polar world; we aren’t drunk with love, nor pissing hate. Even TT defenders have their critique and issues, but can still defend his overall record relative to many other GMs. I think Cory did nice objective critique of wiffs, but still his percentage is somewhat in the normal range. How long do you want to continue this endless circular drunken love vs piss-on TT?

      1. packett, If TT does something intelligent I would be the first to acknowledge it. I like some of the acquisitions he has made. I just get frustrated by the sheeple that turn a blind eye to the ignorant crap he does. I call it like I see it and man do I take a beating because of it. It would be alot easier to love on TT. I am taking the harder route and speaking the truth, even though we all know the truth can hurt. The truth can also set you free…

        1. Assuming that your version of the “truth” is correct.

          You wouldn’t take such a beating if you were a little more even-handed in your analysis. For a team that’s in the playoffs every year, there should be good things you can point to as well. But you focus only on the negative and that’s why you take a beating. I don’t know why you can’t see that. And BTW, I’m not purposely singling you out, using you more as an example of commenters here that are nothing but negative about Thompson. Point out the good and the bad, and life will be easier – just my unsolicited advice…

          1. It is the bad stuff that needs to be corrected to make it to the superbowl. I guess I am trying to drive the point home that we should be winning superbowls right now, not just division titles at 8-7-1. The tools are there but the mechanic is hesitant in making the proper choices. I firmly believe we should have 2 rings with Rodgers if not 3. The difference of a decision or 2 that TT should’ve made. Going to the playoffs year after year and being made a fool of in the first round just doesn’t do it for me. It really just comes down to some common sense issues for TT. If TT wants to continue to strive for mediocre, so be it. Aaron’s window will be closing soon and what a waste that would be. I want TT to do well. Just seems as if his passion is gone.

            1. I think the problem is, you think winning the Superbowl is easy. There are 31 other teams and coaches who will do anything they can to win. But they are all drawing from a single talent pool and managing a finite salary cap.

              1. This season marks the 10th anniversary of the Patriots last SB win AND the last time a team won 2 in a row. They’re the winning-est team in the NFL over the past decade if you go straight off of W/L record. Yes, they’ve been to 2 SB’s since but they didn’t win and above, Big T, you say “we should be winning Super Bowls”. Do the Patriots also have GM issues and Belichick malt liquor drinkers? You’ll be hard pressed to find more who agree with that statement than those who don’t.

                If you think Ted is holding this team back because he hasn’t been perfect with his drafts or didn’t sign the “best” free agents out there on day 1, then you’re ignoring the big picture. You’re also taking #12 for granted and the fact that the Packers trot out a division winning team every season. When was the last time they had to watch their star QB leave because the team couldn’t afford to pay him? Star any position, for that matter? Years from now, the details and minutia of who he didn’t draft or let slip away won’t be as much the topic. When fans who lived through the 70’s and 80’s talk about that time period, they just say it was horrible. They don’t say “the 70’s were bad and I’ll tell you another thing, they really blew that 4th rounder in ’73!”. The last 9 years, Ted has been more successful than not. The numbers say so. He has more Super Bowls than Hoodie and just as many as any other team during that span.

                The Packers are in the playoffs nearly every year. Playoff losses suck, whether it’s by 1 or by 20 but no team has ever won a championship, in the Super Bowl era, that didn’t make the postseason. I could be wrong on that, but I’ll take a chance that I’m not. How do you think Atlanta Falcons fans feel? They had one foot in New Orleans for last year’s SB and now they’re picking in the top 10. Meanwhile, the Packers ran out of medical tape last year and still managed to win as many games as they lost.

                Like Ted’s Smarter says above, winning Super Bowls is anything but easy. Ask the 49ers who many fans wish the Packers were more like defensively, ask the Patriots over the last 10 years, ask Denver. Ask the Buffalo Bills of the early 90’s. Ask this year’s Seahawks, who everyone will be gunning for. I doubt they repeat.

                A GM’s job: to put together a roster of players and coaches who, together, can achieve success. I can’t tell you not to measure success by whether or not SB’s were won but if that’s your measuring stick, then just know you’ll be disappointed more often than not. 29 years passed between SB 2 and 31 and another 14 years passed between 31 and 45. If you’re OK with waiting that long again to be satisfied, more power to you.

            2. It is ironic indeed that you have made TT a victim of his own success. If not for TT’s winning percentage in the draft and his selective-but-effective work in FA, you would not be in a position to make the critiques that you do. TT has spoiled you!

            3. Big T – I am also frustrated that the Packers have not won more Super Bowls but the idea that a draft pick or a FA signing or 2 would have resulted in another 1 0r 2 SB wins is pure speculation. Speaking for myself, I am not happy with every thing TT says or does but I evaluate him based on the team’s results, how his record compares with his peers and the fact that other teams consistently hire members of his staff. Based on these factors I think that he has done a good job and I support him. That doesn’t mean that I agree with him 100% on everything, but I can disagree with him and still support what he has done for the Packers since 2005. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

              1. What’s really annoying is how almost single thread gets hijacked and turned into a TT discussion. Let the obsession go.

              2. And if too many people are defending TT, maybe it would help if so many of the accusations of wrongdoing weren’t baseless or totally speculative.

    4. Cory, What are your indicators of a good GM? Are these fair? no indicator tells the whole story alone, but all of these combined, could indicate a good GM.
      1) send at least 2 or more pro-bowlers per year (indicates acquiring above average number of high impact players (and keeping them).
      2) Win your division back to back years indicates you’re competitive.
      3) Keep under cap each year, with some flexibility. Strong fiduciary management.
      4) 5 of 7 of your draft picks makes 53 man squad. You draft at least 2 starters per year. The picks are strong relative to your team.
      5) You have no weakness that is unaddressed 2 years in row. All teams get holes, but you find solutions the following year.
      6) You identify at least UDFA to retain on your 53 squad. Savy and successful pursuit of UDFA.
      7) You hit on at least 2 of 3 picks in RDs 1-3, and who are impact players by year 2. (yeah, this is a bit subjective)
      8) Released FAs from Packers get signed elsewhere and are contributors on new teams indicates that GB identifies good talent because it meets new teams’ criteria.

      So are there 5 who are better than TT on majority of above? Are there 10?
      Don’t judge him by one criticism such as often complaint: he doesn’t pursue free agents. Who cares if he passes on great FA if he meets the test above?

      1. I’d say number 5 is yet to be determined for this offseason. Right now there are a couple spots that really have me worried.

  6. I don’t think TT has done very well in Rounds 1-3. But, he has a very pragmatic strategy, and very similar to Baltimore ravens philosophy. Picking in the draft is a crap shoot. It is a formula of playing the odds. Here is exerpt from CNN interview of Ozzie Newsome. I think Ozzie and TT recognize that even the best GMs are only going to hit on a percentage, so get more picks, gets a higher number of good picks. So…if they are right, it’s not as important about number of whiffs, but the number of hits. You get more hits, if you get more picks to begin with.
    see excerpt. the article is excellent:

    “We look at the draft as, in some respects, a luck-driven process. The more picks you have, the more chances you have to get a good player,” DeCosta says. “When we look at teams that draft well, it’s not necessarily that they’re drafting better than anybody else, it seems to be that they have more picks. There’s definitely a correlation between the amount of picks and drafting good players.”

    1. I think that the luck aspect is especially true in rounds 1 to 3 — those are the players that *everybody* has scouted to the nth degree. Its in rounds 4-7, and UDFA, that a GM can sneak in a better quality pick than the average for that round. TT has done significantly better than other GMs in those rounds.

      1. Not to mention the sheer pressure involved in picking in those rounds. Rounds 4-7 gets you the solid starters and depth, but the margin of error is much greater. I bet very few of you can rattle off perfectly the Packers picks in Rounds 4-7 from 2013 off the top of your head, but all of you can not only name all of the Rounds 1-3 picks but also those picks the Packers missed out on around them. Picking players that you want (or need) to have carrying the team going forward with a razor-thin margin of error has to be the most difficult job in the NFL.

  7. I just can’t shake the fact that, with ARod available at 23, TT was trying to trade back! He took ARod after he couldn’t find a partner. It’s obviously great that we got him, but to act like TT jumped all over the pick is revisionist history. Go Pack!

    1. That’s not true. He didn’t run to the podium w/ the pick, but he was also NOT shopping the pick. He was waiting to see if someone offered an exorbitant package to trade the pick. That’s not a matter of him trying to trade it. Rewriting history won’t fly…

      1. Every single pick in the draft is shopped around. When have you seen anyone ever make their pick within a minute or two of the clock starting on their pick? First pick doesn’t count because that’s being shopped the second the season Is over.

        Here’s the other untruth in Calabasa’s claim: Thompson had other choices and did not “have to” draft Rodgers! There were still hundreds of other eligible players. 20+ GMs already passed on him. The idea that Rodgers was forced on Thompson is a willfully unintelligent claim. I don’t recall there being a rule that said we either select Rodgers or forfeit our pick.

  8. Vin Scully said “Batters have always struck out but we now have guys who strike out while the National Anthem is being played.”

    Thompson hasn’t acquired this status of striking out in the 1st but he has attempted a failed bunt on a two strike pitch…having to draft late in the 1st round… which says a lot about his’on base percentage’ for the entire game.

  9. I will take TT’s overall record in the draft when compared to the drafts of Mike Sherman and the drafts of the 1970s and 1980s.

    The drafts in the Ron Wolf era and TT era show how inept Sherman was as a GM. These days, a GM and a HC have to be different individuals.

    In a different thread about the o-line, I said it’s too early to label Sherrod a bust/whiff. There are several factors affecting his current situation including the leg injury.

    Like many others, I question the decision to draft Justin Harrell KNOWING of his biceps injury. That just doesn’t make sense.

    Brian Brohm was a failure. There’s no mincing words here. He was drafted into a good situation for a young QB and he failed to take advantage of his opportunity unlike Matt Flynn.

    BJ Raji and Jermichael Finley are head-scratchers. Raji is his own worst enemy. Finley was drafted too early. Another year at Texas would have served him well.

    If TT has learned anything, I hope it’s never draft a player with an injury history like Justin Harrell’s and never draft a sophomore out of college like Finley. Those scenarios increase the chance a player will be a bust/whiff.

    1. In regards to Raji, he was not a mistake of evaluation, but a mistake made by coaches who moved him away from his natural NT position. You saw how he played NT in ’10 didn’t you? But the COACHES made this mistake of moving him away from NT to more of a DE role, for which he had none of the traits needed to succeed! Raji wasn’t his own worst enemy the coaches who moved him were.

      No doubt Finley could have used another year in school but as a 3rd round pick he was pretty damn productive, just not as productive as his talent may have indicated. The reason Finley fell to the 3rd round was largely due to his immaturity. Good pick as when healthy he was a productive player at his position given his late 3rd round selection.

      1. Anonymous, your point is well taken. Moving Raji to DE (to which he is not suited) hurt Raji’s production and effectiveness. In fairness to the Coaches, Raji might well have been the best option at DE at the time, since TT did not supply another option t DE, and Pickett was still playing at a high level. At the time, most thought moving Raji to DE allowed GB to field its best defensive line. That said, I have little doubt that it hurt Raji’s production.

      2. I say Raji is his own worst enemy because of his seeming lack of motivation in a contract year. I don’t disagree with the argument he was out of position and that will hurt any player…to wit, Derek Sherrod.

        Finley showed many things but consistency and, thus, reliability were not his strong suits. Had he stayed at Texas for another season, he would have been better prepared for the NFL. The other side of that argument was GB might not have been able to draft him the following year.

    2. Weren’t Harrell’s back injuries what did him in? Obviously, Harrell turned out to be a bad pick, but whether or not it was a dumb pick turns on that question.

      If the injuries that inhibit your NFL career are the same that you suffered in college, the GM/doctors look much worse than if they are unrelated injuries. But any long injury history should be a concern, too.

    1. That’s common sense. If you were to extend this for the whole draft, it would be littered with whiffs for all general managers.

      But I focused on rounds 1-3 because that is where the highest concentration of talent is.

      1. I think he is saying that most GMs have more whiffs than Thompson, not that most GMs have more whiffs in later rounds.

  10. The reason Sherrod has had trouble staying out of the training room is because another player threw himself in the air and landed on Sherrods planted leg, breaking it in half. It’s like being hit by a car. Then the first surgery to repair was unsuccessful. The phrase “injury prone” does not come close to describing him or other players who get injured on plays where such contact is made. Such a ridiculous label. If you need to use it, try it on Bulaga who has already injured himself without being contacted by another player.

    I was going to also add the Packers have not “washed their hands” of Sherrod because they didn’t sign the 5th year option. But others here have already beaten to it. They’d be nuts to pay that amount for a player they’ve seen so little of. But if Sherrod plays well, believe me they will have interest.

    And Perry doesn’t have speed? Are you kidding? He ran a 4.64 40 at 271 lbs. Amoung D-ends only Bruce Irvins 4.50 at 248 pounds was better.

    The thing that has always bugged me about the Harrell picks, was not so much that TT picked him, but he passed on the trade with Cleveland(I believe Dallas eventually made the deal)where he could have received Cleveland’s first rounder the next year to just trade down six spots. I still pisses me off he passed up that deal. Plus, as a GM you have to be able to gauge where certain players will go in the draft. There’s a very good chance he could have had Harrell at 22 anyway. He should have known that.

    1. We only assume that it was TT who passed on the deal. Its equally possible that Cleveland pulled the plug.

      1. This was reported May 1st 2007:

        “Packers Turn Down Trade Offer From Browns
        By: Associated Press

        GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers turned down a trade offered from the Cleveland Browns on Saturday.

        It would have given the Packers another first-round draft pick in 2008.

        Browns general manager Phil Savage called about a dozen teams to try to trade up for a first-round pick and select Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.

        The Browns were able to make a trade with the Dallas Cowboys and secured Quinn.

        Cleveland used the third selection on Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas.”

        1. Thanks for providing a factual reference. The Browns eventually traded that 2008 #1 to Dallas for the 22nd pick. Given the difference between the expected value of a 16 and a 22 I’m pretty comfortable with the idea that TT wanted more for the 16 and the trade fell through when Cleveland didn’t want to pay it.
          Granted Harrell then turned out to be a bad pick, probably the worst that TT has made in 9 yrs.

    2. “And Perry doesn’t have speed? Are you kidding? He ran a 4.64 40 at 271 lbs. Amoung D-ends only Bruce Irvins 4.50 at 248 pounds was better.”

      Perfect example of controlled spandex ‘combine’speed and game dress speed…Perry looks very weighted down at game speed.

      Please,lets not do the untouched,unblocked sack of Luck or the fall down rolled over and Stafford was still standing there sack.He has offered some plays that may appear as fast but he isn’t….he’s been a paddy caker in cloggs…

      1. Whether it’s spandex or football gear – he’s fast. But I get your point. Will he end up being another Gholston. Or does end up the next DeMarcus Ware? It depends on whether he likes to play football enough and is will to make the sacrifices. And stay uninjured…

  11. Uh, Jersey Al, “TT did an excellent job in his second draft by picking AJ Hawk with the #5 overall pick and then Colledge and Jason Spitz”? Are you fu*king kidding? TT averages a whiff per year like Col. Custer only averages one lost cavalryman every time he ventures outside the fort. Should change the headline to “every now and then Thompson doesn’t whiff”! Once again, the Rodgers miracle pick has made this less than mediocre GM attract all these dillusional followers because they have been able to dominate that shit division for years. Because he’s been asleep at the switch for 9 years, unfortunately, that’s about to change.

    1. Hawk underperformed for a #5 pick, but he was not a whiff, precisely. Spitz and Colledge weren’t whiffs, but they were reaches and did not play as well as one would like 2nd and 3rd choices to play. Jennings was a home run. Hodge was a miss. Sounds like less than an average draft in rounds 1-3 to me.

      1. Four multi-year starters in the first three rounds is actually a better than average result. Yes, Hawk was a disappointment, but Jennings was an absolute steal — at least as good as Santonio Holmes and far better than either Sinorice Moss and Chad Jackson (the WR taken ahead of him.)

        I think people have inflated ideas about what the ‘average’ result for a pick in the first three rounds really is.

        1. Your point is valid. TT picked 5th in each round, and had 5 picks in the top 75 picks. I would hope that TT would have done a little more with such bounty, but Kudos to him for getting so many prime picks. Still, Jennings was a steal and a legit No. 1 receiver, and there were 4 starters, so you’re right to call it an above average draft.

          Hawk underwhelmed for being the 5th pick. I graded on a curve a bit since guard is an undervalued position, so using prime picks on guards should net pretty good players. Colledge at #47 (2nd Rd) was just the third guard off the board. Spitz at #75 (Rd 3) was just the fifth guard off the board. [Moll was drafted at #165 that same year. He saw the field some. No other drafted player did anything for GB from that draft.] I think Spitz & Colledge disappointed GB, which let them play out their contracts and did not try to keep them. GB drafted Barbre 119th in 2007, Sitton 135th in 2008, and Lang 109th in 2009, but one can argue that they would draft an O-lineman every year. I keep recalling that Tretter, drafted #122, is penciled in as the starting center, another undervalued position. Again, though, 4 starters has to be an above average draft.

  12. Cory, What are your indicators of a good GM? Are these fair? no indicator tells the whole story alone, but all of these combined, could indicate a good GM.
    1) send at least 2 or more pro-bowlers per year (indicates acquiring above average number of high impact players (and keeping them).
    2) Win your division back to back years indicates you’re competitive.
    3) Keep under cap each year, with some flexibility. Strong fiduciary management.
    4) 5 of 7 of your draft picks makes 53 man squad. You draft at least 2 starters per year. The picks are strong relative to your team.
    5) You have no weakness that is unaddressed 2 years in row. All teams get holes, but you find solutions the following year.
    6) You identify at least UDFA to retain on your 53 squad. Savy and successful pursuit of UDFA.
    7) You hit on at least 2 of 3 picks in RDs 1-3, and who are impact players by year 2. (yeah, this is a bit subjective)
    8) Released FAs from Packers get signed elsewhere and are contributors on new teams indicates that GB identifies good talent because it meets new teams’ criteria.

    So are there 5 who are better than TT on majority of above? Are there 10?
    Don’t judge him by one criticism such as often complaint: he doesn’t pursue free agents. Who cares if he passes on great FA if he meets the test above?

  13. While I didn’t agree with everything in the article, I did enjoy it. It would have been interesting to compare TTs “whiffs” with other GMs in the league.

  14. Packett….answer your own questions. Pro bowlers last year-zero. And how many in 9 years? They win a weak division because of the best qb in the NFL. Manages the cap by re signing all his underachieving guys cheaply (except 2) UFA- please! Needs addressed on D and he misses on all of them lately. Get real!

  15. Why not rip all the other GMs that passed on the best QB in the league,rip their ass not TTs.

  16. I think the draft needs to hurry up and get here. Then we’ll see some real hand-wringing and anger….the only pick that will disappoint me at #21 is OL, QB or RB. As an ode to mike Sherman I’ll throw P/K on the list as well. Every other position is fair game in my estimation. GoPack!

  17. Would be nice to trade up to get one of the safeties or Mosely….can be possible with the extra 3. However, write it down, old Ted trades down and out of the first tound

  18. Would be nice to trade up to get one of the safeties or Mosely….can be possible with the extra 3. However, write it down, old Ted trades down and out of the first round

  19. I am a little late to the party here but Jersey Al has the correct approach, which is when it comes to TTs drafting we need to take the good with the bad. No GM has anything close to a perfect draft record or has not “whiffed” on picks in the early rounds. By the same token TT has had his share of picks that haven’t worked out especially on the defensive side. But more importantly he has put together one of the best if not the best offensive team in the league. In today’s NFL, which is dominated by offense, this is the correct approach strategically. You can no longer win in this league with a great defense and a weak offense. You will still be out scored 20-14. Plus there are no truly great defensive teams in the league any longer due to the rule changes, all of which favor the offense. Having said that, TT needs to pick some quality defensive players to get the Packers over the hump and back to winning the SB. I wanted to pick up a veteran safety during FA but we didn’t. So now it’s on to the draft. In the end and to be fair, TT should be judged by his team’s record on the field. As I have said in many previous posts and others have said it here, criticize TT all you want but his record, including SB wins is as good as or better than any other GM in the league. That’s fact. Asserting that this draft pick or this FA signing would have meant more SB wins is speculation. Let’s stay healthy for 2014 and see what we have. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  20. Lets hope the whiff isn’t the first round this year, I can live with 3rd or later whiffs like Jeron McMillian S, The crazy mocks continue today, Mayock has Aaron Donald going like 24 or 25, Clinton Dix going at pick 22, gonna be a WILD night 2morrow!

  21. The all time Draft WTF moment for me was when the Raiders took S Mike Mitchell early in the 2nd round and Mayock had him rated as a 7th round pick/UDFA…ahh I miss Al Davis

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