Cory Corner: It’s not sexy but Ted Thompson got the job done

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In Ted Thompson's 10th NFL Draft as the general manager for the Packers, he got great value out his middle and late round picks.
In Ted Thompson’s 10th NFL Draft as the general manager for the Packers, he got great value out his middle and late round picks.

The more I look at Ted Thompson’s nine draft picks the more impressed I am with his middle to late-round selections.

Take Carl Bradford. The Arizona State linebacker will be a coach’s dream because you know he’s not going to cheat himself and take a play off. He may not succeed in the NFL because of shorter arms, but it won’t be because of heart.

Or how about Jared Abbrederis? I know he had concussions as a wide receiver at Wisconsin but what stood out to me was how well he manhandled Bradley Roby, who was taken 31st overall, at Ohio State this past season. I could easily see Abbrederis as a precision receiver like Wes Welker. Could he have an NFL career like Welkers? Perhaps, but he needs to add some upper body strength so he can separate easier.

Finally there’s Jeff Janis. He’s the epitome of overachiever. He’s the Division II standout that runs like lightning and makes highlight-reel grabs. The biggest question will be if his small-school success can translate to the NFL stage.

I like what Thompson did this year. And it’s not because he addressed needs or added the all-important depth.

It’s because Thompson gave the Packers a huge boost of hope. The Packers have a legitimate shot to win their fourth straight NFC North title and go deep in the playoffs. I would argue that they don’t have the best offensive weapons in the NFC, that honor goes to Chicago, but they have the best quarterback in the league and the defensive front seven is going to be much, much better.

There aren’t a lot of Thompson fans because he rarely attacks the free agent market. The Packers have advanced to the playoffs seven of the last eight years. That kind of production is hard to argue with.

Now Thompson and his scouting team hand off the picks to Mike McCarthy and his staff. Perhaps the two biggest coaching jobs will be third round tight end Richard Rodgers and sixth round cornerback Demetri Goodson. Rodgers started as a wide receiver before being shifted to tight end and Goodson started off his college athletic career playing basketball.

Bottom line is the Packers got more athletic. They got a safety in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix that should instill fear in opposing receivers. They got a receiver in Davante Adams who broke Henry Ellard’s career touchdown record as a sophomore at Fresno State. And they got a center in Corey Linsley who is as strong as an ox.

It may not be one of the sexiest drafts ever, but Thompson got the job done.

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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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56 thoughts on “Cory Corner: It’s not sexy but Ted Thompson got the job done

  1. Nah, not quite done. Premise of your article is if the “ifs” pan out, then he gets the job done. We’re not all convinced the ifs are going to sufficiently address the areas of weakness. ILB not enough was done here. TE position drops off if Finley’s career at GB is over. The rest was great.

    1. We really don’t know if Rodgers will be less effective than Finley. He is talked up to have excellent ball skills, and Finley, though he had flashes of greatness, never materialized to be an elite tight-end. I love this years picks, I can’t wait to see which players rise to the top and how.

    2. TE position drop? you realize we were without Finley 3/4 of last year, right? they won the superbowl with quarless, crabtree, and donald lee combining for 412 yd & 5 TD over the 16 games Finley missed in 2010.

    3. Name one team that you are sure solved all of their issues with the recent draft….it’s all speculative at this point. If it wasn’t, there would be no reason to watch the games.

  2. Just like coaches, GM’s get too much blame when guys don’t “pan out” & too much credit when they do. I’m OK with the majority of this year’s picks. I was unfamiliar with Bradford, but he is growing on me. The first two picks were “no-brainers”, top rated safety & the WR left who was highest on our board. The two third round picks seem a little more confusing, as both players were projected by just about everyone as 5-7 round picks. The TE from Cal. has been described as “athletic”. he had the 5th slowest 40 & the second lowest total bench reps of all TE’s at the combine….I can not see where slow+weak=athletic? Only time will tell!

  3. The problem is when you start looking at tape after a player is drafted too help convince yourself it was a solid,good,great pick for what ails the team.
    The team saw and got value at WR and S..the rest is still way out of focus.

  4. I might be a homer but if Abbredaris can solidify the return game fantastic pick. At Safety for the last few years we were confused at best…now we have a starter. Boykin is serviceable, but Adams is a stud. Strong competition at center against Tretter should be fun to watch. Rodgers at tight end is better than status quo. Not everybody drafted and in as a free agent will make the team. I feel we have great competition and that will make us better.

  5. Ted doesn’t like to bring the sexy back, as sexy as we get was that FIST BUMP in the war room, that was the Thompson equivalent of break dancing emotionally

  6. Ted’s not sexy? The Village people may argue that point. So he goes out and gets a bunch of “overachievers” that just may pan out. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. Last few drafts, it’s certainly been the latter. bad news is, we’re still loaded with “underachievers” like Raji, Hawk, B Jones, Morgan (covers like) Fairchild, Perry, Worthy, That-One etc. The defense, aside from Ha Ha will be built in one of two ways. The ’13 model that absolutely sucked with the aforementioned non pro bowlers, or an Andy Malumba type low draft pick/street guy that will get old Ted recognized as a master talent evaluator. In any event, by not dabbling even a little bit in free agency and not using some of his nine picks to move up and pick an ILB, the defense is going into this season just hoping for the best. That’s been the case for years now & guess what, it’s not working. Yeah yeah, division titles and blah blah blah……not going any further with the 27th ranked D. Oh, and by the way, looks like Jordy will be next up to get old Ted one of those compensatory picks he loves so much. AR clock……tick tick tick!

    1. yea because AR was such a stud when the offense was going 3-and-out 5 times vs. SF. quit acting like the offense is blameless.

      1. News Flash!!! SF had pretty much their entire starting 22 in the Playoffs. The Packers lost by a FG and if Hyde jumps a inch higher the Packers beat SF. I guess not having Matthews, Shields, Neal, Perry, Hayward, Finley, Bulaga, (Should I keep going?) is just viewed as a excuse. Well maybe, but it’s a pretty damn good one.

        1. chill, dude. I am just calling a spade a spade. I’m not saying you SHOULD blame players. but IF you are intent on trying to blame players, then, in that particular game, the offense deserve just as much, if not more blame than defense.

          I’m sick of all these 5-year-olds that think that having AR equals easy automatic championships on cruise control. That type of rhetoric is pushed by brainless media talking heads try to oversimplify and cater to the casual fan. It’s true that a QB has more impact than any other Individual player. but that does not mean he has more impact than the rest of the team combined. It take alot more than a good QB to win SB’s. Even building a good roster is not enough. Luck and many other factors are involved.

          1. Great reply. AR is the most skilled QB in the league but he has not been able to solve physical defensive play (i.e., Giants, 49ers, etc.). The play of the supporting cast on offense (especially the O-line) has to perform better against pressure orientated defensive fronts. In my opinion, the offensive line coaches are most responsible for the early playoff exits. The players can only effect the scheme.

            1. Cuz not having 2 1st round picks playing on the OL wouldn’t be an issue for any other team would it? What happens to SF OL if you take Staley and Davis off the OL? Just shit balling here, but I’m guessing their OL play suffers dramatically too! But go ahead on blame whoever you want…

              1. Sorry wasn’t meant as a aggressive and if you’ve read my posts, you know that’s not my style. With that said Stroh is right. All off season I hear excuses for EVERY OTHER TEAM, the injuries they’ve had but never the Packers. The 49ers were actually getting healthier at the time of that game, getting key players back.

                Last year Cobb was playing in his second game back, same with Cobb but face it, they weren’t playing in midseason form yet. Cobb barely was in vs Chicago the week before. Losing Shields and Neal early in first quarter was huge. Perry breaking his foot in week 6 was huge after he seemed to find his groove finally (3 sacks 2 FF in 6 quarters before injury), just saying this team can’t catch a break.

    2. If only we would have some losing seasons so we could get more, higher draft picks…..you are a clown and your posts are pointless complaining that no one takes seriously anymore. Keep trolling loser.

  7. What I don’t understand about those who are so amazingly critical of the job Ted Thompson has done in his time with the Packers is why don’t people attack they also attack the job Ron Wolf did as a GM?

    Their career success is almost exactly the same. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

    Okay, Favre saw one more superbowl, which the Packers lost in spectacular fashion. Didn’t Ron Wolf (and Mike Sherman thereafter) fail miserably to create a super-dynasty for one of the great QB’s of all time?

    Surely, Ron Wolf failed just as thoroughly as Ted Thompson has. After all, it’s ALL about the championships, right?

    1. Difference is Wolf was aware of the fact they finally had a championship qb in Favre after 29 years and was proactive enough to try to build a supporting cast around him. God didn’t tell Reggie to go to GB, his accounant did! He got Sean Jones, Keith Jackson, Desmond Howard, Andre Rison and others to fill specific needs while Favre was in his prime. One thing TT and Wolf have in common is lots of whiffs on high draft picks. However, TT is thick. He struck gold with Woodson. You’d think he’d give it another shot……8 years later, still with his head in the sand. Wolf, at least recognized the window philosophy. Ted pissed off Favre at the end and will ultimately do the same to AR.

      1. Who cares HOW Ron Wolf went about his business.. He didn’t get it done any better than TT.

        Proof is in the pudding, right?

        TT’s methodology has been just as successful as Wolf’s. If you claim TT is failing, you must acknowledge that Ron Wolf failed as well. You can’t place one upon the throne and the other upon the altar.

        1. Oppy – you are correct. Wolf and TT have had the same amount of success. Wolf did not have the same level of restrictions that come with the current version of the salary cap. Also, Wolf’s teams never had to deal with the multi-season injury plagues that TT’s teams have suffered. Also, the rules were different and not as favorable to the offense as current rules are. This allowed for creating a more balanced team on offense and defense. To me, Wolf is one of the great NFL GMs of all time, but he did not have to deal with the same cap restrictions, injuries, and rule changes that TT has dealt with. Also, today’s players are not interested in being part of a dynasty. They want their ring and their big payday and they don’t care who gives them their check. Given the risks in the game they can’t be blamed for that. In the Lombardi days, salaries were low so winning the title was a matter of team and personal pride, but the championship bonus was also a big part of a player’s income, especially for those players who went to work in the off season to make ends meet. Also, let’s not forget that the Packers usually play a 1st place schedule every season due to their division titles. All of these factors contribute to the challenges of building a dynasty in today’s NFL in addition to actually wining the games. This draft looks good, will it translate into another SB win, only time will tell. Thanks, Since ’61

        2. Wolf went to TWICE as many Super Bowls as Thompson did in one fewer year, and Thompson arguably has a better QB. I like TT, but think that Wolf was a better (more complete) GM.

          1. One could argue that, as Thompson has faltered somewhat on building a defense for Rodgers, Wolf failed to get offensive playmakers for Favre.

            I think the Wolf/TT debates are kind of fun but totally fruitless, and it’s kind of silly to have that strong of an opinion on the debate (what a coincidence, when we just finished mock draft/draft grade season!).

          2. So we’re all clear here- I fully believe Ron Wolf was an amazing, trail-blazing GM who wrote the book on how to navigate the (then new) waters of the free-agency era successfully. Ted Thompson, as Wolf’s greatest disciple, in turn has become an equally adept GM. I believe both to have been fantastically successful, even if they do go about it in somewhat different ways.

            Furthermore, Ron Wolf has nothing but positive things to say about how his protege’ Thompson goes about his business. It seems sometimes you can detect a bit of admiration in Wolf’s statements about TT’s steady resolve not to break from philosophy, even when emotionally charged reaction is tempting, or the easy way out.

            So yes, I’m playing devil’s advocate to some extent to make a point, but I do believe for all the talk about “It’s all about Championships”, “It’s a wasted season if you don’t bring home a ring”, and “I don’t want to hear about just making the playoffs” that some people go on about when berating TT, they should be consistent and therefore hold Ron Wolf to the same standard… Regardless of methodology. If it’s only about winning, or winning championships- methodology would not matter, only results.

            1. As an extension of that, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.. and as long as that sucker gets skinned, I don’t care what tools you use or how you go about it. 😉

            2. Actually Wolf wasn’t a trailblazer by any means for todays NFL. He admitted he quit precisely due to he NFL rule changes that made trades much more difficult and other player acquisition avenues difficult. He realized that he couldn’t continue to be an active GM is many of the ways that people complain Thompson doesn’t use enough, mainly FA and trades.

              He basically quite when the going got tough… Don’t get me wrong, I think he was a great GM, but not a trailblazer for today’s NFL by any means.

              1. I’m well aware of Wolf’s comments in regards to FA, and the difficulties it presented him compared to “the old days”. He also built one of the great winning teams and traditions during the early times of FA while other teams struggled with severe cap repercussions. Reggie White was considered the first truly great FA signing in the NFL, and it was in turn considered a changing of an era in roster management.

                Much of Thompson’s views on how to handle the scouting (and by extension, the draft), free agency, roster management, etc are a direct extension of Ron Wolf’s tutelage.

              2. I’m well aware of the history as well. My point was regarding him being trailblazer for todays NFL. Which Wolf retired fue to. I don’t see that making him a trailblazer. Packers have been mostly fiscally responsible in the salary cap era except for Sherman’s regime.

  8. I like our team going into this season. Ted may have done the best that he could in this draft. I was surprised how true to the big board teams ran. I was waiting for the run of reaches and bad picks by some of the lesser teams but they basically picked in order of talent. Ha Ha Clinton was the best, logical choice when our turn came around – no great drafting magic or skill.

    Ted admitted that he tried to trade but nobody was biting. As for missing out on ILB, I wasn’t impressed with the crop at our position of need. If you are going to pay a price to move up then there better be something worth getting.

    Solid draft, now the coaching needs to step-up their game.

    1. Fielding calls does NOT=trying to trade! Try again… he didn’t get an offer worthy of giving up the best Safety in the draft so he took the player that was BPA!

      Your revisionist history SUCKS!!!

      1. I believe TT’s quote was:

        “There were phone calls like there always are. There were offers made by us a few times, by the opposing teams a few times and it was more ‘we’ll see when it gets to our pick or we’ll see when it gets to their pick,’ and it just never worked out.”

        So he made offers at some point. we’ll never know at what point he made offers.

        1. I believe you misquoted him… Maybe you can provide a link?!

          Here’s what I found on ESPN Wisconsin…
          “Although Thompson hinted that he got calls for possibly trading the pick, the Packers had their card turned in with Clinton-Dix’s name on it long before their 10-minute window had closed.

          “It fit very well for us,” Thompson replied when asked if Clinton-Dix’s selection was a marriage of the best player available and filling a need.”

          Try again… Your revisionist history is still not correct!

          http://www.espnwisconsin.com/common/page.php?feed=2&id=14101&is_corp=1

          1. lol no one is revising anything. what’s your problem? I never said the 1st rounder was the one they were trying to move. I said that it would be impossible for any of us to know. the quote was made on day 2, so it could have been any of the first 3 picks. & TT could easily made calls prior to the 10-minute time frame, so that doesn’t necessarily prove anything.

            http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/9548/wrapping-up-day-2-of-the-packers-draft?ex_cid=espnapi_public

            1. This subthread was in response to razor statement in regards to Clinton-Dix. Try to keep up and follow the entire conversations instead of just one comment. This could have been avoided if you had.

          2. You can actually watch Ted Thompson on video saying they made some offers as well as fielded some offers throughout the draft but nothing fell into place.

            You can find your own link.

            Hint, I’m preeeeetty sure it’s in the most obvious place, on Packers.com somewhere.

            1. Yes except this discussion was in particular about Clinton-Dix pick not the draft in general.

        2. Take note of the FIELDING calls, not making them… And having the card w/ Clinton-Dix’s name on it well before the 10 min expired part.

          Its particularly telling don’t you think?!

          1. Why the anger Stroh? We got our safety, a darn good one, another good WR, a true center and other athletic team parts. I don’t know if TT passed up a trade to go up and get a player of need. Why argue over speculation?

  9. Ted has never been sexy, but if getting the job done means – possibly winning the division and then getting embarrassed in the first round of the playoffs – yes Ted is your guy…

  10. As much as the many state the game has changed why do the same many keep attempting a comparison which can never have an answer.
    Wolf-Thompson
    Favre/whoever-Rodgers
    Ali-Marciano
    Lombardi-Walsh
    57′ T-Bird-67′ Mustang
    You cannot compare generational achievements as each were great according to the standard of the times.

    What is comparable is the one against himself as time goes by and the level of ability once he is on the clock each year to year.

    Thompson of 09′ vs Thompson of 14′
    etc, etc, etc.

  11. ILBs draft stock fell for 2 reasons: First, the ILB class this year was not that good. Second, the ILB position is in a state of change as the league has become more pass happy.

    I get the frustration at not using a higher pick on ILB, but there was reason to have doubts over the top ones (Chris Borland, Shayne Skov, etc.) due to injuries or off the field issues. CJ Mosley was the only one worth taking and he was gone by #21. Shoot, Skov WASN’T EVEN DRAFTED! The 49ers were smart enough to sign him as an undrafted FA and the Falcons got a steal in 7th rounder Yawin Smallwood of UConn.

    My second reason points to the ILB in a state of transition because the league is a pass-happy one. Teams take ILBs off the field in favor of bigger DBs and athletic OLBs or pass rushers. ILBs traditional role is to take on lead blockers and tackle RBs. Well, the league is shifting to more passing so that need for ILBs also changes.

    Many offensive positions have changed: QBs, RBs and TEs especially. ILBs will still be important, especially from a leadership standpoint, but if teams like the Packers don’t think an ILB is athletic enough to cover a TE or chase down an athletic QB, then why spend a high draft pick on one? I do think TT should’ve taken an ILB late in the draft rather than a 3rd WR. Skov or Smallwood would’ve been great choices, but time will tell.

    1. Hilarious,that’s the best response from this article! You should have stopped there. To argue about the supposed failing of two great GMs is ludicrous.

  12. Jeff Janis is about as sexy as a 7th round pick can possibly be…lol for real. If you look at his combine numbers in depth its pretty astonishing what caliber athlete this kid really is. He had the fastest registered 10 yard split in the 40 and his 3 cone drill time of 6.64 was faster than Brandin Cooks. Janis is almost 6’3″ 220 and Cooks is 5’9″ 189 pounds. Sure he is raw but GB is starting with a first round caliber athlete by the numbers. Seeing the sexy yet? Lets just hope Ted doesn’t try to stash him on the practice squad, that wouldn’t be sexy at all!

  13. I have to say that I’ve never had less excitement about a tt draft. It was pretty much by the book: the second round wr, the late round speed burner who’ll be lucky to make the practice squad, a dt project, the plodding tight end, a mid-to-late round ol… The only things missing were a guy named D.J. and a trade down.

  14. I didn’t have a problem with TT not drafting an ILB. Once Mosley and Shazier were off the board, I was not sure there was an ILB left who would be an upgrade over current personnel. The cost was too high to Trade up to 16 to get Mosley (probably would have taken our 3rd and 5th). Same only worse to trade up for Shazier. I wasn’t sold on any of the other ILBs. Sure, TT could have taken a shot in rounds 4-7 on players like Forrt, Smith, Smallwood, Skov, etc., and I would probably would have been okay with that, but I like his picks in rounds 4 and 5 a lot, and thought TT took players with some upside in the 6th & 7th. I thought he drafted talent over need. This draft was simply a thin draft for ILBs. Hindsight in 3 years will tell us more.

    1. Good points. Plus, if he traded up and got Mosley, we wouldn’t have gotten HaHa and then these same people would be bitching that TT didn’t address Safety. Good health and an improved pass rush will make this D good this year. GoPack!

  15. Both GMs were challenged in R1. Wolf was great at finding studs in the low rounds. TT got lucky on AROD and CMIII and he has done very well at WR and hit on a few middle round picks. Wolf was sabotaged by Farve’s inconsistent post-season performances after his SB win. TT has been sabotaged by a god-awful defense. That is his Achilles heel. But, after what we saw last year, you also have to question TT/MM w/o AROD. Much if not all of their success comes from AROD. Remove him from this team and TT/MM are both fired 5 years ago.

    1. Can we give some of Favre’s post season struggles to that moron Javon Walker, if he had just kept his head down and went to work, might not have gotten injured and gotten a long term deal in GB with Favre, giving him a true #1 WR to rely on in the post season.

    2. It’s not like AR was the only guy hurt last year. There were alot of injuries on defense too. That’s not even counting losing 2 pro-bowl-caliber defenders in their prime (Collins & Bishop). How many other GM’s had to deal with that?

      And if they never had AR to begin with, they would’ve had an extra $12 mil in cap space that could’ve been used to keep guys like Jenkins and/or sign a better QB than Flynn/Tolzien. It wasn’t like we went from AR to a replacement-level QB last year. We went from him to a couple QB’s that were much worse than league average. Obviously that would have been already addressed if those guys were intended to have been more than backups.

      As usual, perspective is lost on you.

      1. Both GM’s in the last 20 years produced Super Bowl winners, consistent winning seasons, no salary cap issues, and fielded teams with high character players – Come On Man, what the Hell do you complainers want

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