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.——————
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