His most notable finds—Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Frank Zombo—were all important contributors to the Packers Super Bowl season in 2010.
With that in mind and the 2011 draft over, who could be the next undrafted player that Thompson discovers? Here are some interesting prospects who could be brought in by Thompson (whenever teams are allowed to do so).
CB/S Anthony Walters, Delaware
He’s a cornerback/safety hybrid who can play on special teams and add depth to the Packers secondary. Thompson worked out Walters, and despite taking Davon House, Walters has a solid chance at landing in Green Bay.
WR Jarred Fayson, Illinois
Thompson did well on the last highly skilled but under-acheiving speedster he signed after the draft. If the Packers could harness some of the explosiveness Fayson has (he’s a former five-star recruit), maybe he could be a Sam Shields type player early on.
DT/DE Anthony Gray, Southern Miss
Gray has the type of body and playing style that will remind most of Ryan Pickett and Howard Green. At 5-11, 335 pounds, Gray could help bolster a defensive line that is losing Cullen Jenkins.
OLB Mario Addison, Troy
The Packers added Ricky Elmore in the draft, but there’s nothing wrong with adding competition at rush linebacker. Addison had 10.5 sacks in his final year at Troy, which also happens to be the same school that produced Demarcus Ware.
DE Martin Parker, Richmond
While he impressed at the East-West Shrine Game and looks like a natural fit in the 3-4, Parker went undrafted. The Packers are losing Jenkins, and I’d assume defensive line is a position where Thompson would bring in a few undrafted free agents.
DE Cedric Thornton, Southern Arkansas
Thornton is another guy who looked set to be drafted in the mid-to-late rounds. His size and power make him a candidate to play the five technique for the Packers 3-4 defense.
OT Willie Smith, East Carolina
Smith is only starting to reach his potential at offensive tackle. He’s played the position for just two years, and he could be worth a look as a developmental tackle prospect.
LB Marc Schiechl, Colorado School of Mines
You’ve likely heard the name by now, but Schiechl could be a hidden pass rusher for the Packers. He registered 46 sacks during his collegiate career, the most in NCAA Division II history.
S Joseph Lefeged, Rutgers
Lefeged might be the best player that went undrafted. He could potentially be a starting safety in the NFL, but he’ll also be a guy that makes his name playing special teams. From a value view point, he’s worth the chance.
ILB Nick Bellore, Central Michigan
All Bellore did at Central Michigan was tackle ball carriers. Owner of over 500 tackles, Bellore fits the prototype of what the Packers want in an inside linebacker.
WR Armon Binns, Cincinnati
If James Jones leaves, and most expect him too, Binns appears to be an ideal replacement size-wise. He’s also a physical receiver who could push Brett Swain for the No. 5 receiver.
RB Graig Cooper, Miami
Cooper and third round pick Alex Green are very similar players, but that doesn’t necessarily rule out Cooper. The Packers like having a solid stable of backs heading into training camp.
DT Ian Williams, Notre Dame
Williams is another big body that fits along the Packers defensive line. His best contribution would be as a run-stopper.
ILB Orie Lemon, Oklahoma State
With a good frame (6-0, 245) and some athleticism for the position, Lemon would fit as a backup and on special teams.
CB/S Mike Holmes, Syracuse
Holmes is another ‘tweener who played both safety and cornerback in college. He can also return punts and kicks.——————
Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.
You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.Follow @zachkruse2