After a rough start, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has drafted some really good offensive linemen in recent years.
Here are Thompson’s o-linemen selections his first five years as Packers GM:
(Player, round, years)
- Junius Coston, 5, 2005
- Will Whitaker, 7, 2005
- Daryn Colledge, 2, 2006
- Jason Spitz, 3, 2006
- Tony Moll, 5, 2006
- Allen Barbre, 4, 2007
- Josh Sitton, 4, 2008
- Breno Giocamini, 5, 2008
Of the eight linemen selected, only Sitton remains with the Packers (and he turned into a Pro Bowl player). Colledge had a decent season in 2010, but other than that, nobody did much of anything. Barbre was a complete disaster, but somehow he’s still hanging around the NFL along with Giocamini.
Now check out the linemen Thompson has selected since 2009.
- T.J. Lang, 4, 2009
- Jamon Meridenth, 5, 2009
- Bryan Bulaga, 1, 2010
- Marshall Newhouse, 5, 2010
- Derek Sherrod, 1, 2011
- Caleb Schlauderhaff, 6, 2011
- Andrew Datko, 7, 2012
- David Bakhtiari, 4, 2013
- J.C. Tretter, 4, 2013
- Corey Linsley, 5, 2014
Now that’s more like it. Of the 10 selections, four are current starters. Newhouse wasn’t terrible when the Packers threw him in at left tackle for a couple of seasons. J.C. Tretter was supposed to be the starter in 2014 before he got injured. Only Sherrod was as all-out bust, and who knows how much of Sherrod’s failures should be attributed to a nasty leg injury that Thompson could not control
Has Thompson suddenly become an offensive line savant? Was he just unlucky early in his tenure and now his fortunes have shifted when selecting offensive linemen? Both are possible.
Here’s another theory: Thompson deserves credit for drafting some good offensive linemen. Aaron Rodgers also deserves credit for making his offensive line look extra special.
The Packers fortunes on the offensive line began to turn when Rodgers became an MVP player. A smart, mobile and supremely talented quarterback who knows how to maneuver around the pocket can make a good offensive line look great or a poor offensive line appear to be average.
How long would a quarterback like Christian Ponder remain upright if he had Marshall Newhouse as his starting left tackle? Not very long.
Give Thompson credit for upping his game when it comes to drafting offensive linemen. But don’t forget that Rodgers has played a key role in helping the Packers turn things around up front.
Packers News, Notes and Links
- I really think the Packers should give free-agent nose tackle Kenrick Ellis a serious look. He didn’t play much with the Jets because he was stuck behind some quality players. But when he did play, he was a true run-stopper. According to Pro Football Focus, Ellis was a plus run defender last season and led the league in run stop percentage in 2013.
- The longer Tramon Williams sits on the open market, the more his price should drop (theoretically, at least). Prediction: Tramon is back in Green Bay by Tuesday for two years, $6.5 million.
- What was your favorite Davon House moment in Green Bay? The oft-injured cornerback signed with Jacksonville for $10 million guaranteed earlier this week. I mostly liked what I saw from House when he was on the field for the Packers, but $10 million is too rich.
- The Vikings traded a fifth-round pick to the Dolphins for Mike Wallace on Friday night. Per Zach Kruse on Twitter, pending any cuts or re-structures, the Vikes will be paying Wallace and Greg Jennings $23.1 million in 2015. In comparison, the Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will count roughly $10 against the Packers’ 2015 salary cap. Oh, and Wallace might not be too happy about landing in Minnesota.
- Todd McMahon had an interesting Q&A with former Packers coach Mike Sherman in the Green Bay Press-Gazette this week.
Non Packers links and other Nonsense
- Heads up!
- Where the hell did Vladimir Putin go?
- If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like at the Adult Video News awards, read this.
- Mastodon released a new song this week for some type of Game of Thrones soundtrack. It’s a weird one, but I like it.
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .