Ted Thompson’s Draft & Develop Philosophy Challenged

Sean Richardson

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson is now synonymous with the term “draft & develop”.  After 10 seasons in his current role, he has clearly established his M.O. when it comes to acquiring talent:  the NFL draft.  Sure, he has signed some free agents and brought in undrafted free agents as well, but the primary talent pool for Thompson’s Packers has been the kids coming out of college and into the pro’s.

Thompson has also managed his salary cap well and has never really left the Packers unable to keep a player they really wanted to.  The team is always several million under the cap and able to carry over some money from the previous season.  And with the recent cap increases over the past few seasons, the Packers look to be in good shape for the immediate future.

When it became evident that the Packers were not going to extend receiver Randall Cobb or offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga prior to the start of free agency, there was panic in Packerland.  Despite the cap space the team had, there were valid concerns that other teams would grossly over pay for one or both and the Packers would have to let them walk.  In Cobb’s case, it was hard to justify his being allowed to walk out of Green Bay.  A 24-year old former second-round receiver coming off of his best season and who was arguably the team’s best player in the postseason this past year, Cobb was the epitome of a player Thompson had to do everything he could to keep.  Fortunately, Thompson did enough and Cobb realized that his best opportunity both now and for his next shot at free agency was to remain in green and yellow.

Cobb did have other offers out there however, and the idea of his playing in another uniform came a little too close to real for some.  Successful teams often find their players in demand when free agency rolls around and it makes sense.  Besides obviously playing well, they come from an organization that has a culture of breeding upstanding veterans who don’t cause many problems in the locker room or off the field.  They also know how to win.

Earlier this week, it was reported that safety Sean Richardson was the latest free agent Packers player that another team was coveting.  The Oakland Raiders signed Richardson to an offer sheet reportedly worth $2.55 million for one year.  Richardson was not drafted by Thompson and the Packers, but he has been retained in the hopes that he can turn into solid depth at safety.  So at least the “develop” part of the equation is still in play with Richardson.  Currently, he is a restricted free agent and the Packers gave him the lowest tender possible.  The Packers have until Monday to match the offer and keep him.  And because Richardson originally signed with Green Bay as an undrafted free agent, if the Packers choose not to match Oakland’s offer, they will get no compensation.

Richardson was one of the team’s best special teams players last season and also saw some action in defensive packages that featured a three safety look.  But was it enough for Thompson to pull the trigger and spend what is considered to be starters money for the fourth option at safety?  Earlier this offseason, the Packers let go of two starting-caliber members of the secondary in Tramon Williams and Davon House.  The team likely wanted to retain at least Williams, if not both, but were not willing to pay more than their price for either.  The Packers are still over $18 million under the salary cap and certainly have the room to retain Richardson if they choose.  They would still easily be able to cover this year’s draft class and have some cap space to roll over to 2016.

With another special teams ace still unsigned in that of Jarrett Bush, can the Packers afford to lose Richardson?  With Bush being yet another defensive back the Packers may not bring back, does that increase Richardson’s value and force Ted’s hand?  This is yet another opportunity for Thompson to show his true colors when it comes to “draft & develop”.


Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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60 thoughts on “Ted Thompson’s Draft & Develop Philosophy Challenged

  1. There are a lot of good DB’s in the draft this year TT will not over pay for him. He will draft a back up safety with good ST skills in the late rounds. Corner will be addressed in the first and I am sure that whoever he drafts will also have ST skills so again Richardson while being a good ST player is not worth starter pay so say good bye to Sean 🙁

    1. Given the nature of this year’s ILB and CB classes, my bet is that TT goes DL/OLB in the first round or trades down. Given the needs the Packers have, I’m leaning more and more toward hoping he deals down….but not too far.

    2. “He will draft a back up safety with good ST skills in the late rounds.”

      Ohhhh, if it was just that easy.

  2. hopefully some of the new draft picks don’t take three or four years to develop or “take the next step” like Perry, jones, etc….TT is getting fanatical about being seen as the wise frugal one……hope Schneider still wants to come back when the wise one decides to retire..

    1. Actually, there was nothing “frugal” about the Bulaga or Cobb signings. Put a value on a player, stick to it. If someone else wants to overpay, that is their business (and cap). Don’t overpay backup Safeties. GoPack!

      1. Ditto Raji/Guion. TT isn’t frugal, he’s demonstrated repeatedly that he is perfectly willing to overpay his own players but he isn’t interested in paying the market price for players drafted by other teams. Packer fans seem to love him for it. Go figure.

        1. i really would like to figure that out, i also would like for him to lead the way to another super bowl too…Rodgers isn’t getting any younger, before ya know it…pffffft..gone then we’ll see how smart McCarthy and TT are….a great QB covers up a lot of managerial mistakes…

          1. Yup, hat’s off to those general managers who are smart enough to draft a franchise QB, and then to seamlessly transition from one hall of fame QB to another one. Sound like anyone you know, billy?

            You say, “…and THEN we’ll see how smart MM and TT are.” Ummmm…. you know they’ve been around for about 10 years now, right? And you know that TT drafted Rodgers, right?

            And don’t even start with the lame “TT got lucky with Rodgers” bullcrap.

            1. That’s what I don’t understand- TT got lucky with the AR pick. It was an incredibly gutsy call and a lot of people (myself included) questioned him for it. Would you rather we “earn” a top pick in a year where Andrew Luck declares for the draft? Speaking of, look at the colts. Bill Polian was considered one of the best GM’s in the biz, he team lucked out getting the #1 pick when Manning declared, and it still took a miracle for them to win the Super Bowl in a down year….. the got to play the Bears led by Rex Grossman. Give TT his due credit!

              1. Mike Sherman, that’s a pretty gracious assessment of Ted Thompson. Didn’t TT fire you? 🙂

          2. How did the Saints look last year? Brees is a great QB… The Packers have a good TEAM. Not a great QB with a mediocre team.

            You sound like a frigging BiQueens fan… smh

  3. Draft and develop brings consistency, if you’re successful at it. Players come in, you ‘train’ them, but you also build and adjust your system to accommodate those players and their talents. You play to their strengths every bit as much as you mold them to fit what you do. When those guys come back year after year for 6-8 years, you know what you’ve got. That’s not to say that strategically locating vets who fit and fit under the cap aren’t going to fit in. I think we’d all like to see specific players targeted and signed.

    I think this is–in part–why we don’t see players being as successful after leaving GB: 1. because they’re leaving a system in which they’d become a cog in the wheel and moving to a place where they need to be ‘retrofit’ into a different system that hadn’t been molded around them, 2. they’re also leaving a program that’s been successful and has a reasonable level of talent around them, whereas many teams throwing money around don’t have that kind of talent, 3. the Packers must have some very good teachers as some of the position coaches in order for some of those players to perhaps play at a much higher level than their talent might indicate.

    1. I agree with your first paragraph, Dobber. TT has an excellent track record when he does sign FAs. I would like to see him do it just a little bit more. Not a lot more, just a little more.

      I am too lazy tonight to research the facts to see if you’re correct that players who leave GB aren’t as successful. Off the top of my head, I don’t think I agree. First, TT keeps almost all of the better quality players that reach FA. Of the few that left, I can’t think of too many that performed significantly worse elsewhere, and some of those were due to age rather than the 3 reasons you gave. Jennings fits, maybe, but that was to be expected with Ponder tossing the ball somewhere in his general vicinity, at best. Of the lesser talents, maybe EDS and Wells, I suppose. James Jones did very well in Oakland. Giacomini has been a starting LT elsewhere. Barbre found the field elsewhere. Rolle is doing okay.

        1. Yes. But these were a year too early is better than a year too late guys. TT didn’t want these guys. Truth be told, I don’t even know how Wahle, Rivera and Greene fared after they left GB.

          1. Wahle went to the Panthers in 2005 and was voted into the Pro Bowl. They went into the playoffs as a wildcard. The team was solid, while the Packers went 4-12. He was released in Feb 2008 and went to the Seahawks, played 10 games, got placed on I&R with a shoulder and then failed his next physical and retired.

            Rivera went to the Cowboys in 2005, played in 14 of 16 games, missing the last 2 games with a neck injury. IN 2007 he was released due to a severe back issue.

            Ahman Greene went FA in 2007 and Mike Sherman had the Texans sign both him and Samkon Gado. It was a RB by comittee in which Greene did fairly well, but he was released after the 2008 season. When the Packers put RB DeShawn Wynn on I&R in 2009, they signed him and in November he broke Jim Taylor’s record as the Pack’s all-time-rusher. After than, he went to the UFL with the Omaha Nighthawks then in March 2011 he signed a 2 year deal with the Montreal Alouettes. He was released the first day of training camp in June after failing his physical due to the hamstring.

            1. Thanks, Ken, I stand corrected. Wahle was only 28 when TT cut him (not a FA). Wahle did play 4 more years at a high level. He signed for 5 yrs. and $25 million ($10 mill signing bonus, $4 mill other bonuses), but Carolina cut him for cap purposes after 3 yrs., during which he earned $18 million in salary and bonuses (see the link). Voted to the pro bowl in ’05 an ’06. Wahle could have played out a 4 year contract and played well. Releasing Wahle saved GB $11 million on the cap. That is on Sherman, not TT. See the ESPN link on the cap savings.



              Rivera was 33. He played 2 more years at a good level and then his body gave out. He signed for 5 yrs, $20 million, with $9 million guaranteed. That was big money in 2005 for a G. I think the risk in re-signing him was too high, and it turned out that he was done 2 years later. See the link: http://cowboysblog.dallasnews.com/2010/03/worst-cowboys-free-agent-signings-no-4-m.html/

              Ahman Green was 30 in 2007. In Houston he played 6 games, started 5, and gained 260 yards. The next year he played 8 games, started 1, and gained 294 yards. He returned to GB in 2009 and played 8 games, had 41 attempts for 160 yards. Nothing to write home about there even though he broke Taylor’s record. One could argue that letting him go was a reasonable decision.

              This also brings up a pet peeve of mine. Rivera, Green and Wahle were all Packers before TT was hired. In other words, they weren’t his guys, and I think that is a weakness of TT’s. In 2005, TT drafted OG Junius Coston (5th) and Will Whittiker (7th). Both were gone after a year. In 2006, TT over-drafted both Colledge (2nd-47) and Spitz (3rd-75), and both were mediocre. Those are premium picks. TT gave those two a year and then drafted Sitton in ’08 and Lang in ’09, which fixed the guard position. Sitton will be 30 next June when he becomes a FA. I’ll be interested in whether TT re-signs his own guy, though Sitton might be better than Wahle ever was, including Wahle’s pro bowl years (BTW, he moved to RT for Carolina).

              So, to the original point. Clearly Wahle had his best years after leaving GB and had 4+ more good years after leaving GB. Rivera had 2 pretty good years, but won no honors after leaving GB. He probably played better in GB than in Dallas. Green was just too old. Don’t think GB vs. Houston had anything to do with his decline: it was just age. Don’t see any support for Dobber’s notion that player’s who leave GB don’t play as well, but there might well be evidence to support Dobber’s idea and we just don’t remember.

  4. Is it Draft and Develop or is it Draft and Replace? Seems more like TT strategy is to keep a pipeline of 9-10 draft and undrafted bodies a year, and hope he plays percentage game that 8 stick. Keeping a pipeline allows him to let all but a core of high price players go. Hopes he keeps a few others at cheap price….and keep the roster full of rookie contracts. Not particularly brilliant. Not dumb either.

    1. A very astute observation, Packett. I suppose that everyone has his or her opinion about exactly who those “core high priced players” should be. I, for one, was surprised that TT didn’t let Cobb walk. $10 million a year for a slot receiver? It must be great to be one of TT’s favorites.

      1. Nemo, Cobb is a lot more than just a traditional slot receiver. He is a core piece of MM’s mentality of creating mismatches. His use out of the backfield is a key piece of that. I expect that is why he was considered a “core high priced player”. I agree the $10M was a lot. It surprised me and yet I am glad it got done. GoPack!

        1. I guess that it is a matter of opinion and, while I do respect yours, I thought that — had Cobb left us — his replacement could have been someone like Baylor’s Antwan Goodley, who is Cobb’s height, 10-15 lbs heavier, faster (and Cobb certainly isn’t slow!) and who also returns punts and kicks. There are others in the draft, of course, but Goodley probably will be only a 4th round pick. I realize that he would not have been as good as Cobb, who arguably is the best slot receiver in the NFL, but he, too, creates match-up problems and maybe some of those saved dollars could have been used to shore up our defense and get us back into the SB. Plus, we’d probably get a high comp pick in next year’s draft had Cobb signed with another team.

          1. I agree, we can certainly look at the draft and find replacments. Realistically though, how long would it take him to get up to speed if we were trying to use him in multiple formations etc? Week 8? Week 15? Just a thought/concern. GoPack!

            1. That’s true, but he did run out of different positions and formations at Baylor. I would imagine that it would take him or any other drafted slot receiver (e,g,., Ty Montgomery; Phillip Dorsett, etc.) as long as it took TE Richard Rodgers to get up-to-speed to be a starter. Jared Abbrederis could also operate out of the slot and he has a year of learning the system. I agree with Michelle Bruton of Bleacher Report who observed that, next to QB, CB is the one position that takes the longest to develop. Therefore, I personally think it would have been wiser to sign one of our two experienced CBs who left for “greener” pastures, rather than Cobb, and use the salary difference elsewhere. But, that’s just my opinion.

              1. I think it depends on your system. If you’re not playing much bump-and-run, I think you can cover up a green CB as he learns on the job. If you’re playing a lot of man, then I agree.

              2. You can cover a lot of deficiencies in your secondary with a good pass rush (see: Lions, Detroit). Now they just have to find a little more in the area of pass rush… 😉

              3. Good point on the coverage helping the pass rush. Good point above about getting a 3rd rd. comp pick for Cobb. I actually replied to Scheny accidentally instead of you above.

        2. Nemo, your suggestion that TT should have let Cobb walk and sign one of the CBs instead is a very defensible position, although I don’t agree (and this is a little unusual for me since I acknowledge I am a bean counter with the best of them). Cobb is young and ascending, but there are a couple of guys in the draft that I really like at slot receiver. I am just not sure what Tramon will look like at CB in a year or two. I am also not sure whether House is ever really going to put it together (but he might well go on to be a fine starting CB). Finally, I view this upcoming year (maybe next 2 years) as a “window” during which we can win a super bowl. Perhaps it’s the last year of Peppers playing at a high level (no replacement for him on the roster and drafting OLBs is hit and miss). So I was okay with paying through the nose for Cobb since WR is where we have Nelson, Cobb, and a bunch of WRs that I have reasonable hopes for after that, but I only want to hope for one to really develop, not two. I think we can “get by” at CB if no one gets injured for too long.

          1. I agree with you, Reynoldo, about the next few years being our “window” for a SB victory. The situation at CB does worry me, though. I hate to think what will happen to that window if Casey Hayward or Sam Shields get injured. I hope that TT doesn’t rely upon late round draft picks or UDFAs to replace Williams and House. We need a CB who is able to start, if needed, a first round draft pick. I’m thinking Peters, Johnson or Collins. We could pick-up a 2nd CB later in the draft for development, someone with cover skills and great speed, such as Marshall’s Darryl Roberts.

            1. Nemo: I do think there is a chance for that window to be several years long. CBs are hit or miss, even 1st rounders. I hope TT treats our Rd. 1 as a luxury pick and takes the player he thinks will be really good, almost regardless of position.

              Looking ahead, that pick for cap purposes could be a LT (to replace Bakh when his salary goes from $698K to $7 mill), a CB to replace Hayward if he proves to be a good outside CB and wants to get paid – otherwise just so we have a CB), an OLB to replace Peppers, or a DL to replace or augment Daniels. I’d be okay with a RB too if TT really likes one a lot.

              BTW, I just posed a long comment (took 5 hours to research) under Draft and Develop challenged.

    1. The pants are yellow. . don’t let the historical claim to green n’ gold blind you. This ain’t a blue/black dress, take another look:)

      1. I agree Jason. It’s definitely green and yellow. The only gold on the Packers is on draft day when Ted loves to do all his yearly mining. Always seems to strike gold.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong, but why couldn’t Dom use Richardson as the Nickel WILB? His coverage for a safety isn’t great, but for a linebacker it’d be fantastic. He is 6’1″ and 225 – basically the same height and speed as Shaq.

    Take a look at his combine measureables. Why can’t he be a possible option as a coverage linebacker? And if he is, I’d want to lock him up…


    1. The idea is intriguing, but Richardson is listed at 216 Lbs., not 225 or 230. Maybe Richardson could bulk up a bit, and he could afford to lose a half step given his measurables. IDK, maybe Dom can figure something out, or should have already.

      Richardson played SS for 4 years at Vanderbilt, where the coaches tried their best to make sure he didn’t have to cover anyone. He’s been in GB now for what, 3 years. Maybe after 7 years we should figure that the light is never going to turn on for this guy in terms of learning how to cover. Or, we could suspect that Darren Perry isn’t a very good Safeties’ coach. Or both. Time to move on from Richardson.

  6. Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson is now synonymous with the term “can’t draft/develop defense”.

      1. I suppose you dare to defend TT’s draft/develop results on defense. This should be funny. You have the floor – explain to us how our defense is great because of TT/MM’s ability to draft/develop. Bet you can’t do it. Nobody can.

  7. To me the basic questions or a player like Richardson are: Do I already have a player like him on the team? Or can I draft a player like him in the draft? If the answer is yes to one or both of these questions there is no reason for the Packers to overpay for a player. In Richardson’s case the Packers can definitely replace Richardson with a late round drat pick or sign an undrafted free agent. With the departure of House and Williams the Packers will probably pick at least 2 DBs in the draft anyway and also probably sign a few UDFAs. If TT chooses to let Richardson go I don’t think his departure will have a significant impact on the Packers. During his time in Green Bay he has been JAG. TTs draft and develop approach has worked well for the Packers offense. While on defense the results have been less than stellar. Mike Daniels, CM3, Shields, Burnett have been success stories. T. Williams was a success while he was here. Barrington, Perry, Neal, D. Jones, Hayward and Hyde are still in the develop phase. Dix should be fine, but it’s too early to tell after only one season. ILB position has been plagued with injuries and mediocrity. Overall, the on field results have been excellent, best in the league with the possible exception of New England. Since TT has been GM both teams have one SB win and New England was one play from defeat against Seattle. I believe that the Packers should have had at least one more SB in the last few years but injuries, especially to A. Rodgers during the last 2 seasons have undone their efforts and the defense wasn’t good enough in ’11 or ’12. TT deserves credit for sticking with his approach and the team’s results. He also deserves some of the blame for not making it all the way, at least not yet. A decent draft and a healthy team, especially Rodgers in 2015, and TT may find himself vindicated. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. The Steelers, Giants, Ravens, & Seattle all may disagree with you. NE is clearly #1 over the last decade+ and Pitt is definitely ahead of GB with 3 SB’s and two victories. Giants tanked last year, but still have 2 SB’s. Seattle…3 SuperBowls, 1 win. I’d rank TT #5 with the Ravens right behind him.

      1. Tundra – thank you for your feedback. I would expect each of the teams and their fans that you mentioned in your post to disagree with me. They have all been successful teams in recent years. When I speak of TT’s record as Packer GM I am referring to the Packers winning % during his tenure. In fairness I begin with 2006 when MM took over, because 2005 was Sherman’s disaster. Since 2006 season the Packers winning % is second only to NE. Also, the Packers have had the most playoff appearances in the NFL during that time, second again, only to NE. This is why I say that TT has done one of the best jobs in the league when compared with his peers during his tenure. Yes, the Giants have 2 SB wins but they did it with 2 different GMs. The Seahawks have 3 SB appearances, one win, but don’t have the winning % or playoff history to match the Packers since 2006. The Steelers did not name their 1st GM in their history until 2010, so TT has only had a peer in Pittsburgh since 2010. Nevertheless their 3 SB appearances and 2 wins is impressive. As for the Ravens, Ozzie Newsome consistently does a good job there but they have had their ups and downs over the last 10 seasons. To me, all of this proves, how difficult it is to build and maintain a winning team in the NFL in this era of free agents, salary caps, rule changes, injuries (the Packers have had more than their fair share) and a league that is deliberately working to prevent dynasties (as we have known them in the past, 60’s Packers, 70s Steelers, 80’s 49ers). If you consider all of these factors and measure TT’s performance in this era (versus comparing him with the Lombardi era) he is among the top NFL GMs. I would not rank him first but definitely among the top 5. Also, the argument that because we have A. Rodgers we should have won more SBs doesn’t play out because when Rodgers is hurt, (2013 & 2014) his abilities are lost and when he is healthy it is still a team game and between injuries and the salary cap it is difficult to field a team at 22 positions with high caliber NFL players. No SB repeat winners since NE prior to 2006. At least we know that if we stay healthy in 2015 we have a great shot at winning it all and only about 3-4 teams, GMs and fans can honestly feel that way about their team for 2015. Thanks, Since ’61

  8. I was very high on Sean Richardson coming into 2014 but I saw him miss too many tackles last season. Thus, I’m OK with seeing him in black and silver.

  9. I don’t get it. How does any of this “challenge” the draft and develop philosophy? D&D certainly doesn’t mean that you will never lose players to retirement or free agency. It means that when you do lose them – as everybody knows you will, sometimes – then you will have (or get) a young draftee to come up and take his place.

    So what if the Packer lose Richardson? What will TT do? Um, I’m guessing he will draft and develop… just like he did with Burnett, Dix and Hyde. And if he had lost Cobb? Adams, Abrederris, Janis.

    What’s the problem?

    PS – If the Raiders really want to give Richardson 2.5 mil per year, they can have him.

    1. It doesn’t but ‘challenge’ is a word that perks up the ears and eyes.

    2. Marpag, I agree completely. The final kicker is that every nickel of the $2.55 mill is guaranteed.

  10. I’m guessing that TT is surprised Richardson got this strong of an offer. Else, he probably would have given him a second round tender to retain him.

    I expect the Packers will let him walk. It’s unfortunate they won’t get a compensatory for him, but such is life. As of now, they should get 4th or 5th round picks for House and Williams.

  11. I don’t see the article doing any challenging of TT’s draft and develop philosophy. The headline is misleading. I saw Taryn’s and your own remarks below, and agree with Dobber that I feel used.

    Regarding Richardson, $2.55 million would make him the 33rd highest paid safety, but Oakland guaranteed essentially all of it, so the value is higher than the average annual suggests. I guess $2.55 million is low starters money, but most of those making less are on their 1st contracts, and it is still a less valued position.

    Vanderbilt spent 4 years trying to teach Richardson to cover. GB just spent 3 years. Don’t see much evidence that the light has come on for the guy. There is developing, and there is beating a dead horse. It is not like Richardson switched positions. GB spent 3 years on Bostick for no payoff. I love the Height/Speed/Weight aspects, but it is time to move on from Richardson.

  12. I guess I’m having a hard time with this simple phrase “Draft and Develop” and the debate. What is the issue actually? Here’s the questions as to why I think we’re debating, but not know what we’re debating:

    1) If a team is not a “draft and develop” team, then what are they? A “buy-a-vet” team?

    2) Since all teams more or less draft and develop, and all teams sign new free agents as well, the difference might be on the number of free agents are signed each year. So what average number of new free agents per year separate D&D teams from the ‘buy-a-vet” team? 1 vs 3? 1 vs 2? 2 vs 3? More than 3?

    3) Is there a big philosophical difference between D&D and “Buy-a-vet” teams if there is only a difference of 1 or 2 vet signings per year?

    4) How many teams (if any) are not a “D&D” team. We’d all imagine about maybe a third of teams, depending on your criteria; probably; Dal, NE, SF, Mia, Oak, Minn, Wash, Jax, Tam, Det, Chi, Jets, Buf, Den.

    5) What is this develop thing? Don’t all teams develop? And if you spend 2 years developing only to replace, then you spend 2 years to get 2 good years…before you have to cut and save $. So develop is fine, but what is the conversion rate of those into second year contracts…..then that is the interesting discussion. On that basis, I would get the D&D debate, and judge whether GBP is a D&D team.
    6) I suspect the real issue isn’t draft and develop, but more about contract cost management. A handful of GMs are in TT league when it comes to contract cost management, as he farms most contracts on rookie deals, with a handful of modest 2nd year deals and a handful of core high priced vet leaders. I get this more than I get “draft and develop”.

    1. Packett: I hereby nominate your comment for “Best Comment of the Year” award.

      The GM’s job is to hire good coaches, to make as much appropriate talent as possible available to the coaches within the constraints of the salary cap. That includes drafting, trading up and back, finding UDFAs, using FA, and deciding who to re-sign. Position coaches teach players to be better at their position, and also how to play within the scheme. Coordinators figure out how best to use available talent when drawing up schemes and game plans.

      I agree that D&D is really about cap management. Those who draft well will always have a leg up on those who don’t. My personal opinion is that 3-4 OLBs are hard to find since one has to project a college DE (someday more college teams might use a 3-4 D) so that is a position that I would tolerate paying through the nose in FA for an established OLB moreso than a WR or CB.

      Finally, though this varies by drafted round and by position, teams need their draftees to contribute year one or at worst year 2, play pretty well in year 2 or 3, and play well by year 3 and 4. Getting a Linsley or a Bakhtiari is a godsend. Teams need to get some good play from guys still on their rookie contracts, especially at the highly valued positions, Bakhtiari is a perfect example: right now he earns $698K, but when he plays out his rookie contract he can expect to earn $7 million/yr as a decent starting LT. That does wonders for the cap.

      1. Well thank you sir…(I just thought I wasn’t smart enough:)
        You make interesting point:
        …though this varies by drafted round and by position, teams need their draftees to contribute year one or at worst year 2, play pretty well in year 2 or 3, and play well by year 3 and 4
        Now the discussion is more interesting. Maybe we’ll start this earlier in a future posting so other readers join in.

  13. I’m sorry Jeff, but TT’s Draft and Develop strategy is not being challenged. Paying Richardson the appropriate amount for his play is an administrative matter that will resolve. If the market dictates that TT pay more than he is willing, and Richardson demands a contract of maximum value, then Richardson will be playing for another team. If TT can sign Richardson to GB, that is fine too because doing so fits TT’s Draft and Develop strategy. There is no challenge here. Whatever happens will fit into the plan in some way.

  14. Let’s look at TT’s as a drafter. Round with assessment (1st round takes into consideration how high the pick was – later rounds graded on a curve);

    1st: Aaron Rodgers (A+++); Hawk (C-/D+); Harrell (F); ’08 N/A; Raji (C-); CM3 (A+); Bulaga (B+); Sherrod (F injury); Perry (C- TBD); Datone (C- TBD); Clinton Dix (B TBD). [10: 2 home runs, 2 good, 4 meh, 2 busts]

    2nd: Terrence Murphy (F injury); Nick Collins (A++); Greg Jennings (A) Colledge (C-/D+); Brandon Jackson (D+); Patrick Lee (D injury) Brian Brohm (F-); Jordy Nelson (A); ’09 N/A (trade up CM3); Neal (D+); Cobb (A); Worthy (F+); Hayward (B traded up TBD); Lacy (B TBD); Adams (B- TBD).
    [14: 4 home runs, 3 good, 3 decent, 4 busts].

    3rd: ’05 N/A; Spitz (C); Abdul Hodge (D+); Aaron Rouse (F+); J. Jones (B); Finley (A-); ’09 N/A (trade up CM3); Burnett (B – traded up); Alex Green (C- injury); ’12 N/A trade up for Hayward); ’13 N/A; Thornton (TBD ugh); R. Rodgers (C TBD). [9: 1 home run, 2 good, 4 decent, 1 bust 1 TBD]

    4th: Underwood (D-) Poppinga (C+); Corey Rodgers (F- cut TC); Will Blackmon (D+ injury); Barbre (D); Jeremy Thompson (F+); Sitton (A++); Lang (A+); ’10 N/A (trade up for Burnett); House (B-); J. McMillian (F+); Daniels (A); Franklin (C inj); Bakhtiari (A-); Tretter (D- inj TBD); Bradford ( TBD). [15: 4 home runs, 2 good, 3 meh, 4 busts, 2 TBD].

    5th: Junius Coston (D-); Michael Hawkins (F); Tony Moll (C); Ingle Martin (F-); David Clowney (F); Giacomini (C-); Jamon Meredith (D+); Quinn Johnson (B- traded to Tenn) Newhouse (C); Quarless (B-); D.J. Williams (C); Terrell Manning (D-); Micah Hyde (B+); Boyd (B-); Abbrederis (TBD), Linsley (A+). [ 16 1 home run, 4 good, 5 meh, 5 busts 1 TBD]

    6th: Craig Bragg (F-), Mike Montgomery (C+), Jolly (B+), Bishop (A-), Corey Hall (C-) Mason Crosby (A-); ’08 N/A, Brandon Underwood (D); Jarius Wynn (B-); Starks (B+); Ricky Elmore (F), Schlauderaff (F); D. J, Smith (D+), ’12 N/A; Nate Palmer (D- TBD), Goodson (TBD) [14: 2 home runs, 4 triples, 3 decent, 3 busts 2 TBD]

    7th: Will Whitaker (D) Curt Campbell (F), Tollefson F/late bloomer), Clark Harris (F), Deshawn Wynn (D), Matt Flynn (B+), Swain (D), Brad Jones (B-), C.J. Wilson (B) Lawrence Guy (F), Ryan Taylor (C) Coleman (F), Datko (F), Charles Johnson (F inj) Dorsey (F), Barrington (B- TBD) Janis (TBD).
    17: 3 doubles, 1 good, 3 meh, 9 busts 1 TBD.]

    94 drafted players. 14 home runs (14.9%); 21 good (22.3%); 25 decent (26.6%); 27 busts (28.7%), 7 TBD (7.4%).

    Drafted player by Round: HR (home run), Good, Decent, Bust TBD
    HR Good Meh Bust TBD
    1st: 20.0% 20.0% 40.0% 20.0% 00.00%
    2nd: 28.6% 21.4% 21.4% 28.6% 00.00%
    3rd: 11.1% 22.2% 44.4% 11.1% 11.11%
    4th: 26.7% 13.3% 20.0% 26.7% 13.30%
    5th: 06.7% 26.7% 33.3% 33.3% 06.70%
    6th: 14.3% 28.6% 21.4% 21.4% 14.30%
    7th: 0.00% 23.5% 17.6% 52.9% 05.88%

    Home runs by position: OL: 4; WR: 3; LB: 2; QB: 1 or 2 (curve for Flynn?) and Safety, TE, and DL, each with 1.

    Busts by Position (excludes 7th Rd).: DL 4; OL 3; WR 3 (mostly 4-6rds) QB 2, S & CB each with 1.

    1. That was a lot of work, Reynoldo. Kudos to you. I shall print out a copy and keep it as a reference.

  15. Considering that Richardson was basically no more than a STs guy … it’s nothing close to worrying about someone like Cobb. If he doesn’t get signed, it means that TT doesn’t think he’s a starting-caliber DB. He won’t panic just because House and Williams are gone.

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