There is very little debate that Aaron Rodgers is Ted Thompson’s best draft pick during his 10 years as general manager of the Green Bay Packers. If Thompson would have passed on Rodgers because the Packers didn’t need a quarterback, the recent history of the Packers would have been quite different.
But who is Thompson’s second-best draft choice? Luckily, if you’re a Packers fan, there have been plenty of prime candidates. Here are the top 5, in my not so humble opinion:
Clay Matthews, 2009
Not only has Matthews been one of the best defensive players in the NFL, Thompson uncharacteristically traded back into the first round to grab him. The rare Thompson trade-up gives Matthews a couple extra points in the race for second best Thompson draft pick of all time.
Josh Sitton, 2008
It’s not often you find a player who might be the best in the league at his position group in the fourth round, but that’s what Thompson did with Sitton. Durable, dependable, and really freaking good — Sitton ranks right up there with the best of Thompson’s picks.
Mike Daniels, 2012
The 2012 draft is one that Thompson would probably like to forget. Nick Perry, Jerron McMillian, Terrell Manning and B.J. Coleman…bleh. But Thompson struck gold once again in the fourth round with Daniels. Imagine how weak the Packers defensive line would have been without Daniels last season?
Nick Collins, 2005
Packers fans didn’t realize how good they had it with Collins at safety until Collins’ career was suddenly ended in 2011. Until the arrival of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix last season, safety had been a black hole in Collins’ absence.
Greg Jennings, 2006
Jennings over Randall Cobb? Yes, Jennings over Cobb, at least for now. With the Packers, Jennings put up big numbers and had several memorable moments, including a ridiculous catch from a ridiculous throw from Rodgers in Super Bowl XLV. Nothing wrong with being mad at Jennings for the way he left Green Bay, but don’t discount his impact on getting the Packers to where they are today.
So, who would I pick as Thompson’s second-best draft choice ever? I say it’s Matthews. It’d be nice if Thompson could draft Matthews a new hamstring, but when you look at talent, impact, energy, hustle and the complete package, Matthews delivers.
What say you?——————
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 .