Expect Trader Ted To Return in 2015 Draft

Ted Thomspon

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has gained a reputation for his draft-day trades over the 10 seasons that he’s handled the Packers’ picks.  In this, his 11th season, all signs point to more wheeling and dealing.  Despite his nickname, Trader Ted, Thompson didn’t make a single trade in the 2014 draft and it was the first time that happened during his tenure in Green Bay.  The Packers nearly made a magical trip to Super Bowl XLIX, and probably should have.  Is it possible we see another trade-less draft by Ted this year?

All signs point to “no”.  The Packers enter this draft with nine picks in seven rounds.  Sounds like a hefty total for most teams but these are Ted Thompson’s Packers we’re talking about.  Green Bay was the last team to sign any type of free agent this season and it was a very lackluster signing at that (LB Josh Francis).  With that, Packers fans are looking at another year in which Thompson uses the draft as his sole method of acquiring new talent for this year’s team.  Draft and develop has long been Ted’s motto and this year, it rings true again.

Shortly after the 2014 season ended, the Packers made some personnel changes, letting go of veterans Brandon Bostick, A.J. Hawk, and Brad Jones.  They were also unable to re-sign a few of their own in cornerbacks Davon House and Tramon Williams, running back DuJuan Harris and linebacker Jamari Lattimore.  All of those players were starters in some capacity, even if just special teams.  They’ll all need to be replaced.

At least two of those positions remain up for grabs (inside linebacker and cornerback).  Casey Hayward is slated to take over at Williams’ departed outside cornerback spot, but may see some competition from some of this draft class.  At inside linebacker, the Packers return only Carl Bradford who didn’t play a single snap in a regular season game last season.  Some say Bradford wouldn’t have made the team were it not for his being taken in the fourth round.  If Thompson is going to find the heir apparents to these positions of need, he’s going to need to either strike it rich with the picks he has, or try to acquire more chances and play the averages.

With the success the Packers had in 2014, they find themselves picking very late in most rounds.  That allows them to assess the value at their spot and look to trade back and acquire more picks while still getting a player of good value.  We’ve seen some mid and late-round picks turn out to be real steals in the past.  Future Packers Hall of Fame receiver Donald Driver was a seventh round pick and he holds the record for most receptions and receiving yards in Packers history.  Guard Josh Sitton was a fourth round pick in 2008 and he’s arguably the best in the league at his position.  With the Packers essentially picking early in the second round, they’ll have a chance to stack up some additional picks in the third through seventh rounds.

While these later picks bring about names that few have heard of, it’s day three where the Packers have found some of their current and past gems.  And the team’s recent history speaks for itself.  Six-straight playoff appearances, two conference championship appearances and one Super Bowl win.  It’s far from a forgone conclusion that Thompson will find that needed diamond in the rough this time around, but you can bet on his adding more chances sooner or later in yet another Packers draft.


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

Follow Jason Perone:



14 thoughts on “Expect Trader Ted To Return in 2015 Draft

  1. Are you forgetting that Cobb and Bulaga were free agent signings…I’d hardly call that lackluster…and the guys that left are being overpaid (some grossly overpaid) somewhere else. Also, Sam Barrington returns at ILB with considerable playing time last year…so it’s not all on Bradford. The ace in the hole is Clay Mathews…he put up some really good numbers after moving inside.

  2. I’m a huge TT fan, but this guy really goes out of his way to limit or eliminate the number FA signings. It’s hard to believe that we are really better off as a team every year, being the only team in the league that either completely avoids FA, or signs only 1-2. He’s one of the best GM’s, but a FA stop gap for insurance isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially if your a top 3 NFL team like the Pack. TT does wheel and deal on draft day tho, and has a pretty good record. Enjoy watching TT when he’s at his best- drafting/acquiring players. Too bad it often happens only one weekend a year!

    Older Packer fans remember the opposite end of the FA spectrum, when Mike Sherman would go crazy signing over the hill players like Hardy Nickerson, Joe Johnson, Bryant Westbrook (was okay, just injured all the time) and reaching in the draft to plug holes.

    1. Agree with nearly every word, TT really ought to have signed a ILB free agent for insurance purposes. Brandon Spikes is 3x the player Sam Barrington is, he ought to sign him while he can, he’ll probably be dirt cheap anyway.

      1. TT signed one ILB already – Josh Francis. And I think I tend to believe more to TT than any of you when it come to the evaluation of the players… To say that Brandon Spikes is 3× better than Sam Barrington, I can give you opposite argument. Sam has team, Brandon Spikes is FA… That tells you all….

        1. There’s a reason nobody even knows who Josh Francis is. Kind of a stretch to think someone from the IFL could come in and fill a hole as deep as the one that now resides at ILB. Brandon Spikes is not the greatest player, but he would go a long way towards helping stopping the run, and according to PFF, which I trust, he’s a much better player than Sam Barrington. If TT is willing to put faith into Sam, he ought to put faith in Spikes as well. Probably cheap too.

          1. I will repeat myself… There was and is teams with need for ILB. Why no team sign that good ILB for cheap? There is some things people who do that knows we don not. So, if some player stays out at FA unsigned, that tells you a lot and tells you loudly. If you want to hear…

      2. Takeo Spikes – in his prime. Brandon Spikes is an older, slower Barrington, who despite starting all 16 games last year has almost identical stats.

        1. I rely on the numbers given to us by Pro Football Focus than mere stats given by NFL.com. He was a pivotal player who helped stop the run in Buffalo. Great for rotational purposes.

          1. Yes, you’re right. Always rely on somebody else’s subjective numbers over purely objective ones. Now I am not saying Spikes is a terrible player and PFF analysis does have value, but he is a two-down LB at best. Factor in that he is as good as he will get and if you google him you find that he is a complete moron, then you realize the Packers should stay away from him.

    2. Ted Thompson explained why he is not signing FA. He said: “You don’t know what you’re going to need. This is real life. Injuries happen. Life happens. What you think you’re strong at, you may not necessarily be strong at. As long as you’re taking good, solid players, you’re getting value there. If you take players that aren’t as good, you may not be getting value.”

      Did you get the idea… If you sign 5 FA to cover what is looks like weakness prior the training camp, you might find yourself with no possibilities to cover position that may go thin in season because of the injuries… You need to have ability to do that!

    3. Hardy Nickerson, Joe Johnson, Bryant Westbrook. Two of the three were budget guys signed late to fill a need. Westbrook, in fact was signed during the season after a ton of injuries at CB. Joe Johnson was just bad luck. He was three years younger than Reggie when he signed with the Pack and was two years removed from the only injury that caused him to miss any games in the previous five years. Plus he had piled up 21 sacks the previous two seasons. He was highly sought after and a very good player.

      I don’t the why the fuck I’m telling you, though, since you signed him.

  3. I think you’re right. TT might try to trade back, but I hope not too much. This is a fairly deep draft with nice prospects through about pick #100, plus the sleepers. I don’t understand the following: “With the success the Packers had in 2014, they find themselves picking
    very late in most rounds. That allows them to assess the value at their
    spot and look to trade back and acquire more picks while still getting a
    player of good value.”

    Why doesn’t a team picking 6th or 15th each round have the same opportunity?

    1. Obviously, a team picking 6th or 15th each round does have the same opportunity. However, there are two differences: mindset and existing players. The Packers, through Thompson’s diligence, have probably the fewest areas of weakness which need to be addressed: ILB and CB and to a lesser extent: DL. But Thompson knows the state of his team far better than we will ever know it. That’s why he picked up a DL high when Jolly was still thought to be an up and coming DL star. Thompson is fluid in his picking. That’s why we got Rodgers. We had other needs that year, but Rodgers was the highest rated player on the board at that time… and I’ll bet that it was by a significant margin.

Comments are closed.