Ted Thompson Just Wrote The Textbook on Best Player Available Drafting

Packers general manager Ted Thompson selected future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers with his first pick as the Green Bay GM.


“He’s clearly not the best player available”


This is the comment that stuck out for me most during the draft.  I think if anything, the 2015 NFL could be considered the textbook example of just how much Ted Thompson believes in the best player available philosophy.  In a nutshell, its widely assumed that teams follow one of two drafting strategies; the first is need based drafting where a GM will target a specific player and likely move up or down in order to draft them.  Naturally, needing to trade from your original spot to your target spot to pick the player that you want usually costs draft value; the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints definitely are two of the teams that follow this strategy the most and at the moment are suffering from losing so much draft value over the years.

On the other side of the scale, which the Packers and Ravens in particular follow is the BPA approach, which basically stipulates that teams should maximizing value by staying put and drafting the best player left on their draft boards.  Also if a player falls below a certain point, then his relative value becomes high enough that trading up to pick him justifies the loss in draft value.  Naturally, no front office drafts purely by need or BPA but the Packers and Ted Thompson are about as true to the BPA philosophy as you can get.

I think some fans know this but fail to realize the implications.  Hypothetically, if Ted Thompson believed in drafting by needs, he would target positions that are weakest on his team; inside linebacker was the position du jour that Thompson “had” to address, a tight end who could really replace Jermichael Finley would be great and the defensive line could use an upgrade as well since BJ Raji and Letroy Guion are on 1-year prove it deals and Datone Jones hasn’t lived up to his 1st round pedigree yet.

On the flip side, cornerback was considered the deepest position last year and even with Tramon Williams and Davon House leaving, there was enough young talent (Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward) ready to replace them.  Safety was also set with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett and wide receiver was loaded with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams all playing a big role.  And of course, Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league so no worries there.

Well, guess what, Ted Thompson basically picked 8 players this weekend and the vast majority of them were in positions that the Packers are actually pretty stocked in.  In particular, Thompson picked 2 cornerback/safeties and a wide receiver with his premium first 3 picks.  After that it a bit of a mix as he also picked a quarterback and a fullback, positions of strength and then finally address the inside linebacker, defensive line and tight end spots but only at the end of the draft, which again shows you how much he really factors in need.

The QED moment that proves Thompson is drafting based on BPA has got to be trading up to draft Brett Hundley in the 5th round.  Many fans have asked “why draft a player that will sit on the bench forever behind Aaron Rodgers?”  The answer is Hundley fell far enough to justify trading up to get him, again a classic BPA move and you never know exactly what kinds of players you will need.  Sometimes teams can get away with lack of depth like when Graham Harrell backed up Rodgers and sometimes it bites you in the butt like in 2013 when Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien made the rounds at starting quarterback.

I think perhaps its time to admit that there is a third drafting philosophy which is the BPU or best player for you (the fan).  I was disappointed when the Packers didn’t draft Eric Kendricks in the 1st round, where I thought he had good value.  I was also disappointed that they didn’t draft Stephone Anthony, Blake Bell and Ben Heeney or a plethora of other players who I felt would have made great Packers.  But the reality is my “draft board” is going to be different that Ted Thompson’s draft board and so while Thompson might not have picked the BPU, Thompson’s actions definitely prove he is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to BPA.


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.


79 thoughts on “Ted Thompson Just Wrote The Textbook on Best Player Available Drafting

  1. Quit it Tommy, just quit it! Ted drafts for need only!!!!

    Disclaimer: Need is defined in this context as the best football players based on their scouting research. 🙂

    1. I think another way to look at it is that needs based draft first looks at the team needs and then drafts the best player to fit that need. BPA drafting is the opposite where first they look at the best player available and then they try to see if they can fit him into the team needs.

      1. I think teams that look at their needs and draft accordingly end up reaching and then when those needs change in August due to injuries are up a creek without a paddle. If you stockpile on football players, I would say you’re better equipped to survive with the unpredictable injuries, suspensions or as this past season, legal issues.

  2. The BPA ?? But according to who, Ted?? His idea of the BPA and everyone else’s idea of the BPA are often very far apart…a couple of these guys were not on anyone else’s list as BPA, only on Teds so it should be the text book according to how Ted views things, not everybody….dont question Ted though, after all he stated a few days ago “I’m a football man” so all these other GM’s aren’t??

    1. Naturally it would be according to Ted, but Ted is a GM of a NFL team so his BPA holds more weight than anything you see out there. Do you trust the BPA of Ted Thompson or the BPA made by some fan or media guy (most of which are just copying and pasting from other people)?

      Ted Thompson is a “football man” just like all the other GMs in the league. Unless you happen to find a ranking board from one of these 32 guys, then the board was definitely not made by a “football man”

    2. NEWSFLASH: Yes, Ted Thompson does, in fact, base his decisions on his own opinions. Duh… Did you want him to make decisions based on what the Cleveland Browns think? Pete Prisco maybe? Just swallow whatever Mel Kiper says?

  3. Well, if you’re right, then TT should be more active in Free Agency to fill needs, if he doesn’t use the draft to fill needs. So explain why he ignores both talent pools to address need. He doesn’t think there are needs? Or, does he just throw his team up to the winds of fate, and over the course of time, the luck of the draft resolves all needs statistically? Where else does he source players to fill needs? Undrafted Free Agents? Draft and Develop Waterboys?

    1. First off I didn’t say that Thompson doesn’t draft completely based on BPA and needs do factor into the equation. What I did say is that on the scale of BPA on one side and needs on the other, you aren’t going to find many GMs more towards BPA than Thompson. Thompson will also use free agency and undrafted free agents to fill out his team.

      1. TT would be a lot better off if he would explain the method to his madness. Just being civil to the fans would go a long way for him. He is a good GM. He has the personality of a box of rocks. I guess with such narrow shoulders he just can’t do it.

        1. I will admit from the PR standpoint, Thompson does kind of rub people the wrong way. He’s really quiet and reserved and he has a very dry sense of humor that many wouldn’t appreciate. He also doesn’t seem to like to talk publicly. I find it akin to going to college and taking a class with an incredibly smart and talented professor who couldn’t explain to you how to open a textbook. He’s incredibly good at what he does, he just has issues communicating it to a crowd.

          1. what makes him so good…Rodgers and Favre…thats who…without those two him and McCarthy are somewhere else…now get us back to a Super Bowl if your so smart…jeez…

        2. so everyone else can copy him …..riteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    2. Have you heard of the Salary Cap? Free Agency isn’t Carte Blanche…and the players are either coming off injury, are at the end of their careers, or are way overpriced. Is that the great pool of talent you refer too ? Ted signed two of the top Free Agents available this year…I’d call that pretty active. He’s also done really well with finding Undrafted Free Agents…and by the way those Draft and Develop Waterboys have won the NFC North four years in a row.

      1. have you heard of Super Bowls?? I want to get back to one more before the Favre/Rodgers era’s end…if it doesn’t happen this next year or two….forget it…

        1. I don’t set my expectations that high…first I want to see a competitive team out on the field…then I hope for a winning record…then a playoff spot or the Division championship. I went through the 70’s and 80’s when the team was a bad joke. Yeah, I’ve heard of the Super Bowl…and now the Packers are in the hunt every year…these are great days to be a Packers Fan.

  4. Nice apologia for TT, Thomas, for what USA Today ranked as the 28th (out of 32 teams, of course) best, or 5th worst, draft. We did pick-up some good UDFAs, though, who have a chance to make an NFL roster.

      1. Thomas, that’s just one objective source. I realize giving “grades” to teams’ drafts is just an exercise to stir-up fan interest and that we won’t know the results of this year’s draft until the players have had several years to develop, but if one takes a look at the objective sources in their entirety, one can make a pretty accurate judgment about which teams did well in the draft and which did not. We shouldn’t form our opinions on the basis of only one man’s words.

        1. Actually I feel rather confident that much of the reporting on draft picks follows the same “copycat” mentality that the league has in general. My favorite line is that ‘draft pundits’ exist because they couldn’t cut it as an actual scout. How many games have any of us watched? How many actual games have plenty of newspaper/Internet bloggers watched or do we/they fall prey to limited time and thus pick the most common names and watch video highlight cut-ups on you-tube? — Nemo, you are correct, we shouldn’t strictly believe TT is right but we also don’t need to assume he’s wrong. We need to watch the team this coming season and the answer will appear before our eyes. Patience and perspective. That’s what’s needed, unless you like to be angry, then focus on what a bad draft it was. GoPack!

          1. Oh, I’m not one of those who is angry at TT. I just don’t think he’s as good as many of his cheerleaders who frequent this site think he is. His critics have valid points. TT inherited a Hall of Fame QB. During his 1st draft he had a second one fall into his lap. Despite this, in his 10 years as GM, he has only 1 SB. Is it because of draft mistakes and a failure to effectively use free agency? I tend to think so. That goes to his competency. An alternative reason involves an issue of loyalty. And that would be if TT’s loyalty was first and foremost to the league and not to the franchise. That would be disheartening. The NFL is a cash cow and team parity provides the TV ratings and the cash. So, a team with A-Rod as QB will always be a contender and fans will always want to watch a contender even if its supporting cast is below average. It is better for the league as a whole if the Detroits, the Seattles , the Clevelands, the Arizonas, etc. get their turn to capture the gold ring even though they don’t have great QBs. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the keester if that was TT’s reason for letting weaknesses in the D-line, the RB, the secondary, the linebackers, etc. fester for years before he takes corrective action? Why, if true, it would make the NFL almost on a par with the WWE.

            1. Wow. That is one heck of a conspiracy theory. Do you consider that a serious possibility? GoPack?

              1. No, I don’t. That’s why I believe TT just isn’t as good of a GM as his cheerleaders believe he is.

        2. So if you realize that this is just an exercise to stir-up fan interest and that we won’t know the results of this years draft until several years down the line, again why should you or I listen to them?

          I could write an article where I think Brett Hundley will beat out Aaron Rodgers in the preseason and I would get a ton of comments and views but both you and I would know it would be a shit article.

          1. As shitty as this one? Just kidding.
            So, to answer the question, “Which team or teams had the best draft?” we should consult the GMs of all 32 teams. After all they are the best situated to know. Isn’t that your position? Just take the word of TT? I’m sure that each GM would say that his team had the best, or if not “the best,” a “good” draft. But, there are more objective rating standards. For example, all of the ratings I’ve seen had Clive Walford ranked higher than our pick, Backman, at the TE position. So its safe to say that the team that selected Walford got a better TE than we did. However, several years down the road Backman may still be in the league and Walford long gone due to injuries, being in the wrong situation, or other external-to-football circumstances. Similarly, to take your example, most of us would objectively say that A-Rod is a better QB than Hundley, but, since the future is uncertain, it is possible that Hundley will be the starter next fall. When the Washington Post rated the drafts of the Bears and Vikings as “A-” and those of the Pack and Detroit as “C+,” it expressed valid reasons to support its opinion and its reasons are more cogent than our GM’s explanation, “I select football players.”

        3. TT makes his living by building a winning team. Pundits do it by getting us to read and listen.

          If picking the players that fans think you need was the way to go, the Bears and Vikings would have been awesome the last 5 years.

    1. I guess USA Today knows talent better than TT. How many players have they drafted?

    2. Right….Favre, Rodgers…..how many Super Bowls???? Brady…how many??? These two players make anyone look pretty good, it seems that they should at least provide the team with the talent and coaching to get to a couple more SuperBowls before Rodgers pulls the plug..

      1. You seem convinced that Rodgers won’t win another Super Bowl. Why are you so fearful, ye of little faith?

    3. Pro Football Focus certainly seemed impressed with the value of the player the packers selected. Rollins, Ryan, and Ringo are example of players that they specifically point out as high value picks. The Packers also picked up two of PFF top ranked UDFAs.

      And even PFF, with all their research, is trying keep up with the Packers, who have one of the league’s premiere scouting departments.

  5. I really don’t mind TT drafting BPA anymore, I really don’t. Look what he did in the 2012 NFL draft, the first six picks went to defense only. And look how they all ended up? The only two players remaining are Hayward and Daniels, and Daniels is the only one who is a full time starter.

    In the end, what it comes down to is who do you think has the best chance at succeeding? Cause you can draft need players all day, but your chances of drafting busts go much higher and then you’re left with no talented players at all. Better to draft talented players you don’t need rather than drafting players you need but are total busts.

    1. Nick Perry was 2012 as well. It doesn’t change your point since he’s mediocre at best, but he’s still on the team.

      1. I think the argument could be made the the 2011 was the worst draft in the history of Ted Thompson; just to remind you it was Sherrod, Cobb, Green, House, DJ Williams, Caleb Schlauderaff, DJ Smith, Ricky Elmore, Ryan Taylor and Lawrence Guy. Everyone one of them minus Cobb was a complete disaster. The funny thing is that fans were still basking in the glow of winning a Super Bowl and everyone was saying how Thompson had a great haul.

        1. House teased us for 4 years. He did have some good games, sometimes in important games, IIRC. I rated Taylor as a decent pick since he was pretty good on STs, and was the emergency long snapper? if I recall correctly. And there was Cobb. Still, it’s the worst.

          I’d say 2007 and 2012 vie for 2nd worst. Harrell, Brandon Jackson, James Jones, Rouse, Barbre, Clowney, Korey Hall,, Desmond Bishop, Mason Crosby, Deshawn Wynn, Clark Harris. Using my peculiar system, I discount Bishop. Couldn’t get on the field, then started 13 games year 4, signed a nice contract, then we got 13 games until the injury, and promptly presented us with quite a bit of dead money.

  6. Isn’t the fact TT doesn’t have to reach or draft for a so called need an actual credit to his greatness as a GM?
    How many GM’s are there in his positon to where he is so loaded at every position coming into the draft that possibly none of his draft picks could even start?

    People should be on their hands and knees thanking TT for the job he’s done here in Green Bay. Getting tired of these asshole Favreaholics still pissed off because Teddy Tee didn’t take back their precious Brett 7 years ago. You know who you are too and I know that you know that I know that you know who you are.

    1. Well the big thing to me is that “Ted Thompson has gone crazy because he didn’t pick the guy I wanted, so he clearly is not the best player available”. Its almost as if they thought that reading a draft magazine or listening to Mel Kiper Jr. was equivalent 30+ people working full time for over a year with the financial future of a billion dollar organization on the line.

  7. A recent study of 5 drafts (2008-2012, I think) found that Ted ranked about 11th out of 32 teams. “Very good” but not “great.” His complete avoidance of free agency (even bargain free agency) and trades really limits our player acquisitions. This creates annual weaknesses, such as RB, backup QB, safety, etc. This year it appears to be ILB, CB, and TE. Frankly, if it wasn’t for Aaron Rodgers, Ted would have been exposed as a mediocre GM a long time ago.

      1. and makes him and McCarthy look pretty good…When’s the next Super Bowl?? how many has Brady been too?? Favre and Rodgers….we should of been to a few more by now i would say….sorry but to me, Ted isn’t a God….

    1. I’m not trying to be snarky, but this is 2015, not 1965. This is the blockbuster salary, free agency era NFL. What team doesn’t have weaknesses? All those big-name star players that free agency offers every year? Each one of those guys left a void behind with the team they left- or were allowed to leave for one reason or another. For what its worth, TT does utilize free agency when the deal meets the criteria the Packers demand- great value, talent, good fit. It is rare, but we’ve had three key acquisitions in Woodson, Pickett, and Peppers. I’ll take the occasional, great fit, key player acquisition when it makes sense over the every year, make-a-splash-for-the-sake-of-it, pay more than what they’re worth to woo them FA signings that end up leaving most NFL teams’ rosters and cap reeling in their wake. TT should be applauded for keeping our own valuable soon-to-be FA players off the market 9 times out of ten, and signing most of them at Packers-friendly prices.

    2. I conducted my own study the past three days and I found out 65% of the people upset about the recent draft actually believe they are just as good if not better than Ted Thompson at drafting because they read a lot of studies on the internet on who the best players are and Ted didn’t pick any on the list. 30% are opposed to anything Ted does because he’s still single which makes them uncomfortable and because they simply hate him for getting rid of Brett. The other 5% in my study are upset because they simply prefer to be angry. See Archie.

      1. LOL. Well said. And you got it to add up to 100%. Therein lies your flaw. There are a lot of people who think they could do better than TT, AND prefer to simply be angry, AND/OR dislike his actions because he’s single and dumped Brett. I am not amongst this class – I didn’t know he was single. Wait, wut? I’m single (recent widower). I don’t trust myself!

        I got tired of the Brett diva show, so dumping Brett was okay by me. He was like the guy who quits without notice. Or the key employee who keeps saying he might retire tomorrow but never does. As a business owner, I’d have fired his ass as soon as I found his replacement.

          1. Thanks. I didn’t realize it has been 17 months now. That’s why I am posting much more than I used to. Seems recent to me still. She had a chronic illness, but her passing was completely unexpected, as we thought it was well-managed. She was only 53.

            1. I’m sorry too. It is always said when we lose people we love. We can only hope for them that they are in the better place now. Sorrow stays with us…

    3. “Frankly, if it wasn’t for Aaron Rodgers, Ted would have been exposed as a mediocre GM a long time ago.”

      These kinds of statements just boil my blood because, in the end, it’s all revisionist history. Just like saying, “If the Packers had punched in one of those 1st qtr. FGs for a TD, they would’ve beaten Seattle and gone to the SB.” WE DON’T KNOW what happens over the rest of that game if you make that change. You can’t lift out one play from a game, make a change, and assume every other domino falls the same way afterward. Everything changes from that point forward, and everything else becomes speculation.

      Likewise, if ARod is not chosen by the Packers in 2005, we have absolutely no idea how they draft or what factors would drive player selections and coaching moves over time since then. For all we know, the Packers would have been BETTER over the last 10 years if they HADN’T taken ARod. Is it likely? I’m not saying that. What I am saying is that the blanket statement about “exposing TT sans ARod” — as well as my statement about the Packers being better — is nothing more than speculation.

      In the end, all we have is what we’ve observed over the last 10 years WITH ARod in a Packers uniform.

      1. Yeah, it’s probably the dumbest argument out there. Kind of like saying, “Frankly, if the Packers hadn’t scored more points than their opponents, they would have been exposed as losers a long time ago.”

      2. Now don’t blast me, Dobber, because I think your overriding point is perfectly valid. It is hard to construct a likely, or even an unlikely, scenario where GB would have been better had TT passed on Aaron Rodgers, just because he is soo good at the most important position. I grant that it is possible: TT might have taken a different QB who in MM’s school flourished but where the same prospect failed due to poor coaching provided by the other team. And we don’t know what TT was thinking: maybe when he took Sherrod or Cobb, TT figured he could fill needs, or conversely could take flyers on players with high upside. We’ll never know. You simply have to give credit to TT for taking Rodgers, since there were reasons to pass on him.

  8. TT drafts for need and says as much when he speaks….

    ‘I like football players…I want football players…I/we need football players’.

    TT calling it BPA is fine with me as long as these guys can play football. 🙂

    1. TT also looks like he’s getting a root canal every time he steps up in front of a podium. I wouldn’t put too much stock into what he says as it’s mostly the same watered-down PR-friendly PC crap that everyone else in the league is forced to use now. I would put a lot more stock into what he does.

  9. Per BRinMilwaukee, “Frankly, if it wasn’t for Aaron Rodgers, Ted would have been exposed as a mediocre GM a long time ago.”

    TT is all about drafting for need. Anyone that can’t see that isn’t much of an analyst. Every once in a while he does draft BPA but not very often.

    The crazy part this year is he believes we need 5 slot CBs. It is analogous to how he drafts 4-3 type defensive players despite playing in a 3-4 base. TT is a total loon who operates under the cover of the best QB on the planet. Our defense is weak. Our DL is weak. Our LB corps is weak. Our Secondary was weak till he drafted two DBs last week. Our return game is so ugly it could make a grown man cry. So Ted drafts the top return guy in the draft. Then an ILB. Then a back-up QB. Then FB, TE and a DL. All his picks were need derived. If he was BPA why would he say he was sweating out the Randall pick from the 20th pick on? He already had his mind made up before he knew who would be available. Or was he the only guy on the planet willing to draft Randall at #20??? He’s just a football guy who likes to keep it simple and draft good football players. Except he didn’t. He drafted baseball and basketball players who project to football players. And if that isn’t enough, he also is projecting them to different positions. And their measurables are hardly eye-popping. Give me Malcom Brown anytime. If he loved Randall so much he could have traded up for him in R2.

    1. Hoping that a guy you have highly rated on your board falls to you at your draft slot and drafting the BPA are not mutually exclusive.

      Also, I’m glad you confirmed with all the other NFL front offices that 1) Randall would still be there in R2, and 2) that there was a trade partner willing to dance with the Packers that would allow the trade to happen to acquire him.

      The arrogance and audacity that fans regularly exhibit come NFL Draft time is dumbfounding. The best NFL GM’s and personnel people will tell you how wildly difficult it is to forecast the moves made during the draft, how picks are nothing more than calculated crap shoots, and how different their boards typically are from anyone else’s much less the general public’s or the talking heads, but all the fans boldly proclaim a wasted pick because this player could have been taken in that round, or these 8 players are better than that one… We all have our opinions, but the sheer number of Nostradamus like proclamations this time of year amaze me.

      1. Nice writing. Your adjectives are well chosen, even alliterative in places. (I am not kidding – I sincerely think it is well done.) I don’t agree, though.

        To be plain, I don’t think there were 8 players with more talent or who are better prospects than Randall, I think there were 20, and another score that were his equal. But he was the best at his position, so he was going to be grossly overdrafted by some FS-needy team.

    2. So basically your rationale for why Ted Thompson is a needs based drafter is because you think the entire team sucks minus Rodgers. I agree that Rodgers covers up a lot of sins but to say that the rest of the team are just there for the ride is a little foolish.

      1. Yes, that is exactly what Archie is saying and worse yet, he actually is serious and believes it.

  10. just wrote the book on one of the most “underwhelming” drafts ever….if the Pack doesn’t get back to the Super Bowl in the next two years this draft will go down as an “F”…..

    1. I remember last year draft comments… They were the same comments, even with Ha-Ha pick, lot of you was complaining why TT did not trade to get Pryior who was considered by many of you as better pick. Saviour…
      Who was Davante Adams? Who was Khyri Thornton and Richard Rodgers (the last one was slow and not high enough!)… Who the f… is Carl Bradford? Why TT picked up Corey Linsley for center (he is weak and undersized, wasted pick!), Abby, OK, he is home guy, but this will not work (he has history with concussions, he is to light and to slow), why we pick Demetri Goodson, CB had enough deep… And finally positive – Jeff Janis – that one turned to be little hard to learn. Yes he can ran fast and he is high, but has small hands and a little problems with learning playbook and running as it says in playbook…
      Result of the last year draft: Ha-Ha starter, Davante Adams #3 receiver, Khyri Thornton injured, Richard Rodgers #2 TE (catching some very important TD Passes – against NEP & Dallas e. g.), Carl Bradford injured, repositioned to ILB, Corey Linsley pro bowler center – starter, Abby – injured, Goodson learning and ST contributor (blocked punt e. g.), Jeff Janis (funs favorite, bust at the moment)…
      So, I think I covered all from last year draft. Now, sit down, look at the mirror and honestly admit you know nothing, as the rest of us (including me!), about how this year draft will pan out. We have, maybe 3 to 4 contributors to the team and 6 ST aces (3 contributors: Randall, Ryan & Ripkowski – fourth might be Rollins – ST aces: Randall, Rollins, Ty Montgomery, Ryan, Ripkowski, Ringo).
      I consider that as good draft, but FOR NOW. We will knew better after training camp and some pre season games…

  11. To start with, I wasn’t thrilled with this years Packer picks, but when you say Ted drafted for BPA I was a bit surprised. Consider this paragraph from your article: – ” Well, guess what, Ted Thompson basically picked 8 players this weekend
    and the vast majority of them were in positions that the Packers are
    actually pretty stocked in. In particular, Thompson picked 2
    cornerback/safeties and a wide receiver with his premium first 3 picks.
    After that it a bit of a mix as he also picked a quarterback and a
    fullback, positions of strength and then finally address the inside
    linebacker, defensive line and tight end spots but only at the end of
    the draft, which again shows you how much he really factors in need.”

    His first two picks are intended to battle for the corner spots vacated by Tramon and House, They’re not stocked there anymore. Definitely need picks. His third pick, I believe, was taken largely on his return skills where the Packers have the greatest need in the league – at least on KO’s. His fourth pick, an ILB was a definite need position. His fifth was definitely not, unless you don’t see Tolzien as an adequate backup. Kuhn is year-to-year now, so if the Pack insist on keeping an FB in the future this qualifies as a need pick. IMO the d-line is just so-so, so the Ringo pick and the TE pick qualify as needs.

    If Ted was going to take BPA, he should have drafted Brown in the first (and helped fill a present and future need at the same time). If he had done that and picked the best available CB(and that includes Randall or Rollins if still there) in the second I would have thought this was a good draft. Instead we have four hybrid project types in the secondary. We need to strike now while ARod still has legs to stand on.

    1. I would still argue that the Packers cornerback stable is deeper than most, and it’s certainly not the black hole that’s inside linebacker or tight end.

      I think that perhaps the hardest things for fans to realize is that frankly no one knows who Thompson’s BPA player is at any point, as you said “If Ted was going to take BPA, he should have drafted Brown in the first” How do you know that Brown was the BPA at 30? Wouldn’t drafting Brown be a needs based pick since it would have “helped fill a present and future need at the same time”?

  12. My Dear Thomas,

    I disagree with your premise (you knew I would!), and the reasoning is disingenuous where it is not outright cherry-picking. I agree with Mojo’s post and incorporate it by reference to avoid repetitive posting since I think he hits most of my points well.

    To describe Montgomery as a WR is disingenuous. He’s a KR/WR, and therefore a need since DuJuan Harris still doesn’t know that there is a 20 yard line. If Monty could not return kicks and was considered strictly as a WR, he’d be somewhere between a 6th round pick and undrafted.

    Instead of being relentlessly negative, I’d like to write that TT understands better than perhaps any other GM how to deal with a salary cap. My theory is a team needs to get as much good play from players still on their rookie contracts as possible, particularly at high value positions. TT has been a master at this. He got Shields (and Tramon for a time) to play boundary CB at a high level on a UDFA contract for 4 years, which saved million (tens of millions?- do the math of having Shields and Tramon on rookie contracts vs. simply buying a quality or high quality FA CB). Bakh is playing LT at a decent level for $698K. He’ll make $7 million as an average LT when his contract expires. Linsley is playing great, though his position doesn’t pay quite as much as the one’s noted above. The light came on for CM3 mid-way through his 2nd year or so, IIRC, and that was another big savings. These savings allow TT to retain and pay his elite and core players like Aaron Rodgers, CM3, Nelson, Cobb, etc., to get the occasional expensive FA like Peppers, Pickett, Woodson, and never have to let a player walk if TT wants him back. And to occasionally overpay his own guys. For the model to work the GM has to be a good drafter, and overall TT is. I believe he he is excellent at certain positions (which is important), and more average at others.

    I’ll give an example that might buck conventional wisdom. TT’s decision to draft Nick Collins in terms of being a talent evaluator was excellent, but as a GM, it was only good. Nick’s first 3 years or so were a bit rocky, so GB did not get good play from him while he was on most of his rookie contract. That is a negative relative to the salary cap. He did blossom, reaching the pro bowl for his play in 2009. Then TT had to pay him but even that has value, as I believe it is a little easier to re-sign your own core players, and sometimes it can be done for a bit less than market price.

    Draft and develop is fine, but in a cap world, the development part cannot take forever. Microeconomics says so.

      1. Croat, Monty is 6’0″, 221 lbs., with 10.125 inch hands. Cobb is 5’10”, 192 lbs. with 9.375 in. hand. Ty is 2 inches taller and 29 lbs heavier than Cobb with bigger hands (source: NFL.com from the combine).

        I think you’re driving at this: Scouts think Montgomery will play slot WR, the same position as Cobb. Physically, Monty is a bigger man than Cobb, so the short way of putting it is that Ty is a bigger Cobb (though it may not be accurate – Cobb is really good, and Ty is to be determined).

        As a note, Cobb ran a 4.46 forty. Ty ran a 4.55 forty. Both had excellent vertical and broad jumps (Did you read Mike Reuters article on the importance of a good broad jump?). What seems important to me is that Montgomery ran a 1.51 second 10-yard dash, which is tremendous. Many think the great 10 yard dash time shows tremendous acceleration to hit a hole that might only be open for a second or two, and explains why Ty is a great kickoff returner, which also requires great vision. Vision and hands – some scouts said Ty’s hands are not good and he drops passes too much) are wholly subjective; one has to rely on scouts or watch film. At 6′ and 221, he’s got the build of a running back.

        1. Didn’t Mike Reuter put a piece up not too long ago that said that Cobb actually plays far fewer snaps out of the slot than we give him credit for? I’m clearly not providing any numbers here, but I seem to remember someone pointing out at the time he was resigned that he isn’t just a slot receiver.

          In Edit: I went into the archives and didn’t find it, but it’s out there somewhere…

          1. I have no such recollection. I do recall many articles stating that Cobb played 86% of his snaps in the slot. Some more were in the backfield, the rest he was split wide. FWIW, I concluded that Cobb was used as a slot receiver only, and also I thought he would not be nearly as good as a starting wide-out. The stat I quoted for that (can’t remember the source) is that Cobb averaged 8 yards per reception when split wide. Of course, there could be reasons for that, like he ran a bunch of screens with Jordy blocking for him.

    1. Actually I agree with basically everything you said in terms of salary cap and the economics of fielding a football team.
      As to cherry picking, I would consider Montgomery a WR because I don’t think Thompson values special teams enough to justify picking a special teams player in the 3rd round. I could be wrong since this draft definitely seemed to put an emphasis special teams so maybe he’s changed his mind after the NFC championship game, but his drafting history would suggest that he believes Montgomery can be a WR in addition to a KR/PR

      1. Thanks about the economics of the NFL. As a business owner, I’ve thought about it quite a bit. It’s why I buy into the positional value theory, which for me is how much you have to pay for an average player on his 2nd contract at said position, and not whether that position is important in a purely football sense, though I think the two are mostly congruent. That is why I have advocated taking a tackle in the last two drafts which were deep in OTs. Bakh is saving GB a ton of not just $, but CAP dollars.

        Monty might be really fun to watch though. I can envision a simple wide receiver screen to him with just Nelson blocking for him. We’d watch that tremendous acceleration (1.51 second 10-yard dash) that we see in his Kick returns. I’ve seen a couple of more places now that he ran a 4.38 forty at his pro day. I’ve watched his tape – he has vision and patience with his blocking, which are hard to teach. I’d have thought some coach would have moved him to RB at some point. For now he can be the 5th (or 6th?) WR. Time will tell.

  13. I think lot of people here forgot about something very important. It is philosophy of the football game that was applied on Packers team and carried on from the moment Mike McCarthy take over the Packers. When you are drafting for your team, some excellent players will never suits you and your philosophy of the football, so they will be bust in your system. Some others, contrary, will shine to the best in the position. Packers philosophy of the football game requests versatile players and that is what Ted Thompson is drafting. There was some mistakes from the past when they thought they will get value from the player and they did not (Nick Perry, e. g., Derek Sherrod etc…). Do you really think that Randall Cobb accepts less money because he likes you, Packers fans? Do you remember what Julius Peppers said when he came to Packers – all football players are large family and I will have no problems to play for Packers… Randall knew that with some other systems and different philosophy of the game he might not be so successful. So he decided to stay in Green Bay where he play the best football he can. And he knows that with Packers he has the best chances to win SB. Maybe more than one…
    I like Packers, I admit that I do not know much of the football, but I will tell you, the Packers are the healthiest team in whole NFL. And that is why they have one of the largest fan bases in football. And that is why bears, vikings, lions, cowboys, 9ers, seahawks etc fans hate us…

    1. Yup. Nick Perry when he was drafted preferred to play DE but GB moved him to OLB. Nick might think he’d play better at DE for a 4-3 team, but I don’t know what Perry thinks, kind of wondering. Maybe we will find out when he becomes a FA. But otherwise I think you’re right and players know they have it pretty good in GB overall.

  14. There are far too many lazy posters on this board who are just talking out of their asses. They don’t actually do any research to see how the various players were graded, but that doesn’t stop them from puking up a bunch of really stupid comments like “NOBODY predicted that this guy would go so early” or “so-and-so would definitely have been there three rounds later” or “this other guy was clearly rated higher.” Pfffft.

    Let’s take D. Randall as one example. Here are a few things that people ACTUALLY DID SAY about him, and you can confirm it if you care to be informed.

    Bob McGinn’s mock draft (which has been honored in recent years as one of the most consistently accurate) put Randall at #20.

    At NFL.com, Mike Mayock slotted him in at #20, Bucky Brooks put him at #29, Zierlein & Chad Reuter had him at #40, but then added, “Finding a first round value like Randall available here is a major bonus.” Charlie Davis said he was a possibility at #32.

    At CBS.com, Rob Rang mocked him at #29. Dane Brugler had him at #40, but was quick to add, “Best cover man in a weak class of safeties. He might not last this long.”

    At WalterFootball.com, Charlie Campbell had Randall at #20 and Walter Cherepinsky had him at #38.

    At SI.com, Peter King mocked him at #20, and Don Banks at #29.

    At Fox Sports, Peter Schrager had him at #27.

    Footballsfuture.com’s Robert Davis put him at #20.

    Rotoworld had him at 29.

    USAToday said that he was a possibility at 20 and 29, but did not include him in the first round. They did, however, rank him as the 36th best prospect.

    So call me extremely unimpressed when some no-name, beer-drinkin,’ Frito-munchin’ internet poster rants about TT “reaching.”

    (Not that I have anything against beer and Fritos, of course.)

      1. I can live with that, but I’d probably respect your opinion more if it were a basket of deep fried cheese curds, or a big rack of chicken wings. Just so long as you stay away from “healthy” stuff…

    1. Love the post. Grades for drafts are a waste of time. Watch the season, enjoy the season, look at player development throughout the season. Then grade the draft. GoPack!

  15. I look at TT’s performance as Packer’s GM this way; How many teams in the league would trade rosters with the Packers? Including the coaches. Probably about 28-29. To me that should eliminate most of the complaining and second guessing about TT’s draft picks and team building. Thanks, Since ’61

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