One thing you can bet on when you’re watching the Green Bay Packers’ draft unfold under the mastermind that is Ted Thompson, is that Thompson will come out with more picks than he went in with.
In Thompson’s five drafts with the Packers, he’s traded back to pick up additional picks in each year except 2009, with most of those additional picks coming in the later rounds. 2009 is only year Thompson didn’t end up with more picks than he started with because he traded up to nab Clay Matthews in the first round, sending three picks to New England and getting two in return. Thompson ended up with eight picks after entering the draft with nine.
So where the hell does all that trading back lead? Well, to the sixth round, of course!
Thompson has made the most picks of any round in the sixth during his time with the Packers, with nine selections out of the 51 he’s made in total. That’s 17 percent of Thompson’s total selections.
Those players selected in the sixth round are Jarius Wynn and Brandon Underwood in 2009; Korey Hall, Desmond Bishop and Mason Crosby in 2007; Johnny Jolly and Tyrone Culver in 2006; and Mike Montgomery and Craig Bragg in 2005.
Thompson actually has a much better track record in the sixth round than he does the fifth, where he’s struck out just about every single time. Jolly and Hall are starters, Crosby is the Packers’ kicker for better or worse, and Bishop and Underwood certainly look like they can play in the NFL. The only duds were Bragg, who’s never caught an NFL pass, and Culver, who was cut before the 2007 season.
One other thing near certainty with Thompson is he’ll steer clear of underclassmen. He’s selected only four in his five-year tenure, or 7 percent. Those players are Aaron Rodgers (2005), Cory Rodgers (2006), Brandon Jackson (2007) and Jermichael Finley (2008).
Cory Rodgers was a mistake and Jackson hasn’t turned into the player the Packers had hoped after spending a second-round pick on him, but Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers and Finley looks like a future Pro Bowler. Still, if you’re a betting man, bet against Thompson taking an underclassman.
Finally, perhaps the most depressing stat is that Thompson has only selected three Pro Bowlers in five years, or 5 percent of his picks. Those players are Aaron Rodgers, Nick Collins and Matthews.
The first two came in Thompson’s first Packers’ draft. So, he’s landed just one Pro Bowler in the last four years.
If you look on the bright side, I guess he’s due.