Ted Thompson

Your master of ceremonies

The only thing that’s certain when Ted Thompson is at the helm of the Green Bay Packers draft is uncertainty.

Thompson is rarely predictable, but looking at the statistics, some patterns do emerge.

For example, Thompson likes drafting wide receivers. In his six drafts as general manager, Thompson has chosen eight receivers, the most of any position on the team. He also likes linebackers and tackles — he’s chosen seven of each in his tenure.

The full breakdown by position is as follows.

WR 8
LB 7
Tackle 7
DE 6
CB 5
Safety 5
Guard 4
QB 4
RB 4
DT 3
TE 3
Center 1
Kicker 1

Thompson’s love of the receiver position is reinforced when you look at the first three rounds, which is where the majority of impact players are picked. He’s chosen four receivers in that range.

Safety and linebacker come in second, with three selections each.

The full breakdown by position in the first three rounds is as follows.

WR 4
Safety 3
LB 3
Tackle 2
DT 2
QB 2
DE 1
CB 1
TE 1
RB 1
Center 1

Thompson has obviously been successful building the Packers through the draft. Of the players he’s chosen in his six drafts, 56 percent of them were on the Packers’ 2010 roster, which is 33 of 58 picks.

As you would expect, the first three rounds have been even more successful for the Packers. In 2010, 17 of Thompson’s 21 picks from rounds one through three were with the team, which is 81 percent.

Thompson has added 31 offensive players, 26 defensive players and one special teamer (kicker Mason Crosby in 2007) through the draft. The breakdown for the first three rounds is almost even — 11 on offense, 10 on defense. However, the first round has skewed slightly towards defense by a margin of four to two.

Where are these picks coming from?

Largely the NCAA’s power conferences.

The Big 12 leads the way with eight selections, followed by the Big East and SEC with seven a piece. The Big 10 is next with six draft picks and here’s perhaps the one surprise — the Packers have also chosen six players from the WAC under Thompson. That’s more than the ACC or Pac 10, which have each produced four Ted Thompson draft picks.

It shows Thompson isn’t afraid to take guys from smaller schools.

He’s also chosen four players who didn’t play in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Two came from the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) — Bethune-Cookman’s Nick Collins and Albany’s Kurt Campbell, both in 2005 — and two came from Division II — Northwest Missouri State’s Dave Tollefson in 2006 and Missouri Southern State’s Allen Barbre in 2007.

Here’s the full breakdown by conference.

Big 12 8
Big East 7
SEC 7
Big 10 6
WAC 6
ACC 4
Mountain West 4
Pac 10 4
MAC 3
MEAC 3
CUSA 2
America East 1
MAIAA 1
MIAA 1
Southern 1

Finally, if Ted can be accused of favoring any schools, it’s Louisville and Texas A&M. He’s nabbed three players from each school and judging by the results, maybe he should stop picking guys from both programs.

The three Louisville players were center Jason Spitz in 2006, tackle Breno Giacomini and quarterback Brian Brohm in 2008. Only Spitz was with the team in 2010 and he wasn’t a starter.

Thompson’s three Texas A&M picks were receiver Terrence Murphy and defensive end Mike Montgomery in 2005 and defensive tackle Johnny Jolly in 2006. None were on the Packers’ 2010 squad.

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