Earlier today we laid out how Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson does not draft for need, even though he pretends he does. Now, we’re going to explore what rounds Mr. Draft and Develop has his best success in.
Thompson has had the most picks in the seventh round (16), followed closely by the fifth and fourth (14). He’s had the fewest picks in the third (7).
Trader Ted! You know, you’ve got to get rid of as many third-round picks as possible so you can stockpile those sevenths! That’s where all the hidden gems are!
After a lot of thought, it seems like the best way to determine the impact of these classes by round is their number of starts for the Packers. We’ve also thrown in the number of Pro Bowls for each round, as well as how many guys are no longer on the team.
Anyway, let’s get on with it.
Starts: 385, Pro Bowls: 8, Not on the roster: 1
Average: 42.8 starts
Starts: 365, Pro Bowls: 6, Not on the roster: 7
Average: 15.9 starts
Starts: 204, Pro Bowls: 0, Not on the roster: 6
Average: 29.1 starts
Starts: 215, Pro Bowls: 1, Not on the roster: 7
Average: 15.4 starts
Starts: 82, Pro Bowls: 0, Not on the roster: 11
Average: 5.9 starts
Starts: 239*, Pro Bowls: 0, Not on the roster: 10
Average: 18.4 starts
* we’re counting Mason Crosby as a starter
Starts: 74, Pro Bowls: 0, Not on the roster: 11
Average: 4.6 starts
What does all of this tells us?
Well, first let’s get the obvious out of the way. You’re going start guys you draft in the first round unless one of their legs fall off, which we’re pretty sure is what happened to Justin Harrell and Derek Sherrod. Not surprisingly, the most starts come from that group.
Similarly, very few seventh-round picks end up sticking for long in the NFL. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that that’s the the group that’s produced the fewest starts.
What should be surprising is what a shit show Ted’s fifth-round picks have been. The Packers are getting, on average, a little less than six career starts from their fifth-round picks under Ted Thompson. That’s awful.
The team is getting an average of over 10 more career starts per man from their SIXTH-round picks.
If you look at the picks, two of those guys didn’t even make the club — Meredith and Clowney. Four others only made it one season with the team — Manning, Hawkins, Martin and Giacomini.
We’re pretty sure once the fifth round rolls around, Ted takes his big board off the wall, takes a gigantic dump on it, smears it all around and then just walks out of the room.
Ted has actually taken quite a few dumps in the second round as well. The average of 15.9 starts per guy is lower than that of the third and sixth round and nearly even with the fourth (15.4). In other words, Thompson has made his fair share of bust-worthy picks in the second, including Pat Lee, Brian Brohm, Brandon Jackson and through no fault of his own, Terrence Murphy. We suspect Jerel Worthy will be joining that group soon enough.
The other surprising thing is, Ted Thompson has made only one third-round pick that’s currently on the roster — Morgan Burnett. Granted, he’s had only seven third rounders overall, but it’s not a good sign when six of them are no longer with the team.
So if history tells us anything here, it’s that there’s a good chance Ted is going to swing and miss on a guy in the second, trade out of the third and that he might as well not even participate in the fifth.
Either way, buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride.