Why Ted Thompson’s First-Round Picks Have Fared So Poorly

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A.J. Hawk

Yesterday, I proposed my simple theory of how to draft in the NFL’s first round. Round 1 draft picks should only be used for players who play game-changing positions. The game-changing positions are QB, WR and CB, or an extraordinary left tackle, running back or pass rusher.

It’s time to test the theory out on Green Bay Packers’ general manager Ted Thompson’s first-round picks from 2005 to the present. Here are all of Thompson’s first round draft choices for the Packers.

  • 2016: Kenny Clark, DT
  • 2015: Damarious Randall, S
  • 2014: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S
  • 2013: Datone Jones, DE
  • 2012: Nick Perry, LB
  • 2011: Derek Sherrod, T
  • 2010: Bryan Bulaga, T
  • 2009: B.J. Raji, NT
  • 2009: Clay Matthews, LB
  • 2007: Justin Harrell, DT
  • 2006: A.J. Hawk, LB
  • 2005: Aaron Rodgers, QB

I’ve listed Randall as a safety, as that was his position in college (and still should be!).

According to the theory, the Packers should not have used a first-round choice on Kenny Clark, Damarious Randall, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Datone Jones, Nick Perry, Derek Sherrod, Bryan Bulaga, B.J. Raji, Justin Herrell or A.J. Hawk.

The only “extraordinary” exception I made was for Clay Matthews, who fit the description of an extraordinary pass rusher. Nick Perry did not merit that rating.

There you have it. Ten out of GM Thompson’s 13 choices did not meet my game-changer criteria due to the positions they played. Who have achieved the most success – who have turned out to be game-changers for the Packers?

It’s hard to argue with this list: Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews. They just happen to be the two players who meet my criteria as being game-changers.

So, will Ted Thompson once again screw things up in a couple of months?

About The Author

Rob is currently twiddling his thumbs on Whidbey Island in Washington. He likes to do research, although he has no shortage of opinions. He saw his first live Packers game in 1958, the only win of the year.

8 Comments on "Why Ted Thompson’s First-Round Picks Have Fared So Poorly"

  1. PF4L

    He got 3 solid players out of that bunch, one is a free agent that will cost them this season if signed. I’m not counting Perry because it took him his 5th season to open anyone’s eye. Another one of those 3 is now just a financial burden. One is known as job security and/or the lottery ticket.

    With the Packers own UFA’s to sign, i just don’t see how they can look to free agency even if they wanted to. Leaving only UDFA’s and draft picks to vault this defense into “Championship caliber.”

    If your thinking i’m not a dreamer, an idealist, or under any illusion that this team will compete for a Super Bowl…..You would be correct.

  2. Icebowler

    My theory is that you can’t draft the BPA in the first few rounds if you don’t fill a few of the glaring holes in free agency, even if they’re just temporary (reasonably priced) plug in’s for a year or two.

    • PF4L

      In Ted’s mind, there aren’t any glaring holes, at least that he’ll admit to. There aren’t any glaring holes, because in D & D, you don’t have glaring holes if it’s done right. Then you take BPA, like Ted try’s to tell everyone he does.

      Yep…it’s a fucking mess.

  3. Deepsky

    Picking an “extraordinary” or “game changer” player even in the first round doesn’t happen as often as you think. On average, a player picked in the first round has a little better than 30 percent chance of making it to the Pro Bowl. That’s not even “extraordinary”, just Pro Bowl. Where the Packers pick late in the draft, its probably much lower than that as the chance of getting a Pro Bowler in the second round is only 17 percent.

    By my calculations 5 of 12 made it to the Pro Bowl. LIke it or not, Thompson picks at a 41% Pro Bowl rate, significantly better than average.

    • PF4L

      Ah…One could argue about Dix, but fuck….go ahead, count him.

      How many Pro Bowlers on the Packers current roster out of 12 drafts, 7 rounds deep?

      I’m counting 5, out of 12 years of draft picks (in all rounds). And 3 of those were for only 1 year.

      In Ted we Trust…Keep up the higher than average Pro Bowl picks Ted, it’s working out great my man.

      Ted drafted 2 blue chippers in 12 years. Although they both are paid like it, only one plays like it.

      • Deepsky

        I am really not defending Thompson all that much, I’m just saying he’s not as bad as people think. He’ll waste another first round pick on a below average to bust defensive lineman tweener in an attempt to replace Peppers and Perry.

        The Packers GM position is the best in the NFL and the GM here should be the best.

        • PF4L

          I defended Ted “big time” for having big balls in how he handled Favre. I also defended Ted with credit and respect in regards to putting together a Championship team in 2010.

          But therein lies the problem, it’s now 2017. I also don’t think Ted is as bad as people think either, i happen to think he’s worse. For many reason that i don’t feel like taking the time to rehash for the 20th time.

          I would also agree that being the GM in Green Bay is a dream job in the NFL, as well as the head coach position for two main reasons, and a ton of other reasons i won’t bore you with.

          1) The GM and Head coach, have cart blanche with the Green Bay Packers. They can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and not be questioned about, while making millions. How is that for a dream job? This, is the result of a President, who wants absolutely nothing to do with anything football related and makes no secret about it.

          2) How many GM’s and head coaches have worked with just 2 franchise QB’s through their tenure with one team? That…..just doesn’t happen, outside of Green Bay.

          If Ted and Fatass were to be asked, who is the worst QB you had starting for the Packers? And their answer is Brett Favre…..you then realize nobody has it better outside of Green Bay.

          So yes, i have a problem with Ted Thompson. I have a problem with someone who seemingly thinks there is only one way to build a team and is largely unwilling and too stubborn in his ways to entertain other resources besides the draft and UDFA’s. Throwing in a free agent signing occasionally when the heat gets turned up. But largely because once he drafts players in April, signs a shitload of UDFA’s post draft, he thinks his job is done.

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