It was a formula that paid dividends for the Green Bay Packers the last time around so GM Ted Thompson figured it was worth trying again.
In his first draft as head of the Packers football operations in 2005, Thompson selected a player from a small school who in time had a big impact on the organization. In the second round of the 2005 draft, Thompson selected safety Nick Collins from small Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. At the time, it was viewed as a reach taking a player from such a small school so early in the draft. Many wondered what the then-rookie general manager was doing.
The “reach” paid off big time as Collins became the best safety the Packers have had since the retirement of Leroy Butler (no offense to Darren Sharper). Collins will forever immortalized in Packers lore for his highlight reel pick-six of Ben Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XLV and the celebration following that was the cover image for the Green Bay Press Gazette following the Packers’ victory.
Fast forward to this past spring. Thompson again found himself in need of safety, ironically because Collins suffered a likely career-ending neck injury in Week 2 last season. Thompson found a diamond In the rough in Collins, so Thompson may have thought he could do it again.