17

August

The Best and Worst of Packers GM Ted Thompson – Part 2: The Misses

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson is not happy about the items on this list.

As a follow up to Part 1 of this series,  Part 2 is a compilation of Ted Thompson’s worst moves as General Manager of the Green Bay Packers. Finding 10 things that Ted Thompson has done wrong in his career was a much more painstaking process than finding what he has done right. Without further ado, here they are:

The Misses:

 

1. Allen Barbre – Ted Thompson went into the 2009 season with Allen Barbre as his starting right tackle. During his starting stint Barbre may have been the worst right tackle in the history of the franchise. He allowed Jared Allen to sack Aaron Rodgers 7.5 times in two games, which was a huge factor in two of the Packers most painful losses of the last decade. Need more proof Barbre was awful? He allowed 5 sacks by Antwan Odom, who has only 23.5 sacks in his 7 year career.

2. Drafting Justin Harrell – Rarely has Ted Thompson completely whiffed in the first round of the draft, but he reached and whiffed badly with Harrell in 2007. Harrell tore his bicep tendon during his senior season at Tennessee and then showed up to his first training camp slightly out of shape. Following the bicep injury, Harrell injured his back and knee. Over four seasons as a packer Harrell participated in 14 games and made an impact in exactly none.

3. Signing Marquand Manuel – The first free agent to be signed by Ted Thompson was Safety Marquand Manuel. Ted Thompson signed his former Seattle player to a 5-year $10 million contract. The only issue with the signing was Manuel had the agility of an overweight and slightly ill hamster, and the speed of a run away sloth carrying a brick. He was cut one year into his 5-year contract.

4. Drafting Brian Brohm – The heralded Louisville quarterback was thought to be a possible first round talent by many draftniks as he entered his senior season. But a pedestrian year and an apparent lack of need at the QB position caused Brohm to fall through the cracks to the Packers with the 56th overall pick. Some people saw it as a waste considering the Packers’ numerous holes in their roster, others saw it as a good value (considering the Packers did not have a backup quarterback). After Brohm’s first preseason game Danny Wuerffel was seen laughing and hilariously imitating Brohm crow hopping to throw a ten yard out.

15

August

The Best and Worst of Packers GM Ted Thompson – Part 1: The Hits

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson

Since January 14, 2005, Ted Thompson has been the driving force behind the reincarnation of the Green Bay Packers. At times he has been reviled by a huge portion of Packer Nation, and recently has been lauded as the eccentric genius architect of the deepest and most talented team in the league. To encapsulate his triumphs and failures of the past 6 years I have created a top ten list of hits and misses (coming soon).

The Hits


1. Drafting Aaron Rodgers:

This draft pick caused me and my friends to scream and throw our draft guides at the television. “Get Brett Favre some weapons! Our window is closing! Why does The Albino hate us?” we shouted between moments of rage filled couch punching. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the league, which is the most important position in all of sports.

2. Hiring Mike McCarthy:

It took some guts to bring in the coordinator of the worst offense in the NFL to be your first hire. As my screen name may indicate, I was an extreme doubter of McCarthy and may have even called for his head on a platter on this very website. Two things have become very clear after the Packers beat the Steelers in the Superbowl; Thompson found the right man for the job, and I good sirs, am an idiot.

3. Trading Brett Favre:

There seems to be a theme here, Ted Thompson’s greatest moves were also his most controversial. This moment in Packer history will be discussed for years to come. In the end it was the perfect time to make the franchises biggest change in two decades.

4. Signing Charles Woodson:

Thompson has been very selective in free agency is like saying Gilbert Brown was slightly overweight, but Charles Woodson is the second greatest free agent signing in Packer’s history. I will give everyone one guess as to who is #1 on that list.

5. Drafting Clay Matthews III:

Trading up in the draft is not something that Thompson appears to be comfortable with, but he left his comfort zone and moved up to draft one of the most feared young defenders in the NFL. Matthews was the least known of the three USC linebackers drafted in 2009, but he has been a force from day one.

6. Drafting Greg Jennings:

When Ted Thompson chose Jennings with the 52nd pick of the 2006 draft most people said, “Who?” It became quite obvious in Jennings’ first preseason that Thompson knew exactly what he was getting in Jennings.

15

April

The BEST Green Bay Packers First Round Draft Picks of the Last 50 Years

As the 2010 NFL Draft approaches, and anticipation builds, Packer fans everywhere are hoping the team’s first round draft pick will turn out to be the team’s  next Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, Packers’ history says that’s not very likely.

The Green Bay Packers have 19 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Only 3, however,  were first round draft choices (Paul Hornung, Herb Adderley and James Lofton). Only 2 (Adderley and Lofton) were between the years of 1959-2009 that this article covers.

In the 72-year history of the NFL Draft, Green Bay has only had the first overall pick once, in 1959. It would be Vince Lombardi’s first draft and his selection, quarterback Randy Duncan, unfortunately made my previous list of the WORST Packers first-round draft picks of the last 50 years.

You may be surprised to know that the  Packers have been very active first-round traders. In 28 of the past 50 drafts, the Packers have made a trade involving a first round draft choice.

Before we get to the picks, two disclaimers:

You will not find Jerry Kramer or Paul Hornung on this list as they were drafted before 1959.

You will not find Aaron Rodgers or Clay Matthews on this list as their bodies of work, while impressive,  are still too short.

So, without further delay, here is the list:

Nick Barnett – LB – 2003 – Selected 29th overall – 6’2″, 236 lbs.

Out of Oregon State University, Nick Barnett was a 4-year varsity player. He entered the starting lineup halfway through his sophomore season and remained a fixture at strong side linebacker for the rest of his collegiate career. His senior season he averaged over nine tackles a game and was named All-Pacific 10 Conference, after leading the league with 121 tackles (62 solo).

Selected by the Packers with pick 29 of the first round, Barnett was the first Oregon State player taken in the first round in 40 years. He quickly proved to be worthy of that pick, starting the Packers’ first regular season game at middle Linebacker. Barnett has been incredibly consistant, still averaging the same nine tackles per game with the Packers as he did in college. Barnett has lead the Packers in tackles 5 times, including last season, coming off the only serious injury of his career. He has been the de-facto leader of the Packers’ defense, and at no time did this become more evident than the 2008 season. When Barnett got injured, the Packers defense plummeted downhill fast. His leadership and contributions were sorely missed.