Unless you were asleep at the switch, or were abducted by aliens, it was hard for PACKERS fans to not notice that the team’s 2012 DRAFT effort had a very different flavor to it this year. WHITEY flipped positions around 3 times and has a new nickname: TRADER TED. It just so happened that the team needed Defense and almost every time the team Picked the Best Available Athlete on their Board it was a defender. They seemed to get more than their share of players who had a higher Draft value than the spot at which they took them. But let’s slow down the train a bit and look at items individually for a couple of minutes.
It may seem hard to believe, but this was THOMPSON’s 8th DRAFT as the PACKERS head man. Where does the time go? In the previous 7 Drafts WHITEY traded “up” 3 times. In this DRAFT alone he traded up 3 times under the new personna TRADER TED. Having 12 Picks in his quiver emboldened him, I believe, to move up to secure players they had highly rated, but who he felt would not still be there when their next turn came around. And because the entire organization felt such a strong need to bolster the defensive troops he was trading up to get valued defenders as his top priority. So, even though it may look like the Best Available theory went out the window, I think this effort was just a variation on a theme so to speak. And to all of you PACKERS fans who have been screaming since the Play-Off loss to the GIANTS about needing to fix he Defense… you should be very happy right now.
So 12 Picks turned into 8, which must have caused some serious angst on the part of conservative TED, who normally hoards Picks like diamonds. He even alluded to that during several of his press appearances, saying he wasn’t his “conservative” father’s son anymore. By the way, some of his statements and how they were phrased also made me believe he was quite comfortable with the Draft path he chose to follow this year. He seemed very relaxed and casual in front of the camera this year… at least for the TED THOMPSON we’ve known this past almost decade. For a 15-1 team I see no real issue with 8 drafted Rookies on the roster as opposed to 12. They are in the process of signing a boatload of undrafted Free Agents, which I’ll discuss next week after the first mini-camp is over in Green Bay.