Historically, Thompson has been known for selecting players based on value, not going after specific positions of need. Green Bay’s 2013 draft grades are all over the map, but value is a word that might best describe this year’s draft class.
Datone Jones, whom the Packers selected with the number 26 pick overall, fills a positional need on the defensive line, but was one of their highest rated players – regardless of position. Jones has a great motor and a work ethic that should be contagious. At 6-4, Jones’ lean frame looks able to pack on a few additional pounds. He will certainly add some good length and intensity to the Green Bay trenches.
After waiting patiently in the second round, the Packers got one of the best value picks of the draft in Alabama running back, Eddie Lacy. Once rumored to the Packers in round one, the Packers got an absolute value steal at the end of the second round. Injury concerns are thought to be the reason that Lacy fell, but his injuries did not seem to hamper his production at Alabama. The Packers could have the steal of the draft if his production continues at the next level.
This year’s best example of drafting according to value? Johnathan Franklin. The fact that Green Bay was able to snatch him up at the end of round four is impressive. Many are confused as to why the Packers would take two running backs and fail to directly address other positions of need. Frankly, there was more value on the board at other positions. Franklin was thought, by some, to be deserving of a second round pick. In addition, his character and leadership made him impossible to pass up. Worst case scenario, he is an insurance policy on Lacy – and a good one at that. Best case – he could challenge Lacy for the starting job. Not half bad for a fourth round pick.
But obviously value is tested with the passing of seasons. It is difficult to say for sure who is really “a value” in this draft class. However, one thing is for sure: Thompson will not waver from his highly-effective draft strategy that places value over positional needs.
Still doubt Ted Thompson?
Consider the Packers’ value pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft. That should help. This player just signed a contract that makes him the highest paid quarterback in history.
I think so.