Ted Thompson has been known as the king of the NFL Draft, consistently finding players in the mid to later rounds who contribute – not only as special-teamers or on the practice squad, but as starters.
This is true in light of the statistics below provided by With the First Pick. Considering that it takes at least three years to evaluate the value of a draft, the folks over at First Pick did just that, comparing and evaluating the drafts of all four NFC North Division 2010 selections.
Not only do these stats tend to support glowing words about Thompson, but they also solidify in the minds of many, and at least on the surface, the reason why the Packers, year-in and year-out, are among the elite teams in the league.
The draft and develop – or the “drafted and undrafted develop” program as Head Coach Mike McCarthy now calls it – has seemed to be the model upon which the Packers’ success has been built.
It’s true that the Packers have gotten a lot of guys who have contributed, but there are many out there who feel that the “guys” who have been drafted and developed, are just “guys” and that’s it.
Looking at the list below, you’ve got a single, maybe two, legitimate starters – Bryan Bulaga and Morgan Burnett. The others have had limited success, at best, even though they grade out high because they have played a good deal or have been starters.
Consider Mike Neal and James Starks. Both have played with some success, but both have spent a great deal of time on the injured reserve, so the jury is still out though they have been on the team for three seasons. Yes, Starks’ efforts down the stretch to the Super Bowl XLV title were huge – but what has he done since? Neal has been injured so much that when he does play he’s not been able to get into any consistent flow and has been the invisible man.
Andrew Quarless had two solid seasons before sitting out all of last season with a knee injury. Known for his blocking, he had a huge upside. Now with a full season on the shelf we don’t know if he’ll make the roster this season. It will be an uphill battle.
Marshall Newhouse and C.J. Wilson both came out of nowhere to make the roster – especially Wilson, who was a seventh-rounder in 2010. Both have been starters, but far from the polished players the team needs at their positions to be considered great draft choices.
Newhouse is being forced from his left tackle position to the right side where he will have to compete for the right tackle position. The same is happening to Wilson, who will be in the fight of his life because the Packers drafted two quality, hungry defensive linemen.
Now let’s consider Bulaga and Morgan – both have been starters since their rookie seasons, both have shown flashes of brilliance, but not all-pro-caliber play. Both have missed time through injuries. Morgan came back and has been steady, but it’s not clear just how well Bulaga will perform given that he’s been moved to a new position and is recovering from a hip injury.
So while these numbers provided by With the First Pick are glowing – mostly because of the playing time these players have accumulated, one can argue that, like most mid- to late-rounders, they are just guys.
Take a look at the numbers and go here to compare this draft with the other three NFC North Division teams. Clearly, when compared to the rather pathetic drafts by the Vikings, Lions and Bears, the Packers’ 2010 draft looks pretty good. But unless these players come into their own in the final year of their first contract, they too will be considered average.
Green Bay Packers
|Player||School||Position||Pick(Rd)||Raw Score||Weighted Score||Draft Value|
|Morgan Burnett||Georgia Tech||S||71(3)||17.50||20.67||42.00|
|Andrew Quarless||Penn State||TE||154(5)2||6.97||9.70||1.00|
|C. J. Wilson||East Carolina||DE||230(7)||11.61||18.41||141.00|
Total Raw Score: 78.79 (14th)
- Total Weighted Score: 102.97 (12th)
- Average Raw Score: 11.26 (5th)
- Average Weighted Score: 14.71 (4th)
- Total Draft Value: +196 (5th)
- Average Draft Value: +28.00 (4th)
Analysis: With seven picks in the draft a team needs to produce two starters if possible. In a perfect world that same team will also procure a few other key contributors. Well in 2010 the Green Bay Packers managed to grab themselves four starters and three other contributors, going seven for seven. In Bulaga and Newhouse both tackles on the offensive line were filled with Newhouse coming in the fifth round. Morgan Burnett grabbed ahold of the starting free safety position. C.J. Wilson has been a spot starter on the defensive line. Quarless spent 2012 on I.R. but was a major contributor his first two seasons. Starks and Neal have been situational role players. The only true negative of this draft has been Neal who has not lived up to the potential of a second round pick. But given the value found later, all should be forgiven. This draft had quality and quantity.