Sep 18, 2011; Charlotte, NC, USA; Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Desmond Bishop (55) lines up against the Carolina Panthers during the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. The Packers defeated the Panthers 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

How Does Packers Ted Thompson Fare Against other GM’s in Later Rounds of the Draft?


Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson talks with head coach Mike McCarthy prior to the Family Night scrimmage at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Fellow writer Travis Pipes has sparked an interesting discussion here at LombardiAve with a recent article about Ted Thompson and his success, or lack thereof, in the late rounds of the NFL Draft.

Just in case you missed it, I encourage you to check out Travis’s article here.

Travis takes a look at Thompson’s late round picks since Thompson took over as the Packers’ general manager in 2005, and makes the point that maybe his success in finding impact players in the later rounds of the draft isn’t as frequent as we typically perceive.

Outside of Josh Sitton (fourth round) and Desmond Bishop (sixth round), this seems to be the case. Both have proven to be excellent players for Green Bay and great finds late in the draft, but why hasn’t Thompson hit any other home runs in rounds 4-7 in his time as the Packers’ GM?

Just to get a frame of reference, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how other general managers around the league fared in the late rounds of the draft during Thompson’s time with the Packers. I wanted to get a sense for how common it is for other teams to find impact players late in the draft, then this would give us a better understanding on how to judge Thompson’s efforts.

I compiled a list of all the GMs that drafted from 2005-12, and looked at each GM’s draft from 2005 to 2012. I focused on the players they selected in rounds 4-7 and noted any players that have played significant time for an NFL team. I also put an asterisk by any players that have proven to be either impact players or top players at their position.

So let’s see how the other GMs during Thompsons’ time with Green Bay did in finding impact players late in the draft.

(Both Rick Smith from Texans and Mike Tannenbaum from the Jets became GMs in 2006, but I included them on this list anyway becaue they were only one year removed from Thompson’s reign as GM.)

 

List of GMs and Late Round Success from 2005-2012

 

A.J. Smith – San Diego Chargers

2005 - Darren Sproles, RB, 4th Round

 

Mike Brown – Cincinnati Bengals

2006 - Domata Peko, DL, 4th Round

2010 - *Geno Atkins, DL, 4th Round

 

Jerry Jones – Dallas Cowboys

2005 - *Marion Barber, RB, 4th Round

- Chris Canty, DL, 4th Round

Jay Ratliff, DL, 7th Round

2008 - Erik Walden, LB, 6th Round

 

Rod Graves – Arizona Cardinals

2007 – Steve Breaston, WR, 5th Round

2008 – Tim Hightower, RB, 5th Round

 

Bruce Allen – Tampa Buccaneers/ Washington Redskins

2012 – *Alfred Morris, RB, 6th Round

 

Mickey Loomis – New Orleans Saints

2006 – *Jahri Evans, OL, 4th Round

Rob Ninkovich, LB, 5th Round

- *Marques Colston, WR, 7th Round

2008 – *Carl Nicks, OL, 5th Round

 

Bill Belichick  - New England Patriots

2005 – Matt Cassel, QB, 7th Round

2010 – *Aaron Hernandez, WR, 4th Round

 

Ozzie Newsome – Baltimore Ravens

2006 – Dawan Landry, S, 5th Round

 

Kevin Colbert – Pittsburg Steelers

2007 – William Gay, CB, 5th Round

2010 – Antonio Brown, WR, 6th Round

 

Rick Smith – Houston Texans

2006 – *Owen Daniels, TE, 4th Round

2009 – Glover Quin, S, 4th Round

 

Mike Tannenbaum – New York Jets

2006 – Leon Washington, RB, 4th Round

 

Ted Thompson – Green Bay Packers

2007 – *Desmond Bishop, LB, 6th Round

Mason Crosby, K,  6th  Round

2008 – *Josh Sitton, OL, 4th Round

Matt Flynn?, QB, 7th Round

2009 – T.J. Lang, OL, 4th Round

Brad Jones, LB, 7th Round

2010 – Marshall Newhouse, OL, 5th Round

C.J. Wilson, DL, 7th Round

2011 – Davon House?, CB, 4th Round

2012 – Jerron McMillian?, SS, 4th Round

 

As you can see, many GMs around the league have struggled to find impact players late in the draft. They seem to be lucky if they found one impact player in the late rounds in the past eight drafts. Many of the players on this list fall short of the definition of a true impact player, but either started or played a significant amount of snaps for their team.

T.J. Lang (70) during the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Compared to the other GMs, Thompson has done well finding players late in the draft that have come in and contributed significantly to the team. Players like T.J. Lang and Brad Jones may not be considered elite players at their respected positions, but they have found their role on the team and contribute significantly.

Newhouse and Wilson have started for the Packers the past few years, but have struggled at times. Due to the number of snaps they’ve played the past few seasons, I still consider these players decent selections late in the rounds of the draft.

The jury is still out on House, McMillian, and Flynn, but I included them on this list because of their potential. Even if you take away House, McMillian, Flynn, Newhouse, and Wilson, it seems Thompson has done well late in the draft when compared to his peers.

Only Mickey Loomis from the Saints has found more impact players in rounds 4-7 since 2005 (Evans, Colston, Nicks).

It seems it’s challenging for any GM to find true impact players late in the draft, especially when you look beyond the fourth round. Maybe it’s not as common as we think. It’s even a tall task to ask a GM to find a solid starter or role player in the bottom half of the draft.

But what do you think?

Do you think Thompson holds up well against his peers in finding talent late in the draft? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Tags: Desmond Bishop Green Bay Packers Josh Sitton NFL Draft Ted Thompson

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.rochon.7 Scott Rochon

    Instead of choosing for us, why don’t you let the readers decide the 4th – 7th rounders from all the teams? When you put Newhouse on your list, you’re saying that he’s been a very good to great player? You have a lot of players from the Packers that most certainly DO NOT belong!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649511981 Dan Dahlke

      I didn’t have the room to list all of the 4th – 7th rounders from 2005 – 2013. Frankly, if I could I still wouldn’t because that list would be exhausting for readers to go through. Instead, I noted every player that was drafted in these rounds and either started or played a significant amount of time for an NFL team. I was looking for guys who came in and contributed to their teams. This is why I have players like Newhouse and Wilson on the list. I’m not saying they are great, but they did start the last two seasons for Green Bay. You’d be surprised how difficult it was to even find these type of players in the later rounds. I only mentioned Sitton and Bishop as true impact players for GB, and I included Flynn, House, and McMillian who show potential but are unproven as players to think about.

  • Mel McShay

    It’s an interesting debate. What is interesting at draft time is that we trade back so often to get more “swings’. Of those swings (especially 6th and 7th rounders), there have been only 2 players that could be thought of as a starter in the top half of the league at their position. Now TT has done extremely well in the undrafted realm. What that makes me think is that we are better off trading up into the 2nd or 3rd round and getting 4 picks in the first 3 rounds and then relying on our ability to find undrafted guys rather than rely on the draft picks rounds 4-7.

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