Right here you’ll be able to follow along with my list. My co-editor Freddie Boston will also be counting down his top 30.
We ranked Thompson’s top 30 draft picks of all time last year. You can find that full list here. How will it compare this year with another season to shape it?
As we count down the days to the 2017 NFL Draft, we continue today with the 16th best Ted Thompson draft pick over the past 12 years.
James Starks: Ted Thompson’s 16th best draft pick
He was the hero of the 2010 postseason and the Green Bay Packers’ run-up to the Super Bowl win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Since then, James Starks has been a solid contributor and filled the role behind Eddie Lacy well for four years.
However, it appears the end has come for the seven-year running back in Green Bay.
Drafted by Ted Thompson in the sixth round (193rd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft, Starks got a slow start in Green Bay, not playing in his first game until week 13 of the 2010 season.
Though his regular season stats were slim, it was when the Packers went into the playoffs that Starks hit his stride that rookie year.
Injuries plagued Starks’ career … starting with his rookie season when he missed 13 games with a shoulder injury.
In fact, there were only two seasons, 2014 and 2015, when Starks played in all 16 games. In his second season, he played in 13 games; in season three he played in six games; 13 in 2013; and just nine games last year after suffering from a head injury that kept him out for nearly half the year.
It wasn’t long after the conclusion of this past season that the Packers waived him.
As a Packer, Starks played in 76 games, rushed 618 times for 2,506 yards and scored nine rushing touchdowns. His career per-rush average was 4.1 – very respectable. He also contributed 1,017 yards on 125 receptions. He also scored six receiving touchdowns over the course of his career in Packers News.
If it hadn’t been for the injuries suffered by the running back, Starks’ career could have been much different in Green Bay. Not only did his absence on the field hurt his production, it hurt the Packers’ running game.
Had it not been for his continual injuries, the Packers may not have drafted Eddie Lacy had Starks been on the field more.
That’s something for which we will never have a clear picture about, but because of his longevity on the roster and his strong backup role the past few years, we rank Starks as Ted Thompson’s 16th best draft pick.
James Starks’ career statistics, courtesy of profootballreference.com: