What Round To Draft Defensive Players In Fantasy Football Green Bay Packers’ General Manager Ted Thompson and How He Drafts

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Green Bay Packers’ General Manager Ted Thompson and How He Drafts

“We feel strongly that our best policy is to pick the best player.” This is not made-up football.”

Ted Thompson Green Bay Packers General Manager

Many people think that Thompson is drafting the best player available, however, when studying the Packers’ drafts since Thompson took over as GM in 2005, that is not the case. I believe the above statement by Thompson is very wrong and a bit of a smokescreen.

rounds 1-3

In rounds one through three, Thompson selects the best player available in a perceived need that fits their team’s first approach. He is very conservative in his drafting in these rounds and drafts players who have minimal character risks. Thompson has gone on record as saying he tries to draft at least 2-3 solid starters per draft. These are the key players for your soccer team. None of the drafted starters are expected to come in and start right away. However, if they do, it is considered a bonus. They are expected to take maybe a year or two to develop (sometimes less than that) and then eventually take over a starting role or at the very least be a quality backup. Looking back at previous drafts with Thompson as the Packers’ GM, all of the draft picks in rounds 1-3 fit that philosophy.

2005: Aaron Rodgers – KB (1st), Nick Collins – S (2nd), Terrence Murphy – VR (2nd round)

2006: AJ Hawk – LB (1st), Darin Colledge – OT/OG (2nd), Greg Jennings – VR (2nd), Abdul Hodge – LB (3rd), Jason Spitz – OG/C (3rd)

2007: Justin Harrell – DT/DE (1st), Brandon Jackson – RB (2nd), James Jones – VR (3rd), Aaron Rouse – SS (3rd)

2008: Jordy Nelson – VR (2nd), Brian Brohm – KB (2nd), Pat Lee – DB (2nd), Jermichael Finley – TE (3rd round)

2009: BJ Raji – DT/DE (1st), Clay Matthews – OLB (1st)

2010: Brian Bulaga – OT (1st), Mike Neal – DE/DT (2nd), Morgan Burnett – SS/FS (3rd)

rounds 4-7

In rounds four through seven, Thompson seems to be selecting players based more on raw potential and looking for value. This is called a boom or bust type of pick. Many of these draft picks have a lot of upside and athletic ability, however, it may not be fulfilled due to technique, coaching, character concerns, less competition, injury, lack of weight training, position change, lack of playing time, offensive/defensive scheme, etc. . In these rounds he takes more risks, especially of character, and depends on the coaching staff/individual to develop and maximize the player’s abilities. Examples include:

2005: Michael Hawkins – FS/DB (5th), Kurt Campbell – SS/OLB (7th)

2006: Toni Moll – OT/OG (5th), Dave Tollefson – DE (7th)

2007: Allen Barbre – OT/OG (4th), David Clowney – VR/KR/PR (5th), DeShavn Winn – RB/FB (7th)

2008: Jeremy Thompson – DE (4th), Breno Giacomini – OT (5th)

2009: Jamon Meredith – OT (5th), Brandon Underwood – FS/DB (6th), Brad Jones – OLB (7th)

2010: Andrew Quarles – TE (5th), James Starks – RB (6th)

Undrafted free agents

Having been a free agent myself, these are guys I believe Thompson has a special affinity for. Many undrafted free agents are simply overlooked due to a number of factors. It makes them hungry and playing with a chip on their shoulder. Thompson usually brings them in large numbers, at certain positions, to push players from the fringes of the roster and create competition. In some cases they form a team. Examples include:

2006: Tramon Williams – DB, Jason Hunter – DE/OLB, Atari Bigby – SS

2007: Daniel Muir – DT

2008: Craig Lampkin – RB

2009: Evan Dietrich-Smith – OG/OC

2010: Frank Zombo – OLB, Sam Shields – DB, Nick McDonald – OG/OC, Chris Campbell – OT

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