Ted Thompson’s Hidden Gems

img_1133.jpgTop 10 Value Draft Picks Under Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson will soon be conducting his 12th draft as Green Bay Packers general manager. His picks have ranged from the fantastic (Aaron Rodgers) to the good (James Jones and Greg Jennings), bad (LB Abdul Hodge, QB Brian Brohm) to terrible (DT Justin Harrell) and everything in between. Perhaps the toughest job any GM has lies in uncovering those “diamonds in the rough” in later rounds. Here are 10 (actually 11 with one tie) of the best “value” picks Thompson has made… with value defined as fourth round or later.

Sixth round – JOHNNY JOLLY, DT, Texas A&M.johnny-jolly-training-camp

The first of two sixth-round picks that year, Jolly was a very credible player with a penchant for batting down until a codeine problem derailed his promising career. Acquired from the St. Louis Rams in a draft-day trade, Jolly was the 183rd player selected.

Sixth round – DESMOND BISHOP, LB, California.

The sixth round proved to be a bonanza for TT in ’07. The second of three sixth-round selections, Bishop was the 192nd player taken, but still ended playing a key role on defense in the Packers’ 2010 championship season, including a recovered fumble in Super Bowl XLV.

Sixth round – MASON CROSBY, K, Colorado.

“All” Crosby has done is become the Packers’ all-time leading scorer, and that’s saying something for a team that’s had non-kicking scoring specialists like Don Hutson, and Paul Hornung, and outstanding kickers like Ryan Longwell and Chris Jacke. (Oh, and the Packers’ first of three round-six picks, Korey Hall just missed the cut on this list as a serviceable fullback and good special teams player.)


Fourth round – JOSH SITTON, G, Central Florida.

A perennial All-Pro and one of the best guards in the NFL – not bad for the 135th player taken that year. A pending free agent, he will soon be in for a big payday.

Seventh round – MATT FLYNN, QB, LSU.

Flynn quickly passed second-round flop Brian Brohm on the depth chart. While a flop as a starter elsewhere, there’s no question he’s been one of the Packers’ top backup QBs ever, bailing out the team’s misfortunes at the position in 2013.

Fourth round – T. J. LANG, G/T, Eastern Michigan.

A steal at the 109th slot in the draft, Lang and Sitton form one of the best guard tandems in the NFL. He’s even served as a serviceable tackle.

Sixth round – JAMES STARKS, RB, Buffalo.Eddie Lacy Packers Running Game

He will always be fondly remembered in Packers’ lore for jump-starting a lethargic running game in Green Bay’s 2010 championship season. More recently, he’s served as one of the best backup RBs in the game to Eddie Lacy.

Fourth round – MIKE DANIELS, DT, Iowa.

At the time, Daniels was little more than an afterthought to second-round pick Jerel Worthy, a stud DE at Michigan State, who was supposed to be the Packers’ star d-lineman in this draft. Instead, Worthy quickly flopped while Daniels was robbed of a Pro Bowl berth in 2015.


Fourth round – DAVID BAKHTIARI, OT, Colorado.

What is it with Ted’s knack for selecting solid linemen in the fourth round? It isn’t that easy to find a good left tackle in the first or second round, let alone the fourth.

Fifth round – MICAH HYDE, CB, Iowa.

While quickly moved to safety, Hyde has continued to also play corner as a standout in the Packers’ dime packages. He is also tied for No. 1 in franchise history (Desmond Howard, Will Blackmon) with three career punt returns for TDs.

Fifth round – COREY LINSLEY, C, Ohio State.

Linsley was supposed to be the backup center to converted tackle J.C. Tretter, but he proved to be too good to sit on the bench. An injury in 2015 moved Tretter back in as starter – it will be interested to see who claims the starting position this season.
Two that got away – 2007 fourth-round pick Allen Barbre, now a starting guard with the Eagles; and 2008 fifth-rounder Breno Giacomini, now a starting tackle with the Jets.
In the mix – Korey Hall, J.C. Tretter, fifth-round TE Andrew Quarless, 2010; fifth-round DE Josh Boyd, 2013.

Too early to say, but could be gems – Sam Barrington, seventh-round LB, South Florida, 2013; Jared Abbrederis, fifth round WR, Wisconsin, 2014; Jeff Janis, seventh-round WR, Saginaw Valley State, 2014; Jake Ryan, fourth-round LB, Michigan, 2015; Brett Hundley, fifth-round QB, UCLA, 2015.

Ted Thompson’s Hidden Gems
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