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Tom Silverstein wins "Most Obvious Headline of the Year"

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by tromadz, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

    Aug 15, 2005

    Thompson tends to swap for extra picks
    GM's signature moves have net mixed results
    Posted: April 18, 2008

    If there's one thing the rest of the teams in National Football League know it's that they have a trading partner in Ted Thompson.

    During his three years as Green Bay Packers' general manager, Thompson has swung nine trades involving 11 draft picks, netting him a total of 17 picks that he has used to help rebuild the roster. All of the trades have been downward in the draft.

    Almost three years to the day he made the first of those trades, it's time to see exactly how Thompson has fared in those deals. It's easier to judge the success of the moves he made in the 2005 draft than it is the ones in '07, but still it's possible to make a reasonable assessment of his success.

    Perhaps the best way to categorize it would be this way: He whiffed in '05, he hit it big in '06 and he played slightly better than a draw in '07. Of the 17 picks Thompson used through his trades down the draft board, 10 players who played at least one game last season are still on the roster.

    None are left from '05, five are left from '06 and five are left from '07. The full or part-time starters from the group are: receiver Greg Jennings, guards Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz, defensive tackle Johnny Jolly and fullback Korey Hall.

    "It looks like it was better in '06 and '07 than it was in '05, but that happens with time," Thompson said.

    For his part, Thompson doesn't specifically grade the personnel he got in the deals as much as he evaluates the decision-making in executing the trades.

    "You look at it to make sure you didn't panic or do something illogical in the process," Thompson said. "Now whether the picks really panned out, you don't really worry about that, it's just, 'Did it make sense at the time based on your board?' You're always doing that."

    Here's a look at each of those drafts:

    2005- Thompson had an aging team that needed an influx of young talent and so he swung three trades that netted him five picks and gave him 11 overall. The picks he gave up were a third, a fourth and a sixth.

    Taken with the selections he traded were defensive tackle Attiyah Ellison (Carolina), guard Todd Herremans (Philadelphia) and defensive tackle Antaj Hawthorne (Oakland through New England). Ellison and Hawthorne were busts, but Herremans has started 35 games in three seasons and recently received a new five-year contract from the Eagles.

    As badly as Thompson needed a guard, he passed up Herremans and basically wound up with nothing. He received three picks from the Eagles for his fourth and traded one of them - a sixth - to New England for two more picks.

    When it was all said he done, he used the picks on safety Marviel Underwood, cornerback Mike Hawkins, receiver Craig Bragg, linebacker Kurt Campbell and offensive lineman Will Whitticker. The guard position was a complete disaster in '05 and continues to be a problem.

    Asked about Herremans and whether he valued the players he took higher than the Eagles' guard, Thompson said he wouldn't comment on another team's player.

    In 2006, Thompson traded both of his second round picks because he felt there was a considerable amount of equal talent in the round and was happy to get extra picks.

    He struck it big on his first deal, trading No. 36 overall to New England for two selections. The Patriots took receiver Chad Jackson, who has 13 catches in two injury-filled years, and the Packers took receiver Greg Jennings and guard Jason Spitz, both of whom were starters last season.

    Jennings has a chance to be a Pro Bowl player.

    "He was one of a few players we felt comfortable with," Thompson said. "In fact, we made two trades on consecutive picks (in the second). The board was very strong at that particular time. We felt very comfortable we could get a good player later on."

    The other second round pick was dealt along with a fifth-round pick to Atlanta for three selections. Then Thompson traded one of those picks to St. Louis for two picks and then traded one of those picks to Philadelphia for two picks.

    With the Packers' original picks, Atlanta took cornerback Jimmy Williams and tackle Quinn Ojinnaka. Williams has been unable to crack the starting lineup and was moved to safety last year, and Ojinnaka has been moved to guard and might not make the team this year.

    St. Louis used the third-round pick it got from Green Bay on tight end Dominique Byrd, who has been a bust on and off the field and could wind up getting cut soon. Philadelphia used the fourth-round pick it got on receiver Jason Avant, who showed some promise last year, catching 23 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns, but could be lost in the wash this year because the Eagles are going after more receivers in the draft.

    Thompson, meanwhile, parlayed the Atlanta, St. Louis and Philadelphia picks into guard Daryn Colledge, quarterback Ingle Martin, cornerback Will Blackmon, safety Tyrone Culver and Jolly. Martin was cut after one season and Culver was on injured reserve last year but remains on the roster.

    Of the survivors, Thompson said, "They all have to develop, but we're happy to have that group."

    The 2007 draft will take time to assess, particularly because the players taken in the spots Thompson gave up are very good.

    The Jets took linebacker David Harris with the Packers' 47th selection overall and Harris became an instant starter. Jets personnel director Terry Bradway recently said if the draft was done over again now, Harris would have been a top 10 pick.

    The Steelers took punter Daniel Sepulveda with the Packers' fourth-round selection and he was an instant success. If he continues to improve he could be a Pro Bowl player.

    Thompson got three extra picks and parlayed them into running back Brandon Jackson, safety Aaron Rouse, fullback Korey Hall, guard Allen Barbre and linebacker Desmond Bishop. Jackson, Rouse and Hall all started at least one game last year and Barbre could be a full-time starter this year.

    "We think we got some good players," Thompson said.

    Picks Thompson traded:

    3rd (89), 4th (126), 6th (175)

    Players trade partners took:

    DT Attiyah Ellison, OL Todd Herremans, DT Antaj Hawthorne

    Picks Thompson received*:

    4th (115), 5th (167), 6th (195), 7th (245), 7th (246)

    Players Thompson got:

    S Marviel Underwood, CB Mike Hawkins, WR Craig Bragg, LB Kurt Campbell, OG Will Whitticker.

    Picks Thompson traded:

    2nd (36), 2nd (37), 3rd (93), 4th (109), 5th (139)

    Players trade partners took:

    WR Chad Jackson, CB Jimmy Williams, TE Dominique Byrd, WR Jason Avant, OT Quinn Ojinnaka

    Picks Thompson received*:

    2nd (47), 2nd (52), 3rd (75), 4th (115), 5th (148), 6th (183), 6th (185)

    Players Thompson got:

    OG Daryn Colledge, WR Greg Jennings, OG Jason Spitz, CB Will Blackmon, QB Ingle Martin, DT Johnny Jolly, S Tyrone Culver

    Picks Thompson traded:

    2nd (47), 4th (112), 7th (235)

    Players trade partners took:

    LB David Harris, P Daniel Sepulveda, WR Chanci Stuckey

    Picks Thompson received*:

    2nd (63), 3rd (89), 4th (119), 6th (191), 6th (192)

    Players Thompson got:

    RB Brandon Jackson, S Aaron Rouse, OG Allen Barbre, FB Korey Hall, LB Desmond Bishop

    * Represents net yield after trades
  2. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

    Jan 16, 2005
    While I recognize the benefits of the "trade down" theory of drafting in order to add depth to a rebuilding team, I don't see that it's very effective in getting teams to the upper level of performance in the NFL unless the GM is extremely good, or extremely lucky.

    The bottom line is that every time you trade down you dilute the talent even farther as TT's success rate indicates. Of the 17 players he's drafted in rounds later than the 4th, he's gotten 3 starters (Jolly, Hall & Crosby), two of which are rotational starters. And simple math will tell you that when you bring in 10-11 new players in the draft every year, at some point you're just replacing the people with the same talent you brought in the year or two before with people with less experience.

    There is no one right way or wrong way to improving a team, as long as you make good talent decisions. And doing so is indicated on the field of play. Quality generally is more successful than quantity, so TT's abilities as a talent evaluator should be more apparent in the coming years.

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