The 4th in a series of articles ranking Ted Thompson’s draft picks by round.
The fourth round is smack dab in the middle of the draft. You want to get solid players here. It’s too early to start taking flyers on guys and it’s too early for punters (unless there’s still a stud like BJ Sanders still hanging around somehow, but guys like that never make it out of the third round). You can’t miss more than you hit in this area and expect your team to stay competitive long term. You don’t need Pro Bowlers here (although it would help), but you need those solid, steady contributors to form the glue of your roster.
18. Allen Barbre – Taken six picks before two-time Pro Bowler Jermon Bushrod, Barbre was a turnstyle turd as a Packer, carved out a career as an Eagle, then cheap-shotted CM3 to wreck his shoulder and his year last season. I don’t care about production, I have always hated this douchetastic turd-burgler. He is the worst fourth round pick Ted ever made!
17. Jeremy Thompson – The trivia question answer for who Ted Thompson first traded up to select as the Packers GM, after moving down so many times to replenish the depth of the team in his first year. Poor guy broke his neck and never played. Hard to call it a bad pick (more of a bad break!), but nonetheless, the lowest possible return on investment. I still like it better than Allan Barber, though.
16. Cory Rodgers – Didn’t make the team as a rookie after getting arrested for a bar fight weeks after the draft. The end.
15. Carl Bradford – Moved from outside linebacker, where he wasn’t really productive, to inside linebacker, where he isn’t really productive. Plays with hustle, but it hasn’t translated to results.
14. Marviel Underwood – Played in all 16 games as a reserve DB his rookie year, then didn’t make the team as a second year player. Bounced around a little, but never played again.
13. Johnathan Franklin – Got his first start against Cincinnati when Lacy was hurt, got a hundred yards, fumbled the game away, then broke his neck. Sad story for a guy who seemed to have a bright future.
12. Jerron McMillian – A safety drafted when the Packers really needed a safety, he still couldn’t hang with the team. Maybe a bit of a reach pick, his two year career ended with 42 tackles and 1 interception which, of course, came courtesy of Jay Cutler.
11. Will Blackmon – Didn’t amount to much as a defensive back, but made a nice living as a return man, with 3 punt return touchdowns and a 21 yard average kickoff return over his career.
10. Blake Martinez – Heralded as a cover linebacker, he saw a fair amount of reps, but couldn’t beat out Joe Thomas for total control the role – Thomas logged 61% of the defensive snaps on the season to 42% percent for Martinez. As the year went on, Blake actually saw his snaps decrease. He has room to grow and will need to in order to make this pick worthwhile.
9. Dean Lowry – When he came out, I thought he could be a solid end, a similar player to John Jurkovich, a guy who wasn’t flashy, but you loved having in there because you knew he would steadily do his job. He did just that, seeing action in 15 games his rookie year, holding the edge and chipping in a couple of sacks when the table running started. Has the look of a glue guy.
8. Brady Poppinga – After returning from Mormon mission work, Poppinga was a 26 year-old rookie. Despite the late start, he still had a very respectable 8 year career as a high-energy, big-hustle linebacker logging over 300 tackles, 5 sacks, and 2 picks during that time.
7. Jake Ryan – This guy gets a lot of grief from the fans, but he is a really solid player. Heady in his run fills and much improved in his pass coverage in year 2, even logging a few pass breakups. Don’t beat him up because he isn’t Ray Lewis.
6. Davon House – Good situational corner. Never made it as a starter in Green Bay (at least not in his first tour), but was best known for being the only player who could stop Julio Jones. He got starter money in Jacksonville (earning the Packers a comp pick) and was cut after losing his starting job in year two. Now he’s back and we’ll see if he can do anything to warrant moving up on this list.
5. JC Tretter – Took turns getting hurt and starting at center with Corey Linsley. He looked like a top 10 center at times and would probably still be on the team if Linsely wasn’t younger and cheaper. A very good pick in the 4th.
4. TJ Lang – A tackle out of Eastern Michigan, Lang took a couple years to get his career and life in order. Once he did, he was dominant, pairing up with Josh Sitton to form the top guard duo in the league for years.
3. Mike Daniels – The Packers got this pick after Cullen Jenkins left as a free agent following the Super Bowl. Sure, the loss of Jenkins hurt, but losing a 30 year-old to get a stud disrupter like Mike Daniels is worth it. This is the heart and soul of the Packers D, the emotional leader, and biggest bad#ss we currently have – he wants to beat the crap out of people, he was raised that way. Also my favorite current Packer.
2. Josh Sitton – Got this pick after a bottom-of-the-hill Ahman Green left via free agency. What. A. Steal. The nastiest offensive lineman they had, he was the offensive version of Mike Daniels and he was always the first guy to defend a teammate in a fight. Plus he was a dominant guard most of his time with the team, fighting injuries to be an absolute stud.
1. David Bakhtiari – Ha! The fourth round! Are you f###ing kidding me!? Bak is the best pass blocker in the entire league and he plays the most difficult and critical spot on the offensive line. Those are the guys you want to get with number 1 picks – not first-rounders, mind you, but number 1 overall picks. You just don’t get guys like this in the 4th. It’s mind boggling, it’s the biggest value pick in Ted’s history since his very first draft choice. Oh, and he has hair that would make a Dothraki khal jealous.
Most teams in the NFL wish they could have an offensive line as good as Bakhtiari, Lang, Sitton, Tretter, and Barbre. Ted got them all in the 4th. That’s silly. Teams waste first rounders on flame out linemen every year and TT just kicks back for a hundred picks and grabs Pro Bowlers. He had three Pro Bowl offensive linemen at the same time and he got them all in the 4th round. That’s unheard of. Then he got Mike Daniels (who should have been voted to the Pro Bowl) along with a host of contributors like House, Ryan, and Lowry.
He got quality starts out of three quarters of the guys, even though a couple had very early career ending injuries. This has been Ted’s money round.