The 6th in a series of articles ranking Ted Thompson’s draft picks by round.
The second round should net a quality starter. A lot of these guys could just as easily go in the first round were it not for need picks at other positions. If you make a pick in the second and don’t get a good starter, you should feel bad, and if you don’t even get a role player, you should feel like a failure. I’m not saying I can bat 1.000, but the guys making millions should hit on second rounders way more often than not. Here’s how our boy Ted fared.
16. Pat Lee – Man, it would have been really nice if this second round corner played like a second round corner. Nope. Suck city. Four years, three teams, not much else.
15. Jerel Worthy – I had high hopes for this guy. Those hope I mentioned in the last sentence were unfounded. Even Bill Belichick couldn’t get anything out of him. Terrible pick.
14. Brian Brohm – Ted had a lot of great second round picks, but he also had some turds like this. What happened here? This was supposed to be the most pro-ready QB in the draft. At the time, many wondered if he, not Aaron Rodgers, would be the Packers starter. This is where @ColdTakes gets all their material. It’s hard to tell what the real issue was, but it wasn’t physical. He’s just another in a gigantic line of physically gifted college QBs who aren’t able to make the extremely difficult mental transition to the NFL. This was one of those picks that you “have to make” and Ted “just got lucky he fell,” but those things don’t always work out. I like to give Ted a lot of credit and I surely understand why he made this pick, he looked like a steal at the time, but he didn’t pan out and Ted’s job is to know that’s going to happen. Trading back and skipping him with the first second round pick makes it seem like it was a reluctant pick, just like Eddie Lacy. In this case, though, he should have been even more reluctant.
13. Brandon Jackson – 16 starts, 1,383 yards, and 7 touchdowns are numbers that look good at first glance, but when you realize that that’s not a season but 54 games over 5 seasons, the shine wears off in a hurry. He couldn’t even get his career YPC to the 4.0 plateau. His game never translated to the NFL. He was a decent receiving threat out of the backfield, but pretty much just a mediocre complementary back. He couldn’t handle the full starter load, barely getting over 700 yards in the entire 2010 season. The best thing he did was be unimpressive enough to let the Packers know that they needed to try James Starks, who provided the boost they needed for a Super Bowl run.
12. Terrance Murphy – This guy looked like another in a multitude of great TT second round receivers. Unfortunately, three games into what appeared to be a very promising career, he became another in a multitude of TT picks that broke their neck and never played again.
11. Mike Neal – Very strong and very solid. Played very average and ate snaps without getting stats at an alarming rate. You need guys to hold their ground and plug away at nose tackle. He was kind of like a nose tackle, but at outside linebacker. Mediocre borderline starter. Also, PEDs.
10. Quentin Rollins – Q had a good rookie year and a down sophomore year. In his junior year, we’ll find out if it was from injuries or if he’s really just a basketball player playing pickup football. This will determine if his career makes it to his senior season and where he will ultimately end up on this list.
9. Jason Spriggs – Ted was super high on him and traded up with a have-to-have-him attitude. Groomed as a tackle, he filled in nicely at guard for a couple games when Lang was out and Barclay did his Barclay impression. It remains to be seen where he goes from here. He could stand to add some girth (like Bakhtiari has done over the last few years), but his technique looks solid and his future should be bright.
8. Daryn Colledge – In a year when Ted needed guard help and traded down for more picks, he traded down and got a very good guard. Colledge never made the Pro Bowl, but he started for five years, played really well (including in a Super Bowl victory), and went on to start a few years in Arizona and another in Miami. As a parting gift, we got a 4th round compensatory pick. Circle of life.
7. Randall Cobb – I love Randall Cobb. I love the way he broke on the scene to become the youngest player to play in the NFL and how he had a return TD and TD reception (running the wrong route) in that electric opener against New Orleans his rookie year. I love how he goes over the middle fearlessly and how he always hustles in the scramble drill. He’s an effort guy with a lot of talent. He has everything but size. When 12 is your QB, though, you don’t need to be a big target. I’m not going to even address the nonsense claims about his stats against his salary, this guy was a great pick for this team. You may not want him on your fantasy football team, but he’s worth his paycheck in the real game.
6. Greg Jennings – Was a very smooth player in his time here and caught the record-breaking 421st touchdown from Brett Favre as well as a critical highlight reel conversion from Aaron Rodgers in the 2010 Super Bowl. At the end of the day, though, he was largely a product of playing for back to back HOF QBs and never produced at the same level anywhere else. Ted gets credit for knowing how his skills would fit in rhis offense (that they didn’t fit in Minnesota is just a bonus). The fact that he felt the need to bad-talk (and poorly backtrack) the greatest quarterback to ever play just makes him look even worse. Still a good return on a second round pick.
5. Casey Hayward – I thought Hayward was a great slot corner in Green Bay. He couldn’t, however, play the boundary in this scheme. At the time, letting him go was the right move, even though he can play boundary (at a Pro Bowl level) in San Diego’s scheme. The fact that all our corners got injured after he left doesn’t make it a bad move and it doesn’t make this a bad pick. It was an excellent pick.
4. Davante Adams – I was ready to give up on him after his sophomore slump, but Ted Thompson is smarter than me (but clearly not smarter than all the fans on radio call in shows that know exactly how to win Super Bowls). Adams seemed to focus less on basketball and more on football last season and he became a top flight outside receiver, finishing second only to teammate and fellow second round Packer receiver Jordy Nelson. He will be looking to cash in within the next 12 months.
3. Eddie Lacy – Big. Ed. Rookie of the year, savior of the 2013 season. Highlights upon highlights, from bowling over linebackers, to setting up DBs in the open field, to the absolutely unreal circle button moves. I thought there was no way his spin move would work against NFL talent and boy was I wrong (first time ever). He was a pleasure to watch and a true star. He will do better in a ground-oriented scheme because, you know, he’s kind of husky and isn’t suited to an uptempo passing attack (even though he’s great on screens). It looked like Ted didn’t even want to pick him, passing him over and then trading back, but in the end, he did and it was a great pick. He’s also the only guy I’ve ever seen show up on the injury report with a designation of “fat.”
2. Nick Collins – Ted got this pick from the Mike McKenzie trade with New Orleans. Now I love, love, loved Mike McKenzie. He looked (and played) like the Predator and formed a great dreadlockdown tandem with Al Harris (see what I did there). It was great, but then he got all uppity and ran his mouth out of town… and Ted took advantage. This was such a phenomenal pick. There were 20 safeties taken in this draft and only one went to the Pro Bowl. From day 1, his speed was mind-blowingly apparent. I remember watching him in the preseason and thinking he was fast, but then it seemed like every other week, there was a situation where a DB was in pursuit of a runner down the sidelines and wasn’t making up the ground and then NC comes flying into the screen like a peregrine falcon and shoves him out of bounds. But Nick didn’t just have speed, he could play the position. He understood how route combos unfolded and put himself in position to make plays like he did in the Super Bowl. In 2008, he had 7 picks and led the league with 295 return yards (an average of over 40 yards!) and 3 touchdowns (more than Jordy Nelson had that year). In his last 3 seasons, he totalled 17 interceptions, 4 fumble recoveries, and 4 defensive touchdowns. He was a rare talent, cut down in his prime, and is greatly missed. Guys like him are usually only found in the top half of the first round. Getting him late second was a steal.
1. Jordy Nelson – Wow. Seriously, white lightning took a few years to get going, but after honing his craft and developing, he has become one of the top receivers in the game, capable of zipping out on a 70 yard catch, coming down with highly-contested end zone grabs, or dominating the sideline with comeback routes that defy physics and set the all-time standard. This was an amazing value in the second round. His personality, including always smiling and going back home to work on his parents farm every offseason, makes him the anti-Jennings. Aside from being a great pick, he is a poster child for draft and develop. In his first three seasons, he combined for 1,268 yard and 6 touchdowns. In his breakout 2011 season, he had 1,236 yard and 15 touchdowns. In 2014, he became the only Packer ever to have 1,500 receiving yards in a season. In 2016, he led the NFL with 14 touchdown catches in his first season back from a torn ACL. This is a guy who took 3 years to even become a starter. He didn’t start every game until his 6th year. Ted saw the potential and was patient. Good move.
Ted didn’t bat 1.000, but no one does. As far as second rounders, though, he’s in rare air. Really only missed on a few guys out of 16 choices. Half of them were starters, one got hurt in his rookie year and a couple more can still develop into starters. Plus, the guys he got as starters weren’t just average starters, there’s multiple Pro Bowlers in there, a Rookie of the Year, guys who led the league in stuff, it’s a bonanza!