Ted Thompson has taken a team that went 4-12 his first year as general manger and turned it into a Super Bowl contender in two years. One thing is sure, Thompson is a confident man who is not afraid to make a decision and this weekend’s NFL Draft proves that once again. While I have to wonder about some of the picks made, I will give TT the benefit of the doubt. While we all agree Brett Favre had a great deal to do with last year’s 13-3 record, if not for the players Thompson added to the roster in the last two years the Packers would not be in the position they are in today.
That position is a pretty good one at that. Even with the retirement of Favre, the Packers are expected to be in the hunt again next year because of the depth of talent the Packers have accumulated under Thompson. This weekend’s draft only adds to that depth and certainly creates competition at key positions starting with quarterback. After taking Brian Brohm with their second second-round pick yesterday the Packers took LSU quarterback Matt Flynn in the seventh round today. Not to say Flynn is a threat to Rodgers or Brohm, but it is another example of Thompson taking the best player available. If you are worried about Rodgers being upset about the Packers taking two quarterbacks this weekend, don’t concern yourself. Rodgers is a big boy and he and the rest of us knew the Packers were going to draft a quarterback to back him up. Rodgers is just fine and only a lack of talent or injury will keep him from succeeding this year. His head is just fine.
The Packers addressed their tight end need in round three with Texas’ Jermichael Finley, a sophomore with only two years of college playing experience. He was a redshirt freshman starter and still caught 31 balls, but seems to be a little bit of a project, sure to make the team though.
Josh Sitton, an offensive linemean from Central Florida was a shocker as a fourth-round pick. At the time of selection I had a hard time finding even his height and weight online. I hope they get lucky with this guy.
In the fifth round the Packers grabbed Breno Giacomini, a tackle out of Louisville. At 6-7, 303, he has a chance if he develops to replace Chad Clifton at left tackle in a year or two, I have to believe that is hope of TT anyway. I can’t find much to argue with here.
I already talked about Flynn in the seventh round but the other pick, wide receiver Brett Swain seems kind of intriguing. Another four-year player which I always like and a versatile guy who can return punts. Current Packers like Koren Robinson and Ruvell Martin need to step it up or they are out of a job. More than likely at least one of them is already gone with Jordy Nelson coming in. One thing is sure, Aaron Rodgers is going to have plenty of targets to choose from. Now, if we can just get him a running game.
On that note, I am surprised that no running back was taken to provide competition to a rather unproven stable of backs the Packers have led by the unsigned Ryan Grant. The usual formula for helping a young quarterback is to have a strong running game to support him, apparently the Packers are not taking that approach. It looks to me like head coach Mike McCarthy can continue to throw the ball much like he has the first three years of his tenure, even without Favre.
With such a late pick in the first round and the way Thompson wheeled and dealed, I have no real complaints at this time. I do think they could have gotten Jordy Nelson later than the second round, but what do I know? I do know if he plays like he did in college he will help the Packers and probably this year. The guy was unstoppable last year and while it was only one year, sometimes that is all it takes. Confidence is an amazing thing.
Now we wait three months to see anything real out of these guys. Let’s at least hope everybody is signed, sealed, and delivered by the opening of training camp July 28.
Thoughts on Rodgers my next entry…