It started out with Justin Harrell, defensive tackle out of Tennessee. Ted Thompson decided to put off the Packers’ offensive needs until later in the draft. Instead, he chose a defensive tackle, a position that most expected Thompson to address later in the draft, if at all. Green Bay fans seemed confused, even angry about Thompson’s pick.
Thompson’s next selection didn’t do anything to calm fans down. Passing on Lorenzo Booker, the Packers GM instead chose the injury-prone Nebraska running back Brandon Jackson. Many scouts expressed serious concern about his ball security skills and his speed. But the Packers liked his mental toughness and his ability to make defenders miss.
For many disgruntled Packers fans, the 3rd round pick of WR James Jones out of San Jose State was the icing on the cake. Jones had been predicted by many to go in the middle of the sixth round. Yet the Packers took him off of the board in the third round, again over many prospects that had been rated higher by most experts.
The pick of safety Aaron Rouse made sense, but Thompson had expressed confidence in Marquand Manuel to have a bounce-back season, so why did he take a safety so early? Maybe he liked the fact that Rouse’s size and strength make him an ideal candidate to play both safety and linebacker.
Whatever his reasons, Ted Thompson did very little to appeal to fans. However, let’s not get too harsh with the criticism until the new Packers rookies get a chance to prove themselves on the field. After all, Thompson did a superb job in last year’s draft, and he might just have a plan that will return the Packers to greatness. For his sake and ours, let’s hope he’s right.
For more on the Packers’ day 1 selections, click here.