Monday, April 27, 2009

I Just Don't Get It.

So, after Ted Thompson drafts a reputedly-lazy, (alleged) pot-loving defensive tackle and an outside linebacker who started all of one year at USC, the talking heads are tripping over each other to get to the front of the line to blow the Packers general manager. "This is the type of draft we've been begging for!" the talking heads shout. "He's finally wised up!"

And I just don't get it.

For one, I don't think Ted deserves to get killed for his previous drafts. Yes, the Justin Harrell pick sucked balls. Fine. You want some other first-round selections who sucked balls? Take your pick: Terrell Buckley, John Michels, Ross Verba, Antwan Edwards, and, last and most certainly least, Jamal Reynolds -- all brought to you by the best general manager in the history of the franchise, Ron Wolf.

(And you bet your ass a major part of the reason Wolf gets a pass on Jamal Reynolds -- who was a much, much, much bigger bust than Harrell -- is because he brought Favre here, while Thompson gets crucified for the Harrell pick because he's the guy who ran Favre off when Brett still wanted to play. I'm not arguing about this.)

Two: take a close look at Thompson's draft history. His first ever pick was A-Rodg, and I don't hear many people bitching about that one four years later. He also snagged Nick Collins and Mike Montgomery in '05. The third round pick in that year -- Terrence Murphy -- busted his neck and is out of football, as is fourth-rounder Marviel Underwood (fucked up his knee). Hardly a disaster.

And then keep going down the line: Hawk in '06, who's been far from extraordinary -- but look at what was available around him. Anybody heard of any of those linebackers who got taken after A.J.? Throw in Jennings, Will Blackmon (just for his value as a return man), Jason Spitz, and Johnny Jolly, and that draft ain't half bad, either.

Now, 2007 wasn't a very good year, for sure (save for Mason Crosby), and it's still way too early to evaluate 2008 (though Nelson looked good last year, and Sitton is probably going to be starting at guard this year).

I don't know -- that draft history doesn't look like a complete clusterfuck to me. It's not like we're taking wide receivers in the first-round every year, or guys who run 4.3 forties but can't, ahem, catch the football.

But this year's draft -- oh, everyone loves this year's draft. Why? Apparently, because Ted traded with the Patriots to get back into the first round to take Clay Matthews XIV. I mean, Jesus Christ -- doesn't that pick have red flags all over it? The guy has great bloodlines, no doubt, but so does Tony Fucking Gwynn, Jr., and we've seen how that one panned out. Matthews walked on at USC, was a special teamer for three years, and started this year. That's the pick we're going to suck Ted's popsicle for? Really?

As for Raji: it obviously fills a need, which is great and all, but the words "weight problem" and "likes the sticky icky" scare the shit out of me. (The pot thing is especially worrisome in a town like Green Bay, where there's absolutely nothing for a guy like Raji to do. I'm not saying it's a foregone conclusion by any means, but when your Friday night options are "go to the Shopko again" or "hot box the Escalade" ... well ...)

Of course, it's too soon to meaningfully evaluate any of the '09 picks. I'm just sayin': I don't understand the unrestrained glee this morning, especially in light of the unrestrained rage we've seen for the last four drafts.


Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

time will tell but I liked our draft because we finally filled needs instead of taking the best player available. would you ahve preferred that teddy take Crabtree?

Rubie Q said...

I'm not saying that at all (though I think it would've been fascinating to see a five-wide set that included Driver, Jennings, Crabtree, Jones, and Nelson. Holy moly).

But, more to the point: I don't get this "Ted doesn't fill needs" stuff. How did Hawk not fill a need? And who did you want Ted to take in Harrell's spot? What pressing need didn't we fill there? If I remember right, we were hurting most at RB that year. Besides Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch, who was available? Kenny Irons? Chris Henry? Is either one of those guys a top 15 pick?

Master Reid said...

I couldn't agree with this take more. Well said Rubie.

While I like Raji and think he could be a monster for us, I think he has the most boom/bust potential out of any non-qb in the top 15. (Note: I'm not acknowledging Darius Hayward-Bey) I think Matthews has more potential than Rubes might be giving him credit for, and after looking at the other OLBs that went after him, I think that was a move they had to make.

The thing I might like most about this draft is the 2 offensive linemen they got in the 5th. Both guys graded out as 3rd rounders (I know that doesn't mean a lot but I don't have time to study film on them today) and the guy from SC was a borderline 2nd. We got them both in the 5th, and I hope they can add some much needed depth to the O-line and possibly develop into future starters. That's my take.


The only guy in WI that doesn't think Ted's an idiot.

Rubie Q said...

I don't think Ted's an idiot, either. All of this is a complete crapshoot.

EMoney said...

In regards to the Harrell selection, I don't rip Ted because Harrell was a 1st round pick and is an absolute bust thus far. I rip Ted because he had Harrell ranked higher than any other human being on earth (Reid claims Harrell was projected in the mid20's, but I remember mid2nd to 3rd round pick) and completely reached on him. So I rip Ted because he completely reached and swung and missed. When you are completely polar to what everyone else is saying (and we're not even experts)and you are wrong, you are going to get blasted for it. If it turned out the Harrell was a stud, Thompson is a genius and probably has extensive job security because of it. Instead he put it all on black and it came up red. I for one was calling for safety Reggie Nelson or Greg Olsen as my second option. Not only do they both actually play, but start and contribute significantly to their teams.

In regards to this draft, I agree with the consensus and think it went well overall. Raji not only was a big need, but the highest rated player throughout the entire season at the DT position. Yeah he looks overweight, but what the hell do you expect from a 330lb DT? Are you going to tell me that Gilbert Brown had a six pack underneath his jersey? Get real! Then trading up into the first round to fill another position of can you complain about that? Matthews comes from arguably the best football program in the nation that is always turning out great pro's. Ted&Co. liked what they saw and went and got him rather than hoping he falls. So we gave up 2 3rd rounders that may or may not play for a guy that is very likely going to start from day 1. Again I like the call, and actually applaud Ted for going for it. None of us can legitimately say whether it was a good draft until about 3 years from now. What I can say is that not only did we draft highly rated players, but we drafted highly rated players that fit our immediate needs. So due to that I give Ted a B+/A- at this point.

Rubie Q said...

USC is always turning out great pros? Tell that to Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and Mike Williams.

EMoney said...

I'll give you Mike Williams, but Reggie Bush? He already has like 14+ TD's in only 2 years....and that's while splitting carries. Also, I believe he leads all RB's in receptions in his first 2 years as a pro. As far as Matt Leinart, the jury is still out on him. Hard to grade him when he's sitting behind Kurt Warner's 3500 yard 25+ TD machine. That would be like calling Aaron Rodgers a bust before last season because he had been sitting behind Favre for 3 years.

Rubie Q said...

Well, you answered your own question with Reggie Bush: if he's everything he was supposed to be when he came out of USC, why is he splitting carries?

As for Leinart: he wasn't drafted to be Warner's heir, as Rodgers was for Favre. Leinart was drafted to be the franchise quarterback -- immediately. And he got benched in favor of a dude who got bum rushed out of St. Louis and NY (and, admittedly, had a very fine year this year).

EMoney said...

And to counter your Mike Williams/USC bust, I give you Lofa Tatupu (LB, Pro Bowler), Troy Polamalu (S, Pro Bowler), Carson Palmer (QB, Pro Bowler), Keith Rivers, Lendale White, and I'll even throw in Matt Cassel who didn't even take a snap at SC.

I'm guessing that there have been more early round successes than busts that have come out of USC. Even Todd Mcshay has recently claimed USC as the new "linebacker U". I could be wrong here, but didn't USC have the #1 ranked defense in college last year? That should say something I would think.

Rubie Q said...

Hey, I'm not arguing that USC is like Penn State's running backs or Ohio State's linebackers. I'm just sayin' -- they've had some pretty epic fails.

I can't speak to the defensive ranking. I need D3's wisdom on that one.

EMoney said...

So you're saying that because he splits carries he is a bust? Was DeAngelo Williams a bust last year? Chris Johnson?

Part of the reason that he didn't go #1 overall to Texas in the draft that year was because, they like many other teams wondered if he could handle a full load due to his size. He didn't even handle the full load in college and split with Lendale. He was rated highly simply because of his playmaking ability when the ball is in his hands....whether it be rushing the football, catching it out of the backfield, or on returns. Has he lived up to the hype? Maybe not. But he is still a great starter.....and what you expect from a first round pick.

Rubie Q said...

Well, Reggie was supposed to be the second-coming of Gale Sayers. I don't think he's lived up to those expectations. He's averaging 3.7 yards per rush in his career, with a career-long run of 43 yards.

I ain't sayin' bust ... but he's a mile away from what he was (allegedly) going to be when he got drafted.

EMoney said...

Maybe, but very few top 3 picks ever live up to their lofty expectations that everyone puts on them......especially the skill position players. While he may not be a 1500 yard 15 TD guy, he's still a big time contributor and puts butts in the seats (as well as sells more Saints jerseys than any other Saint over the past 2 decades).

Rubie Q said...

That's not a very hard category to lead, is it? Who was the best Saints player pre-Bush? Archie Manning?

EMoney said...

In defense of this years draft (again), I'd like to point out that Ted obviously referenced the Quevedo Buffet last week and closely followed E$'s draft necessities. Of the 8 selections by Green Bay, 7 of them fell under my top four needs going into the draft. Well done Ted! Now we'll start to see some progress with this team.

Rubie Q said...

Dude, that's, like, the third time you've said something nice about TT in ONE DAY.

You feelin' alright?

EMoney said...

It's not hard to please me Rub's....just do I as I say.

I don't have an anti-TT bias by any means. In fact I typically am obscenely rational when judging things. When we have disagreed on things, and Ted has been wrong, I criticize. When we agree and things go well, I applaud. It's very simple actually. Therefore, since the draft went according to my plans (by position, not necessarily by player), I say he has done well.