Best and worst of the draft: First round

May, 6, 2014
May 6
8:00
AM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Since he took over as general manager of the Green Bay Packers in 2005, Ted Thompson has drafted 87 players.

Leading up to this year's draft, in which Thompson currently has nine picks, we will look at his best and worst selections in each round.

We'll start at the bottom and work our way up. So far, we've looked at the seventh, sixth, fifth, fourth, third and second rounds.

Let’s wrap it up with the first round.

Total players drafted: 9.

By position: Linebackers 3, defensive tackles 2, tackles 2, defensive ends 1, quarterbacks 1.

Best pick: Aaron Rodgers, QB.

At No. 24 overall in 2005, Thompson could not pass up a quarterback who just days before the draft appeared to have a good shot at being selected first overall by the San Francisco 49ers. Three years later, Rodgers took over as the starter after Brett Favre retired, and the transition has been seamless. At age 30, he has an MVP, a Super Bowl title, a Super MVP and a $110-million contract extension to his credit.

Honorable mention: Clay Matthews, OLB (No. 26, 2009), B.J. Raji, DT (No. 9, 2009), Bryan Bulaga, T (No. 23, 2010), A.J. Hawk, LB (No. 5, 2006).

Worst pick: Justin Harrell, DT.

The Packers' worst first-round pick since Jamal Reynolds, (No. 10, 2001), Harrell (No. 16, 2007) played in just 14 career games and failed to record a single sack. An injury risk from the start, having played in just three games as a college senior at Tennessee because of a torn left biceps tendon, he played in just seven games as a rookie before he sustained a serious back injury the following offseason. It required multiple surgeries that landed him on the PUP list to start 2008, when he played in six games before a hip injury that was related to his previous back problem ended his season. He missed the entire 2009 season because of recurring back problems and when he returned in 2010, he blew out his knee in the season opener while blocking on the field goal team. He was released the next summer and never played for another team.

Dishonorable mention: Derek Sherrod, T (No. 32, 2011), Nick Perry, OLB (No. 28, 2012).

Notes: Harrell is the only one of Thompson's first-round picks that is no longer on the roster. ... The only time Thompson did not take a player in the first round was 2008, when he traded back from the 30th pick and selected receiver Jordy Nelson in the second round (No. 36 overall). ... Last year's first-round pick, defensive end Datone Jones (No. 26 overall), had little impact as a rookie but is expected to have a greater role this season. ... Other than Hawk and Raji, Thompson has not had another pick in the top 15 and has picked 23rd or later six times.

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Insider