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Saturday, May 10, 2014
Thompson gives Rodgers plenty of help

By Rob Demovsky

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- You can't accuse Ted Thompson of failing to give his quarterback enough weapons.

When he selected Fresno State receiver Davante Adams in Friday's second round at No. 53 overall, it was the sixth time in his career the Green Bay Packers general manager has drafted a receiver in the third round or higher.

No wonder quarterback Aaron Rodgers tweeted the following moments after Thompson made the pick:

 
Thompson, in his 10th year running the Packers' draft room, has a history of drafting -- and drafting well -- receivers in the second and third rounds. He found Randall Cobb (2011), Jordy Nelson (2008) and Greg Jennings (2006) in the second round. He also took Terrence Murphy in Round 2 in 2005, but Murphy's career was cut short months into his rookie year due to a neck injury. And he found James Jones, the receiver Adams perhaps best resembles, in the third round in 2007.

When asked about his success with receivers in the second round, Thompson knocked on the wood podium where he stood to address reporters Friday.

"Athletically, they're similar in some respects and different in others," Thompson said. "Again, if you get back to it, their ball skills are all remarkable. Jordy and Randall and, like you said, Greg and those guys. And that's the first and foremost thing we look for. If I was going to get stuck on one thing it would be that. And they're good people. All those guys that you mentioned are good people and good teammates, and that’s what this kid's supposed to be too."

In the 12 years before Thompson was hired as general manager, the Packers' previous two general managers (Ron Wolf and Mike Sherman) drafted only five receivers in the third round or higher. One of them, however, was first-round pick Javon Walker (2002).

One of Wolf's greatest regrets was not drafting more help for Brett Favre.

Thompson, who learned his craft under Wolf, has not simply relied on his standout quarterback to make his receivers better.

Adams caught 131 passes -- the most in the FBS last season -- as a redshirt sophomore and had 24 receiving touchdowns with fellow second-round pick Derek Carr as his quarterback. Adams ranked second in the country in yards after the catch with 888.

Adams was the ninth receiver taken in a year when a record 12 went in the first two rounds. Thompson took him instead of Indiana's Cody Latimer, among others. Latimer went three picks later to the Denver Broncos.

"I guess they say it's one of the deepest classes since the draft has been in existence," Adams said. "It's great to be a part of it. There's definitely guys who have gone that are great players and there are guys that are continuing to go now that are great players. So we'll see as everything unfolds how everything ends up. But it's definitely a very deep class with a lot of talent."