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Being Ted Thompson: Final Packers Draft Tendencies Update & Draft Board

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Being Ted Thompson: Final Packers Draft Tendencies Update & Draft Board

If you haven't already read my pieces on Ted Thompson's tendencies, I suggest you do that before you read any more of this article.


Since the original pieces ran, there have been plenty of pro days that have pushed players on and off the Thompson tendency boards. Now that it's draft day, we can finally look at what the draft class has in store for the Packers.

For the most part, these numbers should be used to identify who Green Bay's potential first four round picks should be, as Thompson's drafts drastically change in terms of which measurables he's looking for after about the fourth or fifth round.

Why? The draft is really only four or five rounds. I've been writing about the draft since 2013, and I've been involved with playing, coaching or breaking down #film since 2004. I still can't tell you what a seventh-rounder looks like. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the team takes players they view as priority free agents at positions of need later on or if Thompson lets his scouts bang the table and win "their guys" in later rounds for moral.

With that in mind, here's what the players who fit Green Bay's tendencies on the offensive side of the ball look like

(click images to see a larger version):

His name in Orange for running backs means that they are the "big back" mold that Thompson made exceptions for in Eddie Lacy and DeShawn Wynn. Orange for offensive linemen mean that a player didn't primarily play blindside tackle for his college team, as every first four round pick that Thompson has spent on the line in a decade.

Here's what the players who fit Green Bay's tendencies on the defensive side of the ball look like:

His name in Orange for defensive backs means that they have the long speed of a slot player or a safety for the Packers. This is where the Micah Hyde, Morgan Burnett and Casey Hayward types rank.

If we exclude quarterbacks and tight ends, two positions I would say that I personally would be surprised in Thompson drafting in the first four rounds of this upcoming draft, here's what the combined board looks like:

Chances are at least three of Green Bay's first four picks in the draft will come from this list. There are only 40 Day 1 or 2 picks on this list, according to NFL Draft Scout's rankings. When you take into account that plenty of those players will be gone by the time the Packers are on the clock, that list becomes even more slim.

Since the original posting of the tendencies, I was more lenient on a hard threshold for some of these positions without really effecting too much on these boards. The biggest example of this is the addition of Joe Mixon, the running back from Oklahoma that we know the Packers are interested in. Mixon weighed in at 225, not 230, according to NFL Draft Scout, but we're still going to count him as a "big back."

I will say that there are two names of non-testers who intrigue me for the Green Bay Packers:
-Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
-Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Davis' size checks out for the Packers mold. His estimated 40-yard dash time checks out for the Packers mold. I think if he would have ran his three cone, he would have made it on the list. Remember, Thompson took Justin Harrell from Tennessee (yuck) off of estimations before.

Last year, there were rumors that Myles Jack of UCLA, an injured linebacker, was nearly a Packer. He also had no testing. Linebacker is the position that I have the least confidence in projecting for Green Bay, because their highest linebacker selections since 2006 have been the Packers current starting linebackers in Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan, both fourth-round picks. I would assume that if Foster starts to slip, with Green Bay allegedly in the market for one early in last season's draft, that Foster should be on the table for the Packers.

I have been asked a lot to do a mock draft, since I projected Green Bay first-round pick Kenny Clark to the Packers four times out of five simulations with a tendency board last season, including three times in the first round.


I went through four mocks this year, with two coming off of Walter Football, one coming from CBS Sports and one coming from These were the breakdowns by round of who I would guess would be the Packers' favorites in those simulations:

First round:
x2 Tre White, CB, LSU
x2 Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Second round:
x3 Tyus Bowser, EDGE, Houston
x1 Taylor Moton, OL, Western Michigan

Third round:
x1 Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State
x1 Chris Wormley, DL, Michigan
x1 Cameron Sutton, DB, Tennessee
x1 Tarell Basham, EDGE, Ohio

Fourth round:
x3 Will Holden, OL, Vanderbilt
x1 Xavier Woods, DB, Louisiana Tech

Let's have fun this draft weekend and hope the team doesn't draft T.J. Watt.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

stockholder's picture

I'm going to add a player for the 3rd round. TT will pick a DT. I'm going with Nazar Jones DT NC. @92.

stockholder's picture

I'd also like to add two players for your 5th round. TE Michael Roberts Toledo and Cb Branden Langley Lamar.

TheLegendary52's picture

Justis, thank you for writing this series. I found your articles to be extremely enlightening and entertaining. I hope Jersey Al reaches out to you in the future for more content like this.

nowhiringhenchmen's picture

You're being oddly hostile for literally no reason, but:

"Thompson doesn't make decsisions based simply by your metrics if thats what you call them."

If you've followed Justis' stuff (which I assume you haven't), you'd know that these aren't metrics he made up on a whim. He studied each of Ted's draft picks, figured out where the players ranged in terms of various data (40 time, three cone time, etc etc) and used that information to create possible players that fit the mold this year.

He used this same model last year and had most of the Packers draft picks nailed down, including having Kenny Clark in the first round (something I doubt most of us guessed would occur), so don't just throw it away because you think you know how Ted drafts. Most GM's have certain things they look out for in players, and it's possible that Justis has just figured out Ted's.

As far as Reddick goes, he played EDGE in college and may need to come off the line in the pros, but he's certainly an EDGE as of right now.

vj_ostrowski's picture

You're right , DPF, these clear analytic trends are all just coincidences.

Look, does TT & Co draft on analytics alone? Of course not. But you're being willfully ignorant if you think that they don't have thresholds that they want prospects to get to, with a little room for exceptions. For some of these positions, the data is overwhelming.

sonomaca's picture

Information or disinformation? Packers looking at Mixon in 1st. Packers interested in Mahomes as #12 eventual replacement.

croatpackfan's picture

False rumor!?

vj_ostrowski's picture

The Mahomes stuff is utter nonsense. Rodgers is not yet at the Brett Favre level of talking about retirement every offseason. It's way too early for this, and people are just trying to be the "first" to predict it. They should stop being cute.

Taking a QB at 29 would be a great way to get your 2x MVP Top 2 current NFL QB to demand a trade. He doesn't have 3 years or less left. Let's wait until that time.

This is trade bait for teams that like Mahomes. Who would fall for this?

Savage57's picture

Why you gotta hate on TJ, bra?

vj_ostrowski's picture

Do fans realize he's had a number of leg injuries? Why is the royal packer fan "we" giving him a pass for that when he hasn't played a down in the NFL, but nailing Ted for drafting "injury prone" players otherwise?

bandnerd007's picture

The Packers haven't drafted a LB higher than Rd. 4 since 2006? Someone better alert CMIII and Nick Perry.

acularw's picture

Justis is classifying pass rushers (OLB in 3-4 and DE in 4-3) as EDGE players. LB he classifies as ILB's in 3-4 and all 3 LB's in 4-3. That's more accurate than lumping a run stopper or coverage LB with a pass rusher.

PatrickGB's picture

Good research and work. I appreciate it. I enjoyed the articles.
TT may read this and decide to throw a monkey wrench in the works...and go back to becoming unpredictable.

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