Ted Thompson's Presence Invaluable for Packers' First-Year G.M.

-- The experience someone like Ted Thompson can bring to a draft-day war room is invaluable, and as the Green Bay Packers' senior advisor to football operations, he'll still be very much involved in all of the round-one festivities on Thursday.

The Packers hoist a league-high 12 draft picks for the upcoming three-day slate of player selections. There's a good chance they won't hold on to each and every one of them as the former Packers' general manager so rarely did.

Thompson only traded around in the first round of any draft once, and with his successor, Brian Gutekunst, on the clock with the No. 14 overall pick -- just outside the fringes of landing a top-tier defensive player -- there's the looming likelihood that Gutekunst will pull a few strings to either move up in the first round or trade back into the late stages of it.

Whatever he does, Thompson's keen instinct for draft operations won't be far away. In fact, he'll probably be sitting right across the table from Gutekunst in the Packers' war room.

"Ted's been here through the entire process," Gutekunst said on Monday at his pre-draft press conference. "He's been a part of all our meetings. He'll be in the room on draft day, at our table."

Gutekunst called Thompson "one of the best talent evaluators who has ever done this," rightfully. The two shared the same front office once Gutekunst was promoted to an executive in 2012 and then promoted again to the team's director of player personnel in 2016.

In the midst of Gutekunst's tenure with the Packers, which first began in 1998 when he was brought aboard as an east coast scout, he got to see Thompson's tirades year after year.

From trading back into the first round -- after already selecting nose tackle B.J. Raji No. 9 overall -- in 2009 to take linebacker Clay Matthews at No. 26, to selecting a certain Cal quarterback at No. 24 overall in Thompson's first ever draft in 2005. Gutekunst was there for all of it.

Gutekunst probably won't draft one of the highly-touted quarterbacks in this year's class to replace his current starter in Aaron Rodgers, but rather one of the elite defensive players expected to fall within the top ten.

He'd likely need to trade up in order to do so depending on how the board falls, setting the precedent for what could very well be the move that shapes how Gutekunst's tenure as G.M. kicks off.

"The one thing that I was always so impressed with Ted, through all the drafts, was kind of his conviction and his discipline," Gutekunst said. "Somebody asked me about patience; he’s phenomenal at that. Not only that but sifting through all the voices and all that information we have.

"His steady hand was something that I think the whole room felt. And I think that’s important -- I think it’s important for the guy who’s making the selection to be that way. Because it can be a chaotic, anxious time. And I think if the guy making the picks is that way, it makes the room uneasy. There’s a ton of instances where maybe there was some anxiety or some chaotic things going on and he never lost his head, and that was always impressive."

Gutekunst also mentioned that he had kept in close contact and sought advice from former Packers executives and scouts, who are now spearheading their own respective organizations as general managers. Notable names such as John Dorsey in Cleveland, John Schneider in Seattle and Reggie McKenzie in Oakland.

Any conversation Gutekunst had with some of the league's top executives will evidently be detrimental as he approaches his first draft. Despite being involved in the Packers' organization for almost two decades, he's still very much new at this game.

"One of the things that have become a common theme is keep your head clear," Gutekunst said. "There's a lot of voices in the room, do what you best for the Green Bay Packers."

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

NFL Categories: 
0 points

Comments (49)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Royalty Free GM's picture

April 26, 2018 at 05:22 am

Trading up?
Nice, he is going for Ridley.

Draft one Calvin The Marvin and you are controlling all the moves.
Drafting one good cb is same o same o TT-passive move, opponents can always throw other way.

Or Rodgers is finally fed up with this passive defensive approach and he is leaving and we need a replacement... ;)

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
marpag1's picture

April 26, 2018 at 05:26 am

If he is trading for RIdley, he should drop down five spots.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Royalty Free GM's picture

April 26, 2018 at 05:40 am

N.A.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
TheVOR's picture

April 26, 2018 at 11:24 am

You'll have to forgive me, but I take no Solace in the fact that Ted Thompson will be in the draft room, or that Gutz is leaning on that input. I pray to God he doesn't influence any pick in this draft, because if he does, it's going to be a reach, or an injury prone prospect.

This team needs starting football players/major contributors at 2-3 positions, to come out of this draft, and make any semblance of a SB run.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
pooch's picture

April 26, 2018 at 06:50 pm

Gute been in enough draft rooms,does not need Ted messing things up .

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
marpag1's picture

April 26, 2018 at 05:26 am

Dupe

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Lare's picture

April 26, 2018 at 06:08 am

Gutekunst has been in the draft room for 20 years so it's not like he a stranger to that environment and what goes on. The one area that TT can offer insight is in tendencies of the other GMs through his conversations & interaction with them over the years.

All-in-all, it should be an interesting next few days.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

April 26, 2018 at 06:39 am

Its draft day!

I have a strong gut feeling that the Packers will either trade up, stay at 14 or trade down. I'm not sure which but I have a feeling one of those things will happen tonight.

I think tonight's draft is going to be exciting. I think there will be a lot of moving around. What I'm really curious to see is how many teams try to move above the 14 spot for QB's.

There have been reports that the Packers are looking to move up. I assume it is for a few certain players, if they were to fall to a certain point. It will be interesting to watch.

Its Gutekunst show now. Lets see how he handles his first draft.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:10 am

I believe Gute does trade up in front of Washington. So just watch! From 14 to 12! Costs: 14 and 138. After Success! The next big trade up is back in the 1st rd. for pick #29! Costs 45,101, and 207. (The 101pick has double the value. )

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:31 am

I think depending on who is available, they will trade with the Raiders at 10.

Essentially that would be giving up their 3rd round pick.

I think the 12th spot will be moved again. So they could trade to the 12th spot. I wouldn't doubt at all if the Bills traded up to the 4th spot with Cleveland. And if the Browns have the 12th spot I could see GB trading up with them.

I would not be surprised if they do move up in the 2nd round. Either up to the first or up earlier in the 2nd. The cost isn't as high to move up in the 2nd round vs 1st.

Depending on who is available I would be all for trading back in the 1st, and up in the 2nd.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CJ Bauckham's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:10 am

'I have a strong gut feeling that the Packers will either trade up, stay at 14 or trade down.'

Don't think I could disagree with that even if I wanted to. Could it be, perhaps.. a strong 'gute' feeling?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:32 am

lol.
I definitely think something is going to happen.

Nice pun. lol.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:14 am

I'm leery of a tradeup if only because all this talk of other teams looking into dealing up will bloat the cost of moving even a couple spots.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:30 am

They need to get in front of washington. It also keeps #12 from trading out. Somebody will over-pay to get in front of the packers. Bet Dallas!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:47 am

I move up for a few players, other wise I would look to move down honestly. I would rather pick up an extra 2nd/3rd round pick if possible.

The extra pick could be used to move up higher for a better player in the 2nd round or 3rd round. Or used to get an extra player.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
kevgk's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:29 am

I have a strong gut feeling that the Packers will either trade up, stay at 14 or trade down.

what else would they do? decline to pick?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:47 am

The Vikings did it once...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:53 am

That was one of the craziest drafts.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Mojo's picture

April 26, 2018 at 10:12 am

Unfortunately it worked out for Minny as they took Kevin Williams two picks later. And really it was their trading partners fault that caused them to miss the pick deadline. Still funny stuff.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

April 26, 2018 at 06:43 am

For one I'd imagine Gutekunst is about as prepared for this draft and all that could happen as any other GM in the league. Having a former GM in the room with you who IMO will know his place in the room is a smart idea.

The Packers happen to need a WR or two and a few O-Linemen as well. Having Thompson in the room day two and the start of day three could only benefit GB. Just like most of my fellow Packers fans here I believe the Packers take a WR in the 2nd, possibly 3rd round and address the O-Line in the 4th and 5th rounds. Who better than Thompson to address those needs in those rounds?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

April 26, 2018 at 06:54 am

'Having a former GM in the room with you who IMO will know his place in the room is a smart idea.'

IMO, I would really second guess Gutekunst if Thompson wasn't in the room. It makes to much sense to not have him there. For one Thompson was a great talent evaluator and reports were that he was locked into a room watching film on players. He would be a great person to have in the draft room.
Giving a guy a job where he can focus solely on what he is great at, will benefit the Packers.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Royalty Free GM's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:35 am

Picking a good receiver for the GREAT Aaron Rodgers must be one of the easiest job in the world.

Picking a great receiver is something TT has never done and never will. Gute has opportunity to change that.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Royalty Free GM's picture

April 26, 2018 at 08:24 am

Mayock gives you a free list of top 5 receivers. Let a monkey throw a dart... and ARod will make any pick a good receiver. Not a very difficult task.

But for a great receiver, you need some Guts with the 14th pick.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Ryan Graham's picture

April 26, 2018 at 08:51 am

On the contrary of 'needing' to move up, they could just sit back and let teams move up to push more talented players back in the draft. BG doesn't need to do anything besides be ready to make moves if the opportunity presents itself. Not the time to panic and overspend, nor is it time to sit on your hands. Can only let the first few picks unfold first, for all we know Arizona trades up to get Mason Rudolph.

Just saying, weirder things have happened...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:11 am

It happens every year: someone lasts just a little longer than anyone expects and makes some GM out there very happy. Many here argue that TT made his career on it.

I agree: I think there will be plenty of high ceiling players to choose from at #14...just a little more risk than the high-ceiling players they'd be looking at with pick #9 or #11. I think the rumors of the Packers looking to trade up might just be BG planting those seeds and finding potential trade partners just in case the board pushes a player they covet into that range where the Packers are willing to pay for him.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Ryan Graham's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:45 am

Dobber thats pretty much what I'm taking from this media blitz too. a lot of GMs and scouts putting false or thin rumors out there to make others second guess themselves and make a misstep.

14 is kind of a tough spot to be in because it's tough to find a good value in that area IMO. If one of their target players dont fall and he decides to trade back, they can get a different guy they like for a lower value i.e Jackson, Landry, Davenport, Alexander. Won't know for another 10 or 11 hours how it plays out

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:23 am

As long as we don't reach on a CB or WR at pick 14, I'm happy.

But Thompson reached on Randall, so Josh Jackson could tempt him and Gut.

I'm worried...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

April 26, 2018 at 08:41 am

If Randall turns into another Heyward ?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Royalty Free GM's picture

April 26, 2018 at 08:58 am

Maybe Pettine already made every defensive player better? Could be...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:04 am

Heyward who?

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
egbertsouse's picture

April 26, 2018 at 07:34 am

For a minute I thought that I was on Packers.com. This writer must have consumed the entire pitcher of Packers kool-aid.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:05 am

OH YEAHHHH!!!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Demon's picture

April 26, 2018 at 08:03 am

Gute has to make a statement with this draft! He has to tell the world that GB is no longer in the safe mode.

Winning the superbowl was probably the worst thing that could have happened to this team. That alone gave TT belief that he was mightier than god. The coaches got lazy and the whole management team was given a free pass .

With 12 picks they finally have ammo to trade up GET IT DONE!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Royalty Free GM's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:51 am

10th place is too expensive (we will loose 2nd or 3rd pick?)
Trade up little with our 2nd round (45th) pick to reach the best CB available if needed.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Handsback's picture

April 26, 2018 at 08:07 am

If you want to get in front of Washington...then you want to draft Vea and for that you need to get Miami's slot. Wouldn't be expensive, and save some ammo for other trade ups.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
JohnnyLogan's picture

April 26, 2018 at 08:29 am

Are we supposed to feel comfortable that TT is in the room? The same guy that left us so devoid of talent that almost anyone we take is a need. If I were Gute I'd send him out for coffee every time our pick comes up.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Finwiz's picture

April 26, 2018 at 08:43 am

>>If I were Gute I'd send him out for coffee every time our pick comes up.<

Ted's gone to Starbucks, quick make the pick.

Damn that's funny sheet.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Royalty Free GM's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:02 am

;D

or Gute might be just TT’s coffee boy...

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:07 am

If BG is truly the GM, and his legacy really begins tonight, I don't think there will be any doubt who's making the calls.

Besides, with modern sources and reporting, IF BG just ends up being TTs lackey at the draft table, we'll know it by Saturday morning.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Spock's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:09 am

"Any conversation Gutekunst had with some of the league's top executives will evidently be detrimental as he approaches his first draft."
Detrimental????
Per the movie The Princess Bride, "I don't think that word means what you think it does."
I would think talking to friendly GM's would be helpful, not detrimental.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Bure9620's picture

April 26, 2018 at 09:14 am

They will be trading back, not up, and taking Connor Williams at 24, book it.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
JohnnyLogan's picture

April 26, 2018 at 10:07 am

Trading back is TT's way but in this draft it just might be the way to go. The 2nd and 3rd rounds of this draft are loaded with talent and even if we drop to late 1st round we'll get a really good player. I don't mind a trade up if we get Edmunds, James or Ward, but if they're gone trade down. Might even get Landry still in the first.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
LambeauPlain's picture

April 26, 2018 at 10:13 am

So much disinformation being waged by NFL teams the last few weeks. There will be guys dropping that will amaze and guys picked to make you say “you’ve got to be kidding me!”

When Ted picked Harrell, injured DT, most of Packer Nation had a collective gasp.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CheesyTex's picture

April 26, 2018 at 11:04 am

Stay away from injury history in first two days of draft.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
LayingTheLawe's picture

April 26, 2018 at 11:27 am

This site continues with its schizophrenic ways. Yesterdays story: why on earth is TT in the draft room. Todays story: what a great thing it is to have TT in the draft room.

I guess this way at least one of the stories is correct.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Finwiz's picture

April 26, 2018 at 01:03 pm

Stick with the comments (certain posters) and forget the long winded articles. You'll get more out of the site.

Most of the articles are sensationalist reporting to trigger people into commenting. It works - people take the bait.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
John Kirk's picture

April 26, 2018 at 12:53 pm

Trade down unless a star falls. That 2nd and 3rd round is the sweet spot of this draft. Pack has just as good of chance of success with their 2nd and 3rd than their 1st.

You want MORE sweet spot picks, not LESS. wasting a 3rd is stupid to move up a few spots.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Royalty Free GM's picture

April 26, 2018 at 03:00 pm

Probowl caliber star Ridley falls to us. Five years later, he will be considered TOP5 of this draft.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
John Kirk's picture

April 26, 2018 at 06:41 pm

Just took a look over at Packers.com... Doesn't appear there's a video feed of the draft room, tonight, as there has been in past drafts. Not a surprise to me. I figured if Brian was saying Ted was going to be in the room nobody would get to see it. I'm wondering if there'll be any visual confirmation Ted is actually there?

I think having Ted in the room as a symbolic gesture is fine. Having him in there for any other reason would be ridiculous. You don't allow the guy who got fired for his brutal performance on the one avenue he actually used make any decisions.

Keep Ted a token if you must even do that... I'm stunned anyone would want him anywhere near having even the tiniest bit of influence.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.