Posted on: April 17, 2010 12:19 am
Edited on: April 17, 2010 12:32 am
With the 2010 draft nearly upon us I thought it suiting to take a look back at the ten best picks the Packers have made under Ted Thompson.
10) James Jones WR Round 3, 78th overall, 2007 - Jones became an immediate impact his rookie year in 2007 earning the third receiver spot. He finished a rookie year that finishes fourth best in Packer history. Currently, Jones still holds on the third receiver spot.
9) Mason Crosby K Round 6, 193rd overall, 2007 - Crosby won the kicking job his rookie year during training camp. All Crosby did his rookie season was become the first rookie to lead the NFL in scoring since Chicago K Kevin Butler in 1985. Currently, Crosby still holds the starting job for the Pack.
8) Jermichael Finley TE Round 3, 91st, 2008 - Finley didn't break out until his sophomore year in 2009. He finished the '09 campaign with 676 yards and 5 touchdowns receptions. Currently, Finley is listed as the second tight end on NFL.com and first on cbssports.com on the roster.
7) Jason Spitz G Round 3, 75th, 2006 - Spitz has been one of the most reliable and consistent offensive players. In 2008 he was one of only two offensive players to play every snap of the season. Although starting at guard for most of his career, Spitz is currently listed as the second center.
6) B.J. Raji NT 9th overall, 2009 - Raji played in 14 games his rookie year. Currently, Raji is listed as the second NT, and is expected to have a breakout sophomore year.
5) Clay Matthews LB 26th overall, 2009 - Matthews had an amazing rookie season playing in all 16 games starting 13. He led the team with 10 sacks, the most by rookie in franchise history and was selected as a first alternate to the Pro Bowl. Currently, Matthews is still the starting ROLB.
4) Nick Collins FS Round 2, 51st, 2005 - Collins has started all 45 games he has played in missing only three games in his career, but only truly broke out in 2008 as a big play-maker. Currently, Collins remains the starting free safety.
3) A.J. Hawk LB 5th overall, 2006 - Hawk has started every single game since his rookie year. In that rookie year he led the team with 155 tackles second-most ever by a Packer rookie. Currently, Hawk remains the starting LILB.
2) Greg Jennings WR Round 2, 52nd, 2006 - Jennings broke out in 2007 as big play-maker. That year he caught Brett Favre's record-breaking 421st TD pass, and Aaron Rodgers' first career TD pass. Currently, Jennings is one of the two starting receivers with Donald Driver.
1) Aaron Rodgers QB 24th overall, 2005 - Sitting behind Favre for three years, Rodgers got his first start in 2008 and is no doubt the best pick Thompson has made. In the two years he has been the starter he has thrown for a combined 8,472 yards, 58 TDs, and only 20 picks. Rodgers is now easily a top 5 QB in the NFL and is without question a future Packer legend.
Posted on: August 10, 2009 4:29 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2009 8:41 pm
After taking a look at the new 2009 USA Today College Football Pre-season Rankings and seeing that my Michigan State Spartans were not in the top 25 but came in second in the "Other receiving votes" category I started thinking about the difference of football and basketball in the college ranks. You see I love football. Football is my first love when it comes to sports. However, I am beginning to find it easier and more enjoyable to cheer on MSU basketball rather than MSU football. That also got me wondering as to why that is. Then it hit me. There will always be more hope in a championship coming through the basketball team than through the football team.
When it comes to college football the chances of winning the big game or even getting to the big game are very slim. They are even slimmer if a team is not in the top 25 at the start of the season. It gets slimmer yet because a team can go undefeated and may never even reach BCS Bowl. Oh yeah, your team loses one game? You can pretty much toss away any chance of a championship. Lose two games and the chance is now at zero and you'll be lucky to reach a BCS game. So if you take a team even with great stature like a Southern Cal and they lose a game or two early on maybe because they are a young team that year, but then they grow and torch every other team, but if two great teams like LSU and Texas finish with a perfect record then USC has no chance at a title. Yet USC may be a better team than both of them it doesn't matter because they lost early on.
Now take the same scenario over to basketball. You could be a George Mason that started the season nowhere near the top 50 in the nation and finish the season with a mediocre record and enter the tournament as a very low seed and if you are that good you can go all the way to the final four or championship. Why? Because a tournament truly sets apart which teams are the best. Only by a tournament can you determine the best teams to play for the championship.
My point? As Michigan State enters this football season just outside the top 25 it will be very likely that somewhere along the way they will lose a game. Now I don't expect them to win a championship this year and I still enjoy the rest of the season and cheer just as hard as the next guy when they play their bowl game. However, it is not a sweet as the opportunity to play in the championship. As soon as they lose that one game teams like Michigan State with great up-side have no chance at a championship even though they may have improved to the point of being the best team in the nation. You don't think something like that can happen? Look at every other sport at any level and the facts say that it does. Almost every year a team in at least one sport rises from the outside of championship talk and wins it all or gets close like last year's Arizona Cardinals in the NFL or Michigan State in basketball.
Those kind of stories are what keep people interested all season long. College football doesn't have that because most fans, once they have watched their team play in their respective bowl game, don't care what happens in the other bowl games, and some even don't care to watch the championship. Why bother when you can check the score the next day or watch the highlights later. Why do so many people watch the Super Bowl even thought their team is not playing in it? Besides the fact that it is great football, almost every year one of the teams playing were not expected to be there and the other was and everyone wants to see how the underdog will fare against the heavy weight.
So what is my point to this whole post? College football needs some sort of playoffs. I know this is an old controversy and discussion. It doesn't have to be as big as college basketball's. I think a 16 team tournament is sufficient. It will only take four games to finish it off. If every team is playing 12 games in the regular season and then you add four more games at the most that is only a total of 16 games; which is the total number of an NFL regular season not including the possibility of 3 or 4 more games in the post-season. It will give these college kids more experience and help them with endurance a lot more when they enter a much lengthier schedule in the NFL.
I hope someday the NCAA will see that the need for a playoff in college football is greatly needed. It will bring college football to a greater level and could raise the championship game to the level of the Super Bowl. You say, "No way." We'll never know unless a playoffs is instituted now will we?
Something I just thought of that I am adding now is this. As we know, the Big Ten has a longer break between the end of the regular season and the Bowl season than other conferences. Because of this it is used as an excuse as to why Big Ten teams have not faired well in bowl games in recent years. Especially in the big games like Ohio State's two attempts in the championship game and Michigan's numerous failures in the Rose Bowl and so on and so forth. (By the way I'm not picking on them. Admittedly, MSU just hasn't had the opportunity to lose) Anyway, I tend to agree that the long break is at least a small part of the Big Ten's shortcomings during the bowl season. Therefore, a playoff would also help in this area.
Posted on: July 21, 2009 10:37 pm
I posted this on the Green Bay Packers Fanatics fan page, but thought for my first blog that I would post it here too. Feel free to comment.
As a die-hard Green Bay Packer fan, I love Brett Favre and what he did while he was our quarterback, but he is gone. I wish him the best whether he becomes a Viking or stays retired. Although, if he becomes a Viking it will leave a "bad taste" in the mouth as some of you have put it, he will always be a hero to true Packer fans everywhere. He took this team from nowhere to the favorite up and coming team in the '90s. Even during the years when the Pack finished below .500 they were always feared by opponents and never considered a weak opponent because of Brett Favre.
With that said I'd like to move on from Brett Favre talk (by the way EJ great article) and talk about our current starting quarterback Bret...I mean Aaron Rodgers (still getting use to that after 16 years) Although A-Rood had a great year statistically the team performed at a sub-par level last year. Although the Pack didn't make any major roster changes last year we forget about the major injuries they suffered throughout the year. That is what I consider to be the reason for the let down.
James Jones was bothered by a knee injury all year, Atari Bigby was limited to seven games with ankle and hamstring injuries, Nick Barnett was done for the season after nine games with a torn ACL, Cullen Jenkins was gone after playing in only the first four games, our center Scott Wells was troubled most of the season with a few different injuries, and, although it didn't cause him to miss any games, Ryan Grant was bothered by a hamstring injury most of the season.
With that said I don't believe it is a debate of whether Brett or Aaron would have been better for the team last year. Perhaps Brett would have made them better but ultimately I think they would have still come up short with those injuries plaguing them.
This year looks to be a promising year, though. All of those guys mentioned earlier are now healthy and ready to improve. Now Aaron Rodgers is being discussed as one of the top five QB's in the NFL and rightfully so I believe. With a stellar statistical year last year considering it was the first time he was a starter, he will definitely improve this year. He is our guy and I like him. He doesn't have the fun personality that Brett played with, but he does have the competiveness.
I was browsing around the internet trying to find someone else who was talking about Aaron Rodgers instead of Brett Favre and found this great article on yahoo sports.
"Most would consider there to be a big three with the quarterback position this year – Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. While I won’t argue that, I would contend Aaron Rodgers makes it a big four. Because of his weapons on offense and ability to run the ball (207 rushing yards with four scores last season), I actually think he has more upside than Manning, but because Rodgers is a much bigger health risk, he remains outside the big three for now. Still, this is a QB who got 7.5 YPA with a 63.6 completion percentage and 32 touchdowns in a season he entered having never started a game in the league. Over his final four games, Rodgers got a staggering 8.6 YPA while tossing eight touchdowns. Donald Driver may be aging, but Greg Jennings has established himself as a star, Jordy Nelson impressed as a rookie, and James Jones is an overlooked talent who will finally be healthy after a knee injury limited him throughout 2008, so the Packers are loaded at wide receiver. Rodgers could blow up." (by Dalton Del Don)
I'm not entirely conviced that Donald Driver is slowing down or that Aaron Rodgers is a "much bigger health risk," but I really agree with the comments. Aaron Rodgers is one big season away from being an elite quarterback. I hope that big season is this year.