GREEN BAY – The faces around Ted Thompson in the Packers draft room have changed over the years as Thompson’s lieutenant’s defect to be the generals of their own organization. The general manager remains the constant, as does his role within the room.
“You have to understand the chair you sit in. In terms of my chair I’m the leader and I have to project a certain confidence and understanding and a certain amount of wisdom to do the right thing and I pray every day that I have that wisdom,” Thompson said.
While many Packers fans like to play GM from their favorite couch or recliner, Ted Thompson gets to sit back and enjoy the process as he does the draft for real.
“The actual draft itself is fun thing,” Thompson said with a smile. “It drives you nuts because you don’t know what’s going to happen but the whole to and fro are you going to trade and is this going to happen and all along no matter what you do making sure you’re making the team better it’s just a fun thing.”
One byproduct of the Packers success has been picks in the back half of the NFL draft. That means Thompson and company have to remain patient with the process. “I think when you’re picking in the 20’s you let it come to you. You can think of different scenarios and you can read the sporting news and they have this team doing this thing and none of them are usually accurate.”
While the NFL draft is big business for prognosticators with a google search for NFL mock drafts turning up more than 55 million hits, Thompson doesn’t put any faith in outside publications for information. “I know for a fact they have no inside information because many times I’m the only inside information and I’m telling anybody,” and by that logic the supposed inside information on other teams draft boards can’t be particularly accurate either.
Thompson said on occasion his staff will actually repeat the mantra “let’s take the best player available” because for them, that’s what the draft is about, not what people outside the organization will say.
“If you wind up sitting in the draft room and you wind up picking a guy because you think you’re going to get a loud ovation from the fan that’s poor thinking in my judgment,” Thompson said. Thompson has hit homeruns in the draft, drafted epic busts, and everything in-between but the in the end Thompson has a very simple metric to gauge the success of the draft.
“Keep your eye on the ball, take good players, make sure they’re good people in the locker room and give yourself a chance. It doesn’t always work out,” Thompson said is the game plan for the draft.
Thompson is armed with nine selections heading into the draft which begins Thursday May 8th and runs through May 10th.