Ted Thompson. A man who was nearly run out of Green Bay by the fans a few years back, yet survived, and has currently assembled an astounding collection of talent. How did he do it? Lets take a look at TT's draft picks first, then UFA and FA's after the jump.
Green Bay Packers 2011 Roster
2006 Draft: AJ Hawk (D1), Greg Jennings (D2)
2009 Draft: BJ Raji (D1), Clay Matthews III (D1), TJ Lang (D4), Jarius Wynn (D6), Brad Jones (D7)
30 Players drafted in the last year are currently on the Packers. Impressive. Lets take a look at the UFA and FA signings TT has made over the last six years
2007: John Kuhn (Off Waivers, Pittsburgh)
2008: Brett Goode (Free Agent, no idea)
2009: Robert Francois (FOUND THIS GEM ON WIKIPEDIA: After going undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft, Francois was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent. He was waived on August 18 after the team signed quarterback Brett Favre.) Nuff said. Suck it, Brett.
2010: Tom Crabtree (Undrafted Free Agent) Evan Dietrich-Smith (Undrafted Free Agent), Tim Masthay (Free Agent), Charlie Peprah (Free Agent, Atlanta), Sam Shields (Undrafted Free Agent), Erik Walden (Free Agent), Frank Zombo (Undrafted Free Agent), Howard Green (Off Waivers, New York Jets)
Thirteen undrafted free agents. One player traded for. Two 'real' free agents. Three Players off waivers. Three players from before the TT era. Thirty drafted.
So, after all that, what does this prove? One, Ted Thompson is probably THE BEST evaluator of talent in the NFL today. Two, Ted Thompson has a formula: Build through the draft, and through the undrafted. Eighty percent of our roster is built through the draft, and undrafted talent. The rare free agent signings he's made (Ryan Pickett and Charles Woodson) have been huge, providing us with veteran leadership, and a rare playmaker in Wood.
I hope this has helped you understand the Packers roster and vision a little bit better. Its very, very hard for me to see us NOT being an elite team with Thompson at the helm, and that's bad news for the rest of the NFC.
Let me know what you think!