ATLANTA GA - JANUARY 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 and Andrew Quarless #81 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after Rodgers scored a 7-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15 2011 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
ESPN writer, National Football Post founder, Wharton Business School lecturer, former Green Bay Packers employee and all-around smart and awesome dude Andrew Brandt wrote a piece for ESPN today in which he chronicled some of his draft day experiences while working with the Packers.
There's nothing in here that will blow Packers fans away, but there's certainly a lot of very interesting stuff that confirms what a lot of people have suspected for a long time regarding Ted Thompson's draft strategy, the process that led to the drafting of Aaron Rodgers and why teams call every player before they hand in the card.
I loved this quote from Ron Wolf, on how you should always make sure that you're not wasting a draft pick on a player who is no longer alive and well.
We always called a player before selecting him to, as general manager Ron Wolf used to say, "make sure he's still alive." Although they were all alive, there were times we had to locate the player through agents, girlfriends or relatives.
He talked about the process of drafting Aaron Rodgers, which was probably the best example of Ted Thompson's best player available philosophy. They didn't feel like they needed to draft a Brett Favre replacement yet, but he was the only player left on the board that they had a first round grade on.
In 2005, all of the defensive players we targeted -- including DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears, both picked by Dallas -- were off the board, leaving us staring at Aaron Rodgers, the only player left with a first-round grade. Although we had the most durable quarterback in football, Brett Favre, we decided to "trust the board."
Remember the story back in 2007 about Favre being irate at our failure to obtain Randy Moss? Apparently those weren't just rumors.
Favre was livid. I spent the rest of the draft listening to Bus Cook, his agent, express Favre's anger, along with threats to not show up.
And my favorite part of the story, on Tony Romo.
I also remember one of our scouts yelling to the group in 2003 about a quarterback from Eastern Illinois: "Anyone want to sign this Romo guy for free? He's from Wisconsin." He got no response.
In case you didn't click above, I'm linking it again. Go read Andrew Brandt's story at ESPN in its entirety. It's awesome.