Once again, the off-season has us thinking about discussion-starters, and with it being draft season, we've been thinking about past drafts quite a bit. Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews were two of the best draft picks in recent Packers memory. After those two, there's a bit of a drop-off to the next tier of picks. Therefore, we decided to ask our social media friends the following question:
Aside from Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, what was Ted Thompson's best draft pick?
Nick Collins, safety (2nd round, 2005)
After a bit of a slow start to his career, Collins became one of the most dynamic free safeties in the NFL and made three straight Pro Bowls in 2008-10. Collins' touchdown off his interception in Super Bowl XLV was one of the most memorable plays of that game and gave the Packers a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter. What might define Collins the most, however, is his absence after suffering a neck injury early on in 2011. While Morgan Burnett is still improving, the secondary has not been the same since.
Greg Jennings, wide receiver (2nd round, 2006)
Another excellent second-round selection was Jennings, who spent seven years in Green Bay. During the five-year span from 2007-2011, he was one of the most consistent and talented receivers in the NFL, averaging nearly 70 receptions, over 1,100 receiving yards, and more than nine touchdowns per season in that span. A two-time Pro Bowler, Jennings was a big key to Rodgers' success early on in his career.
Desmond Bishop, linebacker (6th round, 2007)
The fact that Bishop was a 6th-rounder is as crucial to his inclusion on this list as his performance on the field. He was a pre-season marvel for three years but was limited to special teams duty behind Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk. Once he was given an opportunity to start following Barnett's injury in 2010, he ran with it and was a key contributor in the middle for the Packers' defense. In his two years as a starter, Bishop put up eight sacks, an interception (which he returned for a touchdown), and four forced fumbles.
Jordy Nelson, wide receiver (2nd round, 2008)
Nelson's selection had many Packers fans questioning Ted's decision to move back out of the first round in 2008, but his 2011 season alone would put him on this list. Jordy will be counted on to be more of a primary receiver again in 2013 with Jennings' departure, but when healthy he has developed into a top option for Aaron Rodgers and is a dangerous deep threat.
Josh Sitton, guard (4th round, 2008)
Scouting offensive linemen can be challenging, but Sitton has been a rock at right guard ever since he earned the starting job out of camp in 2009. He has started all but two games since and is the Packers' best pass-blocking lineman while being one of the team's most entertaining personalities.
In case you're wondering, there were a few votes for B.J. Raji as well, but I chose not to include him mainly because he was a top-10 overall pick. Was I wrong to do so? Let me know about that or any other player we missed in the comments section below.