Ted Thompson’s troubles over his final few draft classes have been noted in detail throughout the past year as the Green Bay Packers took their lumps during the 2018 season. But with the release of offensive tackle Jason Spriggs on Tuesday, Thompson’s second-round selections, in particular, become another subject of scrutiny.
Spriggs’ departure is the second from the Packers’ 2016 draft class, following fellow offensive lineman Kyle Murphy who was a casualty last December. Green Bay’s offensive line depth is minimal at tackle this training camp, due in part to the organization’s striking out with its two build-through-the-draft choices that season. Spriggs, especially, was given a long leash and plenty of opportunities to prove himself and the Packers finally got tired of waiting for the Indiana product to take the next step — even with Bryan Bulaga a free agent after this season.
But Spriggs was just one of a number of second-round picks that fizzled from the Thompson era. Over his final three drafts, Thompson selected Spriggs, Quinten Rollins, Josh Jones, and Kevin King with his second-round choices. Although Jones and King could very well still reward the Packers for their patience through injuries and inconsistencies, Thompson’s success has been far from impressive.
Going even further, Thompson’s second-round picks as a whole were of the boom-or-bust variety as seen in the table below.
Second-Round Picks Under Ted Thompson
For every Davante Adams and Nick Collins the Packers drafted, they were often met with a Pat Lee, Jerel Worthy, or Brian Brohm. Even players like Daryn Colledge and Brandon Jackson, who filled various roles during their Green Bay tenure, failed to live up to the lofty expectations often given to second-round choices on a draft-and-develop squad. Others like Eddie Lacy shined momentarily before falling flat, while those like Casey Hayward went on to have better careers outside Green Bay. Green Bay’s wide receiver picks in the second round, however, were significant ones under the Thompson regime and credit should be given to his staff for finding gems such as Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Adams.
But outside of the receiving corps, the swings and misses on second-rounders like Spriggs have been hard to stomach. No one can fault the GM for taking a chance on a superbly athletic, high-upside offensive tackle to plan for the future. The problem is that when the busts ran their course over the last decade, the Packers have been left with many position groups scrambling to find suitable replacements.
And at offensive tackle, that is where the Packers are once again.