There are plenty of reasons to question draft decisions of Ted Thompson.  Datone Jones was a bad pick.  He might’ve benefited from an actual position, but his career cannot in any way be deemed a success.  Justin Harrell was a mistake.  Jerel Worthy was a mistake (kind of, his NFL career is still going, so he’s beaten the odds we’ll talk about but he never achieved what the Packers wanted him to achieve.  There really is no such thing as a bust after the third round, though fans that like to complain about GMs would beg to differ.

In that vein, and in observance of the Patriots likely starting Lawrence Guy, a Thompson draft pick on Sunday, let’s look at “busts” that Thompson drafted that have actually outplayed their draft position and positional expectancy in the NFL.

The data here is from a Wall Street Journal article from 2016 and this piece from the Mile High Report.

Lawrence Guy, 7th round, 2011 — 2017 stats: 58 tackles — 16 games played, 15 starts — 8th season

DL — average career length — 3 years, 31% of 7th round picks still with team after 3 years

Guy never even actually made the Packers team.  He started his career with the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 after failing to make the Green Bay Roster.  It was uphill sledding for Guy with Green Bay still rostering Pickett, Raji, Howard Green, Jarius Wynn and trying to figure out what they had in Mike Neal.

Guy has carved out a starting role in a 3-4 defense, which was the long term hope when the Packers drafted him.  He didn’t flash, and they had enough bodies at the position and let him move along.  It probably proved to be a mistake.  Guy isn’t a game changer by any stretch, but he’s started 34 NFL games.  He likely would have been an upgrade in DL depth for the Packers over the course of the last eight seasons.

Breno Giacomini, 5th round, 2008 — 2017 stats: 16 starts at right tackle — 10th season

OL — average career length — 3 years, 8 months, 16% of 5th round picks still with team after 5 years

The Packers never got what they wanted from the athletic Giacomini, but other teams certainly did.  Never an elite player, Breno carved out starting positions for himself at three different stops.  Giacomini has full 16 games started seasons with the Seahawks, Jets and this past season with the Texans.

Again, he’s never been great, but if you draft a guy in the 5th round who accrues 86 starts and more than triples the career expectancy for his position, it was accurate talent evaluation.  Giac just got replaced by better players in Green Bay.

Jamon Meredith, 5th round, 2009 — 2015 stats: 13 games played, 3 starts — 7 years in NFL

OL — average career length — 3 years, 8 months, 16% of 5th round picks still with team after 5 years

Again, Green Bay never got a ton out of the athletic Meredith, but the rest of the NFL was able to pick up the pieces.

Meredith has 30 starts to his name in the NFL and more than doubled the career expectancy for an offensive lineman in the pro ranks.  He started 20 games in a two year span for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012 to 2013.

Marshall Newhouse, 5th round, 2010 — 2017 stats: 14 games played, 14 starts — 8th season

OL — average career length — 3 years, 8 months, 16% of 5th round picks still with team after 5 years

Are you starting to notice a pattern here?  Thompson was really pretty excellent at identifying offensive line talent.  Most of the guys that he picked, even late, were good enough to have long NFL careers.  Were they elite guys? No.  That doesn’t mean that a ton of the hogs that he drafted didn’t exceed their own expectations.

Newhouse was long a joke in Green Bay because of his inability to pass block, but he’s in a position now where he’s started 34 games over the past three seasons.  He’s well over doubled the career expectancy for an offensive lineman in the NFL, and there’s no reason that his career won’t continue into next season, even if it isn’t as a starter.

Will Blackmon 4th round, 2006 — 2016 stats: 15 games, 6 starts — 10 NFL seasons

DB — average career length — 3 years, 2 months, 17.2% of 4th round picks still with team after 5 years

Blackmon was an average defensive back, but an excellent return specialist with the Packers.  Blackmon spent time with the Jaguars, Giants and Redskins after his time with Green Bay.  He started 16 games over two seasons with Washington in 2015 and 2016.

Will more than tripled the career expectancy for a defensive back and was still starting games in his 10th NFL season.  The Packers didn’t love him as a defensive back and replaced his return ability with Randall Cobb and then ultimately Micah Hyde and Trevor Davis.  Either way, Blackmon’s career has been impressive.

Tony Moll, Allen Barbre, CJ Wilson, Matt Flynn all kind of fit the mold here as well. Khryi Thornton and Carl Bradford are still kicking around the league. 


Ross Uglem is a writer at You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem