GM Thompson, Packers head into draft with 8 picks

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 19, 2013

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 03: General manager Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers watches practice at summer training camp on August 3, 2009 at the Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Eds: With AP Photos.) Ted Thompson played one season of baseball at Southern Methodist in 1975, so he knows a little about the game. He also knows a bit about swinging and missing. The Green Bay Packers general manager used a baseball metaphor Thursday as he talked about next week's NFL draft and his philosophy about trading. He credited retired Packers GM Ron Wolf in his explanation. ''It's like Ron always said: `It's kind of like baseball, you're not going to get a hit every time you go to the plate, but if you have more swings you have a better chance at getting a hit,''' said Thompson, who has eight selections overall. ''I think as a general philosophy, I'd rather have more than less. But at the end of the day I'd rather have more quality than anything. But quality and quantity both is a nice thing.'' For the most part, Thompson's previous eight drafts have had both. He has picked 75 players overall, and when the season ended with a 45-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs, 27 of the 53 players on the active roster were Thompson draft picks, starting with quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2005. He used to only trade backward, to get more ''swings,'' but is a bit harder to pigeonhole this year. ''(You trade up) when you think it's when you think you see value. That's the reason sometimes we'll go backward, (too) - when we see value later in the draft and numbers at positions where we think there's value,'' Thompson said. ''You know that you're giving up something if you trade up and you know that you're giving up something in terms of an opportunity to take a particular player in you go backward.'' In his first three drafts as Packers GM, Thompson executed nine draft-day trades, all of them to accumulate more picks. The trend stayed that way until 2009, when Thompson gave up a second-round pick and two third-round picks to acquire the New England Patriots' first-round pick (No. 26) that he used on linebacker Clay Matthews, who has been to four straight Pro Bowls. Last year, Thompson traded up three times. And armed this year with eight picks - only the fifth-round compensatory pick cannot be traded - Thompson could again be on the move. The Packers do have some obvious needs despite winning their second straight NFC North title and a three-year regular-season record of 36-12. Even though they used their 2010 and 2011 first-round picks on offensive tackles (Bryan Bulaga, Derek Sherrod), the offensive line remains a need. There are only three outside linebackers currently on the roster, the Packers need a replacement for three-time Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins and receiver Greg Jennings is gone. Defensive linemen B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett are entering the final years of their contracts and Thompson could be looking for a running back, too. But one thing is certain: Because of their adamant draft-and-develop approach to team-building, Thompson and his reconfigured scouting staff can't afford to swing and miss very often. ''We believe in drafting and developing players. We think that is the best way to build your team over the long term,'' Thompson said. ''That doesn't mean we won't sign free agents or do different ways of acquiring players and going to college free agency and that sort of thing, but we do believe that continually every year you need a new class of players and young men to join your team in order to sustain over the long term the ability to win and compete in the NFL.'' Does that put greater pressure on Thompson to be right, as he tries to keep the Packers a Super Bowl contender during star Rodgers' prime? ''Pressure's what you make it,'' the 60-year-old Thompson replied. ''I'm a single guy, I don't have children to worry about. It's not that much pressure. But you want to do right. I'm not trying to make light of this. It's important. And we gnash our teeth over it and we try to do the best we can to make the right decisions. But at the end of the day, we don't worry about things.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Cam Newton proves again he is a great winner and terrible loser

Steph Curry trolls himself with Jordan face meme

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker