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Best Of Their Class

March 25, 2011

The collective wisdom is that it takes three years before you can adequately judge an NFL draft class. Sometimes a player shines as a rookie, only to fizzle out in their sophomore campaign. Some players do not see the field until year two or three and other draftees never even make the team. Most players drafted by Packers general manager Ted Thompson, however, make immediate contributions to the squad.

Thompson and his scouting personnel have unearthed some great players in the draft. This stockpile of young talent is one of the main reasons the Packers are world champions. Looking back over Thompson’s draft history, there are at least two players in each draft who made significant impacts on the 2010 Super Bowl run. The following list is a quick look at those players as well as the year and round they were drafted.

  • 2005: Aaron Rodgers (1st), Nick Collins (2nd)
  • 2006: A.J. Hawk (1st), Greg Jennings (2nd)
  • 2007: James Jones (3rd), Desmond Bishop (6th)
  • 2008: Jordy Nelson (2nd), Josh Sitton (4th)
  • 2009: B.J. Raji (1st), Clay Matthews (1st)
  • 2010: Bryan Bulaga (1st), James Starks (6th)

Those ten players — and many others — played integral roles in the Packers hoisting their fourth Lombardi Trophy. Which duo had the biggest impact this past season? Vic Ketchman over at claims it was Rodgers and Collins, but I could easily argue that Raji and Matthews were just as vital to the Packers’ championship year. Regardless of rankings, we can all agree that it took the entire Packers roster (as well as some street free agents) to make the 2010 year so unique.

And given Thompson’s history, the Packers will likely add at least two more stars in the next draft. Coupled with the plethora of players coming back from injured reserve, the Packers will be poised for another Super Bowl run…Just as soon as we start playing football again.

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