While it’s difficult to predict exactly which player Ted Thompson will draft in the first round of next week’s draft, it’s not all that hard to figure out which players will be among the possibilities. Green Bay’s longtime general manager has a definite type.
Of the past 9 players drafted by Thompson in the first round, 7 were on defense. That includes the last 5 in a row. And of the 12 total players he’s selected in the first round since 2005, every single one has come from either the ACC, the Big Ten, the Pac-12 or the SEC. Based on that, plus logical assumptions as to which prospects might still be available at No. 29, here are a couple of players who could soon be wearing Green and Yellow:
While Thompson has drafted only one player from Wisconsin in 12 years on the job (wide receiver Jared Abbrederis in 2014), how could he resist T.J. Watt? Not only does he play a position of need, but he just looks like a Ted kind of linebacker. You know the type – tough, great motor, a little stiff and in need of a tan. Plus, like Thompson’s best defensive pick ever – Clay Matthews in 2009 – Watt enters the draft with only one productive season on his college resume, but with a great pedigree and intriguing long-term potential.
Speaking of a great pedigree, the father of corner Marlon Humphrey is Bobby Humphrey, who also starred at Alabama before embarking on a successful career as a running back in the NFL. The son is a borderline No. 1 pick who could appeal to Thompson for a variety of reasons. One is his speed. Another is his ability to play in a press man-to-man scheme. And yet another is his physicality. He loves to intimidate receivers.
Outside linebacker Takkarist McKinley (UCLA), safety Jabrill Peppers (Michigan) and corners Tre’Davious White (LSU), Kevin King (Washington) and Quincy Wilson (Florida) are other players who might be available at No. 29 and who are definitely Thompson’s type. Guard Forrest Lamp (Western Kentucky) and outside linebacker Jordan Willis (Kansas State) would also be on this list if they just went to different schools.
(I wrote this same post last year, and of the 5 players mentioned as “Thompson types,” 2 were drafted by Green Bay)