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Draft analysis: Ranking Ted Thompson's tight ends

Apr. 30, 2014
 
Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley. File/Gannett Wisconsin Media
Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley. File/Gannett Wisconsin Media

Between 1992 and 2007, the Green Bay Packers drafted a grand total of two tight ends Ė Mark Chmura in 1992 and Bubba Franks in 2000.

Those were the only two tight ends ever selected by Ron Wolf in his 10 drafts as Packers GM.

Ted Thompson has been a little more active in drafting tight ends, but not by a lot. Thompson has selected a total of five tight ends in nine drafts, but four of them were taken in the fifth round or later.

Jermichael Finley and Franks are the only tight ends selected by the Packers in Round 3 or higher over the past 32 years.

The Packers might expand that list this year, with Finleyís future (neck injury, contract) uncertain and Thompson wanting to add another offensive playmaker to the mix.

In the seventh part of a blog series ranking Thompsonís draft picks by position, I assess his crop of tight ends, from best to worst.

1-Jermichael Finley, third round, 2008

At the peak of his powers he was a bona fide difference maker that made defenses sit up and take notice. He set a Packers record for catches (61) by a tight end in 2012. But he didnít always live up to his vast potential, and injuries sabotaged two of his six seasons in Green Bay. Itís unknown whether he will play again after suffering a serious neck injury last season.

2-Andrew Quarless, fifth round, 2010

When Finley went down for the season in 2010, Quarless stepped up as a rookie to become the starter. He has nowhere near the dynamic playmaking ability that Finley possesses, but the Packers did win a Super Bowl with him in the lineup. He returned last season from a serious knee injury and until further notice is No. 1 on the depth chart.

3-Ryan Taylor, seventh round, 2011

He was picked 218th overall and lived up to his promise as an excellent special teams player. But heís limited in what he can contribute on offense, with eight career catches for 45 yards in three seasons.

4-D.J. Williams, fifth round, 2011

After getting selected 141st overall, he lasted two seasons in Green Bay with nine career catches for 70 yards. He spent time with New England and Jacksonville last season.

5-Clark Harris, seventh round, 2007

He was selected 243rd overall and never made the Packersí 53-man roster, but has managed to stick around the NFL for six seasons, the last five with Cincinnati as a long snapper.

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