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Ted Thompson surprises Packers fans again

Richard Ryman
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Zane Statz of Green Bay, middle, reacts after the Packers selected UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark in the first round while watching the NFL draft at 1919 Kitchen & Tap at Lambeau Field.

GREEN BAY - "At least they didn't boo."

Dennis Statz pretty clearly summed up the reaction of Green Bay Packers fans Thursday at 1919 Kitchen & Tap in Lambeau Field after seeing their team draft defensive tackle Kenny Clark of UCLA in the first round of the NFL draft.

More talked-up players, such as A'Shawn Robinson, Reggie Ragland and Myles Jack were available, but Packers general manager Ted Thompson liked the 20-year-old Clark.

RelatedComplete Packers draft coverage

Packers take UCLA DT Kenny Clark

The group, which had Oconto County roots but lives now in a lot of places, included brothers Elijah, Caleb and Micah Behnke, Dennis Statz, Zane Statz, Adam Beier, Blake Lubker and Rebecca Freeman, their fantasy football league defending champion.

Elijah Behnke agreed it was a typical Ted Thompson head-scratcher, though the fantasy football league friends and family at Behnke's table did agree earlier in the evening that the Packers needed defensive players, and they were happy about a run of wide receivers and defensive backs scooped up by other teams because the Packers are strong at each of those positions.

But Clark wasn't on their radar.

"I don't think anyone was too excited for that pick," said Caleb Behnke.

When the New York Jets grabbed linebacker Darron Lee with the 20th pick, six spots ahead of the Packers, Micah Behnke issued the night's first criticism.

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson inside the draft room Thursday night at Lambeau Field.

"Why didn't we trade up? That sucks," he said.

Micah, the group's chief skeptic, was hoping Myles Jack would be the Packers' pick in the 27th spot. Thompson came close to achieving what Elijah was hoping against: "Just not someone we never heard of."

Beier said with Robinson and Jack still on the board, Thompson's choice was disappointing.

"This is like 10 years of drafting" like this, Micah said.

"At least he likes Clay Matthews," Elijah added.

But they are Packers fans or they wouldn't have spent a Thursday night hanging out at Lambeau Field waiting for the tail end of the first round of the draft. And, whatever else Thompson comes up with Friday, some of them will be back Saturday when the Packers host a draft party at Lambeau.

Contact rryman@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @RichRymanPG, onInstagram at rrymanpgor on Facebook at Richard Ryman-Press-Gazette. Or call him at (920) 431-8342.