The 16th annual NFL Rookie Symposium will take place in Aurora, Ohio this week from June 23rd through June 29th. All drafted rookies are required to attend, as Green Bay Packer draft picks Datone Jones, Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin, and David Bakhtiari along with seven other Packer draft choices will be present for the last half of the week-long symposium, beginning on June 26th.
According to the league’s press release, the symposium will introduce 2013 rookies to “life in the NFL prior to rookies reporting to training camps." The league says the four core teaching principles of the rookie symposium are “NFL History, Total Wellness, Experience, and Professionalism."
Speakers at this year’s symposium include current Bengals defensive back Adam “Pacman” Jones and 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, former NFL players Brian Dawkins and Dhani Jones, and former Ohio State University star running back Maurice Clarett.
This year’s rookie symposium speakers hope to relay some familiar messages to this year’s rookie class, such as money management, professionalism, and wellness. The NFL also released information that there will be a guest speaker regarding sexual orientation, the first time ever the topic will be discussed in the 16-year symposium history.
Senior NFL Vice President of Play Engagement and former NFL Pro Bowl defensive back Troy Vincent reportedly said he wants rookies at this week’s symposium to understand the realism of the NFL, saying that “half of this year’s class won’t be in the NFL in three years from now,” as all NFL players must always have a backup plan for life after football.
Packers’ general manager Ted Thompson is known for being one of the NFL’s best at consistently finding key contributors in the NFL Draft. Since he took over as Packers’ GM in 2005, not including the 2013 draft, Thompson has drafted 76 players. Of those 76, 32 players are currently on the Packers’ training camp roster, 21 are on other NFL squads, and 23 are out of the league.
From 2010 through 2012, Thompson drafted 25 players, and 21 of those players are on the Green Bay roster. All 25 players are in the league, but previous drafts will prove that most of these players should start planning for life after football.
From 2005 through 2009, 11 of Thompson’s draft picks remain with the Packers, 17 are on different NFL rosters, and 23 are out of the league. Analyzing Thompson’s first three drafts, 20 of his 33 picks are out of the league. Of the 13 players still on NFL training camp rosters, only four players (Aaron Rodgers, A.J. Hawk, James Jones, Mason Crosby) remain with the Packers.
If the numbers are true, two of Thompson’s 11 draft picks from this past April won’t be on the roster in three years, up to six will be out of a Packers’ uniform in four years, and only one of these rookies will be with the Packers for five-plus seasons.
In Thompson’s tenure, Green Bay is 78-50 in the regular season, and have won one Super Bowl. Although fans would love to see multiple NFL stars come from the 2013 draft, Packer fans must understand that if one of these rookies can become a cornerstone, the 2013 draft will be deemed a past success.
After all, Thompson’s first ever draft choice (Quarterback Aaron Rodgers) as Packers GM is the lone player from the 2005 NFL Draft still on an NFL roster. If at least one guy can pan out, the Packers future will be in good shape. One successful draft choice per year isn’t so hard, right? Only time will tell.
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