Well, Ted Thompson's first draft class has completed its third NFL season. Since the Packers' general manager puts such an emphasis on the draft, it's obviously vital for him to hit it big on draft day.
Let's review, shall we? Grades are on a curve, with lower-round draft picks who earn playing time getting extra credit.
First round, QB Aaron Rodgers, California: Obviously, this is the make-or-break player for the overall grade of this draft. Rodgers impressed against the Cowboys last season, so there's every reason to expect he'll at least be the best quarterback in the division. That might not sound like much, but the team with the best quarterback generally is the team that wins, especially when he has a superb supporting cast.
I don't get too worked up about the injuries — last year's injured hamstring is a result of suddenly having to go full speed after more than two months of leisurely practices. Still, until he stays healthy, it's a big question.
Second round, S Nick Collins, Bethune-Cookman: He started all 16 games as a rookie, but his progress since then has been disappointing. Not many starting safeties can play 13 games but fail to record an interception, as Collins did last season. Still, he did a fine job coordinating the secondary. The communication breakdowns that plagued the 2006 team were largely absent last season.
Second round, WR Terrence Murphy, Texas A&M: Who knows how Murphy's career would have turned out had he not suffered a neck injury on a kickoff return during an October game in his rookie season.
"We thought very highly of Terrence as both a player and as a person," coach Mike McCarthy said. "It's unfortunate that his playing career ended prematurely."
Fourth round: S Marviel Underwood, San Diego State: Underwood had a chance to be a significant player if not for a terrible knee injury suffered during a 2006 preseason game. He already was a stellar special-teams player, and might have beaten out free-agent flop Marquand Manuel.
Fourth round: LB Brady Poppinga, BYU: Don't just assume free agent Brandon Chillar is going to unseat Poppinga. Poppinga was awful in coverage in 2006 but he became at least adequate last season. He's steady against the run and a big hitter who comes to play. He was a big-time pass rusher at BYU, so that and special teams could be his role in 2008 if he does lose his starting job.
Fifth round: G Junius Coston, North Carolina A&T: This is a make-or-break season for Coston, who has a world of talent but hasn't put it together yet. Started five games last season but failed to keep the job. Injuries have been a continual problem.
Fifth round: CB Mike Hawkins, Oklahoma: Thompson took a flier on a guy who could fly. Hawkins could run, but couldn't cover or stay healthy.
Sixth round: DE Mike Montgomery, Texas A&M: Sorry for sounding repetitive, but this is a make-or-break year for Montgomery. A knee injury that wiped out the first half of last season hampered his play. His strength is supposed to be rushing the passer, but he had no sacks and no more than a pressure or two last season.
Sixth round: WR Craig Bragg, UCLA: A speedy, big-play performer in college couldn't get off the line of scrimmage or run a route in the pros.
Seventh round: LB Kurt Campbell, Albany: He played a linebacker-safety hybrid in college. He tore his ACL during his rookie training camp then sustained a shoulder injury during a preseason game in 2006 that landed him on injured reserve again.
Seventh round: G Will Whitticker, Michigan State: The mammoth Whitticker started 14 games at guard as a rookie. The Packers hired McCarthy as coach in 2006, and Whitticker's size and lack of athleticism was a mismatch for the new offensive scheme.
Overall: The injuries to Murphy, Underwood and even Campbell, for that matter, make this a disappointing draft. Collins and Poppinga are average starters, and Coston and Montgomery will be fighting for roster spots in August. That the Packers went 13-3 last season with Thompson getting so little from this draft is astounding.
Grade: The obvious grade for this draft would be incomplete, just because Rodgers is such an unknown quantity. But, you didn't read this far to see that. So, C-plus for now, with that grade subject to a one-letter swing in either direction.
Steve Lawrence is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at email@example.com