...the Green Bay Packers select...
Nah, I'm not going there. There will be plenty of mock drafts leading up to the actual draft coming up in 3 or 4 weeks. What I will be looking at, however, are the players that have been picked at the end of the 1st round by other recent Super Bowl champions. With that in mind, here we go...
2010 - New Orleans Saints: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State. The most recent 32nd overall pick made 4 starts (out of 11 games total) for the Super Bowl XLIV Champions, recording 28 tackles with 2 passes defensed. Barring injury, the jury will still be out on this kid for another year or two.
2009 - Pittsburgh Steelers: Evander 'Ziggy' Hood, DT, Missouri. Although drafted as a DT, he was moved to DE. He was mostly a backup as a rookie, notching 8 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 passes defensed. 2010 was a more productive season for Hood, as he made starts in 9 of 16 games, recording 20 tackles and 3 sacks. Good-looking pick so far for the Steelers.
2008 - New York Giants: Kenny Phillips, FS, Miami(FL). The young safety spent his first season splitting time at FS with Michael Johnson (he still managed 5 passes defensed), but most of his playing time came on special teams. He became a starter in 2009, but after only 2 games was forced to have microfracture surgery on his left knee due to patellofemoral arthritis. However, Phillips was able to bounce right back in 2010, reclaiming his starting job and starting all 16 games for the Giants (5 passes defensed, 1 INT). A good return for New York out of the 32nd overall pick.
2007 - Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Ohio State. The other "Tony Gonzalez" (okay, not really) had a promising first two seasons, where he compiled a combined 94 catches, for 1,240 yards, and 7 TDs. However, he suffered a knee injury in the 2009 season opener that caused him to miss the entire season. 2010 was not too kind to Gonzalez either, as he lost his starting job and only had 5 catches for 67 yards before going down with another season-ending injury (PCL). This pick is a bust for Indy if he can't put it together in 2011.
2006 - New York Giants: Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College.* The pass-rush specialist has recorded 23.5 sacks and 7 forced fumbles over his 5-year career. He had played in at least 10 games each season until 2010, when he was limited to 3 games due to a herniated disc. Time will tell if he can come back from a tough injury like that, but he has been productive for the Giants to this point.
2005 - New England Patriots: Logan Mankins, G, Fresno State. Despite spending his collegiate years at the tackle position, the Patriots moved Mankins to guard and proceeded to reap the benefits. He started all 16 games for New England in his first 5 seasons, but played in only 9 in 2010 due to a contract dispute with the team. The 3-time Pro Bowler turned out to be an excellent value pick for the Patriots, nonetheless.
*Obviously, the Giants were not Super Bowl champions in 2006. They obtained the 32nd pick via trade from Pittsburgh.