The Green Bay Packers have had different results in each of the last several NFL Drafts. Though it is not possible to fully judge a draft class in just a year or two due to injuries and development, one can at least start to get some impressions early on.
It truly is surprising the varying levels of success Ted Thompson and company have had in recent years, though. After just one year, 2013's class looks promising, while the 2012 class has suffered through numerous injuries to make a lesser impact than Thompson and Packers fans had hoped.
Here's a look at each draft pick over the past four years and whether he remains a part of the organization or, if not, how he left the team.
|1||26||Datone Jones||DE||UCLA||On team|
|2||61||Eddie Lacy||RB||Alabama||On team|
|4||109||David Bakhtiari||OT||Colorado||On team|
|4||122||JC Tretter||OL||Cornell||On team|
|4||125||Johnathan Franklin||RB||UCLA||On team (IR)|
|5||159||Micah Hyde||CB||Iowa||On team|
|5||167||Josh Boyd||DT||Miss. St.||On team|
|6||193||Nate Palmer||OLB||Illinois St.||On team|
|7||216||Charles Johnson||WR||Grand Valley St.||On practice squad in 2013, signed off PS by Browns|
|7||224||Kevin Dorsey||WR||Maryland||On team (IR)|
|7||232||Sam Barrington||ILB||South Florida||On team (IR)|
It should be no surprise that nearly all of the players from last year's draft remain with the Packers. It was a large draft class, though, and several key players wee identified in the middle rounds. Lacy obviously is the headliner as one of the top candidates for Offensive Rookie of the Year, but Bakhtiari was critical to the offensive line's consistency and Hyde made his mark as a nickel back and kick returner.
|1||28||Nick Perry||OLB||USC||On team|
|2||51||Jerel Worthy||DE||Michigan St.||On team|
|2||62||Casey Hayward||CB||Vanderbilt||On team|
|4||132||Mike Daniels||DE||Iowa||On team|
|4||133||Jerron McMillian||S||Maine||Cut during 2013 regular season|
|5||163||Terrell Manning||ILB||NC State||Cut after training camp 2013, signed by Chargers|
|7||241||Andrew Datko||OT||Florida St.||Cut after training camp 2013|
|7||243||B.J. Coleman||QB||Tenn-Chattanooga||Cut after training camp 2013|
This draft class has been marred by injury and ineffectiveness. Three of the top four picks have had major injuries in their first two years, while the last four were plagued simply by poor play and couldn't make it through two full seasons with the team. Perry's 2012 was cut short by injury and he was hobbled for much of the '13 season. Hayward looked like a big-time playmaker in his rookie year but was hampered by a hamstring in 2013, while Worthy was never back at full strength after tearing an ACL late last season.
|1||32||Derek Sherrod||OT||Miss. St.||On team|
|2||64||Randall Cobb||WR||Kentucky||On team|
|3||96||Alex Green||RB||Hawaii||Cut after training camp 2013|
|4||131||Davon House||CB||New Mexico St.||On team|
|5||141||D.J. Williams||TE||Arkansas||Cut after training camp 2013|
|6||179||Caleb Schauderaff||OL||So. Utah||Traded to NY Jets in 2011|
|6||186||D.J. Smith||ILB||Appalachian St.||Cut during 2013 off-season|
|6||197||Ricky Elmore||DE||Arizona||Cut after training camp 2011|
|7||218||Ryan Taylor||TE||North Carolina||On team|
|7||233||Lawrence Guy||DE||Arizona St.||On IR in 2011, on practice squad in 2012, signed off PS by Colts|
Remarkably, only four of the ten players from the 2011 draft remain on the team. Each of the four who remain has one more year left on his rookie contract. Barring some surprises, expect Randall Cobb to get an extension sometime during the 2014 season, as the team certainly does not want to see the talented young receiver make it to free agency next off-season. Sherrod's gruesome leg injury late in 2011 robbed him of a chance to start at tackle in 2012 and 2013. House is a key special-teams contributor and has shown flashes of great play at corner, but his inconsistency is an issue.
|1||23||Bryan Bulaga||OT||Iowa||On team|
|2||56||Mike Neal||DE/OLB||Purdue||Will be Unrestricted Free Agent|
|3||71||Morgan Burnett||S||Georgia Tech||On team|
|5||154||Andrew Quarless||TE||Penn State||Will be Unrestricted Free Agent|
|5||169||Marshall Newhouse||OT||TCU||Will be Unrestricted Free Agent|
|6||193||James Starks||RB||Buffalo||Will be Unrestricted Free Agent|
|7||230||C.J. Wilson||DE||East Carolina||Will be Unrestricted Free Agent|
In possibly the most remarkable draft of the past few years, the Packers had each player from this draft play out a full four years on his rookie contract, with the exception of Morgan Burnett, who got an extension during the 2013 season. Bulaga, as a first-round pick, got a five-year deal and is signed through 2014. The Packers will have some tough free agent decisions to make with this group in the coming weeks and months.
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