Every year, we at Acme Packing Company find it interesting to look ahead to the Green Bay Packers’ upcoming draft picks by looking back. Specifically, we take a look back at the players the team has drafted in the previous 84 NFL Drafts to see what other players the team has drafted in the slots it currently holds for the 2020 edition of the selection meeting.
While the Packers are unlikely to make each one of their ten selections in their current spots — especially with Brian Gutekunst at the helm as general manager — let’s still look back at recent and ancient history to see what useful players the team has turned over. This year’s list includes some recent disappointments towards the top but a few late-round gems over the past few decades as well.
Round 1: #30 overall
The Packers have held the 30th overall pick a few times in the last several years, most recently in 2018 for about a half-hour. That year, they had traded down from 14 to 30 with the New Orleans Saints, picking up an extra 2019 first-round selection. But they moved back up from 30 to 18 to select cornerback Jaire Alexander.
That was the second time in a span of 11 years that the team traded the 30th pick; they did so in 2008 as well, moving back into round two to select Jordy Nelson at 36.
2015 was the last time the Packers used the 30th selection, however, when they selected defensive back Damarious Randall from Arizona State. Randall of course ended up being traded to the Cleveland Browns before the 2018 Draft in exchange for quarterback DeShone Kizer and a swap of fourth-round selections.
Other 30th overall selections that the Packers have made include Ross Verba (OL, Iowa, 1997), Tom Cichowski (OL, Maryland, 1966), and Gordie Soltau (E, Minnesota, 1950).
Round 2: #62 overall
The Packers have drafted a cornerback with the 62nd overall selection twice in the past decade, one with great results and one that was less impressive. In that same 2015 draft when Ted Thompson selected Randall, he doubled up on cornerbacks by taking Quinten Rollins from Miami University in round two. Rollins, a converted point guard, had a few nice moments as a slot corner but was out of the league after 2017.
In 2012, however, the Packers traded up with the New England Patriots, moving to 62 to snag Vanderbilt’s Casey Hayward. He was a tremendous slot corner, particularly as a rookie, but the Packers let him walk after his four-year contract expired amid some concerns that he was only capable of playing in the slot. Hayward signed a deal with the Chargers and has made two Pro Bowls since while playing predominantly on the boundary.
Another famous 62nd overall pick of the Packers’ was a wide receiver they selected in the third round of Ron Wolf’s first draft as GM in 1992. They grabbed a skinny wideout from South Carolina in that spot, and Robert Brooks became one of Brett Favre’s favorite weapons during the 1990s with two 1,000-yard seasons.
The Packers have used the 62nd pick a handful more times in history, selecting Ray Stachowicz (P, Michigan State, 1981), Estus Hood (DB, Illinois State, 1978), Charlie Hall (DB, Pittsburgh, 1971), John Roderick (WR, SMU, 1966), a future All-Pro for the Cardinals in Ken Gray (G, Howard Payne, 1958), and Monte Moncrief (OT, Texas A&M, 1947).
Round 3: #94 overall
The 2015 NFL Draft will come up again here, as the Packers held the same picks in each of the first three rounds that year by virtue of an NFC Championship Game loss. That year, they made wide receiver/running back Ty Montgomery their third pick. The Stanford product eventually settled into a role as a running back and kick returner midway through his second season, taking over the bell-cow back role from the injured Eddie Lacy and James Starks that year. The Packers traded him to the Baltimore Ravens midway through 2018, however, nabbing a seventh-round pick for this year’s draft.
In 1999, Ron Wolf picked defensive tackle Cletidus Hunt 94th overall out of Kentucky State University. Hunt was a key part of the team’s defensive line for the next six years, four of which he spent as a primary starter. Hunt totaled 17 sacks over 85 games and 60 starts.
Interestingly, those are the only two selections the Packers have ever made at 94.
Round 4: #136 overall
The Packers have selected 136th three times in history, most recently in 1965. That year, they picked defensive lineman Bud Marshall with that spot. The former Baylor and Stephen F. Austin lineman played all 14 games as a rookie for the Packers, who would win the NFL title that year — the first of three straight. He left after one year in Green Bay, however, bouncing around to three teams over the next three years.
Michigan center Carl Kreager (1951) and Clemson back Jim Hough (1946) are the other Packers’ picks in this spot, with neither one playing an NFL game.
Round 5: #175 overall
Another recent pick, the Packers last used the 175th overall selection in 2017, selecting Purdue wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey. Unfortunately, the fifth-round pick did not make the team’s opening week roster, spending the entirety of his rookie year on the team’s practice squad. He came back for another go in 2018, but spending some time on the Packers’ and Jets’ practice squads before ending up out of football last spring.
The Packers drafted Tulane linebacker Ruffin Hamilton at 175 in 1994. After playing five games for the team as a rookie, he re-emerged in 1997 as a special teamer for the Atlanta Falcons, where he played three seasons, ending his career in Super Bowl XXXIII.
Other 175th selections include wide receiver James Johnson (Bishop College, 1971) and back Bob Kula (Minnesota, 1945).
Round 6: #192 overall
This pick comes to the Packers from the Oakland Raiders as compensation for acquiring return man Trevor Davis early last fall. The most recent Packers’ pick at 192 should be a familiar name: linebacker Desmond Bishop. After a few years as a special teams player, Bishop emerged in the wake of Nick Barnett’s injury in 2010. Starting 12 games at inside linebacker that year, Bishop was a force in the middle of the Packers’ defense, recording 103 tackles, three sacks, and a pick-six. He was a starter again in 2011 but lost his 2012 season to injury and played just six more games in the NFL.
1965 appears again at 192, when the Packers drafted fullback John Putnam from Drake. They also selected end Kermit Davis from Mississippi State in 1944 and center Joe Bailey of Kentucky in 1941.
Round 6: #208 overall
In a draft slot that comes from the Tennessee Titans for edge rusher Reggie Gilbert, the most recent pick at 208 is easily the team’s best. In 1996, Green Bay picked up a guard from Penn State at this slot, and after two years as a backup, Marco Rivera became a decade-long starter for the team at right guard. Rivera was a key component of the Packers’ line during the late 1990s and 2000s, and he earned three straight trips to the Pro Bowl from 2002 to 2004. Rivera signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 2005, playing two seasons there before his retirement.
The other players the Packers have drafted at 208 are Utah punter Rick Partridge (1979), Miami offensive tackle Ray Lardani (1961), back Ed Petela from Boston College (1951), Santa Clara back Bill Prentice (1945), and Wisconsin back Mark Hoskins (1943).
Round 6: #209 overall
The Packers enter the 2020 NFL Draft with back-to-back picks in round six. But the 209th pick will have a lot to live up to, given that the Packers’ most recent selection in that slot was a backup quarterback with a couple of legendary performances. Matt Flynn led LSU to a national title in 2007, and the Packers picked him at 209 in the 2008 draft. He served as Aaron Rodgers’ backup until 2011, when he threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in week 17 as Rodgers rested. After signing with the Seattle Seahawks that offseason, he lost the starting job to rookie Russell Wilson and returned to Green Bay in 2013 when Rodgers broke his collarbone. He kept the Packers afloat for a playoff berth that year, with the team going 2-2-1 with Flynn leading the way.
The Packers also found a starter at 209 in the 1985 draft, when they drafted Wisconsin safety Ken Stills, the father of NFL receiver Kenny Stills. He played five seasons in Green Bay, four as a starter, and recorded seven interceptions in his career.
The Packers also used the 209th pick on tackle Alex Zenko from Kent State in 1964, tackle Royce Whittington of Louisiana in 1960, and defensive back Doyle Nix of SMU in 1955. Nix was the only one of this group to pay in the NFL; he started for the Packers as a rookie, making five interceptions, then played for three other teams through 1961.
Round 7: #236 overall
The 236th pick comes to Green Bay by virtue of a swap of seventh-rounders in a trade that sent offensive lineman Justin McCray to Green Bay. This was the pick where a cult hero was born: the Packers selected wide receiver Jeff Janis from Saginaw Valley State at 236 in 2014. Janis is of course best-known for catching a pair of Hail Marys from Aaron Rodgers in the 2015 playoffs and for not seeing the field on offense otherwise. A special-teams monster, Janis caught 7 balls for 145 yards and two touchdowns in that 2015 postseason but just 17 passes for 200 yards and one touchdown in his four regular seasons.
Other names picked at 236:
- Brent Moore, LB, USC (1986)
- Harlan Reed, TE, Mississippi State (1967)
- Jim Brewington, OT, NC Central (1961)
- Clyde Ledbetter, OT, Baylor (1956)
- Bob Antkowiak, E, Bucknell (1955)
- John Harville, B, TCU (1953)
- Chuck Davidson, OT, Cornell (1946)
- John Wesley Perry, B, Duke (1944)
Round 7: #242 overall
This pick is the Ty Montgomery selection, and the final scheduled selection for the Packers in 2020. The team has made three picks with this slot in league history, with the best pick coming in 1972.
That year, the team chose Nebraska offensive lineman Keith Wortman. After two years as a backup, Wortman started at tackle and guard in 1974 and ‘75. He then left for the St. Louis Cardinals, where he spent six years as a backup and starting left tackle.
The Packers also chose wide receiver Charles Lee from Central Florida at 242 in 200. He played 15 games as a rookie, catching 10 passes for 134 yards. However, he was outshined by a seventh-round pick from the previous year — Donald Driver — and was off the team after 2001. Lee ended up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers late in the 2002 season, however, and earned a Super Bowl ring.
The Packers made one other selection at 242 overall, back in 1990: Kirk Baumgartner, a quarterback from UW-Stevens Point.