Green Bay Packers: 5 Worst First-Round Draft Picks in Team History

Kevin Van PeltCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2012

Green Bay Packers: 5 Worst First-Round Draft Picks in Team History

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    Though Ted Thompson and the Packers have had recently successful drafts that have helped them win a Super Bowl in 2011, the Green Bay Packers have made some bad draft choices in their history in the NFL.

    All teams have had first-round picks that have not panned out. Just like each team has taken chances in the draft that haven't worked quite like teams' had planned.

    Let's take a look at some of the worst first-round selections the Packers have had in their draft history.

Tony Mandarich, 1989 (No. 2 Overall Pick)

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    Tony Mandarich was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1989 and was considered "the best offensive line prospect ever."

    Even though that was the case, he turned out to be one of the biggest busts in NFL history and was ranked as the second-biggest bust all time on NFL.com.

    Mandarich had a lengthy holdout to begin his career and was only ready about a week before the season began. He only lasted three seasons with the Packers before he was released.

    The worst thing about this pick was the amount of talent and excitement that was behind Mandarich in the draft. Standouts such as Barry Sanders and Deion Sanders were available and would have been huge assets to the team, as well as fan favorites.

    Barry Sanders would have been a better selection for Green Bay, as the team desperately needed a running game. Their leading rusher in 1988 was Brent Fullwood, with 483 yards. Selecting an electric running back such as Barry Sanders would have a great piece to build around to get the then-struggling Packers back on their feet.

    Interesting fact about Mandarich; he was the only player drafted in the top five in the 1989 draft to not be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Rich Campbell, 1981 (No. 6 Overall)

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    The Packers are known for their legendary quarterbacks: Bart Starr, Brett Favre and possibly Aaron Rodgers. However, there was a dark time at the quarterback position in Wisconsin.

    Rich Campbell was drafted in 1981 and was supposed to be the future of the team. He was coming off a knee injury during his senior year at the University of California, but he still had potential. His career turned out to be rather short. He played in just seven career games and finished with three touchdowns and nine interceptions.

    He ended his career with a 38.8 quarterback rating and a 45.6 completion percentage.

Jamal Reynolds, 2001 (No. 10 Overall)

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    Jamal Reynolds once referred to himself as "the greatest defensive end the world has ever seen, period." Unfortunately, his ego did not match his play.

    Mike Sherman had just finished his first season as head coach, and he was looking to improve on their 15h-ranked defense.The Packers traded their 17th pick and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck for the Seattle Seahawks' 10th pick in the NFL Draft.

    Reynolds finished his career with three sacks in three seasons. In 2003, the Packers tried to trade Reynolds to the Indianapolis Colts, but he failed his physical. The Packers released the former Florida State star later that week.

    Any time your team trades up to get a player, it can't be a bust. The trade means that not only does your team currently have a worse pick but also losing part of your team to get the pick makes the selection look even worse.

Bruce Clark, 1980 (No. 4 Overall)

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    Bruce Clark was an All-American at Penn State and was considered to be a sure thing in the 1980 draft. He was selected by GM Bart Starr, who was hoping that Clark would play nose tackle in a 3-4 defense.

    However, Clark refused to play for the Packers and decided to join the Canadian Football League (CFL) instead.

    After his three-year stint in the CFL, Clark came back to play in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints. He finished his career with 39.5 sacks and one interception.

    Starr and the Packers were right in choosing Clark based off his talent. Although he did have great talent, Clark most likely talked about his refusal to play for Green Bay before he was drafted. This means that the Packers thought he was bluffing and they could make him play for the team.

    Since he never played for the Packers, they wasted a top-five pick and got nothing back in return. 

Rich Moore, 1969 (No. 12 Overall)

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    Now let's talk about the curious case of Rich Moore. He attended the University of Villanova and was selected 12th overall by the Packers in 1969. Moore is unknown and has no information about his college career. There isn't even a picture of him available on the Internet. (I'm assuming he looks like former James Bond Roger Moore, pictured on the left).

    There is information about Moore's NFL career with the Packers. He played two seasons with the team as a defensive tackle and failed to record a tackle. His career stats read all zeroes except for one fumble recovery during his rookie campaign.

    After 20 games with the Packers, Moore retired and apparently disappeared. However, there is a community Facebook page made featuring Moore, although it is unclear if Moore made the page himself.