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The Packers took arguably the biggest draft flop in history in 1989.
It is often a little unfair to judge somebody based on the luxury of hindsight. Unless you are judging the performance of the Green Bay Packers in the 1989 draft.
They were one of the worst teams in football, but had the second overall pick. They were primed to choose a top name from a talent pool featuring the likes of Deion Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Barry Sanders.
They opted instead for herculean-looking offensive tackle Tony Mandarich. The Packers got it badly, badly wrong.
They did not know Mandarich's awesome feats of strength were the product of steroid use. In 2009, ESPN's Kory Kozak recounted Mandarich's admissions about using steroids:
Well, for starters, he was cheating.
He was chemically enhanced to the nth degree. He was the Six Million Dollar Man of steroids.
"I was taking Winstrol V, equipoise, Anadrol 50s, testosterone, Anavar, Dianabol," he told me dispassionately in an ESPN interview last month at the W Hotel, near his home in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Nobody knew because Mandarich manipulated drugs tests, as he told Kozak:
The rumors of steroids started to surface, but schools were not testing for steroids yet, and the NCAA tested only at bowl games. Mandarich kept beating the system. He cheated on the tests for the Rose and Gator bowls.
"I basically strapped something to my back a little -- it was actually a little doggie toy," Mandarich said in an interview that stretched longer than 2½ hours. "Hooked up a little hose to it … ran a tube underneath and put a piece of gum to cap the tube."
Before they saw what Mandarich was without the artificial enhancements, the Packers had paid him $4.4 million. Once he got onto a pro field, Mandarich was quickly revealed as perhaps the biggest draft flop in league history.