NFL Draft: Ranking the Last 10 Green Bay Packers Drafts
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The Green Bay Packers are notorious for building their teams through the draft. When Ted Thompson took over as general manager in 2005, the Packers saw great production from the draft. Over the past decade, they have used the draft to put together a championship-caliber team, ultimately resulting in a Super Bowl XLV victory. Sure, the Pack has had its draft flops, but they've scored star players as well.
Here is a look into the past 10 Packer draft classes.
All statistics and draft results obtained from NFL.com.
No. 10: 2001, Ferguson and Martin
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2001 Draft Results:
(1-10) Jamal Reynolds DE, Florida State
(2-41) Robert Ferguson WR, Texas A&M
(3-71) Bhawoh Jue FS, Penn State
(3-72) Torrance Marshall MLB, Oklahoma
(4-105) Bill Farrario G, Wisconsin
(6-198) David Martin TE, Tennessee
The 2001 draft was less than spectacular. Most notably, the Packers picked up Robert Ferguson and David Martin. Ferguson stayed with the Packers until 2007, and after his release, played for the Vikings. He is currently on roster with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL. Ferguson caught over 100 passes and scored 12 touchdowns in his time with the Packers.
David Martin had a decent career as a backup to Bubba Franks. He caught 87 passes and scored nine touchdowns as a Packer. Martin was cut by the Packers in 2006, played three seasons for Miami and is now a Buffalo Bill.
The rest of the class never made much of an impact for the Packers. Reynolds sat hurt most of his rookie season and was replaced by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Bhawoh Jue had a solid rookie campaign and was named the Packers Defensive Rookie of the Year for his attempt to replace the legend Leroy Butler. However, injuries caused him to miss much of his sophomore season. He saw time mostly as a special teamer and became a liability in the defensive backfield.
Torrence Marshall left the NFL to become a decent Arena Football player. Bill Farrario saw limited action in his rookie season and was waived by the Packers in the offseason.
No. 9: 2004, the Pack Steals Scotty
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2004 Draft Results:
(1-25) Ahmad Carroll CB, Arkansas
(3-70) Joey Thomas CB, Montana State
(3-72) Donnell Washington DT, Clemson
(3-87) B.J. Sander P, Ohio State
(6-179) Corey Williams DT, Arkansas State
(7-251) Scott Wells C, Tennessee
In the 2004 draft, the Packers picked up a sleeper in the seventh round, Scott Wells, a center out of Tennessee. Wells was initially released by the Packers, but was added to their practice squad before the 2004 season began. He was added to the active roster when starter Mike Flannigan went down with an injury. He started his first game in 2006 and and has held the position since.
The rest of the draft was not as productive. Corey Williams had a couple good years as a Packer and was the first player in Green Bay history to record a three-sack game. He was franchised in 2008 but traded soon after for a second round pick.
Ahmad Carroll was a frustrating player to watch. He was loaded with athletic ability and was one of the fastest players on the field. However, his tendency to use his hands on defense led to penalty after penalty. Very quickly, he became the target for opposing quarterbacks. He excelled on special teams, but was cut in the 2006 season.
B.J. Sander punted for the Packers for two years, but struggled in cold weather games. Joey Thomas played just one season as a backup with Packers before being waived. Donnell Washington never played a game.
No. 8: 2003, Barnett's Beginning
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2003 Draft Results:
(1-29) Nick Barnett LB, Oregon State
(3-79) Kenny Peterson DE, Ohio State
(4-147) James Lee DT, Oregon State
(4-166) Hunter Hillenmeyer LB, Vanderbilt
(6-212) Brennan Curtin OT, Notre Dame
(7-245) Chris Johnson CB, Louisville
(7-253) DeAndrew Rubin WR, South Florida
(7-256) Carl Ford WR, Toledo
(7-257) Steve Josue LB, Carson-Newman
The 2003 draft saw the acquisition of linebacker Nick Barnett, who would become a perennial starter for the Packers. In his career, Barnett has started in 107 games, amassed 787 tackles, 15.5 sacks, nine interceptions and two forced fumbles. He has also become a fan favorite for his "samurai" celebration. Recently, Barnett has struggled through injuries and has only finished one of the past three seasons.
Kenny Peterson was released after three seasons of average play. James Lee played even less and only stayed two years. Hunter Hillenmeyer was cut by the Packers in the preseason and signed with the Chicago Bears, where he played until being released after the 2010 season.
Brennan Curtin suffered a career-ending knee injury after the 2003 preseason, and Chris Johnson was traded early in his career with the Packers. DeAndrew Rubin never played an NFL game, and Carl Ford and Steve Josue lasted a couple years in limited roles.
No. 7: 2010, A Draft Full of Potential
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2010 Draft Results:
(1-23) Bryan Bulaga OT, Iowa
(2-56) Mike Neal DE, Purdue
(2-71) Morgan Burnett S, Georgia Tech
(5-154) Andrew Quarless TE, Penn State
(5-169) Marshall Newhouse OG, Texas Christian
(6-193) James Starks RB, Buffalo
(7-230) C.J. Wilson DE, East Carolina
The 2010 draft class sits at No. 7 because it has yet to completely prove itself. Bryan Bulaga got his first start in week five after Mark Tauscher went down with an injury. He started every following game, including the playoff run and Super Bowl victory. Bulaga has shown that he could be a solid tackle for years to come.
James Starks was a huge spark in the playoffs. After sitting most of the year with an injury, he returned to help the running game that had struggled since the loss of Ryan Grant in Week 1. Starks became the main rusher for the Packers during their posteason push.
Morgan Burnett started the 2010 season at safety, but tore his ACL and missed a large part of the season. Mike Neal saw some time in the defensive end rotation and looks to play a bigger roll in the 2011 season. Andrew Quarless also saw some playing time in the absence of the injured Jermichael Finley, but struggled with drops.
Marshall Newhouse was placed on the injured reserve list after missing most of the season. C.J. Wilson played in 15 games and recorded 13 tackles and a sack.
No. 6: 2002, Kampman Comes Aboard
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2002 Draft Results:
(1-20) Javon Walker WR, Florida State
(3-92) Marques Anderson FS, UCLA
(4-135) Najeh Davenport RB, Miami
(5-156) Aaron Kampman DE, Iowa
(5-164) Craig Nall QB, Northwestern State, La.
(6-200) Mike Houghton T, San Diego State
The Packers picked up Aaron Kampman in the fifth round of the 2002 draft. Kampman would become one of the best pass-rushers in Packer history. Kampman started 120 games for the Packers. In that time, he recorded 458 tackles, 54 sacks and 12 forced fumbles. He was a Pro Bowler in 2008. In 2009, Kampman went down with an injury and was eventually released and picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Javon Walker played four seasons with the Packers and caught 31 touchdown passes. In the 2004 season, he recorded 1,382 reception yards and went to the Pro Bowl. Walker was a monster talent, but struggled off the field with attitude problems. He sat out most of the 2005 season before being traded to the Denver Broncos. He has since played for the Vikings.
Najeh Davenport was a decent running back but was plagued with injuries and fumbling problems. After getting a chance to start when Ahman Green got injured in 2005, he broke his ankle and never made it back into a Packer game. He played for the Steelers and the Colts later in his career.
Craig Nall was a Packer two separate times, always as a backup. Marques Anderson was released shortly after joining the Packers. Mike Houghton was a Buffalo Bill before the end of the 2002 season.
No. 5: 2007, The Pieces Fall into Place
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2007 Draft Results:
(1-16) Justin Harrell DT, Tennessee
(2-63) Brandon Jackson RB, Nebraska
(3-78) James Jones WR, San Jose State
(3-89) Aaron Rouse S, Virginia Tech
(4-119) Allen Barbre G, Missouri Southern State
(5-157) David Clowny WR, Virginia Tech
(6-191) Korey Hall MLB, Boise State
(6-192) Desmond Bishop MLB, California
(6-193) Mason Crosby K, Colorado
(7-228) DeShawn Wynn RB, Florida
(7-243) Clark Harris TE, Rutgers
Despite the flop of the Packer's first overall pick in 2007, Justin Harrell, who has since played in only 14 games, the draft was quite successful. The Packers picked up many pieces that would start in future seasons.
Brandon Jackson, a second round draft pick, has failed to become a premier back. He has, however, become a solid 3rd-down running back for the Packers and excels in the screen game. He has also developed into a proficient pass-blocker. He was part of the running back rotation that filled in for the injured Ryan Grant in 2010.
James Jones, despite his tendency to drop passes, became a solid No. 3 receiver for the Packers. In his four seasons, he has caught 149 passes for 2,069 yards and 13 touchdowns. Korey Hall, drafted as a linebacker, switched to fullback and is currently the starter for the Packers. He also plays a huge role in the special teams game.
Desmond Bishop played a limited role until replacing the injured Nick Barnett in the 2010 season. Bishop went on to have an outstanding season, recording 103 tackles, three sacks, an interception (returned for a touchdown) and two forced fumbles. Bishop was rewarded for his play with a new four-year contract.
Mason Crosby beat out incumbent kicker Dave Raynor for the starting job in the 2007 season. In his career, he has hit 78.1 percent of his field goals and has missed just one of 189 extra point attempts. Crosby also holds the record for the longest field goal in team history, a 56-yarder made in 2010.
Aaron Rouse had decent rookie and sophomore campaigns, but was claimed off waivers in 2009 by the Giants. Allen Barbre was with the Packers for three years but was a liability on the line and gave up numerous sacks. He was cut in 2010 and now plays for the Dolphins. DeShawn Wynn spent three seasons with the Packers in a back-up role and is now a member of the New Orleans Saints.
David Clowney failed to make the Packers' squad, and later signed with the Jets. He now plays for Carolina. Clark Harris was cut before the season began.
No. 4: 2008, Finley and Nelson
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2008 Draft Results:
(2-36) Jordy Nelson WR, Kansas State
(2-56) Brian Brohm QB, Louisville
(2-60) Patrick Lee CB, Auburn
(3-91) Jermichael Finley TE, Texas
(4-102) Jeremy Thompson DE, Wake Forest
(4-135) Josh Sitton G, Central Florida
(5-150) Breno Giacomini OT, Louisville
(7-209) Matt Flynn QB, LSU
(7-217) Brett Swain WR, San Diego State
After trading away their first round draft pick (1-30), the Packers selected Jordy Nelson out of Kansas State. Nelson became the team's fourth receiver and returned kicks on occasion. In his three years with the Packers, he has caught 100 passes for 1,268 yards and six touchdowns. The biggest game of his career came in Super Bowl XLV when, despite several dropped passes, he caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Jermichael Finley is a defender's nightmare. He is too big for a defensive back to guard and too fast for a linebacker to keep up with. Finley has played in 32 games in his career and has amassed 82 receptions for 1,051 yards and seven touchdowns. He was set for a breakout 2010 campaign before a season-ending knee injury cut his 2010 short.
Josh Sitton has evolved into a solid offensive lineman for the Packers. He has started 43 games since 2007 and was named the 2010 Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFL Alumni Association.
Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn both spent time as Packer backups. Brohm went to the Bills, and Flynn moved into the No. 2 QB spot. Flynn made his first start in 2010 against the Patriots when Aaron Rodgers wasn't cleared after a concussion. Flynn played well despite an ugly interception and nearly led the Packers to a come-form-behind victory. His performance in that game has spurned many trade talks.
Brett Swain has seen limited action as a wide receiver, but has been a huge part of the Packers' special teams efforts. Patrick Lee has played a limited role as a backup in the Packer secondary. Lee did play well in the second half of Super Bowl XLV when Charles Woodson went down with an injury. Lee was also active in special teams.
Jeremy Thompson saw little action before retiring for medical reasons in 2010. Breno Giacomini was signed off the Packers' practice squad by Seattle.
No. 3: 2006, Jennings Joins the Pack
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2006 Draft Results:
(1-5) A.J. Hawk LB, Ohio State
(2-47) Daryn Colledge OT, Boise State
(2-52) Greg Jennings WR, Western Michigan
(3-67) Abdul Hodge LB, Iowa
(3-75) Jason Spitz C, Louisville
(4-104) Cory Rodgers WR, TCU
(4-115) Will Blackmon WR/CB, Boston College
(5-148) Ingle Martin QB, Furman
(5-165) Tony Moll OT, Nevada
(6-183) Johnny Jolly DT, Texas A&M
(6-185) Tyrone Culver S, Fresno State
(7-253) Dave Tollefson DE, Northwest Missouri State
Although some say A.J. Hawk hasn't lived up to his No. 5 overall status, he has become a solid force for the Packers at middle linebacker. Hawk finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2006. In five years with the Packers, Hawk has totaled 510 tackles, nine sacks, eight interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Greg Jennings has become an all-star. Since joining the Packers in 2006, he has caught 322 passes for 5,222 yards and 40 touchdowns. He has recorded at least 1,100 reception yards in each of the past three years and has become Aaron Rodgers' go-to deep threat. Jennings was a member of the 2006 NFL all-rookie team and a Pro Bowl selection in 2010.
Daryn Colledge has played in every game since being drafted in 2006 and has started in all but four of those games. Despite a couple rocky seasons, Colledge has become a solid offensive lineman. Jason Spitz started several games in his early years and is now Scott Wells' backup and has been used as a utility offensive lineman.
When Johnny Jolly was healthy, he was an animal on the defensive line. He made many athletic plays once the Packers switched to the 3-4 defense. Sadly, he has struggled with drug problems and will likely not see a football field anytime soon.
Will Blackmon, despite being a liability on defense, found a niche as a special-teamer. In his career at Green Bay, he returned three punts for touchdowns. He left the Packers in 2010 for the Giants. Abdul Hodge was a promising linebacker for the Packers, but was cut in 2008 after two injury-riddled seasons.
Tony Moll started all 16 games his rookie year, but a neck injury the following year kept him on the sidelines. He was traded to Baltimore in 2009.
Ingle Martin was the Packers' third string quarterback behind Favre and Rodgers for one season. He was released in 2007. Cory Rodgers signed a contract following the draft but was released before the 2006 season started. Tyrone Culver only stayed with the Packers for one season before joining the Dolphins. Dave Tollefson spent a season on the Packers' practice squad before leaving for NFL Europe and later, the Raiders.
No. 2: 2005, Rodgers Slips to 24
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2005 Draft Results:
(1-24) Aaron Rodgers QB, California
(2-51) Nick Collins FS, Bethune-Cookman
(2-58) Terrance Murphy WR, Texas A&M
(4-115) Marviel Underwood FS, San Diego State
(4-125) Brady Poppinga OLB, Brigham Young
(5-143) Junius Coston C, North Carolina A&T
(5-167) Mike Hawkins CB, North Carolina A&T
(6-180) Mike Montgomery DT, Texas A&M
(6-195) Craig Bragg WR, UCLA
(7-245) Kurt Campbell CB, Albany (NY)
(7-246) Will Whitticker G, Michigan State
Ted Thompson hit the jackpot in his first draft as a Packer. Aaron Rodgers was predicted by many to go first overall to the 49ers. San Fransisco chose Alex Smith instead, and Rodgers fell all the way to No. 24 and the Green Bay Packers.
After sitting behind Brett Favre for three seasons, Rodgers got his chance in 2008. The season would be rocky, but Rodgers still threw for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. In his career, Rodgers has completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 12,723 and 87 touchdowns while throwing just 32 interceptions for a career quarterback rating of 98.4.
Rodgers was the first quarterback in history to throw for 4,000 yards in each of his first seasons as a starter. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2009 and led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory last season. His performance in Super Bowl XLV (24 of 39 for 304 yards, three TD's, no INT's) led him to be named Super Bowl MVP.
With the second pick of the draft, the Packers picked up safety Nick Collins. In his six years with the Packers, Collins has amassed 405 tackles and 21 interceptions and has returned four interceptions for touchdowns. Collins is a three-time Pro Bowler and a three-time second team All-NFL selection. In the first quarter of Super Bowl XLV, Collins picked off a Ben Roethlisberger pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown.
Brady Poppinga suffered an injury that significantly lessened his role in the 2005 season. He spent most of the season on special teams before earning a starting linebacker spot in 2006. He continued to start until an injury late in the 2008 season. Since then, he has been a backup. He has 244 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception in his career.
Mike Montgomery played for five years with the Packers and recorded 123 tackles and five sacks. He was released in 2010 and resigned for a two-game stint later in the season. Marviel Underwood appeared as Nick Collin's backup for a season before injuries put him on injured reserve. He is now in the UFL.
Terrance Murphy played three games for the Packers before injuring his spinal chord and retiring. Junius Coston was used a backup offensive lineman in a limited role for several years. Will Whitticker was a backup from 2005 to 2006.
Mike Hawkins, Craig Bragg and Kurt Cambell were all with the Packers briefly in 2005.
No. 1: 2009, the Great Trade
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2009 Draft Results:
(1-9) B.J. Raji DT, Boston College
(1-26) Clay Matthews LB, USC
(4-109) T.J. Lang OT, Eastern Michigan
(5-145) Quinn Johnson FB, LSU
(5-162) Jamon Meredith OT, South Carolina
(56-182) Jarius Wynn DE, Georgia
(6-187) Brandon Underwood, CB Cincinnati
(7-218) Brad Jones LB, Colorado
The Packers used the ninth pick of the draft to select monster defensive tackle B.J. Raji. His rookie season was slowed by injuries, but Raji exploded in 2010. He became the foundation of Dom Capers' 3-4 defense. In 2010, Raji amassed 39 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Raji scored the eventual game-winning touchdown in the NFC Championship Game against the Chicago Bears when he returned an interception 18 yards for a score.
After selecting Raji, Ted Thompson pulled off the trade-of-all-trades. The Packers sent New England their second and two third round draft picks for New England's first (26) and fifth (162) picks. The Packers selected Clay Matthews, a linebacker bred for greatness. Matthews has had two stellar seasons as a Packer. He has accumulated 11 tackles, 23.5 sacks, one interception (returned for a touchdown), three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown). Matthews also forced the fumble that halted a Steeler drive late in the Super Bowl.
Matthews has been showered in accolades. He finished second in the 2009 NFL Rookie of the Year Vote. He is a two-time Pro-Bowler, was the 2010 NFC Defensive Player of the Year and was a first-team All-NFL selection in 2010. He also won the 2010 award for top NFL linebacker.
The Packers' third selection, offensive tackle T.J. Lang, has seen limited action as a backup to Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher.
The Packers found a steal in the seventh round with Brad Jones. When Jones finally made it into the starting lineup in 2009, he totaled 33 tackles and four sacks. He was named the starter at the onset of the 2010 season, but went on injured reserve midway through the season.
Quinn Johnson has seen limited action as a backup fullback. He has struggled with learning plays and blocking assignments but is very athletic and shows lots of potential. Jarius Wynn has also seen limited action in the Packer defensive lineman rotation.
Jamon Meredith was signed off the Packers' practice squad by the Buffalo Bills. Brandon Underwood has played sparingly and is currently under investigation for charges of assault mixed in with a prostitution case.