Green Bay Packers

NFL Draft: Green Bay Packers Are Glad to Be Unfamiliar with First Overall Pick

19 Apr 1998:  A representative of the Green Bay Packers talks on the phone during the second day of the 1998 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York. Mandatory Credit: Ezra C. Shaw  /Allsport
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
J FCorrespondent IApril 30, 2011

The Green Bay Packers may have picked at No. 32 in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, but in the order of the draft, the first must become last.

There's no doubt that the last pick is just where Ted Thompson and the Packers wanted to be. Any team would love to be in the same position because, unless a trade occurs, it is synonymous with the title of Super Bowl champions.

What team would really want to trade places with the 2-14 Carolina Panthers who were given the first choice because the NFL felt bad for them?

The Panthers' list of problems is lengthier than Clay Matthews' long, blond locks and they will take more than a few draft picks to correct. The Packers needs, however, are harder to spot than a cheesehead at Soldier Field.

Out of the 72 players picked first in the history of the NFL Draft, only 12 have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The best talent sometimes seems to emerge from the depths of the later rounds at a much cheaper price. First round picks are often given contracts well above their eventual worth.

The Packers haven't picked first since 1959, when they selected quarterback Randy Duncan out of Iowa. Surprisingly, Duncan never took a snap for the Pack because he fled to Canada to play for more money.

Two years before, the Packers took Hall of Fame running back Paul Hornung from Notre Dame with the first overall pick. Hornung, who was also the team's placekicker, won the league MVP in 1961 and experienced four championship's with Titletown's team.

It's been 52 years since the Green and Gold have had the first selection in the draft and they'll never want to be anywhere near it again. Packer backers would love to wait up late again on draft day next April to see who the Pack snags with the 32nd pick.

The first shall be last and the last shall be first. It's the beautiful process of the NFL draft and the Packers are content to be sitting in last.

 

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