In the inaugural year of Mike McCarthy’s tenure, the Green Bay Packers doubled their previous win total, improving from 4-12 to 8-8. With a couple of positions that needed addressing, including defensive line and running back, Ted Thompson and the Packers went into the draft looking for upside as well as some depth for special teams, which were struggling early on. He hit on a few picks, but this draft more than any other that he orchestrated is known for some big misses. So let’s look at the 2007 NFL Draft.
ROUND 1 (16) – Justin Harrell, DL. Tennessee
BAP: Jon Beason, LB. Miami (FL)
In a draft filled with misses (see Russell, JaMarcus and Anderson, Jamaal), this was a pick in the same mold. Harrell was known as a player with considerable talent, but he was a raw player who had numerous injury concerns, including a torn bicep that wiped out his final year at Tennessee. That didn’t stop Thompson from pulling the trigger, but he might wish he had looking back. Between this pick and their next pick, The Packers missed on 15 Pro Bowlers, including Beason, Joe Staley, Eric Weddle, Greg Olson, and LaMarr Woodley. As for Harrell, he never could shake the injury bug, appearing in 14 games over four season, suffering knee and back problems. He never caught on to another team after the Packers released him after the 2010 season.
ROUND 2 (63) – Brandon Jackson, RB. Nebraska
BAP: Jacoby Jones, WR. Lane
Before the Draft, all-time leading rusher Ahman Green left for Houston in free agency, leading Thompson to look for his replacement. He thought he had found that in Jackson. Seen as a true three down back, Jackson was a productive player during his time in Green Bay, but was never able to develop into the every-down back that Thompson envisioned. A good third down player, he lost the starting job to Ryan Grant early in the season, but was forced into starting action in 2010, rushing for 703 yards and winning a ring. He left for Cleveland after that season but injuries cut his career short and he never played after 2012.
ROUND 3 (78) – James Jones, WR. San Jose State
There was a Pro Bowler drafted after Jones, but he was so productive for the team that he deserves to remain BAP at this slot. Seen as a reach by most people, including myself, the San Jose State product started his first game, and started 9 total in his rookie campaign. Over a seven year career in Green Bay, he was a dependable third receiver, developing great hands later in his career and leading the league in 2012 with 14 touchdowns. One of the leaders of the team, his departure was felt by his teammates. He went to Oakland in 2014 where he currently plays.
ROUND 3 (89) – Aaron Rouse, S. Virginia Tech
BAP: Michael Bush, RB. Louisville
Rouse was a tantalizing prospect, Kam Chancellor-esque before Kam was even in the league. A massive safety at 6’4″, he was seen as a Pro-Bowl talent, a safety who can play like a linebacker or go back to center field. Starting 3 games as a rookie, he had 25 tackles and two picks, one of which showed his immense talent. He out jumped and out-muscled fellow rookie Calvin Johnson for the pick. He also recorded the longest interception return in team history with a 99 yard burst in 2008. He was abruptly cut in 2009 after two weeks despite outperforming starter Atari Bigby while replacing him due to injury. He finished that season with the Giants but never played again in the NFL.
ROUND 4 (119) – Allen Barbre, OL. Missouri Southern
BAP: Jermon Bushrod OL. Towson
Barbre was an athletic prospect who could play 4 line spots, and was given every opportunity to start, but he struggled in regular duty and remained a valuable backup. He departed for Seattle in the middle of the 2010 season and remained there for 3 seasons as a swing tackle. He signed with Philadelphia in 2013 and started a few games at LT, showing some more promise and getting an extension from the team. He got injured early in 2014 and ended the year on IR.
ROUND 5 (157) – David Clowney, WR. Virginia Tech
BAP: Corey Graham, CB. New Hampshire
Another miss from this draft, Clowney was drafted to be a deep threat and returner, but struggled hanging on to the ball in training camp. He was cut and placed on the practice squad, but was claimed in October of 2007 by the Jets, where he played two seasons. During that time he caught 15 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown. He has been out of the league since.
ROUND 6 (191) – Korey Hall, FB/LB. Boise State
A purely special teams pick, Hall earned his pay in Green Bay for four seasons, leading the special teams and chipping as a fullback. A blue-collar player, he was never flashy but was assignment sound and a solid player, especially for his draft slot. He is best known for catching the first touchdown pass of Aaron Rodger’s career as a starter.
ROUND 6 (192) – Desmond Bishop, LB. California
Another special teams pick, Thompson hoped to get some solid play out of Bishop while developing him into a rotational linebacker. It’s safe to say that he exceeded those expectations. Taking over as a starter in the middle in 2010, he became a force in the running game, unleashing some huge hits, injecting some nastiness to a defense that relied on speed and finesse. He would start for 2 years before suffering a serious hamstring injury in 2012. He has never really recovered and is on the 49ers roster as of today.
ROUND 6 (193) – Mason Crosby, K. Colorado
That’s right. Three consecutive picks for the Pack. A kicker with a huge leg from Colorado, Crosby was brought in to provide some competition and hopefully take over for Dave Rayner. He did just that, becoming one of the better kickers in the league and stabilizing the kicking game for Green Bay. His only hiccup was in 2012, when he hit on only 63.6 percent of his attempts, but he has bounced back nicely. Still a Packer today, he is the only player remaining from this class.
ROUND 7 (228) – DeShawn Wynn, RB. Florida
A depth pick, Wynn was a talented back and a pick by Thompson to stockpile runners, hoping to hit a home run. The home run turned out to be a traded Ryan Grant, but Wynn wasn’t a terrible player for Green Bay. He started out strong, running for 4 TDs as a rookie, but injuries hurt his effectiveness and he bounced around the practice squad in 2008 and 2009 and was out of the NFL at the end of the 2010 season with New Orleans.
ROUND 7 (243) – Clark Harris, TE/LS. Rutgers
A camp body essentially, Harris was a placeholder for Rob Davis, but was cut at the end of camp. He was signed off of the practice squad by Detroit, and found a home in Cincinnati, holding down his job as a long snapper since 2010. Fairly consistent, he has played in 95 career game, not bad for the 243rd pick.
Final count and grades
Home Runs (3) – Jones, Bishop, Crosby
Average (4) – Jackson, Hall, Barbre, Wynn
Misses (3) – Harrell, Rouse, Clowney
Incomplete (1) – Harris
Not a great draft, but terrible. The three hits saved this class.——————
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.