In 2010, after a solid draft by Ted Thompson that produced two immediate difference makers, the Packers won it all.
Bringing the Lombardi Trophy home after squeaking into the playoff as a six seed, the Packers were favored to win it all again after a great draft on paper. But unfortunately in this case, the paper does not decide a champion. A few different factors stepped in and this class is one of the more forgettable in recent memory. Without further ado, the 2011 Green Bay Draft.
Round 1 (32) – Derek Sherrod, OT. Mississippi State
BAP: Justin Houston, LB. Georgia
Green Bay didn’t have many holes, but depth along the offensive line was one of them. Chad Clifton had reached the end of his career, as did Mark Tauscher. Bryan Bulaga was exceptional in his role at RT, but the team wanted an athletic left tackle and Sherrod fell to them at 32. When the pick was made, it was seen as a steal and that he could be the next blindside protector for Aaron Rodgers. However, things never panned out as Sherrod struggled to adjust to the pro game after the lockout, and was forced into duty at right tackle after Bulaga go hurt late in the season. Playing right tackle against Kansas City, Sherrod’s career effectively ended after he suffered a severe broken leg that sidelined for almost two years. He came back briefly last year before being cut.
Round 2 (64) – Randall Cobb, WR. Kentucky
Hands down the saving grace of this draft, Cobb has been a star since Day 1. Becoming the first player born in the 1990s to play in the NFL, he scored a touchdown in Week 1 and has been dynamite ever since. Emerging in 2012 to catch 80 passes, he was proclaimed as the next great slot receiver. He had a great start to 2013 before breaking his leg against Baltimore on a low hit that infuriated Rodgers and drew attention to the player safety rules that protect the head but can cause more lower body injuries. Cobb returned at the end of the season to haul in the biggest catch of his career to date, hauling in the winning score against Chicago for the NFC North crown. Last season he had his best season, pulling in 91 passes for 1287 yards and 12 touchdowns, making the Pro Bowl. He signed a contact extension this offseason to continue his career in Green and Gold.
Round 3 (96) – Alex Green, RB. Hawaii
BAP: Julius Thomas, TE. Portland State
A swing and a miss from Thompson, Green was an explosive player with upside that the Packers hoped to groom over a few years. Rushing into action as a rookie due to injuries and ineffectiveness to the starters but tore up his knee in Week 7. He never really recovered and without his trademark speed he was cut in 2013. He played for the Jets in 2013 but was hasn’t been in the league since then.
Round 4 (131) – Davon House, CB. New Mexico State
A tall physical corner in the mold of Al Harris, the latest #31 for the Packers secondary was a solid player who would show flashes of great potential before getting hurt. He never played a full season in Green Bay, but was dependable when he was on the field. He is best known for his blocked punt in 2012 against Jacksonville. Last season he may have saved the Packers when he shut down Julio Jones in the second half of the Atlanta game. This offseason he accepted a large pay raise when he signed with Jacksonville.
Round 5 (141) – DJ Williams, TE. Arkansas
BAP: Richard Sherman, CB. Stanford
This one hurts. Sherman has become one of the best players in the league, dominating in the Seattle secondary, while Williams has flamed out of the NFL. The Mackey Award winner in 2010, Williams was a solid receiving prospect at tight end, but he was undersized and not overly athletic, which led to his fall. If he developed, he was seen as a hybrid H-Back, seam tight end in the mold of Chris Cooley. He sadly never developed and has caught only 9 passes in his career.
Round 6 (179) – Caleb Schlauderaff, OL. Utah
BAP: Jason Kelce, OL. Cincinnati
Another whiff for Ted but this one is excusable in the sixth round. Seen as a guard prospect Schlauderaff was a good run blocker with a nasty streak that could help he team. However he struggled in camp and faced with having to cut a draft pick, Thompson traded him to the Jets for a late draft pick. He played in New York until Training Camp in 2014, playing in six games while starting one.
Round 6 (186) – DJ Smith, LB. Appalachian State
BAP: Bruce Miller, FB. Central Florida
An intriguing pick late in the draft, Smith was seen as Nick Barnett lite. Undersized, yet with speed to burn, Smith was a top prospect in camp and a darkhorse to get a starting job. He eventually did after injuries took their toll, and he was promising enough to be given a chance to compete the following season. Taking over after the injury to Desmond Bishop, Smith was a find until he also got injured and missed the entire season. After a failed physical, he was cut and has bounced around since 2013, currently residing in Carolina playing for the Panthers.
Round 6 (197) – Ricky Elmore, DE/LB. Arizona
BAP: Jerrell Powe, DT. Ole Miss
A complete miss, Elmore was a pass rusher in college who was seen as a fringe prospect. A classic tweener, too small to play on the line but not athletic enough to be a linebacker, Elmore struggled badly, losing his spot to undrafted rookie Vic So’oto and never played down in the NFL.
Round 7 (218) – Ryan Taylor, TE. North Carolina
BAP: Chris Harris, CB. Kansas
Taylor was a solid, dependable special teams player for the Packers for four years, but was ineffective on offense, catching 8 passes during his time in Green Bay. He was a leader for the special teams, and their play dropped off after he was cut in favor of Kevin Dorsey last season. He didn’t play for the rest of the season despite being on the rosters of Baltimore and Cleveland, and now resides with Joe Philbin in Miami. Harris meanwhile has become a Pro Bowler in Denver.
Round 7 (233) – Lawrence Guy, DL. Arizona State
BAP: Doug Baldwin, WR. Stanford
Guy was seen as a talented prospect who should’ve stayed in school, as he left early to pursue his NFL dreams. After a solid training camp, he was seen as a bubble player, but a concussion put him on IR and kept him in Green Bay. The next season he impressed in training camp but the depth of the team was at DT and he was one of the final cuts. He caught on with the Colts for a couple of seasons before bouncing to San Diego and now Baltimore. He recorded 1 sack with the Colts for his career.
Home Run (1) – Cobb
Average/Incomplete (4) – House, Smith, Taylor, Guy
Misses (4) – Green, Williams, Schlauderaff, Elmore
Complete whiff (1) – Sherrod——————
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.