Tis the (off)season for scouting reports, mock drafts that end up being 7% accurate, and college pro days. In recognizing these traditions, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see where these traditions have led the Packers.
Since we’re all Packers all the time (except when the Badgers go on a March Madness streak!), let’s revisit how drafts have fared for Green Bay this millennium. These involve the best and worst decisions made under general managers Mike Sherman (2001-2004) and Ted Thompson (2005-present).
In this 4-part series, we’ll examine the 10 best draft picks and 10 biggest draft busts, in groups of five. This first edition kicks off with the biggest draft busts ranked 10th through 6th. Enjoy. Or in this case, cringe…Packerstalk.com is not liable for any wounds being reopened.
Note: The criteria for draft busts are those drafted in the 3rd round or higher (except Brad Jones because he was kept around for so long and made so many backbreaking mistakes). Draft picks in the first three rounds are realistically expected to bring results. Later rounds are a wash, so applying the bust label is not as warranted.
10. Brad Jones (2009 7th round)
Packers Career Stats: 186 tackles, 10 sacks, 0 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 1 enormously blown assignment vs. Seattle in the 2014 season NFC Championship game vs. the Seahawks on a fake field goal where they knew he was going to blow it because he was terrible, countless blown assignments
Brad Jones played six years for the Packers that felt like twelve. He had a big hit on Favre against the Vikings one year, and the highlights end there. He somehow always made it on the field despite always being a liability. Each passing year made Packer fans loathe him more. Nothing against him as a person, but the 2014 season was the ultimate culmination of his years of ineptitude coming to a head at the most crucial time. The Seattle Seahawks obviously knew that Jones had been the goat in countless big plays for the Packers in the past few years. Common sense knew to target him in the off chance that they needed to call a fake field goal. Sure enough, on giant stage, Brad Jones delivered a back-breaking blown coverage TD on a fake field goal call.
9. Derek Sherrod (2011 1st round)
Coming off a Super Bowl victory, Sherrod was supposed to be a replacement at tackle with Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton at the end of their careers. He was eased in to the rotation but suffered a brutal leg injury against the Chiefs in 2011. In fact, he didn’t make it back onto the field until 2013. He ended up starting 1 game in limited playing time and was an obvious liability whenever he was on the field. A headscratcher to begin with, Sherrod never came close to panning out as a first round pick
8. Khyri Thornton (2014 3rd round)
Packers Career Stats: 0 tackles, 0 anything, never played a regular season game)
The Packers drafted Thornton based off apparently unlimited potential in 2014. He was a spitfire of a lineman from Southern Miss that had the athleticism to blow up an offensive line. A season-ending hamstring injury in the 2014 preseason followed by a poor training camp in 2015 led to a roster cut before stepping foot on Lambeau in regular season game.
7. Jerel Worthy (2012 2nd round)
Packers Career Stats: 11 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 FF
Jerel Worthy? More like We’re Not Worthy! Worthy was supposed to be what Mike Daniels ended up being for the Packers. He suffered an ACL tear after an underwhelming rookie year with the Packers. From there, he was cut and picked up and cut by the Patriots, Chiefs, and Lions before finally playing in 13 games for the Bills in 2016.
6. Pat Lee (2008 2nd round)
Packers Career Stats: 19 tackles, 0 INT, 1 PD
His rookie year of 2008 involved little playing time due to a nagging knee injury. The following two seasons involved virtually no meaningful playing time. Due to injuries to Sam Shields and Charles Woodson in Super Bowl XLV, he was plugged in to coverage during the latter parts of the game and was somehow not challenged by the Steelers en route to a final defensive stand to clinch a fourth Lombardi trophy for the Pack.
________________John Piotrowski is a UW-Eau Claire alum, spending most of his life in western WI. He makes the trek east to Lambeau whenever possible. Follow him on twitter at @piosGBP.