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NFL Draft Review: Packers draft busts each year since 2000

For some teams, NFL Draft selection is a blind science. For the most successful, it's usually a matter of luck that things turn out for the best, although even the best teams whiff on picks sometimes; for the least successful, you would assume they're picking names out of a hat.

The Green Bay Packers aren't immune to the whims of the NFL Draft process. While the franchise has enjoyed a tremendous run of success over the past quarter-century, there have been some picks that haven't quite worked out the way that the team has planned. Here's a look at the top Packers draft bust each year since the turn of the century, and turn of the Millennium, spanning 20 years.

Jamal Reynolds forces Todd Collins to fumble

2000: Steve Warren, Defensive Tackle, Nebraska (Round 3, #74 Overall)

A national champion and second-team All-American, Steve Warren couldn't shake the injury bug in his three years with the Packers, appearing in 25 games while recording just one sack. The Packers had 13 selections in this Draft, but only three in the first three rounds. It ended up being a pretty solid Draft overall, beyond adding Bubba Franks and Chad Clifton in the first two rounds. The Packers added quite a bit of depth in the later rounds, including Na'il Diggs, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, and Mark Tauscher.

2001: Jamal Reynolds, Defensive End, Florida State (Round 1, #10 Overall)

You can't have an NFL Draft bust article without mentioning the huge whiff by the Packers in 2001, trading up to grab All-American and Lombardi Award winner Jamal Reynolds in the first round. Reynolds lasted just three years in the NFL, accruing just three sacks and two forced fumbles, almost all of it coming in limited action his rookie season. The whole class this year wasn't up to par; the best pick was seventh-round selection David Martin, a tight end who made his biggest marks post-Packers career like many in this six-player class.

2002: Marques Anderson, Safety, UCLA (Round 3, #92 Overall)

Only six selections for the Packers this year, and just one pick made ahead of Marques Anderson, who lasted just four years in the NFL, and only two seasons in Green Bay. Anderson's rookie year was promising, with four interceptions (two pick-sixes). After 30 games in two years with the Packers, Anderson played 24 more games with the Raiders, Broncos, and 49ers, recording just one interception in those stints combined. This class was headlined by Javon Walker and all-time Packers legend Craig Nall, who never threw an interception in his NFL career.

2003: Kenny Peterson, Defensive End, Ohio State (Round 3, #79 Overall)

Continuing the Packers' allergy to second-round picks, there were only two selections in the top 100 for Green Bay again this year. First-round pick Nick Barnett had along and productive career, so the only other option here is Kenny Peterson, who played seven years in the NFL, playing in 76 games and starting 15 at the end of his career, recording eight sacks. If you consider fifth-round pick Hunter Hillenmeyer, who the Packers cut and went on to have a solid long-time career in Chicago, and seventh-round pick Chris Johnson, who never played for the Packers in his two seasons in Green Bay but played seven more years in the league, mostly in Oakland, as not part of the draft class, Green Bay got just 19 games out of its remaining picks this season. Not a great year picking players.

2004: Donnell Washington, Defensive Tackle, Clemson (Round 3, #72 Overall)

In a class that featured a third-round punter (B.J. Sander) who lasted all of two seasons in the NFL and a much-maligned first-round cornerback in Ahmad Carroll who got the boot during his third season in Green Bay, there are options here, but Donnell Washington was truly a wasted pick, as he never played an NFL game. Green Bay hit on its sixth- and seventh-round picks (defensive tackle Corey Williams and offensive lineman Scott Wells), who went to long, productive NFL careers.

Green Bay Packers Training Camp

2005: Terrance Murphy, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M (Round 2, #58 Overall)

The Aaron Rodgers draft was top-heavy; in addition to a Hall of Fame quarterback, the Packers also added productive players like Nick Collins, Brady Poppinga, and Mike Montgomery. However, the rest of the 11-player class contributed little to the Packers' fortunes, including Terrance Murphy, who caught five passes in his rookie season, his only year in the NFL.

2006: Abdul Hodge, Linebacker, Iowa (Round 3, #67 Overall)

This was probably the best Draft class top to bottom in quite some time for Green Bay, and at least since the beginning of the Millennium; the Packers had a dozen picks and found multi-year NFL players with most of them. Abdul Hodge played multiple years in the NFL, but only played eight games for the Packers before bouncing around a bit in his five-year career.

2007: Justin Harrell, Defensive Tackle, Tennessee (Round 1, #16 Overall)

Not a lot of star power emerged from this 11-player class, although it produced some solid contributors, as well as current Packers kicker Mason Crosby. Their top pick in this Draft is one of the more notable busts in recent Packers memory, as Justin Harrell played in just 14 games in his career, all with Green Bay, recording only 28 tackles.

2008: Brian Brohm, Quarterback, Louisville (Round 2, #56 Overall)

No first-round picks this time around, but three second-round picks, in which the Packers spent one of them on a quarterback (and later took another player at the same position, Matt Flynn). Brian Brohm never played for the Packers, but did get some action with the Bills, including a pair of starts. However, Brohm threw five picks against no touchdowns in those opportunities.

2009: None

Green Bay picked just two times in the top 100: B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews, each of whom would be valuable pieces of the team for several years after getting selected in the first round. The Packers didn't pick again until the fourth round, where they added T.J. Lang at #109 overall, another long-term NFL player. Their five late-round picks all largely panned out as well, with four of the five players sticking around in the NFL beyond their rookie deals. This was a remarkably solid Draft. Brandon Underwood only played in 23 career games in two seasons with the Packers, but labeling a sixth-round pick as a bust doesn't seem warranted.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions

2010: None

All seven players picked this year had (or are currently having) solid NFL careers. Second-round pick Mike Neal had a slow start but finished his career with 19 sacks in 66 games. Other top-150 picks Bryan Bulaga and Morgan Burnett are future Packers Hall of Famers. Again, hard to label any player a bust after the fourth round, and in this year's case, pretty much everyone enjoyed decent NFL tenure.

2011: Derek Sherrod, Offensive Lineman, Mississippi State (Round 1, #32 Overall)

After a two-year run of really solid work in scouting and drafting, 2011 provided some depth, but included one notable bust at the top and not much help in rounds 5-7, where the Packers have done pretty well in the past nearly quarter-century. Toss out their last pick of this draft, seventh-round defensive tackle Lawrence Guy, who never played for the Packers, and Green Bay found just 14 NFL starts for every pick in the 5th through 7th rounds. However, those 14 starts are far more than the 1 start made by Derek Sherrod, who played in just 20 games for the Packers in his three-year career after being taken at the end of the first round.

2012: Jerel Worthy, Defensive End, Michigan State (Round 2, #51 Overall)

The first six picks of this year's Draft were defensive players, as the Packers worked to balance their team in the post-Super Bowl years. Nick Perry, Casey Hayward, and Mike Daniels all ended up solid NFL players, but sandwiched in-between those three players was the second-round selection of Jerel Worthy. Worthy recorded 2.5 sacks in 14 games his rookie year, but didn't record a single quarterback sack the rest of his six-year career, appearing in only 21 more contests with Buffalo and Tampa Bay. Green Bay struggled on the back half of this Draft, and neither 7th-round pick played a snap in the NFL.

2013: Datone Jones, Defensive End, UCLA (Round 1, #26 Overall)

Continuing the trend of throwing high picks at the defensive line in hopes someone would emerge, the Packers took Datone Jones in the first round. Jones played in 59 games in four years with the Packers, but only recorded nine sacks in those opportunities. The middle part of this Draft was strong for the Packers, which included current left tackle David Bakhtiari, NFL vets J.C. Tretter and Micah Hyde, and two-time 1,000-yard rusher Eddie Lacy. The last five picks of the Draft failed to make much headway in the NFL, exiting the league within four seasons each.

2014: Khyri Thornton, Defensive Tackle, Southern Miss (Round 3, #85 Overall)

Khyri Thornton never suited up for the Packers in a game, and it took a year before he made the field in the NFL, appearing in 23 games over parts of three seasons with the Detroit Lions, recording one sack. The 2014 Draft was a mixed bag of sorts, as the Packers picked up regulars like Davante Adams and Corey Linsley, but also saw some late picks fail to pan out.

Green Bay Packers v Tennessee Titans

2015: Quinten Rollins, Cornerback, Miami-Ohio (Round 2, #62 Overall)

After not taking a defensive back with a pick higher than the third round since 2008, the Packers took two in this Draft, adding Damarious Randall with their first-round selection and Quinten Rollins in the second round. Randall's tenure was rocky at best before being traded to Cleveland for quarterback DeShone Kizer, but Randall did 10 interceptions in 29 games before being shipped out. Rollins, on the other hand, had three interceptions in his first two seasons, totaling 27 games, but appeared in just six more games beyond that point and is currently out of the NFL. The Packers found serviceable but replacement-level players in the middle part of this draft before striking out with two of their three sixth-round picks.

2016: Jason Spriggs, Offensive Lineman, Indiana (Round 2, #48 Overall)

In a meat-and-potatoes Draft, Jason Spriggs stands out as he is currently without an NFL team after just four seasons in the league. Spriggs spent 2019 on injured reserve after playing in 36 games over three seasons with the Packers. Most of this seven-player Draft is still active in the NFL, although only first-round pick Kenny Clark and fourth-round selection Dean Lowry remain with Green Bay.

2017: Josh Jones, Safety, NC State (Round 2, #61 Overall)

After just three seasons, Josh Jones has already found his way to three different NFL teams. After two years with the Packers, in which 12 times in 29 games, Jones was waived in 2019 before the season began. He appeared in six games with Dallas, recording two tackles, before being waived late in the year. Jacksonville claimed him in December. While his career is ongoing, the Packers got part-time play out of a second-round pick just a few seasons ago, so it's hard to consider this a bargain. The Packers went defense with their first four picks, with Kevin King and Montravious Adams still remaining on the team. Of their seven Day-3 picks (rounds four through seven), Aaron Jones clearly stands out as the top pick perhaps in this entire draft class. Jamaal Williams, another running back who was taken one round earlier, in the fourth, by the Packers, has shown some flashes in a reserve role for Green Bay.

2018: J'Mon Moore, Wide Receiver, Missouri (Round 4, #133 Overall)

While not a first- or second-day selection, J'Mon Moore was the first of three receivers selected in 2018. The speedster from Missouri played in 12 games for the Packers his rookie year, catching just two passes, and was waived before the 2019 season. Moore eventually landed on the Cleveland Browns practice squad, and is currently signed by the Browns as of December. Green Bay went defense with their first three picks, and all three picks remain after two seasons. In addition to Moore, Green Bay also drafted Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equinimeous St. Brown at receiver in this Draft, both of whom are still on the roster. The Packers picked up two of their three specialists in this Draft as well, punter J.K. Scott and long snapper Hunter Bradley, in the back half.

2019: Too Early To Tell!

One season in, all four of the Packers' top-75 selections are in line for significant role upgrades in 2020. Rashan Gary played in all 16 games, while Darnell Savage started all 14 games he appeared in, showing playmaking prowess at times during his first campaign. It took Elgton Jenkins just two games to take over a starting spot up front on the offensive line for the Packers, and he appears to be a mainstay there for the long-term future. Jace Sternberger played in just six games at tight end after dealing with injuries all season, but appeared in both playoff games, catching a touchdown against San Francisco. It's too early to tell if any of the players from this year's class are going to be busts, and for Green Bay's sake, the hope is that won't be the case.

All Photos: Getty Images

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