The Green Bay Packers have two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL draft. It's happened before, and here's how it worked out
Twice as nice?
Not all the time.
The Green Bay Packers have had two first-round draft picks several times, and not all of them panned out.
Let's review those picks since the dawn of the glory days.
2019 Rashan Gary (12) and Darnell Savage Jr. (21)
Gary, a linebacker from Michigan, is a rising NFL star. He blossomed last season with a career-high 9.5 sacks and 81 pressures, good for third in the league among edge rushers.
Savage, a safety from Maryland, has flashed signs of potential stardom. He was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team honors in 2019 after starting all 14 games he appeared in and recording 61 tackles (41 solo), a tackle for a loss, a team-high two forced fumbles, two interceptions (tied for No. 2 on the team), seven passes defensed, a quarterback hit and two QB pressures. He intercepted two passes thrown by Mitchell Trubisky in a 41-25 victory over the Chicago Bears on "Sunday Night Football" in Week 12 in 2020. His six interceptions were the most by a Packers safety in their first two seasons since Tom Flynn (10) in 1984-'85. He had two interceptions last season.
2009 B.J. Raji (ninth) and Clay Matthews (26th)
Raji, a defensive tackle from Boston College, quickly became the defensive anchor. The Packers began using Raji as an additional fullback in their goal line offense during the 2011 postseason. On January 23, 2011, in the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game at Soldier Field in Chicago, he intercepted a pass from Bears backup quarterback Caleb Hanie and returned it 18 yards to the end zone. The 337-pound Raji performed a memorable wiggle dance after the touchdown. The play broke William Perry's NFL record for the heaviest player to score a postseason touchdown. In 2016, Raji announced his retirement after seven seasons with the Packers.
Matthews, a linebacker from USC, quickly became a fan favorite because of his long locks and pass-rushing ability. Matthews recorded 10 sacks while playing outside linebacker in his rookie season. He topped that total in 2010 with 13.5 sacks, helping the Packers to their Super Bowl XLV victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Matthews had at least six sacks in the first nine seasons he played. He played both inside and outside linebacker during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and he became the Packers' all-time sacks leader when he sacked the Bears' quarterback Mike Glennon on Sept. 28, 2017. Matthews became an unrestricted free agent after the 2018 season and eventually signed with the Los Angeles Rams.
1993 Wayne Simmons (15th) and George Teague (29th)
A linebacker from Clemson, Simmons was a key cog on Green Bay's 1996 Super Bowl team because of his ability to shut down opposing tight ends. But he fell out of favor fast. Simmons was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs during the 1997 season.
Teague, who was a safety from Alabama, made a splash as a rookie, starting the last 12 games of the season. In the playoffs against the Detroit Lions, he had the longest interception return for a touchdown in postseason history (101 yards). But he was hampered by a thyroid condition and was traded to Atlanta after the 1995 season.
1990 Tony Bennett (18th) and Darrell Thompson (19th)
Bennett was a linebacker from Mississippi. He played four seasons with the Packers, recording a career-best 13.5 sacks in 1992. He was fourth on the Packers' all-time sacks list when he left for the Colts in free agency in 1993.
Thompson, a running back from Minnesota, was not known for his speed. He gained 1,640 yards rushing, 330 yards receiving, and scored eight touchdowns in five seasons.
1980 Bruce Clark (fourth) and George Cumby (26th)
Clark, a defensive tackle from Penn State, refused to play for the Packers and instead joined the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He spent two seasons there and ended up playing for the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs.
Cumby, who was a linebacker from Oklahoma, made second team all-pro in 1982. It was all downhill for Cumby in 1985. When the Chicago Bears put rookie defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry in the offensive lineup during a "Monday Night Football" game against Green Bay, Perry twice flattened Cumby on lead blocks for Walter Payton. Later that season, Cumby was beaten on a short pass route by Perry that the "Fridge" carried into the end zone. Cumby was cut by the Packers the following preseason.
1978 James Lofton (sixth) and John Anderson (26th)
Lofton, a receiver out of Stanford, played in seven Pro Bowls in nine years with the Packers and left as the team's all-time leading receiver with 9,656 yards (since broken by Donald Driver). Things went south for Lofton in Green Bay when in 1986 he was charged with sexual assault after an incident in a Milwaukee bar. Though he was later acquitted, the Packers suspended Lofton with one game left in the season. They then traded him to the Los Angeles Raiders for a third-round draft pick in 1987 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 1988. Lofton went on to play for the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
Anderson, a Waukesha native who was a linebacker from Michigan, was selected as the Packers' most valuable defensive player three consecutive years. At the end of his career with the Packers, he was the team's all-time leader in tackles and was tied with Ray Nitschke for the Packers' career record in interceptions by a linebacker. Anderson was named a second-team player on the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. He retired after 12 seasons with the Packers.
1977 Mike Butler (ninth) and Ezra Johnson (28th)
Butler, who played defensive end at Kansas, had a seven-year career in Green Bay from 1977-'82 and 1985. He left the Packers after the 1982 season to play for the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL. After the USFL folded, he returned to Green Bay. But he injured his neck in the weight room and was released in 1986.
Johnson, a defensive end from Morris Brown, quickly became a star. Johnson earned a spot in the 1979 Pro Bowl after unofficially finishing second, to Detroit Lions Al "Bubba" Baker, with 20.5 sacks in 1978. He is also known for being fined $1,000 by coach Bart Starr for eating a hot dog on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of a 38-0 preseason loss to the Denver Broncos on Aug. 30, 1980 at Lambeau Field.
1972 Willie Buchanon (seventh) and Jerry Tagge (11th)
Buchanon, a cornerback from Arizona State, was the NFL’s defensive Rookie of the Year in 1972 and a Pro Bowl selection in 1974 and 1978. On Sept. 24, 1978, he intercepted four passes against the Chargers, running one back for a touchdown. That tied him for the still-standing NFL record for most interceptions in a game, first set by Sammy Baugh in 1943. The next week, his old Aztecs coach, Don Coryell, became head coach of the Chargers and subsequently traded for Buchanon.
Tagge, who went to high school at Green Bay West, was a star quarterback at Nebraska. He was also a big-time bust in the NFL. He managed three touchdown passes in 17 games and lasted three years with the Packers. He was cut by Bart Starr during the 1975 preseason.
1970 Mike McCoy (second) and Rich McGeorge (16th)
The Packers traded up with the Bears to grab McCoy, a defensive tackle from Notre Dame. That draft featured Terry Bradshaw (first) and a guy named Al Cowlings (fifth).
McCoy led the Packers in sacks in 1973 and 1976. Bart Starr moved him to offensive guard in the 1977 preseason. That lasted two weeks and McCoy was dealt to Oakland.
McGeorge, a tight end from Elon, was the first tight end selected in the 1970 NFL Draft. He was picked ahead of Raymond Chester, Rich Caster and Stu Voigt. He played for the Packers until he retired following the 1978 season.
1968: Fred Carr (fifth) and Bill Lueck (26th)
Vince Lombardi thought Carr, a linebacker from UTEP, was the best player in the draft. Carr's professional career spanned 10 seasons, all with the Packers. He made the Pro Bowl three times.
Lueck, who played collegiately at Arizona, took over at right guard after Jerry Kramer retired following the 1968 season. The Packers traded Lueck to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1975. He played in eight games before injuring his knee. He retired before the 1976 season.
1967: Bob Hyland (ninth) and Don Horn (25th)
Hyland, a center from Boston College, played just three seasons with the Packers before he was traded to the Bears. His claim to fame at Lambeau Field took place while he was with the New York Giants in 1971. After an interception, Hyland barreled into Packers coach Dan Devine. The play resulted in Devine suffering a broken left leg.
As a side note, Hyland ran as the Republican candidate for mayor of White Plains, New York in 2011. He did not win.
Horn, a quarterback from San Diego State, had his moments during his brief time with the Packers. In the 1968 season finale at Wrigley Field, the Bears had to beat the Packers (5-7-1) to win the NFC Central Division. Bart Starr was injured and could not play. Backup Zeke Bratkowski got hurt in the first quarter. In stepped Horn. He threw two touchdown passes to put the Packers up, 28-10, in the third quarter. They held on to win, 28-27.
He put on another show in the 1969 finale at Lambeau Field against the St. Louis Cardinals. In 4-degree wind chill, he completed 22 of 31 passes for 410 yards and five touchdowns as the Packers rolled to a 45-28 victory.
Horn was traded to the Denver Broncos following the 1970 season. The deal allowed the Packers to draft star running back John Brockington.
1966: Jim Grabowski (ninth) and Gale Gillingham (13th)
Grabowski, a fullback from Illinois, was the heir apparent to Jim Taylor. Unfortunately, he hurt his knee in 1967 and was plagued by injuries afterward. New Packers coach Dan Devine cut him before the 1971 season. He played that season with the Bears and then retired.
Gillingham, a guard from Minnesota, took over for the injured Fuzzy Thurston in the lineup at the end of his rookie season. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and was selected as the inaugural winner of the Forrest Gregg Award for the NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year following the 1970 season. He was the NFC choice as the NFLPA/Coca-Cola Offensive Lineman of the Year for 1971. He retired a few months after the 1976 season and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1982. In a curious move, Devine moved him to defensive tackle five days before the 1972 season began. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second game of the year. He returned to the offensive line, but had surgery on the knee again following the 1973 season. He was one of the first players in the NFL to use weight training to stay in playing shape during the offseason.
1965: Donny Anderson (seventh) and Larry Elkins (10th)
Anderson, a running back from Texas Tech, was the projected successor of Paul Hornung. During his second carry in the fourth quarter of the first Super Bowl, Anderson's knee knocked out Chiefs defensive back Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, who talked a lot of trash before the game. He played a key role on the winning drive in the Ice Bowl. Anderson rushed 18 times for 35 yards and caught four passes for 44 yards in the game. He was also a punter and originated the concept of hang time.
Elkins, a receiver out of Baylor, never played for the Packers. He opted to play for the Houston Oilers of the AFL. But his career never got off the ground due to injuries.
1957: Paul Hornung (first) and Ron Kramer (fourth)
Hornung, nicknamed "The Golden Boy," was a running back from Notre Dame. He was the first Heisman Trophy winner to be selected as the first overall selection in the NFL Draft, play pro football, win the NFL most valuable player award, and be inducted into both the professional and college football halls of fame. Packers coach Vince Lombardi said Hornung was "the greatest player I ever coached." The Pro Football Hall of Famer was notorious for sneaking out the night before games to carouse with Max McGee.
Kramer, a tight end from Michigan, was a key player on Lombardi's first NFL championship teams in 1961 and 1962. Kramer was selected as a first-team All-NFL player in 1962.