Green Bay has to be one of the luckiest franchises in the last few decades. While most teams go years searching for their answer at quarterback Green Bay got to go from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. Talk about being fortunate.
The Packers have been pretty successful in the first round, but they haven’t gone without their blemishes. My pick here is Justin Harrell, the defensive tackle out of the University of Tennessee who was selected 16th overall in 2007.
In 2006 the Packers were absolutely terrible against the run, Harrell was supposed to be their savior as he measured at 6’4 and 315 pounds. All they got was an extremely injury prone and expensive player.
He missed most of training camp due to an injury sustained in college, when he did show up he was poorly conditioned and overweight. Harrell didn’t play in a game until week 5 of the regular season and was relatively ineffective the entire season.
Harrell started the following season on the PUP list and missed the first 6 games of the year. Upon playing he was yet again a non-factor all season. He then injured his back in training camp and missed all of 2009 due to it. During the season opener in 2010 Harrell tore his ACL, ending yet another season. He was released the following off-season, he had only played in 14 games and registered 28 career tackles.
While it’s hard to call a player a true bust due to being marred with injuries, the Packers also knew what they were getting when they drafted him as he was still recovering from a torn bicep. Unfortunately for Green Bay, this draft was chalked full of defensive talent that went on to have long and productive careers.
Still on the board when Harrell was selected were; Michael Griffin, Leon Hall, Aaron Ross, Reggie Nelson, Brandon Meriweather, Jon Beason, Anthony Spencer, Paul Posluszny, Eric Weddle, and LaMarr Woodley. Not to mention offensive players such as Greg Olson, Joe Staley, and Ben Grubbs.
Any of those defensive players would have been a massive upgrade as far as return for your investment. What’s really attractive is the idea of Aaron Rodgers and Greg Olson becoming the best QB/TE duo in the league for years. Olson would have filled the revolving door at TE that has plagued Green Bay for a long time.