The Green Bay Packers have been one of the NFL’s most successful franchises since 1992 when Ron Wolf took over as GM and Brett Favre became their starting quarterback. As a result, the Packers have only had this happen at the NFL Draft three times since 2000 and that is picking in the top 10. Despite expectations the results have been mixed.

First Time the Packers Have Done This in the NFL Draft Since 2000: 2001

The first time the Packers had a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft since 2000 came in 2001 when they had the 10th overall pick in the first round.

This pick was actually acquired as part of a trade with the Seattle Seahawks for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. The Packers original pick was 17th overall but the teams swapped first rounders as part of the deal.

The Packers used the pick to select defensive end Jamal Reynolds. The former Florida State star never started a game for the Packers in his three seasons with the team and struggled with injuries. He recorded just three career sacks and forced two fumbles in 18 career games.

The Packers tried to trade Reynolds to the Colts, but he failed his physical and never played another down in the NFL. We will never know what Reynolds could have become had he stayed healthy.

Second Time: 2006

The Packers finished a miserable 4-12 in 2005. The result was the fifth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. GM Ted Thompson used the pick to select linebacker A.J. Hawk out of Ohio State.

Hawk started his career as an outside linebacker but moved inside during the 2008 campaign. Hawk spent nine seasons with the Packers and started immediately as a rookie. He led the team in tackles in five of those nine years with the Pack.

His best year came in 2010 when Hawk earned Pro Bowl honors for the only time in his career. Hawk intercepted a career-high three passes that season while recording 111 tackles. He made five total tackles in the Packers win in Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Packers released him after the 2014 season, and he finished his career playing one season with the Bengals and one with the Falcons before retiring.

Third Time the Packers Have Done This in the NFL Draft Since 2000: 2009

After a 6-10 season in 2008, the Packers were awarded the ninth pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. The team also traded for the 26th pick. Thompson selected two Pro Bowl players including nose tackle B.J. Raji with the earlier pick and linebacker Clay Matthews with the second.

Raji had an immediate impact on the Packers defense. At 6’2” and 337 pounds, he could eat up a lot of space in the middle of the defense and help stop the run.

He became a full-time starter in his second season and recorded a career-high 6.5 sacks. His most memorable moment came in the 2010 NFC Championship Game in Chicago. In the fourth quarter, Raji intercepted Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie and the big man rumbled 18 yards for a touchdown. The score gave the Pack a 21-7 lead en route to a 21-14 victory. Two weeks later, the Packers beat the Steelers to win the Super Bowl.

Raji earned Pro Bowl honors in 2011. He started two more seasons after that before a torn bicep injury cost him the entire 2014 season. The former Boston College star returned for one more year in 2015 before retiring.

Overall, the Packers hit on two of their three top 10 draft picks. But the amazing thing is that in 25 years, the Packers only picked in the top 10 three times and one of those was due to a trade.



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