The Green Bay Packers dominated the headlines during the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft . Unfortunately, it was for all of the wrong reasons, and it also had nothing to do with their draft selection. Aaron Rodgers is unhappy; we knew that. However, things have gotten so bad that he does not want to return to the Packers. General manager Brian Guteknust followed the news up with again passing on an offensive starter in the first round, instead opting to draft cornerback Eric Stokes.
Stokes is far from a bad pick, in a vacuum. However, it’s fair to ask if the selection helps or hurts the relationship with Rodgers. A generous extension, along with a strong showing on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, will go a long way in bringing the reigning MVP back to Green Bay. However, the Packers may need to switch up their third round draft strategy. To put it bluntly, the Packer draft history in the third round is terrible.
Packers Draft History in the Third Round is Terrible
Buckle up, because things are about to get depressing. While the third round has been a rough one for the Packers for quite some time, we will only look at the past decade (2011-20), since that is the most relevant. The 10 Packers drafts have resulted in nine selections in the third round. Let’s unfortunately remind ourselves of these selections:
Of these nine players, only three remain on the team, and it’s because they are still on their rookie contracts. There have been only four total seasons across all nine of these players where they were the primary starter for the team. And as great as Richard Rodgers is at catching Hail Mary bombs, the fact they he has half of those starting seasons is pathetic.
The jury is still out on Josiah Deguara, but he is not going to be a starter for the Packers. Jace Sternberger and Oren Burks barely belong in the NFL, much less on a championship-contending team. Montravius Adams and Kyler Fackrell have both had some bright moments for the Packers, but they still count for just 12 starts between them across eight NFL seasons. Khyri Thornton never played a snap for the Packers, and Alex Green lasted two seasons as a backup.
Ty Montgomery had his ups and downs with the Packers, but he certainly served a role. In terms of the entirety of their Packers careers, he and Richard Rodgers appear to be the most consistently valuable of this group, though that’s not saying much. Also, they can credit their success to Aaron Rodgers, and clearly not the other way around.
What the Hell Are the Packers Doing?
This question can be applied to pretty much every aspect of the team at this point, but for the sake of this article’s focus, what the hell are they doing in the third round? We are not talking about whiffing on late-round picks. The third round is an incredibly valuable round for NFL talent.
The following players were selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft after the Packers’ selection of Jace Sternberger:
- WR Terry McLaurin
- DE Chase Winovich
- OG Michael Deiter
- LB Sione Takitaki
- RB Damien Harris
- OG Connor McGovern
- LB Bobby Okereke
The following players were selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft after the Packers’ selection of Oren Burks:
- WR Tre’Quan Smith
- S Ronnie Harrison
- C Mason Cole
- TE Jordan Akins
The following players were selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft after the Packers’ selection of Montravius Adams:
- WR Kenny Golladay
- TE Jonnu Smith
- RB James Conner
Are we getting the point? Also, why are the Packers so bad at evaluating wide receivers? Could you imagine a receiver room of Davante Adams and both Kenny Golladay and Terry McLaurin on rookie contracts last season?
I understand hindsight is 20/20. However, a broken clock is right twice per day, and the Packers haven’t been right once in 10 years. Every once in awhile, a blind squirrel finds a nut. Can our pompous GM please find a damn nut?