No wide receivers in the draft is not common for the Packers
How about one more article on the recent NFL draft?
In addition to the chatter about how the Green Bay Packers used a first round choice on a QB, the other big news for the team was the fact that they did not select a wide receiver early in the draft… truth is they didn’t select any wide receivers among their 2020 selections.
Most experts had the Packers adding a playmaking receiver in the first couple rounds of the draft. When they didn’t select even one over the three days, a lot of people were surprised.
The last time the Packers did not select a wide receiver in any round of an NFL Draft was in 2012, eight years ago. If we check the team’s drafts from the past 50 years, it was only the ninth time since 1970 that the Pack did not choose a wide receiver in the draft.
Let’s go back to the selection of a wide receiver in the first round, again, an expected move for the Packers this season. In some respects, it should not come as a surprise that they didn’t use their first rounder on a wide receiver. Since 1970, only four times have the Packers chosen a wide receiver in the first round. The last time it happened was in 2002 when Green Bay selected receiver Javon Walker in the first round.
The other first round receivers taken by the Packers in the first round since 1970: Sterling Sharpe, 1988; James Lofton, 1978; and Barry Smith, 1973.
Both Sharpe and Lofton went onto great careers with the Packers. Sharpe had 595 catches with the Packers and ranks second behind Donald Driver’s 743 for most catches by a Green bay wide receiver. Lofton grabbed 530 passes as a Packers and ranks fourth on the wide receiver’s most catches list.
Sharpe, Lofton and Walker are the three Packers wide receivers drafted in the first round that had 150 or more career catches with the team. Of the 19 wide receivers who had 150 or more career catches with the Packers, five were selected in the second round, four were taken in the third round, four were taken in the fourth round or later, and two of the players came to the Packers via a trade or free agency, and one, Don Hutson, who ranks fifth on the list with 488 catches, was with the team before the NFL Draft was ever instituted.
Looking at the 22 NFL wide receivers that have 900 or more career catches, 10 were drafted in the first round, two were chosen in the second round, four were selected in the third round, four were taken in the fourth round, and two of those wide receivers with 900 or more career receptions were undrafted.
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Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver officially announced his retirement yesterday in a ceremony at Lambeau Field. The 14-year veteran ends his career with 743 catches and 62 touchdowns, all with the green and gold. Following are a few stats you may not know about Driver’s career.
* Driver was a seventh round selection in the 1999 draft. Thirty different receivers were chosen in that draft; Driver was the 25th receiver chosen. Torry Holt was the first receiver selected in the first round (6th pick overall) by the Rams. Holt is the only receiver in that class to catch more career passes than Driver.
* Of all the players chosen in that ’99 draft, Driver ranks second in NFL games played with 205. The only player drafted in the 1999 draft to have more career NFL games than Driver is Champ Bailey with 210.
* Driver scored at least one TD in each of his 14 seasons in the league.
* Driver is one of 39 players to have 700 or more career catches in the NFL. Of those 39, Driver was drafted the lowest (two players with 700-plus receptions, Wes Welker and Rod Smith, were not drafted).
* He is one of 281 players to play 200 or more games in the NFL.
* Of his 61 TD receptions, Driver caught 36 of them from Brett Favre and 22 from Aaron Rodgers. Can you name the three players (other than Favre and Rodgers) who threw TD passes to Driver? Answer at end of blog.
* Twenty-seven of Driver’s 62 TDs either tied the score or put the Packers ahead in the game.
* Driver scored two touchdowns in four games. The Pack was 3-1 in those games. The Packers were 36-21 in games when Driver scored a touchdown.
* Driver caught three or more passes in 131 of the 190 regular-season games he played in with the Packers. He caught three of more passes in nine of the 15 playoff games he played in.
* He had 10-plus catches in seven games with the Packers. The team was 6-1 in those games. Driver’s game-high in receptions was 11.
* Driver had 100 or more yards receiving in 22 games in his career. The Packers were 15-7 in those games. Of those 22 games, 13 were on the road, nine were home games. Six of those 100-yard games came against the Detroit Lions.
Trivia answer: In addition to Favre and Rodgers, Driver caught TD passes from Matt Flynn, Ahman Green and Bubba Franks.
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