The National Football League will hold its supplemental draft on Thursday afternoon, and the Green Bay Packers are not expected to participate. Based on the past 34 years, that’s probably a pretty good idea. Of the 41 players selected since 1977, only five went on to have distinguished professional careers.
Quarterback Bernie Kosar (1985), wide receivers Cris Carter (1987) and Rob Moore (1990), guard Mike Wahle (1989) and nose tackle Jamal Williams (1989) played in a combined 15 Pro Bowls. Linebacker Brian Bosworth (1987), halfback Bobby Humphrey (1989), defensive end Darren Mickell (1992), linebacker Ahmad Brooks (2006) and tackle Jared Gaither (2007) found varying degrees of success in the NFL. And while the jury is still out on defensive end Jeremy Jarmon (2009), nose tackle Josh Brent (2010) and quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2011), early returns aren’t encouraging.
The other 28 players were either busts or journeymen. And some of the busts were very high picks. Quarterbacks Dave Wilson (1981), Steve Walsh (1989) Timm Rosenbach (1989) and Dave Brown (1992) were all taken in round one. They combined to throw 136 touchdowns and 187 interceptions. Running back Tony Hollings (2nd/2003) and defensive tackles Dan Sileo (3rd/1987) and Darren Benson (3rd/1995) were other high picks who flopped at the next level. And as difficult as it is to find a star in the early rounds, it’s even harder to find a steal in the later rounds. Only Carter (4th), and to a much lesser degree Gaither (5th), would fall into that category.
Eight players are eligible for Thursday’s draft, but only one is certain to be selected. Wide receiver Josh Gordon, who didn’t play football in 2011 after transferring from Baylor to Utah, could go as high as the second round. He has outstanding size and good speed. He was also fairly productive in his one season as a full-time starter. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Gordon wind up with the Redskins. That would reunite him with quarterback Robert Griffin III. It would make perfect sense, and the move would be lauded by most experts. But based on the history of this draft, the odds are very much against the move still being lauded five years from now.