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Longevity & How The Packers Draft.

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via cdn.bleacherreport.net

The content of these longevity posts are changing from here on out. For the purpose of brevity, and to save myself some time, I will only list those players from each draft class who were players of note, and provide a bit of commentary and a summary of the totals. With 32 teams in the league, (28 to go after this post) and only two weeks until TC, it means that I have to get into the two a day mode to make it! WoW... sounds like OTA's.

Only 5 out of the 19 Packers drafts covered here (1994 - 2012) were 7 selections or less! That's pretty amazing. 179 players selected in 19 years = 9.42 players per year. In a normal 7 round draft year, which is what each of these years were, it is obvious that this represents a 2.42 player per year advantage.

That only gives a team an advantage if those picks count for something. During this same period, only 20 of those players selected were cut in camp, and never got any NFL regular season playing time. That just eliminated 1 of those extra players per year, but it still leaves an almost 1 1/2 player per year advantage!

From 1992 - 98', Mike Holmgren's teams made the playoffs every year (6) but his first. They also won a Super Bowl and 2 NFC Championships. In 1999 Rhodes was basically a fill in HC, and the Packers were 8 - 8 and missed the playoffs. From 2000 - 05' Sherman's teams made the playoffs 4 of his six years, and from 2006 - the present, McCarthy's teams made the playoffs 4 out of those six years and were Super Bowl Champions in 2010.

From the time Mike Holmgren became coach (1992), until the present day (20 years), the Packers have made the playoffs 70% of the time. During that same twenty years, the Broncos have made the playoffs 45% of the time. The other two teams, that I've done this study on so far, have this record. Pittsburgh = 70%. Patriots = 65%.

So what, right? The Broncos have been to the SB twice during this 20 year period and won them both. The Packers made it 3 times with 2 wins. Pittsburgh made it 4 times with 2 wins, and the Patriots made it 6 times with 3 wins.

Obviously you can't win the SB if you don't make the playoffs, but even when you make the playoffs it isn't that easy to even get to the SB. If you make it, then you only have a 50% chance to even win it. That is why the teams who win it back to back, or in three out of four years, are considered to be elite!

Here is that list.

New England Patriots 2003/04 also won 2001 (3 out of 4 years in a row)
Denver Broncos 1997/98
Dallas Cowboys 1992/93 also won 1995 (3 out of 4 years in a row)
San Francisco 49ers 1988/89
Pittsburgh Steelers 1978/79 (4 out of a 6 year stretch)
Pittsburgh Steelers 1974/75
Miami Dolphins 1972/73
Green Bay Packers 1966/67

So lets get back there Ladies and Gentlemen! What does it take? Great drafts in a row? Excellent FA acquisitions? A bit of both is what it takes, but most of all, it takes and elite QB. The Patriots have Brady, the Broncos had Elway (& Davis), the Cowboys had Aikman (I forgot he was that old), San Francisco had Montana (& Rice), Pittsburgh had Bradshaw, Miami had Earl Morrall (Who?) & Bob Griese? (Two different QB's during the perfect season? WoW, I didn't know that!) & Green Bay had Bart Starr!

How many of those guys didn't make the Hall Of Fame? Just Earl Morrall & Tom Brady, but we all know that Brady will be inducted on the first ballot.

During Miami's perfect season, starter Bob Griese suffered a fractured right leg and dislocated ankle when sandwiched by the Chargers defensive tackle Ron East and defensive end Deacon Jones. Then the 38-year-old Earl Morrall took over & led Miami to victory in their nine remaining regular season games, and was named the 1972 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

After all that, he was benched by Shula in favor of Griese for the Super Bowl. That just doesn't seem fair does it? Otherwise who knows. Bob Griese may have never made the HOF. Earl Morrall won most of the games that year, but so much for the history lesson.

A quick recap on the grading.

We know that the AVGY of each round of the draft decreases from the first round on down, and so we have to use the tables for each round to see how the selections measure up. The easiest way to do that is to give each selection and A or a B. The A means that the selection was Above the AVGY for that round, and so the B means it was Below.

A quick review of the first round chart will simplify explaining the additional information we will add that will hopefully give this grading system a little more depth.

FIRST ROUND

Position...# Drafted................AVGY

P/K.................01...............12 years............A 1
O-line..............41...............7.85 years.........A 2
LB's................40...............7.73 years.........A 3
QB's...............32...............7.72 years..........A 4
RB's...............25...............7.64 years..........A 5
DB's...............65...............7.58 years..........A 6
D-Line............76...............7.51 years..........A 7
FIRST ROUND SPLIT (AVGY = 7.48 years)
TE's...............18................7.16 years..........B 8
WR's..............47...............6.51 years..........B 9

Any player cut in camp gets an automatic B 10.

CUT's...........................................................B 10

Since drafts vary for the number of picks per team, we must total the numbers and then divide by the number of players selected. Using this system, the lower the final # the better the draft was based upon the AVGY. The best possible grade would be an A 1, and the worst would be a B 10. As we grade each round we can easily show if the position selected in that round was an above (A) the AVGY pick, or below (B).

The information given below (in the yearly list of notable players) is this:

Round / Player / Position / Last Year Played / Total Years Played / Draft Grade

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1994 draft (18 years ago) 9 players selected. Holmgren is HC. His 5 year Draft Grade = B 5.92 & AVGY = 6.1**
** There are two players still active from the five draft classes.

5 Dorsey Levens.... RB 2004 11y A2
6 Bill Schroeder..... WR 2004 11y B9

Grade = B 6.22
Final AVGY = 5.77

The grade wasn't great, but the AVGY beat the NFL averages by about 1 year per player.

1995 draft (17 years ago) 10 players selected.

3 Darius Holland......... DT 2004 10y A4
3 William Henderson... FB 2006 12y B7
3 Antonio Freeman.... WR 2003 09y B8
5 Travis Jervey............ RB 2003 09y A2
7 Adam Timmerman...... G 2006 12y A1

Grade = B 6.1
Final AVGY = 6.5

Anytime that you can beat the league AVGY by 1 or more years you've done okay.

1996 draft (16 years ago) 8 players selected.

3 Mike Flanagan..... C 2007 12y A2
6 Marco Rivera....... G 2006 11y B6

Grade = B 5.88
Final AVGY = 5.13

This was Holmgren's worst year, but he still managed to beat the averages by a small margin.

1997 draft (15 years ago) 8 players selected.

1 Ross Verba..............T 2006 10y A2
2 Darren Sharper.... DB 2010 14y A3
7 Jerald Sowell......... FB 2006 10y B7

Grade = B 6.13
Final AVGY = 5.5

A slight improvement this year over last, but wait untill you see next year!

1998 draft (14 years ago) 7 players selected.

1 Vonnie Holliday........ DE 2011 14y A7
6 Matt Hasselbeck....... QB 2011 14y B5

Grade = A 5.28
AVGY to date = 7.57
Two players were still active in 2011.

This was an amazing draft! It was the very best draft grade for Holmgren, and his player's AVGY blows away the league average of 4.87. Matt Hasselbeck is in his second year of a three year deal with the Titans, and Holliday resigned with the Cardinals during the 2012 off season for a fifteenth NFL season. If these two guys play out the season then this draft class AVGY will increase to 7.86, beating the NFL's AVGY by 3 years per player.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1999 draft (13 years ago) 12 players selected. Rhodes is HC. His 1 year Draft Grade = A 4.75 & AVGY = 5.75*
* There is one player still active.

3 Mike McKenzie......... DB 2009 11y A5
4 Josh Bidwell................ P 2010 12y A1
7 Donald Driver.......... WR 2011 13y B9

Grade = A 4.75
AVGY to date = 5.75
One player was still active in 2011.

Rhodes did quite nicely for a one year gig! An A grade under 5 & an AVGY of a year better than the average is pretty decent. The only player who is left, Donald Driver finally broke the Packers' all-time receiving yardage record on September 18, 2011 against the Carolina Panthers after he caught a 10-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers, surpassing James Lofton. Driver is another player who proves that 7th round picks can be great.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

2000 draft (12 years ago) 13 players selected. Sherman is HC. His 6 year Draft Grade = A 5.29 & AVGY = 4.77**
** There were still eleven players active in 2011 from these six draft classes.

2 Chad Clifton.......... T 2011 12y A2
4 Na'il Diggs........... LB 2011 12y A3
7 Mark Tauscher...... T 2010 11y A1

Grade = A 5.15
AVGY to date = 4.53
Two players were still active in 2011.

Chad Clifton is a dream come true. On March 5, 2010, the Packers resigned Clifton to a 3 year, $20 million dollar contract, with $7.5 million guaranteed, and he has given the Packers 12 years to date. Na'il Diggs gave them 6 years, played last year on a one year deal with San Diego, but is no longer on that roster. This draft class may barely break even, but it was Sherman's first. Like Clifton, Mark Tauscher gave them his entire career!

2001 draft (11 years ago) 6 players selected.

6 David Martin........... TE 2011 11y B7

Grade = A 5.33
AVGY to date = 5.83
One player was still active in 2011.

David Martin gave Green Bay 6 years and is the only player left. He was released by Buffalo in September of last year after playing in just 3 games, and so he may not be picked up by a team this year.

2002 draft (10 years ago) 6 players selected.

5 Aaron Kampman........... DE 2011 10y A1

Grade = B 6.0
AVGY to date = 6.0
One player was still active in 2011.

The AVGY of Sherman's drafts have improved every year so far. Aaron Kampman gave the Packers 8 years, but after missing nearly the entire 2011 season due to injury, he was released on June 7, 2012 by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

2003 draft (9 years ago) 9 players selected.

1 Nick Barnett......... LB 2011 09y A3
7 Chris Johnson..... DB 2011 07y B5

Grade = A 5.66
AVGY to date = 4.22
Two players were still active in 2011.

After 8 years with GB, Nick Barnett signed a three year deal with the Bills in July, 2011. Chris Johnson never actually played for GB, but started his career with the Rams in 2005. This was not a good draft for Sherman, but perhaps the two guys left can get this class up to the NFL average of 4.87 years per player.

2004 draft (8 years ago) 6 players selected.

6 Corey Williams........... DT 2011 08y A4
7 Scott Wells................... G 2011 08y A1

Grade = A 4.5
AVGY to date = 4.83
Two players were still active in 2011.

Sherman's 6th & 7th round picks still have a chance to make this one respectable. Corey Williams went to Detroit after 4 years with GB, but Scott Wells decided to stay right where he was drafted!

2005 draft (7 years ago) 11 players selected.

1 Aaron Rodgers................ QB 2011 07y A4
2 Nick Collins...................... DB 2011 07y A3
4 Brady Poppinga............... LB 2011 07y A3

Grade = A 5.1
AVGY to date = 3.18
Three players were still active in 2011.

This was Sherman's last shot, and the class has a long way to go. A decent draft grade and the fact that Aaron Rodgers is a part of it won't hurt his chances. Nick Collins is sticking around, but Brady Poppinga left for the Rams last year after giving the Pack 6 years. He wanted a chance to start again, and he got it there.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

2006 draft (6 years ago) 11 players selected. McCarthy is HC. His 6 year Draft Grade (2012 not included) = A 5.1 He still has 44 players on a 2011 roster from those 6 draft classes. His 2 year AVGY = 4.54 with 14 players from those two years still playing! The rest of his draft classes are still to young to figure even a preliminary AVGY, as they are all 4 years or less.

1 A.J. Hawk............. LB 2011 06y A3
2 Daryn Colledge....... T 2011 06y A2
2 Greg Jennings..... WR 2011 06y B6
3 Jason Spitz............. G 2011 06y A2
4 Will Blackmon....... DB 2011 06y A5
5 Tony Moll.............. T 2011 06y A4
7 Dave Tollefson..... DE 2011 05y A3

Grade = A 4.54
AVGY to date = 4.63
Seven players were still active in 2011.

McCarthy's first draft is amazing! After just 6 years it is almost at the league AVGY. A.J. Hawk & Greg Jennings are hangin tough with the team. Daryn Colledge gave them 5 years and left for Arizona, & Jason Spitz also stayed 5 years before going to Jaxsonville.

Will Blackmon gave 4 years & went to the Giants, & Tony Moll spent 3 years and ended up with the Chargers. Dave Tollefson sat out 06' and never played for GB, but has started for the Giants since 2007. All in all, it was a very good start for Mike.

2007 draft (5 years ago) 11 players selected.

2 Brandon Jackson.......RB 2011 05y B8
3 James Jones............ WR 2011 05y B8
4 Allen Barbre................ T 2011 05y A4
6 Korey Hall.................. LB 2011 05y A3
6 Desmond Bishop....... LB 2011 05y A3
6 Mason Crosby............. K 2011 05y A1

Grade = A 5.54
AVGY to date = 4.45
Seven players were still active in 2011.

Well look at this! Mike McCarthy seems to be establishing a trend here. With another seven players still playing he is again almost at the league average after just 5 years. Of the players above, James Jones, Desmond Bishop & Mason Crosby stuck in GB.

Brandon Jackson & Korey Hall left for other teams last year, & Allen Barbre spent the last two in Seattle, but Clark Harris had to sit out the 07' season and ended up with the Bengals after a year with Houston.

2008 draft (4 years ago) 9 players selected.

2 Jordy Nelson............. WR 2011 04y B6
2 Patrick Lee................. DB 2011 04y A3
3 Jermichael Finley........ TE 2011 04y B9
4 Josh Sitton.................... T 2011 04y A4
5 Breno Giacomini ...........T 2011 04y A4
7 Matt Flynn ..................QB 2011 04y B6
7 Brett Swain................ WR 2011 04y B9

Grade = A 5.33 Seven players were still active in 2011.

Only two players dropped out in four years so this is very good.

2009 draft (3 years ago) 8 players selected.

1 B.J. Raji..................DT 2011 03y A7
1 Clay Matthews....... LB 2011 03y A3
4 T.J. Lang..................T 2011 03y A4
5 Quinn Johnson.......RB 2011 03y A2
5 Jamon Meredith....... T 2011 03y A4
6 Jarius Wynn...........DE 2011 03y A4
7 Brad Jones............ LB 2011 03y A4

Grade = A 3.75 Seven players were still active in 2011.

What a great draft grade, no cuts, and all but one player is still active. This one should end up fantastic, but only time will tell. B.J. Raji & Clay Matthews are studs, & T.J. Lang started 15 games last year. Quinn Johnson went to the Titans last year, & Jamon Meredith ended up in with the Steelers. The rest have made little impact as yet, but Brad Jones has played in 35 games with 13 starts during the 3 years.

2010 draft (2 years ago) 7 players selected.

1 Bryan Bulaga............ T 2011 02y A2
2 Mike Neal.............. . DE 2011 02y B5
3 Morgan Burnett....... DB 2011 02y A5
5 Andrew Quarless.... TE 2011 02y B9
6 James Starks.......... RB 2011 02y B8
7 C.J. Wilson............. DE 2011 02y A3

Grade = B 6.0 Six players were still active in 2011.

The draft grade would be better without the cut, but I have no doubts about this group. Bryan Bulaga started 24 games his first 2 years, and Morgan Burnett started 20. Andrew Quarless played in 23 with 5 starts, & James Starks played in 16 with 2 starts. C.J. Wilson played in 31 with 4 starts and so it looks like the group is working their way into the line up.

2011 draft (1 year ago) 10 players selected.

1 Derek Sherrod............ OL 2011 01y A2
2 Randall Cobb............. WR 2011 01y B6
3 Alex Green.................. RB 2011 01y B7
4 Davon House............... DB 2011 01y A5
5 D.J. Williams................ TE 2011 01y B9
6 Caleb Schlauderaff...... OL 2011 01y B6
6 D.J. Smith..................... LB 2011 01y A3
6 Ricky Elmore................ DL 2011 01y A4
7 Ryan Taylor................. TE 2011 01y B8
7 Lawrence Guy............. DT 2011 01y A3

Grade = A 5.3 Ten players were still active in 2011.

Just the fact that there are no cuts out of 10 picks says a lot!

2012 draft (0 years ago) 8 players selected.

1 Nick Perry DE A7
2 Jerel Worthy DT B5
2 Casey Hayward DB A3
4 Mike Daniels DT A6
4 Jerron McMillian SS A5
5 Terrell Manning OLB A5
7 Andrew Datko T A1
7 B.J. Coleman QB B6

Grade = A 4.75 is a nice draft grade so far, but any cuts in camp will change that. The thing is that, McCarthy has only cut two of 56 players up to the 2012 draft and there have only been 3 players in all his drafts prior to 2010 (the 2 year players) who have played two years or less. The guy just respects the players and his staff enough to work with the picks.

Holmgren's 5 year Draft Grade = B 5.92 & AVGY = 6.1**
** There are two players still active from the five draft classes.

Rhodes' 1 year Draft Grade = A 4.75 & AVGY = 5.75*
* There is one player still active.

Sherman's 6 year Draft Grade = A 5.29 & AVGY = 4.77**
** There were still eleven players active in 2011 from these six draft classes.

McCarthy's 6 year Draft Grade (2012 not included) = A 5.1 He still has 44 players on a 2011 roster from those 6 draft classes. His 2 year AVGY = 4.54 with 14 players from those two years still playing!

I have a gut feeling that Mike McCarthy is going to end up being talked about in Green Bay right along with guys like Curly Lambeau, or Vince Lombardi! I know, I'm probably a bit premature to be talking that way, and the old folks in Wisconsin are having heart failure right now. I swear that the heart problems have more to do with the heavy cheese diet then the fact that Aaron Rodgers is going to help make McCarthy famous!

What impresses me is not just the way he drafts, but the way the staff developes the players. They tend to NOT be impatient with their picks. That is important. Why spend the time to evaluate and draft if you are not going to give the guy a real shot.

If the problem you have is that the talent in house is so good that the new guys can't win a spot, then you are one lucky son of a gun! Either that or you just don't know how to pick players. I just haven't seen a team like that anywhere in the NFL. Well, there you have my take on he Packers.

GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!!! 19 & 0 TILL WE'RE NOT!!!!!!!!! IT'S THE SUPER BOWL OR BUST FOLKS!!!!!!!!!

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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