The NFL Draft is quickly approaching and NFL teams are getting their draft boards ready. Any schmuck can pick a top-100 player but the real General Managers make their money on day three NFL Draft picks. The Green Bay Packers are no different and have had a few diamonds in the rough.
With mock drafts being uploaded to social media left and right from every expert and random joe, people think they can find the next Brock Purdy. Finding a stud on the third day of the draft makes the roster building process that much easier. Since 2010, the Packers have hit on a number of late-round picks.
Karl Brooks (2023, sixth round)
For the average college football fan, a sixth-round pick out of Bowling Green State University would not often move the needle. For those who enjoy partaking in mid-week #MACtion, it was obvious that Brooks was going to be a steal no matter when he would be selected.
Statistically, Brooks finished his rookie year in 2023 with 20 tackles, six for loss, four sacks, six quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and two recovered fumbles. His impact went beyond the stat sheet, of course. Brooks was able to win his assignments on the interior with ease and made a name for himself early. Keep an eye on Brooks, he has the potential to be one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL.
Aaron Jones (2017, fifth round)
The “running backs don’t matter” crowd has its poster boy as the former UTEP Miner was fifth-round pick for the Packers back in 2017. Since then, he’s been of the feature backs in Green Bay. Despite the team using a second-round pick on AJ Dillon just three years later, Jones has shown that he belongs in the Packers backfield.
In his seven years in Green Bay, Jones has rushed for 5,940 yards and 45 touchdowns. By far, his best year was in 2019 where he ran for 1,084 yards (the first of his three 1,000+-yard seasons) and a lead-leading 19 touchdowns. Over the last few years, Jones’ scoring numbers have fallen but he ended the 2023 season with five consecutive 100-yard games. In the Wild Card win over the Cowboys, Jones scored three touchdowns.
Late Round Picks That Got Away
The final entrant into the late-round hits are actually a pair of players who went on to do great things. The Packers were right to pick both Micah Hyde and Lawrence Guy, judging by their respective careers, despite what eventually happened.
Lawrence Guy (2011, seventh round)
Starting with Guy, the seventh-round selection out of Arizona State ended up with a fantastic career. Guy was actually cut prior to the 2012 same by the Packers and later picked up by the Colts. It wasn’t until he round his way to Baltimore in 2015 that he made any kind of impact. Then, he signed with the Patriots in 2017 and finally hit his stride.
In total, Guy has amassed 507 tackles, 39 for loss, 17 sacks, two forced fumbles, six recovered fumbles, and 63 quarterback hits over his 12 years in the NFL. According to pro-football-reference’s Approximate Value metric, Guy is sitting at 76 which has him among some of the league’s best.
Micah Hyde (2013, fifth round)
Then, there’s Hyde. Hailing from a tiny town in northwest Ohio called Fostoria, Hyde was a fifth-round pick out of Iowa for the Packers. He would appear in 63 games for the Packers over a four-year span and ended up with 227 tackles and eight interceptions. Then, he elected to sign with the Buffalo Bills.
Hyde is better known for his efforts with Buffalo. 2023 was his seventh with the Bills and he’s totalled 417 tackles with 16 interceptions. In 2022, Hyde was lost due to an injury and it was a massive blow for a Super Bowl-contending team.
Do the Packers get credit for identifying a couple of legitimate diamonds in the rough? Perhaps, however, in the case of Guy in particular, Green Bay should be picked on for cutting Guy as the Bengals were for picking Randy Bullock over Jake Elliott.