Stats & Info: Kyle Wachholtz
April, 23, 2012
By Jennifer Fazioli, ESPN Stats & Info | ESPN.com
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesBrett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have been the faces of the Packers, but did you know they have selected 11 quarterbacks in the NFL Draft since 1993? That is the most in the league.
The Green Bay Packers have had arguably the most stable quarterback situation in the NFL over the last 20 years, seamlessly moving from one franchise quarterback (Brett Favre) to another (Aaron Rodgers).
Yet since the advent of free agency in 1993 the Packers have taken more quarterbacks in the draft (11) than any team. What motivated the Packers to draft a quarterback nearly every year and what did that practice translate to in terms of on-field product?
Favre’s record-setting durability – he started every game for Green Bay from Week 4 in 1992 through the end of the 2007 season – would argue against needing to use those 11 draft picks on quarterbacks as insurance against an injury, but the Packers were able to cash in the value of the position in other ways: Three of those QBs were traded away for future draft picks, one became Favre’s successor as the franchise quarterback, and another played as a stable and effective backup.
It wasn’t a flawless plan. In fact, three of the first six quarterbacks drafted after Favre’s arrival – Jay Barker (1995, 5th round), Kyle Wachholtz (1996, 7th round) and Ron McAda (1997 7th round) – never played a down in the NFL.
But the other three – Mark Brunell (1993, 5th round), Matt Hasselbeck (1998, 6th round) and Aaron Brooks (1999, 4th round) – were used in trades that brought the Packers three third-round picks, one first-round pick and one fifth-round pick.
Scott Boehm/Getty ImagesMatt Flynn’s Week 17 performance last year helped him land a free agent contract with Seattle this offseason.
But the next quarterback Green Bay selected, Aaron Rodgers (2005, 1st round) led the Packers to their latest Super Bowl championship (XLV).
In April 2008, months before Rodgers became Green Bay’s starter, the Packers selected two more quarterbacks – Brian Brohm in the second round and Matt Flynn in the seventh.
Brohm was waived after that season and hooked on as a backup in Buffalo, but Flynn capped his seasons as Rodgers’ backup with six touchdown passes and nearly 500 passing yards against the Lions in Week 17 last season.
That performance made Flynn a hot commodity in the offseason and he signed a lucrative contract with the Seattle Seahawks. The Packers will receive a compensatory pick in next year’s draft because of Flynn’s exit.