ASHWAUBENON - If you're thinking the Green Bay Packers will find an instant impact player with the 28th pick in the first round of the NFL draft, you might be right.
With recent history as a barometer, the 28th pick surprisingly has equaled a solid to really good player.
The last five No. 28 picks have been Mark Ingram, Jared Odrick, Eric Wood, Lawrence Jackson and Joe Staley. Maybe none of these are big-name players, but they haven't fared too badly.
—Last year's 28th pick, Ingram, split time last season in New Orleans' backfield before getting injured and you would think he'd get more rushes this season. Ingram had 474 rushing yards and five TDs last season.
—Odrick, Miami's first-round pick in 2010, had seven sacks in his second season last year after suffering a broken foot as a rookie.
—Wood, Buffalo's first-round pick in 2009, has started all 33 games he has played in. He has missed 15 games due to injury but has been a key to the Bills' improvement on the offensive line.
—Jackson, Seattle's pick in 2008, played two years in Seattle before being traded to Detroit for a sixth-round pick in 2010. Jackson has picked it up in Detroit, recording 11.5 sacks in 22 games for the Lions.
—Staley has been the best of the bunch so far. The 28th pick in the 2007 draft by San Francisco, Staley was named All-Pro at left tackle this past season and has started all 66 games he has played.
The Packers have little history picking 28th. The last time they had the 28th pick was 1977, when they selected Ezra Johnson, who went on to record 14.5 sacks in 1983 and unofficially 20.5 in 1978, when the sack was not an official NFL stat.
Johnson was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1993, and no question the Packers, void of any pass rush outside of Clay Matthews, would love to find a pass rusher at No. 28 who would eventually be in the team's hall of fame.
With that in mind, here's a look the top five No. 28 picks in the NFL draft since 1980
Top 5 No. 28 picks
- 1. Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay (1995): 11-time Pro Bowl pick, 9-time All-Pro, 2002 defensive player of the year, member of NFL's 2000's All-Decade team, 13.5 sacks, 1,715 tackles, 25 INTs.
- 2. Darrell Green, Washington (1983): 7-time Pro Bowl pick. 4-time All-Pro, 54 INTs, member of 1990's All-Decade team.
- 3. Trevor Pryce, Denver Broncos (1997): Recorded 91 career sacks, four-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro pick.
- 4. Joe Staley, San Francisco (2007): All-Pro LT in 2011 and has started all 66 games he has played in.
- 5. Darryl Williams, Cincinnati (1992): 31 career interceptions, 9.5 sacks and was selected to one Pro Bowl and was All-Pro once.
Click link for No. 28 pick in NFL draft since 1980: http://www.mynfldraft.com/NFL-Draft-Picks/28th-overall/280309/
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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