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Biggest Draft Regret

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Chris398, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. Chris398

    Chris398 Cheesehead

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    2 Green Bay Packers
    [​IMG]

    The pick: T Tony Mandarich, No. 2 overall in 1989

    The miss: RB Barry Sanders, No. 3 overall to Lions

    Mandarich is easily the Packers’ worst-ever draft pick and among the biggest busts for any team. It becomes especially painful to know he was taken after one Hall of Famer, quarterback Troy Aikman, and right before three others — Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders. Any of those three would have been great, but imagine Sanders playing with Brett Favre instead of as a rival Lion who shared MVP honors with him in ’97. Green Bay could have used a stud runner to go with Favre, and it could have changed its destiny into more of a dynasty. It also was pretty bad in 1981 when the Packers took quarterback Rich Campbell No. 6 overall. That came two spots ahead of the 49ers taking Hall of Fame, game-changing defensive back Ronnie Lott.
     
  2. Chris398

    Chris398 Cheesehead

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  3. Ogsponge

    Ogsponge Cheesehead

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    I always like reminisce nonsensically on this. Imagine Favre, Sanders and Sharp never getting injured. Or as I like to say...

    Troy, Emmit & Michael who?
     
  4. yooperpackfan

    yooperpackfan Cheesehead

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    I agree 100% about the Mandarich/ Sanders debacle.
    Those were dark days in Packers history.
    Mandarich did go on to have a marginally productive career with the Colts while Packers fans are still left to wonder what could have been.
    Good thing there was no internet at that time.
     
  5. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    After the Packers made the selection of Campbell the team's West Coast scout told Bob Harlan that the pick was a huge mistake (Campbell played college at California). After Harlan asked him why he didn't say anything in the draft room he replied that nobody would have listened to him even if he did.
     
  6. weeds

    weeds Cheesehead

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    Interesting story that by some accounts at the time, Campbell showed up to sign his contract on crutches -- and nobody within the Packers' organization knew about any injury prior - again, pre-internet - I just remember that being circulated verbally in the Green Bay area.

    As for Mandarich ... with the benefit of hindsight, yeah, Mandarich was a bust. Tell ya one thing though, it was a different time.
    First -- Sure, the Pack didn't get Aikman because the Pack elected to win to end out the season, but he said point blank he wouldn't come to Green Bay anyway.

    Second -- Mandarich gave nearly EVERY NFL personnel guy and sports writer a woodie when they saw him pancaking d-lineman. Different time ... steroids were pretty common in the NFL at the time and didn't draw a whole lot of attention. It was what it was. Again, sports writers have this uncanny ability to look back and apply today's standards AFTER a "bust". Do I wish now that they didn't draft Mandarich? Sure...but franchise tackles were as high a commodity as they are now.

    My biggest draft regret was Bruce Clark. 4th overall in either '79 or '80 after he publicly stated he would not play in Green Bay ... and then the guy ends up going to Canada for a couple of years. Ah well, some times you just need to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em... Pack called his bluff and he pee'd all over 'em.
     
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  7. RRyder

    RRyder Cheesehead

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    That draft pick actually helped change the outlook of the franchise for the better.

    If they select Barry or Deon in that draft instead it's entirely possible there isn't a regime change for an extra few years...... Wolf is no longer available.... Wolf is then not around to trade for Favre... Nobodies around these parts to convince White to come to the Packers..... Boom we're the Browns
     
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  8. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    Ripples in a pond, the 'butterfly effect', etc,. Yep.
     
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  9. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    The biggest thing about the Campbell pick is that Zeke Bratkowski, the OC stated years later something like - 'I will never forget the first day of practice and I saw his passing mechanics. I knew he would never be an NFL QB.' How do you draft a player and the OC never has seen the guy throw? Campbell never had a chance when the guy's OC never expects him to succeed.
     
  10. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    We had more than a few regrets over draft picks during the Starr years.

    Mandarich was such a sensation, if you didn't live through it, I don't think you would understand the level of hype. First time a OL player was such a public figure.

    Bruce Clark was such a real head scratcher. Couldn't for the life of me figured out why they would pick him.
     
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  11. yooperpackfan

    yooperpackfan Cheesehead

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    Excellent point, I had forgotten about that debacle.
    That was disappointing and puzzling.
     
  12. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Mandarich had the obvious steroid issues, of course. I've also heard it said that the sheer volume of his college pancake blocks was also attributable to a couple of poor classes of Big Ten DEs, though I have no first hand recollection of that.

    Regardless, there a cautionary tale to be told. You can grade a guy play-by-play, but if the guys he's playing against are not all that good, he's going to look a lot better than he is. Level of competition cannot be underestimated.

    Mandarich looked stiff for a guy taken at #2, even if he was wanted to grade roads in an era when running the ball had a much higher priority. This indicates the level-of-competition issue may have some validity.

    The issue speaks to looking past the numbers to simply how a guy moves. And it's not just OTs; it's everybody but kickers and holders. For example, guys can look faster on tape than they actually are if they're running with slower players. The splash play you see might not have been made if the CB covering the play was bit faster or the OG had NFL quickness to get out to the second level to make the block.

    This is why they run 40's and shuttles and cones at the Combine. It's also why they run drills that are not timed and reported. And it's why, when looking at tape, you have to look past the outcome of the play to how it was achieved; how the guy moves is a big part of the assessment.
     

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