Episode 25 - The Most Important Draft Pick Ever

Blue 58, powered by WTMJ Mobile, goes beyond the headlines to help you become a smarter fan of the Green Bay Packers. Hosted by former WTMJ newscaster Jon Meerdink and his friend Gary Zilavy, Blue 58 brings you a unique, upbeat perspective on your favorite NFL team, as long as that team is the Packers.

This week on Blue 58,  the Packers are somehow still making moves in free agency, a controversial running back visits Green Bay, and we check in on some multi-sport stars from the dark ages of Packers football. Plus, we explain why the most important draft pick in Packers history was anything but a sure thing.

Here's the headlines we covered on this week's episode:

The Packers claim Ego Ferguson off of waivers

Ferguson was the Bears' second-round pick in 2014, selected just two picks before the Packers took Davante Adams. He has only has played four games over the past two seasons due to injuries, and is considered an athletic underachiever who may not be a great fit for the 3-4 defense.

Jon: Any reason to think this is anything more than a depth signing?

Gary: I do think there could be more to this. Ferguson’s in Green Bay moreso because of his injury history than ineffectiveness. When he was a rookie, Bears coaches said with good coaching and persistence on his part, he can reach his full potential. 

The Packers have done a good job defensively in the Dom Capers era using linemen in their own specialized capacity, and rotating bodies to stay rested late in games. It’d be great to see Ferguson make this team.

Running Back Joe Mixon visits the Packers

Controversial but still talented, Oklahoma's Joe Mixon is off of some draft boards entirely due to a 2014 incident when he punched a woman. He is considered a top five running back in the draft and a possible first round pick. 

Jon: Any fire to this smoke?

Gary: I do think there’s a possibility the Packers end up with Mixon. I disagree with the mock drafts and analysts who think Mixon will be Green Bay’s first-round pick – but he would seem to be in the mix, pardon the pun, in the second or third round.

6 Packers Players Who Also Played Pro Baseball

It was Opening Day this week, and we found six Packers players who also played pro baseball, including five who made it to the big leagues. One of the best on the list is Red Smith. Smith’s baseball career was very short: he played exactly one big league game in his career, catching a single game for the 1927 New York Giants. His first go-round with the Packers wasn’t much more impressive. He played in five games during the 1927 season, but didn’t record a stat. After splitting the 1928 season between the football versions of the New York Giants and New York Yankees, Smith returned to the Packers for the 1929 season and was part of their first NFL championship team.

Jon: Which current Packers player would you like to see try another sport?

Gary: It’d be fun to see just how good Aaron Rodgers could be if he played professional golf. He’s a 4.0 handicap, according to the Wisconsin State Golf Association, which is quite good. The lower the number, the better. As a goof, I looked up the handicaps of some other notable celebrities: Tony Romo is a 0.3, Matt Ryan is a 1.2, Michael Jordan is a 1.9, Steph Curry is a 0.2, but hey, Tom Brady is a 9.2. So Rodgers has that going for him, which is nice.

The most important draft pick ever

It's no surprise that Aaron Rodgers is the most important draft pick the Packers have made in the organization's history. Rodgers was inches away from being the number one overall pick in 2005, but ended up tumbling down to Green Bay, who held the 24th pick.

On this episode, we dive into just how the Packers wound up with Aaron Rodgers in the first round. We've all heard the story from Rodgers' side, but what factors led to the quarterback landing in Green Bay?

  1. Understanding the Packers' problems in the 2005 offseason
    1. The Packers defense needed a lot of help
    2. The defensive players expected to be available at #24 didn't fit in Green Bay
  2. The Packers probably were thinking quarterback
    1. Brett Favre was already talking about retirement
    2. The Packers had been making flirty eyes at quarterback for awhile
  3. Rodgers falls because many teams overthink things
  4. The Packers actually draft Aaron Rodgers

The story of how this all broke down is fascinating, and we had a great time discussing it on this week's episode of Blue 58.


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