Only Bakhtiari Remains From Packers' 2013 Draft Class
Four years ago, the Packers used the 2013 NFL Draft as a stake in the ground. From now on, Green Bay’s official website said, they were going to shed their identity as a pass-happy team and focus on defense and running the ball.
The draft picks from 2013 helped the Packers make two of the last three NFC Championship Games, but now only one player remains on the roster. Here’s how it happened:
1. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Jones is a free agent, and has a visit scheduled with the Minnesota Vikings. It’s unclear whether the Packers would like to have Jones return in 2017. Last season, he played a hybrid role as a linebacker and defensive end.
2. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Lacy played four seasons with the Packers, struggling with injuries and frustrating head coach Mike McCarthy along the way. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday for one-year, $5.5 million.
4a. David Bakhtiari, T, Colorado
Bakhtiari has been the crown jewel of the Packers’ 2013 draft class. After left tackle Bryan Bulaga tore his ACL in August 2013, Bakhtiari capably stepped in and performed at a high level protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blind side. He was rewarded with a large contract last year, and is one of the elite left tackles in the game today.
4b. J.C. Tretter, T, Cornell
Tretter signed a major deal with the Cleveland Browns last week, and will be their starting center in 2017. With the Packers, he was in line to replace Evan Dietrich-Smith after Smith’s departure to Tampa Bay, but Tretter was injured during a preseason game against the Raiders that gave Corey Linsley and opportunity he did not relinquish.
4c. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Franklin was supposed to be the speed to match Eddie Lacy’s power. Some even predicted he’d be the better of the two running backs drafted by the Packers in 2013. Neither of those things came to pass. Franklin’s career with the Packers ended after just 11 games due to a neck injury.
5a. Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa
Hyde played a variety of roles for the Packers, from slot cornerback, outside cornerback, safety and punt returner. His versatility helped Green Bay win games, and he was inches away from making a playoff-clinching interception of the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick in 2013. He signed with the Buffalo Bills last week and is now the league’s 14th highest paid safety.
5b. Josh Boyd, DE, Mississippi State
Boyd was well on his way to becoming a solid, rotational piece in the Packers defensive line before a fractured ankle in Week 2 of the 2015 season sent him to injured reserve. He spent 2016 out of football, but could be eyeing a comeback.
6. Nate Palmer, LB, Illinois State
A small school product who made the most of his opportunities, Nate Palmer spent a little time at outside linebacker for the Packers before shifting inside. He wasn’t overly productive and was not retained after the 2015 season. He spent 2016 with the Tennessee Titans and recently re-signed with the team.
7a. Charles Johnson, WR, Grand Valley State
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. labeled Johnson a sleeper pick, saying he anticipated Johnson would go much sooner than the seventh round. After injuries kept him off the field in his rookie season with the Packers, he was released and signed with the Minnesota Vikings. Johnson spent three years with the Vikings and signed a one-year deal last week with the Carolina Panthers.
7b. Kevin Dorsey, WR, Maryland
The Packers took a flyer on Dorsey, betting that his lack of production in college was more due to the constant turnover he battled at quarterback than any shortcomings on his part. His physical attributes figured to make him an asset on special teams, but injury after injury kept him on either the practice squad or injured reserve for much of his time in Green Bay. He finished his Packers career with one catch for four yards.
7c. Sam Barrington, LB, South Florida
Sam Barrington seemed to be following a similar path to Desmond Bishop. He ascended from lowly draft pick to starter over the course of his first two years in Green Bay, and seemed poised to take on a bigger role to start the 2015 season. However, he was badly hurt in the season opener and never fully recovered. He was released at the conclusion of the 2016 training camp and played sparingly for the Chiefs and Saints last season.