The selection of Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th pick in the 2020 draft could be seen as the ninth or the 13th such first round draft choice in Packer history, depending on certain qualifications. If you just consider his overall 26th slot, two more signal callers gain entrance to the group. Let’s take a look at these 15 men in chronological order.
Cecil Isbell, 1938, seventh slot in first round. Isbell, of course, was a single wing tailback, but the way he played the position was very analogous to a T quarterback.
Hal Van Every, 1940, ninth slot in first round. Another single wing tailback with extensive passing responsibilities. His two-year career as Isbell’s back up was ended by World War II.
Ernie Case, 1947, sixth slot in first round. A star at UCLA, Case rebuffed Curly Lambeau and signed with the Baltimore Colts of the All-America Conference instead. He lasted just one season, playing mostly on defense.
Jug Girard, 1948, seventh slot in the first round. More a single wing tailback in college, Girard was converted to a quarterback by Lambeau, but completed just 35% of his passes in his one season as a starter and moved back to halfback after that.
Stan Heath, 1949, fifth slot in the first round. A top-rated passer at Nevada, he was a disaster in his one NFL season, completing less than 25% of his passes and throwing just one TD pass to 14 interceptions. He had little success in Canada as well.
Babe Parilli, 1952, fourth slot in first round. Babe would have a long career in the NFL, AFl and CFL, but his two stints in Green Bay were inconsistent. As a rookie his TD:INT ratio was 13:17; a year later, it was 4:19.
Paul Hornung, 1957, bonus selection, first overall. Hornung played quarterback at Notre Dame and played a little at that position in Green Bay, but went to the Hall of Fame as a halfback/kicker.
Randy Duncan, 1959 top overall pick. Duncan scorned Lombardi and signed in Canada. He had little success there or in a brief stint with the Dallas Texans of the AFL.
Don Horn, 1967, 25th slot in the first round. His failure to develop as Bart Starr’s successor was a major disappointment in Green Bay.
Jerry Tagge, 1972, 11th slot in the first round. Hometown hero who was a complete bomb in the NFL and didn’t do much better in Canada,
Rich Campbell, 1981, sixth slot in first round. Who needs Ronnie Lott when a rag-armed California quarterback is available?
Aaron Rodgers, 2005, 24th slot in the first round. His draft day plunge worked out rather well for Ted Thompson and the Packers, wouldn’t you say?
Jordan Love, 2020, 26th slot in the first round. Hoping his career is closer to Rodgers, than Horn’s.
Two other later round selections to mention:
Tobin Rote, 1950, 19th overall selection in second round. Great runner and inconsistent passer on the dreadful Packer teams from 1950s.
Irv Comp, 1943, 23rd overall selection in the third round. Originally a single wing tailback, but played some T quarterback at the end of his career.
Here are their passing stats as Packers:
|Hal Van Every
All custom cards but Rodgers and Love are colorized.