Packers Top Rookie: 1965

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Vince Lombardi made 25 selections in the 20 rounds of the 1965 draft, but ended up with little to show for it in the short term. Once again, the AFL outbid Green Bay for five draft picks. Vince’s best selections were future picks Donny Anderson (1), Jim Weatherwax (11) and Phil Vandersea (16) who would not join the team until 1966.

What the Packers got out the draft for 1965 were Washington running back Junior Coffey (7), Stephen Austin tackle Bud Marshall (10) and taxi squad members Wally Mahle, Bill Symons and Allen Brown. The last two were injured, and of those three taxi/IR members, only Brown would ever play with the Packers.

Overall, the Packers employed five rookies in 1965. The other three were future picks from prior drafts. Actually, Dennis Claridge (1963 future pick) was on the roster as the third quarterback in 1964, but never appeared in a game, so 1965 was his official rookie year. Reserve fullback Allen Jacobs was a 10th round future pick out of Utah in 1964, and center Bill Curry was a 20th round future pick out of Georgia Tech in 1964.

Curry is the only one of the five rookies to have a significant impact on the Packers, even though he only spent two seasons in Green Bay. As a rookie, he was a backup at both center and linebacker, snapped the ball on punts and field goals, and played on other kicking and coverage units, too. A year later, he stepped in as starting center when Ken Bowman injured his shoulder in August. Curry held onto the job until he himself was injured in Super Bowl I. Bowman took over that day, and Bill went to the Saints in the expansion draft in 1967. With little competition, Bill Curry was the Packers’ top rookie in 1965.

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1965pajacobs  1965pdclaridge2

 

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