Packers Top Rookie: 1970


After the disaster of 1969, Phil Bengtson recovered to have a decent draft in 1970, his final season as head coach/GM. The story of the draft was quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who would prove to be not only the sole good quarterback in the draft, but the solitary Hall of Famer as well. The 1-13 Steelers won a coin flip over the 1-13 Bears for the first overall pick and took Bradshaw. The Packers then sent fading Lee Roy Caffey, faded Elijah Pitts and disappointing Bob Hyland to Chicago for the second overall pick to nab massive Notre Dame defensive tackle Mike McCoy in a good deal for the Pack.

Overall, Green Bay had 20 picks in 17 rounds, and ten of their picks made the roster. Two other rookies made the team as well: defensive back Lee Harden, a draft pick from the previous year who spent 1969 on the taxi squad and defensive end Clarence Williams who came from Dallas in the Herb Adderley trade.

Late round picks who made the Packers included Fresno State defensive back (and track man) Ervin Hunt in the sixth round, Louisville linebacker Cleo Walker in the seventh, Nebraska quarterback Frank Patrick in the 10th, Sacramento State receiver Mike Carter in the 15th and St. Norbert runner Larry Krause in the 17th.

The Packers top five picks would all make a contribution to the team in the 1970s. In addition to McCoy, Green Bay selected Elon tight end Rich McGeorge with its own first round pick. McGeorge caught only two passes as a rookie, but was a decent starting tight end who may have been featured more in the passing game if the team had a quarterback in the 1970s. Texas Arlington defensive back Al Matthews came in round two. He moved into the starting lineup at corner in 1971 and switched in 1972 to safety, a position better suited to his physical style of play. Third rounder Minnesota linebacker Jim Carter was forced into the starting lineup as a rookie when Dave Robinson was hurt and then slid over to the middle in 1972 and was a solid player. Southern receiver Ken Ellis came in round four and was the biggest gem. Converted to corner to replace Adderley, Ellis struggled as a rookie, but quickly became a three-time All-Pro.

However, the best rookie performance was by top pick Mike McCoy. McCoy never became the player one might expect from the second overall pick, but he was a solid run stuffer right from the start. Mike McCoy was the Packers’ top rookie in 1970.

1970tmmccoydraft  1970trmcgeorgedraft

McGeorge custom card colorized.


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