Packers Top Rookie: 1976


The disastrous John Hadl trade from 1974 was fully cashed out in the 1976 draft, costing the Packers first and second round picks. Bart Starr regained a later first rounder from Oakland as part of the fee for the Raiders signing Ted Hendricks, and he spent that on Colorado tackle Mark Koncar. Green Bay’s next pick came in round three and was used to grab Koncar’s fellow Buff, defensive back Mike McCoy.

The rest of the draft was pretty weak: Pittsburgh linebacker Tom Perko in round four, Nebraska defensive back Jim Burrow in round eight, Tulane linebacker Jim Gueno in round nine, Tulsa receiver Jesse Green in round 10 and USC guard Mel Jackson in round 12. Fifth round receiver Aundra Thompson from East Texas State injured his back and spent the season on IR. Perko, Burrow and Green all lasted just one year, while Jackson and Gueno stuck around for five years each.

The waiver wire brought guard Steve Knutson defensive back Steve Wagner and linebacker Bob Lally. Defensive end Bob Barber, came via a trade of a fourth round pick to Pittsburgh. The 12th rookie to make the team was undrafted free agent runner from Wisconsin, Ken Starch. Of this group, Lally and Starch lasted one year, Knutson two and Wagner and Barber four.

Altogether, it was not a rookie class that provides the foundation for a Super Bowl run. McCoy turned out to be the best player of the class, but Koncar moved into the starting lineup in his first year, unlike any others; Mark Koncar was the Packers top rookie in 1976.

1976tMMCCOY  1976tmjackson

Custom cards in 1976 style.

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