Packers Top Rookie: 1982


Bart Starr brought in fewer rookies, six, in 1982 than in any other season of his nine-year tenure as coach. Unfortunately, it was not a particularly strong class. Five of the six rookies came via the draft, but top pick, Iowa guard Ron Hallstrom, was a reach in the first round. He had trouble getting on the field for his first three years in the league before finally developing into a decent and durable guard who lasted 11 years in Green Bay.

Other draft picks to make the squad were: Utah runner Del Rodgers in round three, Virginia Tech defensive end Robert Brown in round four, Penn State runner Mike Meade in round five and TCU receiver Phillip Epps in round 12. Chet Parlavecchio, a sixth round linebacker from Penn State, spent the season on IR, and SMU kicker Eddie Garcia (round 10) was assigned to the taxi squad. The sixth rookie to make the 1982 Packers was undrafted free agent Larry Rubens from Montana State who caught on as the team’s long snapper.

Ultimately Hallstrom and the undersized Brown would have the best Packer careers, but as rookies neither made an impact, and Del Rodgers was an uninspiring kick returner. By default, slightly-built world-class sprinter Phillip Epps, who caught just 10 passes, but averaged 22.6 yards per catch and scored twice, was the Packers’ top rookie in 1982.

1982tdrodgers  1983trhallstrom

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