Tom Braatz brought in a new coach in 1988, Lindy Infante, and gave him a superstar to work with in first round pick Sterling Sharpe, a wide receiver from South Carolina. The rest of the draft wasn’t so helpful. Round two brought Arizona State defensive end Shawn Patterson, round three delivered Texas A&M runner Keith Woodside, Arizona safety Chuck Cecil came in round four, Auburn defensive end Nate Hill in round six, Pitt defensive back Gary Richard in round seven, Oklahoma runner Patrick Collins in round eight and Auburn wideout Scott Bolton in round 12. In addition, Iowa tackle Dave Croston, a third round pick from 1987, also made the squad as a rookie in 1988.
Three undrafted free agents also made the team. Alabama wide receiver Albert Bell and two kickers: Dean Dorsey who had been cut by Philadelphia and Central Arkansas’ Curtis Burrow. Between them, the two kickers went five of eight in extra points and one of four in field goals over four games.
Among the draft picks, Patterson, Woodside and Cecil all eventually became starters, but none was better than ordinary. Sharpe, however, became the best receiver in the league – and I’m not excepting Jerry Rice; he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Sterling Sharpe was the Packers’ top rookie in 1988.