Packers Top Rookie: 1989

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It’s impossible not to recall the 1989 draft without thinking, “What a disaster,” but at the time using the second overall pick on Michigan State behemoth tackle Tony Mandarich seemed the right move to make. Mandarich was being touted as the best tackle to come out of college in recent memory. However, the steroid-inflated Spartan proved woefully unprepared for the pro game, and never became an impact player.  In the context of that year’s draft, he is the only one of the top five picks (Troy Aikman, Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders) from that draft not in the Hall of Fame a quarter century later. What a disaster.

Six other draftees made the Packers in 1989: Oregon defensive end Matt Brock in round three; Duke quarterback Anthony Dilweg also in round three; Milliken receiver Jeff Query in round five; Ohio State runner Vince Workman also in round five; Texas El Paso kicker Chris Jacke in round six; and Louisiana Lafayette defensive end Mark Hall I round seven. They were joined by undrafted free agent defensive back Mike McGruder from Kent State and Plan B free agent tackle Mike Ariey, who appeared in three Packer games between them.

Brock was a fairly solid performer on the defensive line for six years and Workman was decent as a third down back catching passes out of the backfield, but the best player from that draft and the only one to have an immediate impact was Jacke who led the 1989 Packers with 108 points and would score 820 points during his eight years in Green Bay; kicker Chris Jacke was the Packers’ top rookie in 1989.

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Custom cards in 1989 Topps style.

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