Packers Top Rookie: 1992

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Ron Wolf took over as GM in November 1991 and made his greatest personnel move three months later when he traded his second first round pick in the 1992 draft to Atlanta to obtain a dissolute second year quarterback with a funny last name.

As to the players Wolf selected in his first Packer draft, they set the general pattern for Wolf’s drafting: disappointment at the top but lots of meat further down. Six rookies came out of that draft class: Florida State cornerback Terrell Buckley in round one, Penn State linebacker Mark D’Onofrio in round two, South Carolina receiver Robert Brooks in round three, Florida State runner Edgar Bennett in round four, Florida fullback Dexter McNabb in round five and Washington linebacker Brett Collins in round 12. Wolf also took Boston College tight end Mark Chmura in round six and BYU quarterback Ty Detmer in round nine, but neither appeared in a game till 1993.

Three free agent rookies also made the team undrafted Liberty defensive lineman Sebastian Barrie, waived kick returner Corey Harris  and linebacker George Koonce, a World League alumnus.

The arrogant 5’10” Buckley was a major disappointment as the fifth overall pick, but he did last 14 years in league, playing for six teams, picking off 50 passes and running six back for touchdowns. He was too small to be a shutdown corner and departed Green Bay after three years. D’Onofrio didn’t last that long. He spent both 1992 and 1993 on injured reserve due to a series of muscle injuries and then retired.

The three rookies to have a real future in Green Bay were Brooks, Bennett and Koonce. Brooks and Bennett would go on to play a major role in the offense for the Super Bowl bound Packers in future years, but as rookies, they were learning the offense. Two rookies started on defense, though – Buckley and Koonce. The unheralded Koonce began as the left outside linebacker, but would play virtually all linebacker slots in both the 3-4 and 4-3 during his career. He was solid and dependable right from the start; George Koonce was the Packers’ top rookie in 1992.

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