Packers Top Rookie: 2006

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In his second season as GM, Ted Thompson was still busy remaking the roster and brought in 21 rookies that new Coach Mike McCarthy utilized in 2006. In the draft 11 of Thompson’s 12 picks would play in the NFL – 10 immediately for Green Bay. Thompson selected Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk in round one, Boise State guard and Western Michigan receiver Greg Jennings in round two, Iowa linebacker Abdul Hodge and Louisville guard Jason Spitz in round three, Boston College cornerback Will Blackmon in round four, Nevada tackle Tony Moll and Furman quarterback Ingle Martin in round five and Texas A&M defensive tackle Johnny Jolly and Fresno State safety Tyrone Culver in round six.

Canadian punter Jon Ryan was the best of the team’s four undrafted free agents, including defensive end Jason Hunter, receiver Chris Francis and tight end Zac Alcorn. Of seven waiver wire pickups, defensive backs Jarrett Bush and Charles Peprah provided solid depth for the Packers for nine and five years respectively. Peprah even started at safety for two years. In addition, Thompson brought in rejected receivers Ruvell Martin and Shaun Bodiford, runners P.J. Pope and Brandon Miree and guard Tony Palmer. Martin did show some promise for three years.

Four draftees moved right into the starting lineup as rookies. Guards Colledge and Spitz helped solidify the offensive line, while top pick A.J. Hawk would miss only two games in nine years as a reliable inside linebacker. Hawk, though, would never live up to his fifth overall pick billing. The unheralded Jennings established himself as a deep threat that both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers would depend on throughout his seven seasons in Green Bay; with 45 catches and three touchdowns, Greg Jennings was the Packers’ top rookie in 2006.

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Custom cards in 1961 Fleer style.

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