Packers Top Rookie: 2012

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2012 marked the first of five straight drafts (and counting) in which Ted Thompson has used first round pick on defense. In fact, Thompson used all six of his draft picks that year on defensive players. Despite the emphasis, the defense still lags, though.

Thompson took USC pass rusher Nick Perry in round one, Michigan State defensive end and Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward in round two, Iowa defensive tackle Mike Daniels and Maine safety Jerron McMillan in round four and North Carolina State linebacker Terrell Manning in round five. Worthy, McMillan and Manning were all gone within two years, while Perry has never shown more than flashes of his potential.

Supplementing the draftees were five free agent rookies: West Virginia tackle Don Barclay, Vanderbilt safety Sean Richardson, Virginia Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin, Penn State guard Greg Van Roten and Tulane linebacker Dezman Moses. Bench players Barclay and Richardson were the most successful, each spending four seasons with the Packers.

Ultimately, Mike Daniels has proven the best player of the 11-man class, but he developed slowly as a pro. Hayward broke in with a bang by picking off six passes in his first season before fading in subsequent seasons; Casey Hayward was the packers top rookie in 2012.

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