After a couple of thin rookie classes, Curly Lambeau hit the jackpot in 1938. Five of the 10 Green Bay rookies that year are members of the Packers Hall of Fame. From the draft came Purdue tailback Cecil Isbell in round one, Minnesota halfback Andy Uram in round four, Nebraska back John Howell in round seven and Georgia guard Pete Tinsley in round nine. Howell’s career consisted of just six games in 1938, but the other three each spent at least five years with the club and are in the team’s Hall.
Among undrafted free agents, Catholic University tackle Leo Katalinas had an eight-game career, Marquette center Roy Schoemann a mere three games and Creighton end Fred Borak just a single game. Willamette halfback Dick Weisgerber, a New Jersey native, stuck with the team for four seasons and then settled in Wisconsin for the rest of his life.
The two key free agents were Utah State Carl “Moose” Mulleneaux and Vanderbilt tackle Buford “Baby” Ray. Mulleneaux spent six seasons with the Packers, interrupted by his war service, while Ray played 11 years. Both were inducted to the team Hall of Fame.
Linemen Tinsley and Ray offered quite a physical contrast. The 5’8” 205-pound Tinsley appeared in nine games as a rookie and received All-Pro notice in 1941, while the 6’6” 250-pound Ray played 11 games in 1938 and four times drew All-Pro notice. Mulleneaux caught just four passes as a rookie, but for 97 yards and two touchdowns; Uram gained 145 yards rushing and also scored twice.
Isbell was a star from the start, throwing for eight touchdowns (including two to Arnie Herber) and leading the team with 445 yards rushing with two touchdowns as a freshman; Cecil Isbell was the Packers’ top rookie in 1938.
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