Packers Top Rookie: 1947


The closing years of the Curly Lambeau Era were all marked by weak rookie classes. None of the six rookies to stick with the Packers in 1947 had an impact on the field. Purdue fullback Ed Cody was a fifth round pick from the 1946 draft and finished fourth on the team in rushing. The team’s top two picks in the 1947 draft – the UCLA passing combination of Ernie Case and Burr Baldwin – both signed with the All-America Football Conference instead. SMU end Gene Wilson came in round six and caught three passes; Miami fullback Bob McDougal came in round nine and appeared in one game; Notre Dame end Bob Skoglund came in round 13 appeared in nine games, mostly on defense. Two free agent guards also signed: Wisconsin’s Ralph Davis and St. Mary’s Ray Clemons.

McDougal and Clemons did not last beyond 1947. Cody, Wilson and Davis all spent two seasons in Green Bay. Bob Skoglund showed the most promise of the group and was on the roster in 1948 but injured his knee in the final exhibition game against the Redskins. 10 weeks later after rehab had not worked, he travelled to Pittsburgh to have the knee operated on by a surgeon who had worked on other Notre Dame players. Four weeks later in mid-December, he was home in Chicago and moving around. On New Year’s Eve, though, he returned to the hospital and died 14 hours later of a kidney infection.

Skoglund was just 23. Art Daley wrote in the Green Bay Press-Gazette that the end’s best game came November 9, 1947 against the Bears when Bob upended a Bear kick returner so fiercely that he fumbled and the Packers recovered, leading to a field goal. Later in the game, he broke through from his defensive end position to intercept a pitchout from Sid Luckman to George McAfee on the Bears’ three-yard line. Daley concluded, “That one game stamped Skoglund as a future Packer star – one who would play a key defensive role.” Bob Skoglund, rest in peace, was the Packers top rookie in 1947.

1947bskoglund  1947gwilson

1947ecody  1947rmcdougal

1947rdavis  1947rclemons

Custom cards all colorized.


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