Packers Top Rookie: 1949


For his final season in Green Bay, Curly Lambeau used 10 rookies, nine of whom came from the draft, but none made a lasting impression. Nevada quarterback Stan Heath came in round one, Villanova tackle Lou Ferry in round two, Utah linebacker Bob Summerhays in round four, SMU end Joe Ethridge in round six, UNLV end Dan Orlich in round eight, Wisconsin-Milwaukee halfback Ken Kranz in round 21 and Texas Tech end Bill Kelly in round 23. Oklahoma guard Buddy Burris was originally drafted in the fifth round and Utah guard Ralph Olsen in the 32nd round of the 1947 draft. USC halfback Jack Kirby signed as a free agent.

Top pick Stan Heath was a disaster, completing 26 of 106 passes for one touchdown and 14 interceptions. He and Ferry, Ethridge, Kranz, Kelly, Olsen and Kirby spent just one season in Green Bay, although Ferry did spend five years with the Cardinals and Steelers.

Summerhays, Orlich and Burris all lasted as Packers through the 1951 season, all primarily on defense. Burris was a former All-American but was injured and not the same player in the pros. Orlich gained much more fame in retirment as a world-class skeet shooter who is in that sport’s Hall of Fame. Summerhays was originally deemed to be Doc Blanchard’s successor at West Point in the 1940s until he got married and was drummed out of the service. After resurfacing at Utah, he joined the Packers and became a starting linebacker; in a pick ‘em situation, Bob Summerhays was the Packers’ top rookie in 1949.

1949lbburris  1949ldorlich

1948lsheath2  1949llferry

All custom cards are colorized.


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