By Daniel Sigl
Some would say that after the first or second round, the draft does not matter anymore. That is incorrect, to say the least. Later round picks matter the most. That is where championship teams are built.
Donald Driver, wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, was drafted 213th overall. He is now one of the best receivers in the game.
Donald Driver, wide receiver for the Packers, has been with Green Bay his entire career. He was drafted in the seventh round. Suffice to say, he was worth the pick. In his career, Driver has 9,615 yards. He will certainly become the 35th receiver in NFL history to eclipse 10,000 yards. Donald Driver’s contribution to the Green Bay Packers has been momentous over the span of his career, never mind the fact that the Packers got him at pick 213.
Former quarterback Bart Starr, drafted in 1956, led the Packers to wins in Super Bowls I and II. He was the 200th overall pick of the draft, then the 17th round. Starr had almost 25,000 career passing yards, and led the Packers to a total of five championships (including the two Super Bowls).
In 2002, the Packers drafted Aaron Kampman in the fifth round at pick 156. Kampman, a defensive end, was a critical part of the defense during his years as a Packer. He got 54 sacks and a whopping 320 solo tackles. Kampman also played in two Pro Bowls. The Packers did not sign him back after the 2009 season, as he had difficulties converting to an outside linebacker in the 3-4 defensive scheme, and he now plays for the Jaguars.
The later rounds matter. That is where a team can find consistency, hard work, and determination. Too many times first round picks are a bust, not to mention they cost way too much. Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson has discovered this concept. Out of 19 trades he has made on draft day in his career with the Packers, 16 of them have been to acquire more draft picks. There is a reason that the Packers won the Super Bowl under Thompson.