Where Are They Now? Donald Driver

Green Bay Packer Wide Receiver Donald Driver Retirement CeremonyIn this week’s installment of “Where Are They Now” let’s continue the celebration of Donald Driver’s career. To put the career “Double D” experienced in perspective, consider that the average length of an NFL player’s duration in the league is 3.5 years. The career Driver enjoyed surpassed the average by 10.5 years.

Driver joined the Packers as a 7th round pick (ironically it was a pick the Packers acquired from the Bears) out of Alcorn State of the Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC). Alcorn State is a 1A school in Mississippi that is part of a conference that is not exactly known as a football factory.

Every year more than 100,000 boys in their senior year in high school play football. Of those boys, roughly 9,000 become college players, about 2.4 percent. Let’s take this equation one step further, of those 9,000 only approximately 215 will make an NFL roster, a staggering .2 percent.

Donald Driver’s ability to make the Packer roster out of a small school as a 7th round draft pick is exceptional on its own.  But then to become the Packers’ all-time leader in receptions and yards really amounts to incalculable odds.

Green Bay Packer Wide Receiver Donald Driver Green Bay Packer Quarterback Aaron RodgersWe know a lot about what Donald Driver has done, and a little bit about where Donald Driver is headed. But when you look back at the Green Bay Packers’ 1999 NFL Draft class and compare the career success of Driver and the 11 other players chosen that year, it makes Driver look all the more special.

Round

Player

Position

College

1

Antuan Edwards

FS

Clemson

2

Fred Vinson

CB

Vanderbilt

3

Mike McKenzie

CB

Memphis

3

Cletidus Hunt

DT

Kentucky State

4

Aaron Brooks

QB

Virginia

4

Josh Bidwell

P

Oregon

5

De’mond Parker

RB

Oklahoma

5

Craig Heimburger

G

Missouri

6

Dee Miller

WR

Ohio State

6

Scott Curry

T

Montana

7

Chris Akins

FS

Arkansas-Pine Bluff

7

Donald Driver

WR

Alcorn State

 

Of the other players not named Donald Driver drafted in 1999 only four players had reasonable success playing in the NFL. Cornerback Mike McKenzie had a nice career with both the Packers and the New Orleans Saints racking up 411 tackles and 28 interceptions over a 10 year career. After being drafted in the 4th round, quarterback Aaron Brooks enjoyed a solid seven-year career primarily with the Saints and one year with the Raiders, amassing more than 20,000 yards passing and 123 touchdowns. Cletidus Hunt played five years for the Packers being more than serviceable as a defensive tackle. Punter Josh Bidwell played 11 years with three different teams and averaged 42.8 yards per punt.

Green Bay Packer Wide Receiver Donald Driver retirement ceremonyDonald Driver beat the odds to have an outstanding career in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers.

He leveraged his ability to outshine the 11 players chosen by the Packers in front of him in the 1999 draft. He outplayed numerous receivers that came to Green Bay to wear the green and gold during his 14 years. And now he is the first Packer to have a public retirement ceremony.

Where is Donald Driver now?

He is at the top of Packers Nation.

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