Jordy Nelson has been the biggest hit among those selected in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Packers.
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The 2008 Green Bay Packer Draft class was quite honestly hit or miss.
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The Packers did not have a first round pick as a result of a two-for-one swap with the New York Jets. The Jets received the thirtieth pick in the first round from the Packers and dealt Green Bay a second round pick, number 36 overall, and a fourth round pick, number 113 overall. After selecting Jordy Nelson with the pick acquired from the Jets, Ted Thompson seemed to be boom or bust with every other selection throughout the 2008 draft.
As Packers fans know Jordy Nelson has developed into a pass catcher that provides quarterback Aaron Rodgers with a deep threat on the outside. Nelson’s biggest season thus far was 2011 when he caught 68 passes for 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns. He played a big role down the stretch for the Packers 2010 Super Bowl team and may have been Super Bowl XLV MVP had it not been for a number of drops. Hampered by injury in 2012 his numbers declined. It would be expected he will continue to rise in 2013 with the assumed departure of Greg Jennings.
Overall, the Packers had three second round picks. With the other two the Packers selected quarterback Brian Brohm from Louisville. Brohm came with a big arm, but was beat out in camp by seventh round selection Matt Flynn from LSU. With their third second round pick they selected Pat Lee a defensive back from Auburn. Lee played with the Packers from 2008-11. He never developed into the player the Packers thought he would become. After signing as a free-agent with the Raiders he was waived in November of last year. He then signed with the Lions.
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In the third round the Packers selected a tight end from Texas with a freakish combination of size and speed, Jermichael Finley. Some players get labeled with the dreaded “P” word – potential. A blessing and a curse and Finley most certainly shoulders the burden. His numbers have been solid. In fact, if Tom Crabtree put up Finley’s stats it would certainly turn heads. But some might consider Finely a disappointment. But his potential has positioned Finley to make a very healthy salary in the near future. Because of this, many, including Raymond Rivard, believe soon there will be a “Where are They Now” post about Jermichael Finley.
San Diego State
The fourth round produced a defensive end from Wake Forest, Jeremy Thompson. Thompson’s NFL career never really got off the ground. A neck injury forced him to the sidelines in December 2009. He retired in April of 2010 due to an undisclosed injury.
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Green Bay also held two selections in the fourth round. With their second fourth round pick they snagged their now anchor of the offensive line, Josh Sitton. Recently Bleacher Report rated Sitton the third best guard in the NFL. Sitton, a 2012 Pro Bowl selection looks to have another stellar 2013 campaign.
To round out the draft the Packers took Breno Giacomini with their fifth round pick. Matt Flynn with their first of two seventh round picks. To complete the 2008 draft the Packers picked Brett Swain, a receiver out of San Diego State.
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Giacomini is now in Seattle, where he started all 16 games for the Seahawks in 2012. Matt Flynn is also in Seattle. He landed a big pay day, but hasn’t netted much playing time due to the emergence of Russell Wilson. Swain latched on with the Packers long enough to earn a Super Bowl ring. He played with the 49ers in 2011 after being released in training camp that same year by the Packers.
The 2008 draft did not yield a bounty of talent, but the guys that did produce did so in a big way. The second round was especially disappointing only hitting on one of three picks. But as the norm, Thompson still came away with a better than average draft class.