Where Are They Now? – Green Bay Packers 2010 Draft Class
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
If you’re a Green Bay Packers fan you know that the 2010 season was special.
The 2010 Packers draft class was also pretty special. Going into the 2013 season every player from the 2010 draft class is still on the team, and most have played a lot of football for the Packers.
After finishing the 2009 season 11-5 the Packers were slotted with the twenty-third pick in the first round. In desperate need of acquiring some youth on the offensive line, specifically at the tackle position, the Packers selected Bryan Bulaga, a 6-5, 314-pound tackle from Iowa.
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Initially drafted to play left tackle, Bulaga was called into action at the right tackle position in the fifth week of his rookie season. Bulaga went on to start the remainder of the 2010 season. In Super Bowl XLV, Bulaga was the youngest player, 21 years and 322 days old, to start a Super Bowl. There is some concern about Bulaga’s health going into the 2013 season, as he was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a hip injury in November 2012.
In the second round the Packers selected a bull of a defensive lineman, Mike Neal, from Purdue. The Packers have had high expectations for Neal, but injury has prevented him from meeting his potential. 2012 was probably his most consistent season after returning from a four-game suspension for testing positive for Adderall. Packer fans hope that Neal’s injury struggles are behind him and 2013 will be a breakout season.
With their third round pick and seventy-first overall, the Packers selected safety Morgan Burnett from Georgia Tech. Burnett tore an ACL in October of his rookie season. He successfully returned to the Packers’ defensive backfield in 2011 and has been a solid player every season since.
Without a fourth round selection Green Bay took a tight end with a slightly checkered past from Penn State – Andrew Quarless in the fifth round. Coming out of Penn State, Quarless was thought of as a good athlete and a solid receiver. With Jermichael Finley going down with a knee injury in 2010, Quarless received a lot of playing time during the Super Bowl run. He was not outstanding per se, but he did haul in 21 receptions. Quarless suffered a gruesome knee injury in Week 13 of the 2011 season and missed all of the 2012 season. With Tom Crabtree now departed for Tampa Bay, Quarless will be a candidate to fulfill Crabtree’s blocking duties.
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Fifteen selections later the Packers made another pick in the fifth round. This time they selected offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse from Texas Christian University. Newhouse played a limited role in 2010, but played in 16 games and started 13 in 2011. In 2012, with the departure of Chad Clifton, Newhouse became the Packers’ starting left tackle. Newhouse is an interesting case. He’s not great, but he’s not terrible either. Definitely serviceable, but do the Packers want a serviceable left tackle protecting the blind side of their franchise quarterback? It’s possible we will find out in the draft and or training camp this coming season.
In the sixth round the Packers selected a 6-2 running back from the University of Buffalo, James Starks. Starks is another guy cursed with the label “potential.” He is also cursed by the injury bug. These have been two consistent themes of the career of James Starks. He was very much a difference-maker in the 2010 Super Bowl run, but various injuries have kept him off the field for portions of his three seasons with the Packers. This is disappointing, because at times Starks has flashed skills which prompt some comparison to Adrian Peterson. 2013 will probably be a make or break season for Starks.
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With the Packers seventh pick and last selection of the 2010 draft they acquired a player who has proved to be a real value, defensive end C.J. Wilson from East Carolina. Wilson has played in 42 games since his arrival in 2010. He has only accumulated 3.5 sacks, but what he does do is stop the run and eat up blockers. Additionally the hulking defensive end is well known for his ability to play the piano.
In terms of pure value the 2010 draft was a success. At this point there are no perennial All-Pro’s in this class, though, if he can stay healthy Bryan Bulaga could possibly attain that status. There may also be a Pro Bowl in Morgan Burnett’s future.
Nevertheless all seven of these players have been solid and needed contributors at one point in time or another. A couple of these guys may see their time come to end in Green Bay in 2013, but most of them should continue to add value to the team.
2010 produced another solid draft class for Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers.