WR TERRENCE MURPHY 2nd Rd. (58)- 2005: While I was very tempted to add Javon Walker to this list, Murphy gets the nod. He came out of Texas A&M as a former basketball player with a 42” vertical jump. The Packers viewed Murphy as a promising possession receiver, but that never materialized as he suffered a bruised spinal cord injury as a result of a helmet-to-helmet hit administered by Thomas Davis. Tests indicating spinal stenosis were enough for Ted Thompson to release the young man.
WR ROBERT FERGUSON 2nd Rd. (41)- 2001: The drafting of this highly-regarded prospect out of Texas A&M was one of Ron Wolf’s most notable blunders. Ferguson was tough and even turned out to be a very solid special teams performer. But he never refined his game as a route runner.
In fact, he was often hesitant in running his patterns and could never build any consistency. The 6’1” wide out squandered a great opportunity to establish himself when Javon Walker blew out his knee in 2005. Overall, he just didn’t make enough plays. The emergence of Greg Jennings and James Jones signaled the end of Ferguson’s six-year tenure just before the start of the 2007 season.
WR DERRICK MAYES 2nd Rd. (56) 1996: Ron Wolf thought he struck gold when he brought the Fighting Irish receiver to Green Bay. But for all the flash he showed in South Bend, Mayes was slow to catch on. The 6’0” pass catcher was never a speed demon to begin with and proved to be a bit too sloppy in his routes to truly thrive in a timing-based passing attack.
It didn’t help, in all fairness, to be surrounded by Antonio Freeman, Robert Brooks, Don Beebe, Andre Rison, Terry Mickens, et. al. Injuries also set back the Indiana native, as he suited up for only 22 of 55 regular season and playoff games. Wouldn’t you know that Mayes saved his best for the Seattle Seahawks in 1999, where he posted a 62/829/10 stat line when he followed Mike Holmgren out of town.
TE GARY LEWIS 1st Rd. (35) 1981: The Packers generally have done well in picking their tight ends in the early to mid-rounds. I had to go all the way back to 1981 to find a true bust in the real sense of the word. Lewis couldn’t stay on the field and only started in three games during his four years in Packers News totaling 21 receptions and one touchdown.
Next: Offensive line and kicker