18. Corey Linsley (Freddie’s pick)
Aaron Rodgers spoke about the need of continuity at the center position ahead of Corey Linsley’s selection in the fifth-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Even when Linsley’s name was called, nobody quite expected what was about to follow.
JC Tretter was penciled in as the day one starter, but an injury ahead of the season meant Linsley — who had never taken a live game snap with Rodgers — was going to be forced to start on the road at the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1. Up against one of the league’s most feared defenses in a stadium where communication is incredibly difficult, how would the rookie fare?
Two seasons later, he hasn’t lost his starting job. That says it all. Linsley missed some time in 2015 with an ankle injury, but he’s the unquestioned starter at center and is yet another diamond found in the rough by Thompson.
Linsley has finally given Rodgers the continuity he wanted at center, and the two are now perfectly in sync entering their third season playing together.
Thompson hit a home run with this fifth-round pick, and Linsley will continue to improve his game at the heart of the Packers’ offensive line.
Next: No. 17 (Ray's pick)