Green Bay Packers: 15 best first-round draft picks of all-time

Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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James Lofton, Green Bay Packers
James Lofton, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM) /

Best first-round draft picks in Green Bay Packers history: 5. James Lofton

For whatever reason, wide receiver James Lofton always gets overlooked as one of the best pass catchers in football history. Some from a younger generation might remember Lofton from his days catching passes in the Buffalo Bills’ K-Gun offense in the 1990s, but he was a star for the Packers well before that. Green Bay took him No. 6 overall out of Stanford in the 1978 NFL Draft.

Lofton played in the NFL for 17 years with five different teams, but started and played the bulk of his Pro Football Hall of Fame career for The Pack. He played in 136 games over his first nine NFL seasons with the Packers. Lofton hauled in 530 catches for 9,656 yards for 49 touchdowns in Green Bay.

While with the Packers, Lofton would make seven of his eight trips to the Pro Bowl. His only First-Team All-Pro selection came as a member of the 1981 Packers, where Lofton had 71 catches for 1,294 yards and eight touchdowns. However, he would only make the NFC playoffs once as a member of the Packers back in 1982.

Lofton would land with the Bills at the right time, but was unable to capture a Lombardi Trophy while catching footballs in Western New York from Jim Kelly. Lofton was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. He later made it into the Packers Hall of Fame and earned Canton enshrinement in 2003. His Pro Football Hall of Fame class includes guys like Marcus Allen, Joe DeLamielleure and Hank Stram.