Which former Packers are playing in the XFL in 2023?

(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Orlando Guardians

The only player currently on the Orlando Guardians roster who has a connection with the Packers is defensive lineman Gerald Willis. Willis, the younger brother of All-Pro safety Landon Collins, was with the Packers from April to July of 2020. Thus he did not appear in any pre-season or regular season game with the team.

However, despite the lack of Packers connections amongst the Guardians roster, head coach Terrell Buckley actually began his playing career with the Green Bay Packers. Buckley, who played cornerback at Florida State in addition to the school’s baseball and track teams, was drafted by the Packers with the fifth overall pick of the 1992 NFL Draft.

Buckley ended up playing three years for the Packers, starting in 44 of the 46 games in which he played, while registering 10 interceptions for the team. In his rookie season, in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Buckley became the youngest player to return a punt for a touchdown in NFL history, a record that stands to this date.

However, on April 5, 1995, Buckley was traded to the Miami Dolphins for “past considerations,” cementing his status in Packers history as a historic draft bust. Former Packers GM Ron Wolf criticized Buckley for his deficiencies in size, competitiveness, hands, tackling, practice habits, discipline and responsiveness to big-game situations.

Buckley wound up having a long career, playing until 2005, including stints with the Dolphins, Broncos, Patriots, Jets, and Giants.