Packers almost drafted a Hall of Famer in move that would've changed NFL history

Eliot Wolf
Eliot Wolf / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The NFL Draft provides countless what-if moments. What if Aaron Rodgers had never fallen to the Green Bay Packers in 2005?

What if the Packers had gone "all-in" and not drafted Jordan Love? Imagine Green Bay selected T.J. Watt over Kevin King or Creed Humphrey instead of Josh Myers. We could spend an entire day discussing the endless possibilities of draft moves that never happened.

However, back in 1996, the Packers almost made a franchise-changing move. They were so close, in fact, that they were actually on the phone and ready to make the pick.

Eliot Wolf tells story about how Packers almost drafted Hall of Famer Ray Lewis

Before becoming the de facto New England Patriots general manager, Eliot Wolf spent over two decades as an executive in Green Bay. Before then, he got to sit in Packers war rooms while his father, Ron Wolf, was the general manager. As a guest on The Adam Schefter Podcast, Wolf revealed how the Packers almost drafted Ray Lewis in the 1996 NFL Draft.

"They were getting ready to draft Ray Lewis, and Baltimore picked him right before, and then they ended up picking John Michels," said Wolf. "There was some disappointment because they actually had Ray on the phone. They were talking to Ray, and Baltimore was still on the clock."

Wow. The Packers were so confident about landing Lewis that they had him on the phone.

It's a pick that would've changed football history. Lewis spent his entire 17-year career with the Ravens, winning two Super Bowls and earning 13 Pro Bowls and seven first-team All-Pro honors.

Imagine the first-ballot Hall-of-Famer had been drafted by the Packers.

Green Bay won the Super Bowl in 1996, even after missing out on Lewis, and then reached the following Super Bowl in a loss to the Denver Broncos. The Packers had the top-ranked offense and defense in 1996. The defense featured superstars like Reggie White and LeRoy Butler. Lewis would've taken them to an even higher level.

Baltimore wouldn't have had as much success without Lewis, and Green Bay could've won more Super Bowls during the Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers eras. There's a great chance the Packers would've won multiple championships with Favre, and Lewis was still an All-Pro in 2008-10, Rodgers' first three seasons as a starter. He helped the Ravens win a Super Bowl in 2012.

In the same way that one play can change an entire season, so can draft position. The Packers were preparing to draft Lewis. What if the Ravens had picked another player?

Lewis to Green Bay would've changed football history, not just for the Packers, but the entire league.

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