7 draft picks the Packers gave up on too soon

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Casey Hayward, CB (Round 2, 2012)

The Green Bay Packers weren't buying the long-term future of former second-round pick Casey Hayward after his first four seasons in the NFL, probably because his production dropped off significantly after intercepting six passes in his rookie year. Hayward missed all but three games in 2013 and wasn't a full-time starter in year three, and the Packers decided to let him hit free agency in 2016, where he signed with the San Diego Chargers.

All Hayward did upon arriving to the Chargers was set a career-high with seven interceptions and earn two consecutive All-Pro bids.

Hayward picked off 11 passes in his first two years with the Chargers, but had some outstanding years after that as well. He allowed less than 50 percent of throws in his coverage to be completed in 2020 for the Raiders, and allowed a QB rating into his coverage of 80.7 in 2022 with the Falcons.

Bryce Paup, OLB (Round 6, 1990)

The Green Bay Packers found themselves a steal in the 1990 NFL Draft in sixth-round pick Bryce Paup, a pass rusher out of Northern Iowa. After a few brief appearances in his rookie year, Paup burst onto the scene as a sophomore in the NFL with 7.5 sacks in 12 games, adding three forced fumbles and a safety.

His pass-rush potential was beginning to be unlocked and by the end of his fourth year with the Packers, he had his first double-digit sack season (11.0). In his fifth year in Green Bay, Paup had a career-high 79 total tackles, three interceptions, and 7.5 sacks on his way to a Pro Bowl bid.

The Packers let him go after that season and it couldn't have been worse timing, as Paup moved on to the Buffalo Bills and became the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The Packers lost the NFC Championship that year to the Cowboys.

Paup would be named to three consecutive Pro Bowls for the Bills, and move on to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1998. Thankfully, for the Packers' sake, it didn't cost them a title in that particular window, as they won the Super Bowl in the 1996 season.