Packers have a rare opportunity with No. 15 draft pick

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

While Aaron Rodgers has been quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, the team has rarely picked inside the top 15 of the NFL Draft.

As the Packers begin the Jordan Love era, they get a rare opportunity to pick in the top half of the first round. Green Bay owns the 15th overall selection in next month's draft.

Believe it or not, since Rodgers became the Packers' starting quarterback in 2008, Green Bay has only picked inside the top 15 twice.

And they made the most of both high draft picks.

In 2009, Green Bay used the ninth overall pick to select Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji.

Raji would start 78 regular-season games for the Packers and 10 in the playoffs. He helped the Packers win Super Bowl XLV, playing a vital role. His biggest contribution came in the NFC Championship Game against the Chicago Bears, making his one and only career interception and returning it for a touchdown.

During his seven-year career in Green Bay, Raji made a Pro Bowl, was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team, and helped bring the Lombardi Trophy home.

In 2019, the Packers selected Rashan Gary 12th overall.

Despite having signed Za'Darius and Preston Smith in free agency, the Packers couldn't pass up the opportunity to draft the talented Michigan edge rusher. With all the tools to become a star in the NFL, Green Bay made the most of its high draft pick.

Gary has improved every year. By the end of the 2021 season, he had become arguably Green Bay's best defensive player. He made three sacks and seven QB hits in the final three regular-season games, then put in a dominant playoff performance with two sacks, three QB hits, and three tackles for loss in the wild-card round against San Francisco.

After a dominant training camp, Gary made a fast start to the 2022 season with six sacks and 12 QB hits in nine games before suffering a torn ACL. Had it not been for the injury, Gary was on track for a career year and potentially a Pro Bowl.

The Packers haven't picked inside the top 15 all too often in recent years. But when they do, they make the most of it.

They get another opportunity in April.