Ranking Packers' biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

Green Bay Packers, Zach Tom
Green Bay Packers, Zach Tom / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers have enjoyed their share of home runs in the early rounds of the NFL Draft in recent years. Jordan Love, Jaire Alexander, Rashan Gary, and Elgton Jenkins have all lived up to the sky-high expectations they entered the league with.

Finding quality starters later in the draft is even more impressive. Prospects fall to Day 3 for a reason. There are enough concerns for NFL teams to pass on them, including production, athleticism, size, or off-field concerns. Sometimes, great players simply get missed.

Part of the reason for the Packers' consistent success is being able to find value on Day 3 of the draft. Over the past decade, they have added game-changers in the mid-to-late rounds, including All-Pros like David Bakhtiari and Micah Hyde. They were drafted over a decade ago so miss out on our top five, but Green Bay has been hitting Day 3 home runs since then.

What qualifies as a "draft gem" in this article? We're factoring in any player the Packers drafted in Round 4 or later between 2014 and 2023.

Top 5 Packers draft picks on Day 3 over the past decade

5. Rasheed Walker (Round 7, 2022)

Rasheed Walker went from a seventh-round rookie who played four special teams snaps in 2022 to one of the most consistent left tackles in football in 2023.

Walker didn't play his first NFL snaps at tackle until Week 1 against the Chicago Bears. A week later, he was the Packers' full-time starter to replace David Bakhtiari. After an up-and-down start, Walker reached a Pro Bowl level by the end of the season. According to ESPN, he ranked first among all tackles in pass block win rate. The Packers found their starting left tackle in the seventh round.

4. Romeo Doubs (Round 4, 2022)

Green Bay drafted three receivers after trading Davante Adams in 2022, including Romeo Doubs in the fourth round. He has quickly become one of the Packers' best and most consistent receivers, catching 101 passes for 1,099 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first two seasons.

Doubs is an ascending player and showed his potential in a playoff debut for the ages, catching all six of his targets for 151 yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys. It was an all-time postseason performance. Doubs has an exciting future as he enters year three with the Packers.

3. Zach Tom (Round 4, 2022)

Doubs is fantastic, but he might not even be the best "draft gem" the Packers found in 2022. He might not even be the best they drafted in the fourth round of that class. Zach Tom has been nothing short of phenomenal to start his Packers career, playing snaps at left tackle, left guard, right guard, and right tackle as a rookie before finding a permanent home at right tackle in 2023.

Tom spent time at center in college and can play all five offensive line positions at a high level. Last season, he proved why he is the Packers' long-term starter at right tackle, earning a pass block win rate of 91 percent, per ESPN. It's only a matter of time before Tom is a Pro Bowler.

2. Corey Linsley (Round 5, 2014)

Not only was Corey Linsley a fifth-round pick, but he was forced to start against a dominant Seattle Seahawks defense on short notice in Week 1 of his rookie season. Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin said he would "pray for him" and that it was "going to be a long night" for Linsley.

Spoiler: There was no need. It was not a long night for Linsley, who immediately made an impact and ensured the starting center job was his permanently. Linsley started 99 regular-season games for the Packers, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2020.

1. Aaron Jones (Round 5, 2017)

Nobody could've predicted the impact Aaron Jones would make when the Packers drafted him in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He began his rookie season as Green Bay's third-string running back, but injuries to Ty Montogmery and Jamaal Williams gave him an opportunity. Jones never looked back, rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown at 6.6 yards per carry in his first career start against the Dallas Cowboys.

Jones spent seven seasons in Green Bay, rushing for 5,940 yards and 45 touchdowns at 5.0 yards per attempt and catching 272 passes for 2,076 yards and 18 touchdowns.

While it will be tough to watch him play for the Minnesota Vikings this season, Jones's impact on and off the field in Green Bay is undeniable. Jones ranks third all-time in rushing yards and fourth in rushing touchdowns for the Packers.

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