The Green Bay Packers Could Get A Difference Maker At No. 15 In NFL Draft

The Green Bay Packers have the 15th pick in the NFL Draft in roughly 2 1/2 months.

Using history as a barometer, the Packers have a good chance of finding a high level contributor.

By subjective count, there are five players in the last 20 years (25%) taken at No. 15 that could be labeled “elite.” Eight others (40%) would be called “quality starters.”

Just three players (15%) taken at No. 15 would be considered “below average” starters and three others labeled “busts.” There’s one player where it’s simply too early to tell.

So the Packers’ odds of landing a quality player are certainly high.

Here’s a look at the hits and misses of the last 20 players selected at No. 15.


Derrick Johnson, LB, 2005 (Kansas City) — Four-time Pro Bowler who was one of top tacklers of his era. Johnson ranks as the Chiefs’ all-time leading tackler (1,151) and had at least 100 tackles in five seasons. Johnson also had 27.5 sacks, 22 forced fumbles and 14 interceptions during his brilliant career.

Lawrence Timmons, LB, 2007 (Pittsburgh) — Spent 10 of his terrific 11-year career in Pittsburgh, where he posted 35.5 career sacks. Timmons also had 1,067 career tackles, 13 forced fumbles and 12 fumble recoveries. He was a 2014 Pro Bowler and was named second-team All-Pro twice.

Branden Albert, OT, 2008 (Kansas City) — Started 118 of his 120 career games and was a high-level starter for nine seasons. Was a two-time Pro Bowler who spent six years in Kansas City, then signed a five-year, $47 million contract with Miami, where he played his final three seasons.

Jason Pierre-Paul, OLB, 2010 (New York Giants) — Elite pass rusher who still made 13 starts for Baltimore in 2022. JPP has 94.5 career sacks and has been in double digits three times. He won Super Bowls with the Giants (2011) and Tampa Bay (2020), has more than 600 career tackles and 21 forced fumbles. Amazingly, he did much of that after having his right index finger amputated in 2015 following a fireworks accident.

Mike Pouncey, C, 2011 (Miami) — Four-time Pro Bowler was one of the top centers in football for a decade. Made 114 career starts before neck and hip injuries ended his career.


Brian Cushing, WR, 2009 (Houston) — Cushing is Houston’s all-time leading tackler (664) and was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. But his career was clouded by a bevy of injuries and for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substances policy on two occasions.

Bruce Irvin, OLB, 2012 (Seattle) — Has 54.0 sacks, 340 tackles and 16 forced fumbles during an 11-year career that’s seen him play for five teams, while having three different stints in Seattle. Led the NFL in forced fumbles in 2016 and helped Seattle win the 48th Super Bowl.

Kenny Vaccaro, S, 2013 (New Orleans) — Solid performer who carved out quality eight year career in New Orleans and Tennessee. Finished with 610 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 10 interceptions.

Ryan Shazier, LB, 2014 (Pittsburgh) — Career was off to a brilliant start when he made the Pro Bowl in two of his first four seasons in the league. Shazier had 299 tackles, 7.0 sacks, seven interceptions and seven forced fumbles in that time. In Week 14 of the 2017 season, though, Shazier suffered a spinal injury that ended his career. He later had spinal stabilization surgery, then learned to walk again.

Melvin Gordon, RB, 2015 (San Diego) — Has 6,462 rushing yards and 55 touchdowns during his first eight years in the NFL. Gordon was a Pro Bowler with the Chargers in both 2016 and 2018, then signed free agent deal with Denver in 2020. The Broncos released Gordon in Nov., 2022, and he’s currently on the Chiefs’ practice squad.

Malik Hooker, S, 2017 (Indianapolis) — The second safety taken in the 2017 draft has been a solid starter when healthy. Hooker missed much of his rookie year with ACL and MCL tears and played just two games in 2020 after tearing his Achilles. But Hooker has recovered nicely and put together back-to-back solid seasons in Dallas.

Kolton Miller, OT, 2018 (Oakland) — Miller has been the Raiders’ starting left tackle since his rookie season. In April, 2021, he signed a three-year, $54 million contract extension keeping him with the Raiders through the 2025 season.

Mac Jones, QB, 2021 (New England) — Fifth quarterback taken in the 2021 draft has outperformed all but No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence. Jones was a Pro Bowler as a rookie, has thrown for nearly 7,000 yards, 36 touchdowns in two seasons and completed 66.5% of his passes. His future remains bright.


Michael Clayton, WR, 2004 (Tampa Bay) — Clayton played six years in Tampa Bay, averaging 37 receptions, 493 yards and 1.7 touchdowns per season. Clayton caught 80 passes for 1,193 yards and seven TDs as a rookie, then had just three receiving touchdowns his final five years.

Tye Hill, CB, 2006 (St. Louis Rams) — Below average corner who bounced between four teams during five year career. Had five career interceptions, 17 passes defensed and one forced fumble.

Jerry Jeudy, WR, 2020 (Denver) — Jeudy still has plenty of time to move up this list. To date, though, he’s averaging a mediocre 52 catches for 765 yards and three touchdowns per season.


Jerome McDougle, DE, 2003 (Philadelphia) — McDougle’s career seemed cursed, as he was plagued by multiple injuries, diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and was shot during an invasion of his home in 2005. McDougle was released after three years in Philadelphia, played one season with the New York Giants and had just 3.0 career sacks in four years.

Corey Coleman, WR, 2016 (Cleveland) — Coleman had just 61 career catches and five touchdowns. He spent two years in Cleveland, one with the New York Giants and hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2018.

Dwayne Haskins, QB, 2019 (Washington) — Haskins lasted less than two full seasons with the Commanders before being released. He was signed by Pittsburgh, and in April 2022, was killed after being struck by a dump truck while trying to cross an interstate by foot near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A toxicology report revealed Haskins had a blood alcohol level of .24 and had also tested positive for ketamine and norketamine.


Kenyon Green, OG, 2022 (Houston) — Left Texas A&M after his junior season, then had a brutal rookie year with the Texans. Green played 75% of the snaps, had 12 penalties, allowed four sacks and had one of the lowest grades at his position from Pro Football Focus.


2022 — Kenyon Green, OG, Houston (Texas A&M)

2021 — Mac Jones, QB, New England (Alabama)

2020 — Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver (Alabama)

2019 — Dwayne Haskins, QB, Washington (Ohio State)

2018 — Kolton Miller, OT, Oakland (UCLA)

2017 — Malik Hooker, S, Indianapolis (Ohio State)

2016 — Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland (Baylor)

2015 — Melvin Gordon, RB, San Diego (Wisconsin)

2014 — Ryan Shazier, LB, Pittsburgh (Ohio State)

2013 — Kenny Vaccaro, S, New Orleans (Texas)

2012 — Bruce Irvin, DE, Seattle (West Virginia)

2011 — Mike Pouncey, C, Miami (Florida)

2010 — Jason Pierre-Paul, LB, New York Giants (South Florida)

2009 — Brian Cushing, LB, Houston (USC)

2008 — Branden Albert, OT, Kansas City (Virginia Tech)

2007 — Lawrence Timmons, LB, Pittsburgh (Florida State)

2006 — Tye Hill, CB, St. Louis Rams (Clemson)

2005 — Derrick Johnson, LB, Kansas City (Texas)

2004 — Michael Clayton, WR, Tampa Bay (LSU)

2003 — Jerome McDougle, DE, Philadelphia (Miami)

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