The Green Bay Packers have a long and storied history with several All-Pros and stars. Selecting a team of 22 was both easy and hard at the same time.
Seven members of the Dairyland Express team, including myself, performed a 22-round time-machine draft over the entire Green Bay Packers history. The instructions were to select 11 offensive and 11 defensive players. Every player that ever suited up in the Green and Gold was eligible. However, you could only pick them for one year. For example, my first pick was 1995 Brett Favre, which took him off the board for the rest of the draft.
My strategy for the draft was to address all of the major positions first. I held the second overall pick, which gave me the opportunity to knock out the quarterback spot right away. I followed that up by sealing out a pass-rusher, left tackle and cornerback. After that was done, my focus was to gradually add strong players at key positions, while allowing lesser positions to wait.
While some drafters focused on big name players from team history, I focused on players who performed above projections. My team featured several All-Pro’s and more Pro Bowlers. Rather than focusing on an old-school offense with a fullback, I chose a modern three wide receiver set. On defense, I went with a 3-4. I’m a fan of the 3-4 because it allows you to get more athletes on the field. It also allows for more creative pass-rushing with outside linebacker stunts.
Team Favre: Offense
My offense had Favre at the helm in the first of his three MVP seasons in 1995. He threw for 4413 yards, 38 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions. While he threw for 39 touchdowns in 1996, he had a higher rating and better counting stats that season. I surrounded Favre with three large receivers, a touchdown-scoring tight end and a dual-threat running back.
My first receiver pick was 2004 Javon Walker. His lone Pro Bowl season saw him catch 89 balls for 1382 yards and 12 touchdowns. If he had been healthy, Walker could have been a major threat for the Packers moving forward. I later added 2016 Davante Adams. Adams had 12 touchdowns and nearly 1000 yards. He gives Favre a great red-zone threat. My final receiver threat was 1983 John Jefferson. Although he wasn’t the player he was in San Diego, he was a great third option.
At running back, I brought in 1995 Edgar Bennett. While not an amazing pure runner, he was a great receiving threat out of the backfield. He totaled 648 receiving yards to put him over 1700 all-purpose yards that season. My final skill-position player was tight end 1962 Ron Kramer. He finished with seven touchdowns. Although he was not a major field stretcher, he was a great red zone threat.
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My offensive line featured five players who had the best seasons of their career. 2017 David Bakhtiari locked down the left tackle spot. Per Pro Football Focus, he was the top graded tackle this past season. 1996 Aaron Taylor filled the left guard spot. Although not a Pro Bowler, he was a strong contributor on a Super Bowl winning team.
2011 Scott Wells mans the center spot. This was the only Pro Bowl season of his career. 2003 Marco Rivera slots in at right guard. His second Pro Bowl season put him on par with today’s All-Pros. 1995 Earl Dotson finishes out my offense. Another strong athlete on the mid-1990s Packers that played with them for years.
My offense is built for the modern NFL. Favre was the original gunslinger that several young quarterbacks are compared to. He’d love all of these large targets to use. Three long tall receivers who are great in the red zone, along with a tight end who was an early NFL threat. Bennett caught 61 passes and had a great chemistry with Favre. The offensive line will open lots of holes and keep Favre upright.
Team Favre: Defense
My defensive strategy was to add major playmakers at every level. I got at least one first-team All-Pro at all three levels. I started the levels with 2006 Aaron Kampman at defensive end. His 15.5 sacks were easily a career-high. Up the middle was 1972 Robert Brown. He gave my 3-4 defense the run-stuffing nose tackle it needs. I finished off my defensive line with 1997 Gabe Wilkins. He totaled 30 tackles, 5.5 sacks and his lone career interception.
Off the edge, I have 2010 Clay Matthews. He racked up 13.5 sacks to go with a career-high 54 tackles. I later added 2017 Blake Martinez to be my defensive signal-caller. He was a run-stopping menace this past season. Next to Martinez is 1955 Roger Zatkoff. Zatkoff had three interceptions and was a key cog in a loaded 1955 defense. My final linebacker is 1966 Lee Roy Caffey. He had three interceptions that season, along with a touchdown.
In my defensive backfield, I started the group with 1955 Bobby Dillon. Dillon had nine picks and was a menace locking up receivers. Across from Dillon was 1961 Jesse Whittenton. Whittenton had five interceptions and a touchdown that season as the team’s lead corner. At free safety, I went with 1996 Eugene Robinson. He had six interceptions roaming the defensive backfield for the third most of his career. My final selection for my defense was 1980 Johnnie Gray, who forced five interceptions and recovered four fumbles that season.