Green Bay Packers’ Dairyland Draft: Team Hendricks

GREEN BAY, WI - JULY 28: Helmuts from Green Bay Packer defensive players sit on the field during a summer training camp practice on July 28, 2008 at the Hutson Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - JULY 28: Helmuts from Green Bay Packer defensive players sit on the field during a summer training camp practice on July 28, 2008 at the Hutson Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Seven writers got together over a two week period and picked their best teams from Green Bay Packers history. Mike Wendlandt reveals his Dairyland Draft squad.

One of the most enjoyable and interesting things I have ever participated in as a writer has been the Dairyland Draft. Picking players from different years, different eras, and trying to build the best team against your colleagues is an extremely rewarding venture. And while everyone has made a great team that would be hard to play against, I love mine the best.

To explain the Dairyland Draft, seven of the writers for Dairyland Express picked a 22-man roster, using any year. For example, the first pick of the draft involved 2011 Aaron Rodgers being selected. After that pick, no one else could take any version of Rodgers anymore. For my first pick, I went off the beaten path and took a player that a lot of people forget about in Packers lore.

With my team, I went for versatility, length, and speed. I also tried to introduce a lot of people to some of the least talked about legends in Packers history. Let’s take a look.


Quarterback: 1942 Cecil Isbell
6’1″ 190 lbs. Age: 27
2021 Yards, 24 TD

In his final season as a professional, Isbell outshone Hall of Fame teammate Arnie Herber and formed a dynamite connection with Don Hutson, helping modernize the passing game. Isbell led the league in completions, yards (+497), touchdowns (+8), yards per attempt, and passer rating. He was a quarterback from the early era who could’ve played in later eras.

Running Back: 1968 Donny Anderson
6’2″ 215 lbs. Age: 25
761 Yards, 5 TD, 1094 Total Yards, Pro Bowl

Anderson was one of the most coveted prospects when he was drafted, causing a bidding war between the Packers and Houston Oilers. He proved a wise investment in 1968, giving my team a big, fast runner who can also double as my punter.

Fullback: 1937 Clarke Hinkle
5’11” 202 lbs. Age: 28
552 Yards, 5 TD, 1st Team All-Pro

The best runner in the opening era of Packers history, Hinkle became a legend due to his power and tenacity. His battles with the Bears became legendary, especially during the 1937 season. Hinkle brings plenty of nasty to the team, and can play linebacker when I use a 3-4 alignment.

Wide Receiver: 1984 James Lofton
6’3″ 192 lbs. Age: 28
62 Receptions, 1361 Yards, 7 TD, Pro Bowl

Adding some speed to my offense, Lofton is without a doubt one of the top five receivers in Packers history. His best season was here, leading the league in yards per reception (22.0). He’ll be the top deep threat and first option in my passing game.

Wide Receiver: 1995 Robert Brooks
6’0″ 177 lbs. Age: 25
102 Receptions, 1497 Yards, 13 TD
NFL Record 99-yard TD Reception

In a career shortened by injury, Brooks shined brightly in 1995 with one of the greatest seasons a Packer receiver ever had. He’ll take the top off the defense on this team, and be the hype man with his local hit “Jump

Tight End: 1983 Paul Coffman
6’3″ 222 lbs. Age: 27
54 Receptions, 814 Yards, 11 TD, Pro Bowl

Still the holder of numerous tight end records for the team, Coffman was one of the rocks in a dynamic offense in 1983. With Lofton and Brooks dominating outside, Coffman will be the glue in the middle for this offense.

Left Tackle: 1994 Ken Ruettgers
6’6″ 295 lbs. Age: 32

Ruettgers was as solid and consistent as it got in the early 90s. He’ll do the same here, lined up next to a legendary guard.

Left Guard: 1969 Gale Gillingham
6’3″ 256 lbs. Age: 25
1st Team All-Pro, Pro Bowl

In the book Instant Replay, Jerry Kramer gave glowing praise to a rookie Gillingham. Big and strong, he was the perfect guard to pull and seal blocks. He’ll be the focal point of the offensive line.

Center: 1983 Larry McCarren
6’3″ 243 lbs. Age: 32
Pro Bowl

Undersized, but extremely intelligent and as tough as it gets, McCarren not only is the leader of my offensive line, but also my color commentator.

Right Guard: 1924 Howard “Cub” Buck
6’0″ 259 lbs. Age: 32

Listed at 259, Buck played much closer to 280, a mountain of a man for the 1920s. He was one of the best run blockers of his era, and wasn’t afraid to mix it up either, breaking a Chicago players arm during a scuffle around this time as well.

Right Tackle: 1932 Cal Hubbard
6’2″ 253 lbs. Age: 33
1st Team All-Pro

Another guy who can play both ways if needed, Hubbard was a dominant force on the offensive and defensive lines during the early 1930s, striking fear in all opponents.


DE: 2015 Julius Peppers
6’7″ 295 lbs. Age: 35
10.5 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles, Pro Bowl

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In his three-year run with the Packers, this was the best one for his pass rush, hitting double digits for the ninth time. With his length and agility, he’ll match up with my outside linebackers to disrupt any pass.

DT: 1962 Henry Jordan
6’2″ 248 lbs. Age: 27
1st Team All-Pro

One of the best pass rushers from the 1960s, Jordan used his speed and agility to wreak havoc in the backfield. Combining him with a guy like Peppers will only amplify his impact.

DT: 1950 Ed Neal
6’4″ 285 lbs. Age: 32
Pro Bowl

A blacksmith by trade, Neal is arguably the strongest player in Packers history. His feats of strength during the late 1940s and early 1950s are the stuff of legend. He won’t bring much pass rush, but he’ll hold the point and drive offensive linemen backwards.

DE: 2010 Cullen Jenkins
6’3″ 292 lbs. Age: 29
7 Sacks

In his final season in Green Bay, Jenkins got a Ring, but he also set a career-high in sacks, showing the non-stop motor and natural instincts that make him a great fit as my strong side defensive end.

OLB: 1974 Ted Hendricks
6’7″ 220 lbs. Age: 27
5 Interceptions, 7 Blocked Kicks (NFL Record), 1st Team All-Pro

A Packer for one single year, Hendricks had one of the greatest seasons in Packers history, dominating on defense and special teams. My first round pick (5th overall), he’s my team captain and weak side linebacker. There’s never been another player like “The Mad Stork.”

MLB: 2002 Na’il Diggs
6’4″ 238 lbs. Age: 24
65 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 2 Interceptions

One of the more underrated players of the Mike Sherman era, Diggs quietly did his job well for six seasons in Green Bay. He’ll man the middle for me, using his speed and football IQ to balance out the madness of Hendricks.

OLB: 1967 Dave Robinson
6’3″ 245 lbs. Age: 26
4 Interceptions, 1st Team All-Pro, Pro Bowl

The same size as defensive end Willie Davis, Robinson was one of the first outside linebackers to blend elite size and speed. He was as well rounded as it got in 1967, showing the ability to rush the passer and play back in coverage. A duo with Hendricks is a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.

CB: 1965 Herb Adderley
6’0″ 205 lbs. Age: 26
6 Interceptions, 175 Return Yards (Led League), 1st Team All-Pro

Another elite ballhawk, Adderley was the definition of a shutdown corner. Fast and physical, he was the quiet, understated bedrock of the Phil Bengtson defenses. He was never better in 1965, racking up a career-high in interceptions before quarterbacks started to avoid him.

CB: 1984 Tim Lewis
5’11” 194 lbs. Age: 23
7 Interceptions, 1 TD

Another promising Packer whose career was cut short by neck injuries, Lewis was a corner on the rise in 1984, one of the few bright spots on a dreadful defense. With plenty of speed, Lewis and Adderley can now match up with any receiver duo.

S: 1930 Verne Lewellen
6’1″ 182 lbs. Age: 29
9 Total TD

One of the greatest ends of the pre-Don Huston era, Lewellen was the highest scoring player in league history before Hutson arrived. A great two-way player, he was named the greatest Packer not in the Hall of Fame by team historian Cliff Christl. I had to find a spot for him. And he’ll double as my third receiver and kicker.

S: 1931 Johnny Blood
6’1″ 188 lbs. Age: 28
13 Total Touchdowns

Another guy too good to leave off my roster, Blood was the flash and sizzle of the early Packers. With explosive speed and agility and the toughness to drive through a ball carrier on defense, he had it all. He’ll also play both ways at times, rotating in at both running back and receiver.

With plenty of versatility and a large number of Hall of Famers (nine), this Packers squad can match up with anyone. Let me know what you think of the team.