It was widely reported that McKenzie was hired based on the recommendation of Ron Wolf, and McKenzie himself has been very upfront in that he learned everything he knows from the system Wolf instilled in Green Bay.
The 2016 draft left many of us shocked, particularly in the 4th round when we traded up for a Quarterback, despite the fact that we had one firmly entrenched in young Derek Carr. I argued weeks ago that we’d be unlikely to spend a valuable draft pick on a QB (with so many other needs existing on the team), and as usual, Reggie made me feel foolish. Hopefully as we get to know our GM further, we’ll have a better understanding of the thought process building this roster.
As I was looking through some of the Ron Wolf’s drafts with the Packers, I felt irresponsible reflecting back to some of my past ideas. If we had done our homework a little better, we could have seen this coming. Here’s why:
In 1992, Green Bay acquired Brett Favre, who subsequently broke out with a pro bowl season, very similar to the season Derek Carr just had. The following offseason(despite having a young QB star in the making), Wolf used a 5th round pick on Mark Brunell. 2 years later in 95, they used a 5th round pick on QB Jay Barker. The next season they used a 7th on QB Kyle Wachholtz. The next year a 7th on QB Ronnie McAda. Once again, the following year in 98, they used a 6th on Matt Hasselbeck. In 1999, they made it 5 years in a row, using a 4th rounder on Aaron Brooks.
Looking back on on the value of those picks (and if the return was worth the investment):
Brunell netted them a 3rd and 5th round pick.
Hasselbeck netted them a 3rd round pick, as well as a swap of first which Green moved up 7 spots (350 pt value on the trade chart, equaling a late 2nd rounder).
Brooks netted them a 3rd round pick and a player.
So from spending the following:
1 x 4th rounder
2 x 5th rounder
1 x 6th rounder
2 x 7th rounder
Green Bay received:
3 x 3rd round picks
1 x 5th round pick
And approximate trade up value of a 2nd round pick.
Yes, it paid off well for Wolf.
In all, during Wolf’s decade with Green Bay, he selected 7 QB’s in the draft, and 6 of those were while they had a franchise QB at the helm. McKenzie just completed his 5th draft, and selected his 3rd QB in that time. He’s a bit behind the pace of Wolf, but if history has any merit, I’d imagine we would be seeing many more QB’s selected , and probably quite a few of them in the late rounds. Despite knowing this, I’m sure I’ll still be arguing that it won’t happen because as soon as I hit submit, my tunnel vision sets in where I can only see team needs.