Why Did Mike Sherman Hate Second Round Picks?

Why Did Mike Sherman Hate Second Round Picks?

We mentioned in this week's podcast that Mike Sherman never made a second round pick during his time as general manager.

That statement seems to get weirder each time I hear it, but it's true. So what happened to them?

Well, trades happened. While Coach Mike Sherman might have loved to have a few second round picks on the field, GM Mike Sherman wanted to wheel and deal, and that's exactly what he did, trading his second round picks in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Here's how they went down.

2002 NFL Draft

Green Bay traded up eight spots to select wide receiver Javon Walker in 2002.

Green Bay traded up eight spots to select wide receiver Javon Walker in 2002.

In the 2002 Draft, Sherman wanted a receiver, and he swapped his second round pick (60th overall) with Seattle to jump from 28 to 20 in the draft order, nabbing Florida State's Javon Walker in the process. Seattle ultimately picked tight end Jerramy Stevens with the 28th selection.

The second round, however, would have been chock full of receivers. Seattle picked defensive end Anton Palepoi at 60. Had the Packers kept the pick, receivers Antwaan Randle El, Antonio Bryant, and Deion Branch would all have been available, going at 62, 63, and 65, respectively.

Interestingly enough, Walker himself was ultimately traded for a second round pick, which the Packers used to select Greg Jennings.

2003 NFL Draft

Green Bay traded their second round pick in 2003 to acquire cornerback Al Harris (#31).

Green Bay traded their second round pick in 2003 to acquire cornerback Al Harris (#31).

In 2003, Sherman didn't even keep his second round pick until draft day, dealing the 62nd selection to Philadelphia for cornerback Al Harris. Philadelphia, in turn, shipped the pick to San Diego, who picked safety Terrance Kiel.

While Harris was ultimately a productive player for the Packers, it's worth noting that both linebacker Lance Briggs (68) and tight end Jason Witten (69) were available when Green Bay would have been on the board.

2004 NFL Draft

Cornerback Joey Thomas (#24) was one of the Packers' third round selections in the 2004 draft.

Cornerback Joey Thomas (#24) was one of the Packers' third round selections in the 2004 draft.

Sherman moved back in the 2004 draft, giving up the 55th overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for the 70th and 102nd picks. Jacksonville picked fullback Greg Jones at 55, and yes, he made a Pro Bowl, but trading up for fullbacks is why the Jacksonville Jaguars are the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Packers weren't done, though. Sherman also flipped the 86th and 118th selections to Jaguars for the 72nd overall pick. Later, he packaged the 102nd and 153rd picks to Miami for pick number 87.

If you're scoring at home, Sherman turned a second round pick (55), a third round pick (86), a fourth round pick (118), and a fifth round pick (153) into three thirds. Ultimately, the Packers took defensive back Joey Thomas at 70, defensive lineman Donnell Washington at 72, and punter B.J. Sander at 87.

A deeper look into the 2004 NFL Draft

This one needs to be broken down a little differently than the other two, because of the complex trading. First, let's look at who was available where the Packers ultimately picked. 

Sandwiched between the Packers picks at 70 and 72, the Cowboys took Pro Bowl defensive tackle Randy Starks. Off to a great start! Then, at 87, the Packers could have taken quarterback Matt Schaub, which may have been a net loss given the Packers' pick at quarterback in 2005. Pro Bowl defensive end Shaun Phillips was also available, going at 98 to the Chargers.

The Packers selected punter B.J. Sander with the 87th overall selection. Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Schaub (#8) was still available.

The Packers selected punter B.J. Sander with the 87th overall selection. Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Schaub (#8) was still available.

However, had the Packers stood pat, they could have come out even better. If the Packers had stayed at 55 and still wanted a defensive lineman, they could have selected defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, who went to Arizona at 64.

In the third round, the Packers could have simply stayed at 86 and taken the punter that Sherman apparently coveted. A net wash there.

At 118, Sherman could have had his pick from a trio of defensive backs, including Bruce Thornton, Michael Waddell, and Jason David, all of whom had longer and more successful careers than third round pick Joey Thomas. Hall of Fame defensive end Jared Allen was also available at 126, so there's that.

Finally, just one pick after what would have been the Packers fifth round pick, the San Diego Chargers selected Michael Turner, who would go on to rush for more than seven thousand yards in his NFL career.

In summary, when someone calls and asks if you'd like to move up, the answer is no. They're not doing you a favor. Just keep those second round picks.

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