Boom and bust at No. 30

Only one Hall of Famer was selected at No. 30 in the 72-year history of the draft. PackerReport.com's Steve Lawrence examines the history of No. 30, which includes studs like Reggie Wayne, flops like Marcus Nash and just a few Packers along the way.

First, the bad news. In the previous 72 NFL drafts, only one player selected with the 30th overall pick — where the Packers will be on the clock on April 26 — is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That, according to research done by PackerReport.com, would be New York Giants linebacker Sam Huff, who was inducted in 1982. The third-round pick engaged in five NFL championship games with the Packers, losing four of them. Huff's helmet in the Hall of Fame features a dent that came in a collision with the Packers' Jim Taylor in the 1962 title game.

The good news, though, is that more often than not in the last 10 years, the No. 30 pick has yielded players ranging from good to excellent.

In 2006, the Colts picked LSU running back Joseph Addai, who has rushed for 2,153 yards and 19 touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons.

In 2005, Pittsburgh selected Virginia tight end Heath Miller, who has 120 catches and 18 touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons.

In 2002, Pittsburgh selected Auburn's Kendall Simmons, who is one of the NFL's better young guards.

In 2001, Indianapolis grabbed Miami wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who has averaged 87.5 catches, 1,271 yards and nine touchdowns the last four seasons.

In 2000, Tennessee nabbed Syracuse linebacker Keith Bulluck. He recorded 109 tackles last season, breaking a run of five consecutive seasons of at least 150 stops.

In 1999, Atlanta selected Virginia defensive end Patrick Kerney. In his last seven seasons, Kerney has piled up 67.5 sacks, including 14.5 last season in his first year with Seattle.

Of course, there have been some flops at No. 30, as well.

Last year, San Diego selected LSU receiver Craig Davis. His 20 catches ranked 14th among rookies, and were 27 fewer than the Packers' James Jones, who was selected in the third round.

In 2004, Detroit selected Virginia Tech running back Kevin Jones. Jones burst onto the scene by rushing for 1,133 yards as a rookie, but he hasn't played in more than 13 games in a season since.

In 2002, San Diego picked Texas A&M cornerback Sammy Davis. In the last three seasons, he has played for three teams and has no interceptions.

In 1998, Denver selected Tennessee receiver Marcus Nash. Though Nash won Super Bowl rings with Denver and Baltimore, he's easily the worst of the No. 30 picks of the last decade. He's spent the last five seasons tearing up the Arena Football League.

Surprisingly, the Packers have had the 30th pick just once in the last half century. In 1997, the Super Bowl champions selected Ross Verba out of Iowa. He became the first rookie in NFL history to start a Super Bowl at left tackle, but otherwise has to rank as at least a mild disappointment.

He played four seasons in Green Bay before landing in Cleveland. He started all 14 games with the Browns in 2004, paid for his release, was out of football in 2005 and attempted a comeback with Detroit in 2006. He entered the league talking about Jesus, and exited as a bit of a bad boy by partying with Paris Hilton and writing bad checks in Las Vegas.

The Packers picked 30th three times in the 1950s.

In 1950, they selected end Gordy Soltau out of Minnesota. Soltau made his name with the 49ers, however, catching 25 career touchdowns passes and being named an All-Pro three times.

In 1953, the Packers picked record-setting Texas running back Gib Dawson. He played just one year in Green Bay before being drafted into the Army.

In 1966, the Packers selected Maryland tackle Tom Cichowski. He chose to play in the American Football League, however, but lasted just two seasons with Denver.

Steve Lawrence is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com


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