Boom and bust: 30 years of No. 30 picks

There have been more good players selected 30th in the last decade than in the previous two decades combined.

Here's a list of No. 30 picks from the last 30 NFL drafts. The Packers own the 30th pick of the first round of this year's draft, which will be held April 26-27.

2007: San Diego — Craig Davis, WR, LSU. Finished 14th in receptions and 13th in yards among rookies. The Packers' James Jones, a third-round, ranked third in both categories.

2006: Indianapolis — Joseph Addai, RB, LSU. Led NFL rookies with 1,081 rushing yards in 2006, then added 1,072 yards and 12 TDs last season.

2005: Pittsburgh — Heath Miller, TE, Virginia. Set career highs with 47 receptions, 566 yards, 12.0 average and seven TDs last season.

2004: Detroit — Kevin Jones, RB, Virginia Tech. After breakthrough rookie season, has averaged just 644 yards the last three years.

2003: San Diego — Sammy Davis, CB, Texas A&M. Last three years: Three teams, no interceptions.

2002: Pittsburgh — Kendall Simmons, G, Auburn. Missed all of 2004 season, but has started 46 of 48 games the last three years.

2001: Indianapolis — Reggie Wayne, WR, Miami. Finally emerged from the shadow of an injured Marvin Harrison to gain recognition as one of the league's elite receivers.

2000: Tennessee — Keith Bulluck, LB, Syracuse. The tackling machine picked off five passes last season.

1999: Atlanta — Patrick Kerney, DE, Virginia. Has double-digits sacks four of the last seven years.

1998: Denver — Marcus Nash, WR, Tennessee. One of the worst first-round picks in NFL history. Caught four passes in four NFL seasons.

1997: Green Bay — Ross Verba, OT, Iowa. A solid starter but never close to an elite player.

1996: Washington — Andre Johnson, OT, Penn State. Lasted just one season with Redskins, having never played in a regular-season game.

1995: Cleveland — Craig Powell, LB, Ohio State. Played for three teams in his three seasons, then joined the Army.

1994: Cincinnati — Darnay Scott, WR, San Diego State. Lasted eight seasons. In 1999, caught 68 passes for 1,022 yards and seven TDs.

1993: Seattle — Carlton Gray, CB, UCLA. Picked off 12 passes in eight seasons.

1992: Los Angeles Rams — Steve Israel, DB, Pittsburgh. Intercepted five passes in nine seasons, including three for New England in 1998.

1991: Denver — Reggie Johnson, TE, Florida State. Seven-year career included two one-year stays with the Packers. Finished career with just 66 catches, including seven in 1994 with Green Bay and none in 1997.

1990: Tampa Bay — Reggie Cobb, RB, Tennessee. Rushed for 3,743 yards and 27 TDs in seven seasons, including 579 yards and three TDs with 13 starts with the Packers in 1994.

1989: Detroit — John Ford, WR, Virginia. Big-time bust caught five passes in his one year with Detroit.

1988: Philadelphia — Eric Allen, CB, Arizona State. One of the era's best cornerbacks. The six-time All-Pro picked off 54 passes in his brilliant career.

1987: Washington — Brian Davis, DB, Nebraska. Started 17 games in eight-year career. Four of his nine INTs came in 1989.

1986: Washington — Markus Koch, DE, Boise State. Spent six seasons with Washington with 10.5 sacks.

1985: Minnesota — Issiac Holt, DB, Alcorn State. Picked off 23 passes in eight seasons, including eight for the Vikings in 1986.

1984: Tampa Bay — Keith Browner, LB, USC. Played five seasons. His brother, Joey, was a five-time All-Pro safety selected by the Vikings in the first round in 1983. His son, Keith Browner Jr., is entering his sophomore season as a defensive end at California.

1983: Houston — Harvey Salem, OT, California. Started 107 games in his 10-year career, which ended with a four-game (one-start) stint in Green Bay in 1992.

1982: New Orelans — Brad Edelman, C, Missouri. Best season of eight-year career came in 1987, when he was voted an All-Pro.

1981: New York Jets — Marion Barber, RB, Missouri. The father of star Dallas running back Marion Barber III played seven seasons for the Jets.

1980: Minnesota — Willie Teal, DB, LSU. Played seven seasons, with all 15 INTs coming in first five years.

1979: Cincinnati — Dan Ross, TE, Northeastern. The two-time All-Pro caught 290 passes for 3,419 yards and 19 TDs in eight seasons. Dominated Super Bowl XVI loss to San Francisco with 11 catches and two touchdowns. Finished career in 1986 with Green Bay, catching 17 passes for 143 yards and a TD.

1978: Tampa Bay — Johnny Davis, RB, Alabama. Lasted 10 seasons, even though he rushed for just 1,094 yards. Scored seven of his 15 TDs in 1981 with San Francisco.

Noteworthy picks

1973: From Sam Huff in 1956 to Eric Allen in 1988, easily the best of the No. 30s was Cleveland's Greg Pruitt, a running back out of Oklahoma who was named to five Pro Bowls. Finished 12-year career with almost 9,000 yards from scrimmage and 47 touchdowns.

1968: Washington selected UCLA's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Gary Beban. Stuck behind Sonny Jurgensen, however, Beban never lived up to the hype, and retired in 1970.

1956: The Giants selected Sam Huff, the only Hall of Famer selected at No. 30. Tackles weren't kept as a stat in those days. His 30 interceptions as a linebacker are almost as impressive as the stories of his toughness.

1936: This was the first NFL draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Truman Spain, a tackle out of SMU.

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


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