Taking a quick look ahead to 2009

How have other No. 9 draft picks panned out? What teams round out the Packers' 2009 schedule?

The Packers' 2008 season is finished. So, it's not too early to begin thinking about 2009.

The draft

The Packers (6-10) will select ninth in the April draft. Several prominent players have gone at No. 9 in recent drafts:

2008 — Bengals: LB Keith Rivers.

2007 — Dolphins: WR Ted Ginn.

2006 — Lions: LB Ernie Sims.

2005 — Redskins: CB Carlos Rogers.

2004 — Jaguars: WR Reggie Williams.

2003 — Vikings: DT Kevin Williams.

2002 — Jaguars: DT John Henderson.

2001 — Seahawks: WR Koren Robinson.

2000 — Bears: LB Brian Urlacher.

1999 — Lions: LB Chris Claiborne.

1998 — Jaguars: RB Fred Taylor.

The Packers did well the last time they had the No. 9 selection. In 1977, they selected Mike Butler, who had team highs of nine sacks in 1980 and 10.5 in 1981. He played seven seasons in Green Bay before joining Tampa Bay of the USFL in 1984.

Meanwhile, with Brett Favre and the Jets falling apart down the stretch, the Packers will receive a third-round pick from New York. They would have received a second-rounder had the Jets qualified for the playoffs. That would have improved to a first-rounder had the Jets reached the Super Bowl.

Schedule

The schedule is finalized. Along with the usual games against the NFC North, the Packers were scheduled to play all four teams from the NFC WEst and AFC North.

The third-place Packers will play the third-place teams from the NFC South (Tampa Bay) and NFC East (Dallas).

The Packers will play five games against playoff teams: Minnesota (twice), Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Arizona. That's down from six in 2007: Minnesota (twice), Atlanta, Indianapolis, Tennessee and Carolina.

The home games:

Chicago Bears (9-7)

Detroit Lions (0-16)

Minnesota Vikings (10-6)

Baltimore Ravens (11-5)

Dallas Cowboys (9-7)

San Francisco 49ers (7-9)

Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1)

Seattle Seahawks (4-12)

The road games:

Chicago Bears (9-7)

Detroit Lions (0-16)

Minnesota Vikings (10-6)

Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)

Arizona Cardinals (9-7)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)

Cleveland Browns (4-12)

St. Louis Rams (2-14)

Save these dates

Scouting combine: Feb. 18-24.

Free agency: Starts Feb. 27.

Draft: April 25-26.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com.


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