The Packers have drafted a lot of horrible defensive tackles in their history, but there is one that takes the cake. Many Packer fans hold 2007 close to their hearts; as they should, it was a great year and it was never more apparent that we lived and died by what Brett Favre did. As young players began to emerge it also became inherently apparent that we would live and die by our general manager who seemed to be great at finding talent in the draft and practice squads where guys like John Kuhn and Ryan Grant were discovered. However, 2007 was the year of Ted Thompson’s biggest swing and miss.
With the 16th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft Ted Thompson selected Justin Harrell, a defensive tackle from Tennessee. It seemed like a good pick considering his résumé as a high school basketball player and tight end turned defensive tackle. He was a menace, and given his NFL ready frame at 6’5” 314 pounds it seemed as though he could contribute immediately. Harrell never contributed – ever. Harrell spent most of his four years in Green Bay injured. In his first two seasons he played in just 13 games and then in 2009 he suffered a season ending injury in minicamp only to come back in 2010 and play in just the season opener in Philadelphia, ultimately returning to the all too familiar injured reserve. Maybe someday Ted Thompson will draft a player in the first round who can stay healthy.