In 1958 the troubled Green Bay Packers had two third round draft picks and the second proved to be a franchise changer and dynasty building block. With the 36th overall pick in the 1958 NFL Draft the Green Bay Packers selected Ray Nitschke out of Illinois. Nitschke, an Illinois native, grew up a Bears fan, but when he was picked by his childhood team’s rival, he easily made the switch to Green and Gold which he donned for all of his 15 professional seasons.
In a decade and a half in Green Bay, Nitschke was a five time world champion, seven time All-Pro, was named to one Pro Bowl and was the 1962 NFL Championship game MVP. While he had a decorated playing career his post career accolades were just as impressive. Nitschke was named to the 1960’s All-Decade team, NFL 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978 and has his number 66 retired; one of only five Packers players ever to receive that honor – that is a pretty solid career for a team’s second pick in the third round.