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News & Events

'58 Packers Draft Class On 'NFL's Top 10'
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Ray Nitschke
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by Mike Spofford, Packers.com
posted 04/17/2007

The Green Bay Packers' 1958 draft class was ranked fourth all-time in NFL Network's weekly Top 10 countdown series that aired on Wednesday night.

This week's installment of the NFL's Top 10 series looked at the Top 10 draft classes as selected by a panel of NFL Network and NFL Films staffers. The 60-minute show counted down the Top 10 in reverse order, using interviews with key decision-makers involved in the various drafts to explain each class's ranking.

The Packers' 1958 draft was a key building block for the 1960s, which produced five NFL titles in Green Bay in a seven-year span.

The 1958 draft included the selections of linebacker Dan Currie and fullback Jim Taylor among the top 15 overall selections. Linebacker Ray Nitschke was chosen in the third round that year (36th overall), and offensive guard Jerry Kramer was taken in the fourth round (39th).

Nitschke and Taylor were ultimately inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the 1970s. All four are in the Packers Hall of Fame.

The 1958 Packers were the oldest draft class to make the Top 10. The other nine draft classes the 1958 Packers were up against for consideration for No. 1 are as follows, with the show's ranking included:

1. 1974 Steelers - Four Pro Football Hall of Famers in receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, linebacker Jack Lambert and center Mike Webster came from this draft and would help lead Pittsburgh to four Super Bowl titles.

2. 1991-92 Cowboys - A good portion of the Dallas dynasty was built in these two drafts, with defensive linemen Russell Maryland and Leon Lett, receiver Alvin Harper, linebacker Dixon Edwards, tackle Erik Williams and defensive back Larry Brown being picked in 1991, and defensive backs Kevin Smith and Darren Woodson and linebacker Robert Jones the following year.

3. 1983 Bears - Several key pieces to the Super Bowl XX champs were selected here, including offensive linemen Jim Covert, Tom Thayer and Mark Bortz, defensive backs Mike Richardson and Dave Duerson, receiver Willie Gault and defensive end Richard Dent.

4. 1958 Packers

5. 1986 49ers - By trading out of the first round multiple times to stockpile picks, San Francisco landed defensive ends Charles Haley and Kevin Fagan, defensive backs Tim McKyer and Don Griffin, fullback Tom Rathman, receiver John Taylor and offensive tackle Steve Wallace.

6. 1996 Ravens - Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, linebacker Ray Lewis and receiver/returner Jermaine Lewis all played big parts in Baltimore's championship season four years later.

7. 1981 Redskins - Washington won Super Bowl XVII the next year after getting offensive linemen Mark May, Russ Grimm and Daryl Grant, linebacker Dexter Manley, receiver Charlie Brown and tight end Clint Didier.

8. 1965 Bears - Linebacker Dick Butkus and running back Gale Sayers were selected with back-to-back picks in the first round.

9. 1985 Bills - Three players who would prove valuable in Buffalo's four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s were picked here - defensive end Bruce Smith, quarterback Frank Reich and receiver Andre Reed.

10. 1995 Buccaneers - One of the toughest defenses of the past decade got its foundation here in defensive tackle Warren Sapp and linebacker Derrick Brooks, who led the Super Bowl XXXVII champs.