The Odd, Interesting and Curious About The 2008 Draft Picks

For those who are interested, here are a few nuggets -- some odd, some interesting, some curious -- about each of the Packers’ nine draft choices in 2008 that you may or may not have already heard, or could make you a trivia whiz among fellow Packers fans.


NFL draft picks have spent the last year, if not longer, having their athletic lives picked apart as they prepared to enter professional football. Some of the information uncovered isn't well-publicized, or makes for some interesting trivia.

So for those who are interested, here are a few nuggets -- some odd, some interesting, some curious -- about each of the Packers' nine draft choices in 2008 that you may or may not have already heard, or could make you a trivia whiz among fellow Packers fans.

WR Jordy Nelson, 2nd round, 36th overall

--As an all-state quarterback at Riley County (Kan.) High School, Nelson actually compiled more rushing yards (2,302) than passing yards (2,074) in his two seasons as the starter. His QB skills came in handy during his final season at Kansas State, though, as he threw option passes for touchdowns in games against Auburn and Missouri State.

--Among Nelson's numerous track and basketball accomplishments in high school, perhaps the oddest one is that he left Riley County as the school's career leader on the hardwood in blocked shots, despite being just 6-foot-2 1/2. Nelson blocked 161 shots in his prep career.

--Of the 11 receiving records Nelson holds at Kansas State, one of them had stood for nearly two decades. The Wildcats' Michael Smith had 13 receptions in a game against Missouri in 1989, and no K-State receiver had matched or surpassed that until Nelson did so three times last year - with 15 catches against Missouri State, 14 at Iowa State and 15 at Fresno State to close his career. As a side note, Smith was K-State's running backs coach during Nelson's first three years (2003-05) in the program.

QB Brian Brohm, 2nd round, 56th overall

--Much has been said about the Brohm football family, but both Brohm and his older brother Jeff were also draft choices in the Major League Baseball amateur draft. Jeff was selected by the Cleveland Indians and played two seasons in their organization while in college. Brian was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2002.

--Brohm's 65 pass attempts against Syracuse last season broke the Big East Conference record of 64 by Alex Van Pelt of Pittsburgh in 1991, when Mike McCarthy was his quarterbacks coach.

--As a junior in high school, Brohm completed 19-of-25 passes for 552 yards and seven touchdowns in the 2002 state championship game, the second of three straight state titles for Brohm's Trinity High School in Louisville.

--Brohm actually caught two passes during his collegiate career, for a net of 1 yard. He had an 8-yard reception vs. South Florida in 2005 and caught a pass for a 7-yard loss vs. Kentucky in 2007.

CB Pat Lee, 2nd round, 60th overall

--Lee had just five interceptions in his college career at Auburn, but one of them came last year against his new Green Bay teammate, former LSU quarterback Matt Flynn, whom the Packers drafted in the seventh round. Another of Lee's interceptions came against eventual Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow of Florida last year.

--Lee spent 2005 and 2006 at Auburn sharing starting cornerback duties with Jonathan Wilhite. Then Lee became the regular starter in 2007 when his own strong play, and injuries, limited Wilhite primarily to nickel duty. Wilhite ultimately was drafted late in the fourth round by New England with the 129th overall pick, 69 selections after the Packers took Lee.

TE Jermichael Finley, 3rd round, 91st overall

--At Diboll High School in Texas, Finley at times played five other positions in addition to tight end - defensive end, wide receiver, safety, punter and kicker. According to various scouting reports, he played an average of 101 snaps per game.

For comparison's sake, the Packers averaged 158 snaps per game last season (64 offense, 66 defense, 28 special teams). Not that he'd ever do this in the pros, but Finley's 101 snaps per game in high school would equate to all of Green Bay's offensive and special teams plays, plus nine snaps on defense.

--Finley's 149 receiving yards against Oklahoma last season broke a 40-year-old Texas record for receiving yards in a game by a tight end. Randy Peschel, most famous for a 44-yard catch on fourth down to help No. 1 Texas win the national championship over No. 2 Arkansas in 1969, had 126 yards against Rice in 1967. Finley also had receptions of 55 and 58 yards in his record-breaking game, the first time in school history a tight end caught two passes of 50-plus yards in the same game.

DE Jeremy Thompson, 4th round, 102nd overall

--Of Thompson's six sacks last season for Wake Forest, two came in the season opener against Boston College's Matt Ryan, the first quarterback taken in the draft and the No. 3 pick overall. Thompson's two sacks went for minus-14 yards.

{sportsad300}--As a freshman, Thompson blocked two field goal attempts, against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents Florida State and Maryland. He did not have any more blocked kicks the rest of his college career.

OL Josh Sitton, 4th round, 135th overall

--Should his first professional appearance come at Lambeau Field, Sitton would make both his college and pro debuts in the state of Wisconsin. As a freshman at Central Florida in 2004, Sitton first appeared at right guard at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison against 21st-ranked Wisconsin on Sept. 4.

OL Breno Giacomini, 5th round, 150th overall

--Charged with protecting QB Brian Brohm as his starting right tackle last season, Giacomini actually caught a TD pass from Brohm in 2005 when both were sophomores and Giacomini was playing tight end. The TD pass came from 1 yard out in the third quarter of a 56-5 rout of Rutgers.

QB Matt Flynn, 7th round, 209th overall

--As a senior at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Texas, Flynn actually scored more touchdowns rushing (12) than passing (nine), and he played the final four games of his prep career on a broken foot.

WR Brett Swain, 7th round, 217th overall

--The first of Swain's eight collegiate touchdown catches for San Diego State came on the first play from scrimmage against ninth-ranked Ohio State on Sept. 17, 2005. The 80-yard TD turned out to be the only points for the Aztecs in a 27-6 loss to the Buckeyes, and it also turned out to be the longest catch of Swain's career.

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