Having been raised in Wisconsin and seeing the Packers develop into a good team again. I’ve been saying for years how I admired former Packers GM Ron Wolf and how he drafted throughout his 10 years years as the Packers GM.
Ron Wolf always invested in/drafted quarterbacks, it’s a wise strategic move, he drafted quarterbacks just about every year even though he had one of the best starting quarterbacks in the NFL at that time in Brett Favre.
There’s no greater commodity in the NFL than the quarterback position, out of the 32 teams there might be five elite quarterbacks in the league I’m talking a long time, long standing quarterbacks, guys who are headed towards the Hall of Fame.
So the quarterback position is in great demand and if you’re a good team that has that position already filled then you are fortunate as most teams are still trying to find that franchise Guy.
Ron Wolf on the other hand despite having one of the best in the game constantly drafted quarterbacks somewhere between the second and fifth rounds and developed them and traded them too teams hungry for quarterbacks.
The genius of Ron Wolf was that he knew that his team was good, they had everything in place and they had Brett Favre in his prime but he developed quarterbacks who backed Brett Favre up to the point that when he put them into preseason games and displayed their talents he knew teams would be begging him for a trade.
And so he traded them away and continued to draft more quarterbacks throughout his tenure as the Packers GM.
Here is the history of Ron Wolf’s Quarterback University in Green Bay
On February 11, 1992, Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf traded a first-round pick (19th overall, which would be used for running back Tony Smith) to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for Brett Favre.
Even after acquiring Brett Favre notice that Ron Wolf almost always invested in the quarterback in the proceeding drafts.
- 1992 QB Ty Detmer 9th rnd
- 1993 QB Mark Brunell 5th round
- 1995 QB Jay Barker 5th round
- 1996. QB Kyle Wachholtz 7th round
- 1997 QB Ronnie McAda 7th round
- 1998 QB Matt Hasselbeck 6th round
- 1999 QB Aaron Brooks 4th round
- 2002 QB Craig Ball 5th round
After Ron Wolf retired his predecessor Ted Thompson drafted Aaron Rodgers in 2005 and the Packers were able to make a transition from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers and continue their success all because of an excellent draft strategy started by Ron Wolfe in Green Bay.
The Packers were able to trade a few of these quarterbacks drafted for draft picks and even Ty Detmer was able to parlay his role in Green Bay into a starting position for the Philadelphia Eagles.
- On April 21, 1995, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded third (66th overall) and fifth round (170th overall) picks in the 1995 NFL Draft to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for Brunell.
- On March 2nd, 2001 The Packers traded Matt hasselbeck, along with their first draft pick (17th overall), to the Seahawks for their first (10th overall) and third-round draft picks (72nd overall).
- The Packers traded QB Aaron Brooks and tight end Lamont Hall to the Saints for linebacker K. D. Williams and the Saints’ third round pick in the 2001 draft ahead of the 2000 season.
My point is there are benefits to investing in quarterbacks by drafting and developing them even if you do have a Brett Favre as your starter. Former packer GM Ron Wolf knew this and exploited it by drafting and developing quarterbacks, just imagine how more critical it is for team like the Dolphins that currently don’t have their franchise quarterback?
Hopefully Miami will follow that pattern and despite having Josh Rosen that they do draft a quarterback every year until they hit their target and even then there might be some wisdom in drafting and developing quarterbacks that are in high demand in the NFL.