In celebrating the Green Bay Packers’ 100th anniversary, one thought kept coming to my mind: Who are the 100 greatest Packers of all time?
At first, this didn’t seem like this would be that big a task, but a quick online search on The Football Database revealed nearly 50 current and former Packers in the “As” alone! Clearly, determining the 100 greatest Packers ever would involve more research than I had envisioned!
As a result, I had to come up with some criteria. Such measures are always rather subjective to be sure, but it was still necessary to have some sort of determining factors, which included:
* I wanted the list to be as representative of different eras as possible – not just those from the Lombardi years to the present.
* I ruled out former Packers who mainly played for other teams, and/or who only played for the Packers for a single season. Thus, you won’t find players like NFL Hall of Famers like Emlen Tunnell or Ted Hendricks on this list.
* Active players were not given high priority. The reason being largely that a current player has not had an entire career, so his ranking could go up – or down in the future. (There was one notable exception. Bet you can guess who?)
Without further ado here are Nos. 100-90. Watch for more all-time great Packers in future posts on this website! (An asterisk indicates the player is in the Packers Hall of Fame.)
100 – Al Harris, CB, (Packer years 2003-2007). Adept at press coverage, who will ever forget his game-winning interception return in the Packers’ 2003 playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks?
99 – Wayne Simmons, LB (1993-98). An overlooked defensive standout, Simmons brought a nastiness to some celebrated Packers’ defensive units, which included Simmons shutting down opposing teams’ tight ends.
98 – * Ken Ellis, DB (1970-75). A standout on some mostly so-so Packers teams (at best), the ’72 and ’73 All-Pro cornerbackwas part of the trade that sent Lynn Dickey from the Houston Oilers to the Packers.
97 — * Charley Brock, C, LB (1939-47). In an era with other great centers, Brock – a member of the Packers’ 1939 and ’44 championship teams – was considered on par with NFL HOF centers Mel Hein of the Giants and Bulldog Turner of the Bears.
96 — * Mike Douglass, LB (1978-85). The undersized Douglass was a standout on some mostly mediocre Packers’ defenses.
95 – * Gilbert Brown, DT (1993-99, 01-03). The Gravedigger, a hefty but talented lineman, plugged the middle (and did a dance) like few Packers before or since.
94– * Buford “Baby” Ray, T (1938-48). A standout at both offensive and defensive tackle, Ray was a large player for his day, standing 6-foot-6, and weighing around 255, which was roughly 25 pounds less than his college playing weight!
93 – Josh Sitton, G (2008-15). A fourth-round pick out of Central Florida, he has made four Pro Bowls. He was a surprising cut before the ’16 season.
92 – * Howie Ferguson, RB (1953-58). The 6’2″, 210-pound Ferguson – a standout on some extremely mediocre Packers teams — gained 2,120 yards rushing and 1,079 yards receiving with the Packers.
91 – * Jesse Whittenton, CB (1958-64). A starter on the 1961 and ’62 championship teams, he paced the team with six interceptions in 1960.
90. * Frank Winters, C (1992-02). “Frankie Baggadonuts” was the Packers’ starting center for eight straight seasons (1993–2000).
Mike Jacquart, a Packers fan since the 1970s, is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Iola, Wisconsin. He can be reached at [email protected]