You win some, you lose some. You get Buckley, you miss out on Howard. D'Onofrio falls into your lap, Pickens slips through your fingers. In the third round the Packers finally got their wideout, Robert Brooks of South Carolina, a player they had bunched in a cluster of receivers behind Howard and Pickens on their draft board.
Buckley missed his plane to Green Bay on Sunday night. What'd you expect, a perfect ending? He did, however, woof it up on a long-distance conference call with the media. "Here's what I think of the Packers," Buckley said. "I saw a lot of their games last year, and the? were close in so many of them. They just didn't have the guys to step up and make the big plays with the game on the line. You need that great player to make some great plays. I can do that. The only way to get back on top is to get a lot of great players."
The Packers are several great players shy of being a great team. As midnight closed in, Wolf pondered the future in the house that Lombardi built. "The good teams get about three legitimate starters out of the draft every year," he said. "That's what we have to do, every year."
Wolf left the building and entered the cold mist of a spring night in Green Bay. He could feel the presence of Lombardi. But that's all it is for now, a feeling.