The Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers have both been institutions in the state of Wisconsin for over a century. Each team has provided football fans with exciting memories and frustrating moments.
Currently, the Packers have two former Badgers on their 90-man roster with offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen and rookie receiver Danny Davis currently competing for spots on the roster.
But who have been the best players to play for both teams? Here’s a look at the five former Badgers who had the best careers with the Packers. Players are ranked solely on their play with the Packers considering longevity, individual success, and the players’ contribution to team success.
5. QB Randy Wright (1984-1988)
The Packers selected Wright in the sixth round of the 1984 NFL Draft and the former Badgers quarterback as a development pick behind starter Lynn Dickey.
In 1986, Wright became the full-time starting quarterback for a struggling Packers team. He led the Packers to just four wins that season, throwing for 3,247 yards, 17 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.
His most memorable game came on Thanksgiving Day that season, when he led the Packers to a dramatic 44-40 win over the Lions in a game best remembered for Walter Stanley’s three touchdowns. . Wright finished the contest going 18 of 26 for 286 yards and three touchdowns.
Wright started 14 games over the next two seasons, sharing quarterback duties with Don Majkowski. He finished his NFL career with 31 touchdown passes in five seasons.
4. S Ken Stills (1985-1989)
Ken Stills played six seasons in the NFL, the first five being with the Packers. Forrest Gregg’s team drafted him in the 8and round in 1985. A year later, he became the team’s starting free safety. His hard-hitting style made him a fan favorite on some pretty bad Packers teams in the late 80s.
Stills was a starter in Green Bay for four seasons and intercepted seven passes with the Pack. His first career interception came in the 1986 season finale against the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. He caught a pass from Phil Simms and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown.
In 1990, Stills ended his career with the Vikings. His son, wide receiver Kenny Stills, has now played nine seasons in the NFL.
3. FB Ed Jankowski (1937-1941)
The Packers drafted Jankowski in the first round in 1937. He had his best season in 1939 when he won Pro Bowl honors and helped Curly Lambeau’s team win the NFL championship that year. Like all NFL players at that time, he played both offense and defense and kicked a little when called upon.
In the 1939 title game against the New York Giants, Jankowski scored on a one-yard touchdown run to provide the final points in the Packers’ 27–0 victory.
He played for the Packers during the 1941 season when his service in World War II ended his NFL career.
Jankowski was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1984.
2.C Ken Bowman (1964-1973)
Bowman had success with the Badgers and Packers. He started in the Rose Bowl in 1963, then won three consecutive championships with the Packers from 1965 to 1967.
In the Ice Bowl, it was Bowman who doubled up Cowboys defensive tackle Jethro Pugh with Jerry Kramer to help Bart Starr score the game-winning runs in the dying seconds that gave Vince Lombardi’s team their third consecutive title in the NFL.
Bowman was also on the Packers NFC Central Division team in 1972 and served as the team’s union representative.
Bowman became a lawyer after retiring from football and was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1981.
1. OT Mark Tauscher (2000-2010)
Tauscher quickly went from a seventh-round draft pick to a starter as a rookie when Earl Dotson was injured. Tauscher started 14 games in his first season and remained a starter at right tackle for 11 healthy seasons.
Although he never made the Pro Bowl, Tauscher did a consistent job of protecting Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers while opening holes for Ahman Green, Dorsey Levens and other talented Packers runners.
He remained with the Packers through the 2010 season. A shoulder injury suffered in Week 4 caused him to miss the rest of the year, but he won a Super Bowl ring that year with the Pack. .
Tauscher was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2018 and now hosts the Wilde and Tausch radio show.