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Green Bay Packers missed out on Ray Lewis by one pick

From the "what if" file, we take you back to the spring of 1996. Ray Lewis is a middle linebacker out of the University of Miami considered too small by many teams. The Green Bay Packers were not one of them.

The Packers had already written Lewis' name on the card to be the 27th selection of the 1996 NFL Draft. The Baltimore Ravens grabbed him at No. 26 and the rest is history.

"That's what happened," Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey told Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reporter Bob McGinn. "You never know."

Dorsey worked in the Packers' front office for 22 years before the Chiefs hired him after the regular season. Green Bay took tackle John Michels instead.

This would be another chapter in the legacy of former Packers general manager Ron Wolf. He wanted Lewis and sent Dorsey to Miami for a private workout and interview before the draft.

"Ray Lewis was 'Wolfie's' guy all the way," Dorsey said. "It would have been a hell of a pick.

"I left there thinking we for sure are going to get this player. I thought it'd be great if he was a Packer."

Lewis is already an NFL legend and mentioned among the greatest linebackers of all time. Imagine the story if he'd have played in Green Bay behind Reggie White and Gilbert Brown. Packers greats are viewed through a different historical light than the stars of many other organizations. Lewis was the face of a Ravens defense that had to win games with an average offense. In Green Bay, he'd have played with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

Who doesn't enjoy a good "what if" from 17 years ago?

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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