Packer Receivers of History: Bubba Franks

Bubba FranksWe continue the series on Packer Receivers of History with Packer Tight Ends. To read the articles you missed, go to the Packer Receivers of History category page.

The Packers drafted Bubba Franks in the first round of the 2000 draft. Coming from the University of Miami, the move to Wisconsin took some getting used to. In fact, following his rookie season, Bubba closed out his town house and headed back to Miami. The problem with that is that, anyone from the great white north knows you can’t just turn off the heat in the winter, close the door and leave. There was quite a water mess to clean up when the pipes in Bubba’s Wisconsin home burst.

Still, Bubba quickly warmed to the cold environment and became a stand out tight end.

Bubba’s rookie season was a blessing for Packer fans. Mark Chmura had struggled with injury in the 1999 season and was cut by the Pack in 2000. Bubba stepped right in and the Pack attack hardly missed a step.

That season he played all 16 games and started 13 of them. Brett threw Bubba’s direction 55 times that season and he caught 34 of those passes for 363 yards and one touchdown.

As Bubba’s career with the Packers played out, the Packers found him to be an admirable replacement for Chmura where they needed the replacement most…

Deep in the red zone.

In his sophomore season, Franks scored nine touchdowns for the Packers and made the Pro Bowl as a second year player… and as a third year player… and as a fourth year player (2001, 2002, and 2003). In those three seasons, he scored 20 of his 32 career touchdowns.

Though he didn’t make the Pro Bowl in 2004, Bubba continued to be a force. During that season, he averaged 10.6 yards per catch and scored seven touchdowns.

In 2005, Bubba struggled with injuries. He only played 10 games that season. In 2006 he attempted to come back from the injury-plagued season, and he did play all 16 games. But, he only generated 232 yards and he never found the endzone once.

In 2007, Franks only played eight games and only started once. It was his last season playing for the green and gold. As is true with the majority of the Packer players we know and love, Bubba attempted to have one last hurrah. He played a single season with the New York Jets and was done.

I’ll always remember Bubba as the big body that Brett could go to as the Packers capped off a drive with a touchdown. On the one yard-line, most teams would try to hammer the ball across the goal line with their run game. The Packers knew that a good play action fake and a throw to Bubba was just as good.

Packer Receivers of History: Bubba Franks
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