Packers have 'A' fixation

The Green Bay Packers may not deserve A's for their past three NFL Draft roundups but they have been getting A's nonetheless. Specifically, the Pack has been getting first-round picks whose given names begin with A.

Green Bay's first-round pick in 2004 was Ahmad "Batman" Carroll, a cornerback out of Arkansas. Its first-round pick in 2005 was Aaron Rodgers, a quarterback out of California. Its first-round pick in 2006 was A.J. Hawk, a linebacker out of Ohio State.

The Packers can follow form this year by taking any of these projected first-rounders – Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma running back), Amobi Okoye (Louisville defensive tackle), Adam Carriker (Nebraska defensive end), Aaron Ross (Texas cornerback), Alan Branch (Michigan defensive tackle), Arron Sears (Tennessee offensive lineman) or Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio State receiver).

Another team with an odd draft history over the past few years also resides in the NFC North. The Detroit Lions chose wide receivers with top-10 picks in 2003 (Michigan State's Charles Rogers), 2004 (Texas' Roy Williams) and 2005 (Southern Cal's Mike Williams). Even so, their top receiver last season was 2006 free-agent pickup Mike Furrey, who led the entire NFC with 98 catches.

Rogers, cut by the Lions after catching just 36 passes for 440 yards in his first three NFL seasons, has proved to be a colossal bust. He didn't play in 2006 and appears finished. Mike Williams caught just 37 passes for 449 yards in his first two years with the Lions and is expected to be traded or released by the start of the 2007 season.

Detroit's other high-pick wideout, Roy Williams, has proven to be a solid, if not spectacular, pro player.

Given the fact Detroit selected wide receivers with elite picks in three of the past four drafts, you wonder if the Lions have the nerve to pick Georgia Tech wideout Calvin Johnson with pick No. 2 this year, even though he is almost universally regarded as the best player in this draft class.


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