Trading down?

Mike Sherman said in his pre-draft press conference this afternoon that the Green Bay Packers will keep their options open in regard to moving up, down, or remaining where they are with their six selections in the upcoming NFL draft. Sherman also explained how the talent level does not differ a whole lot between the 15th and 40th overall picks.<p>

If that's the case, the Packers may trade down in the April 20-21 draft, providing they can work a deal with another team.

The Packers currently have six picks. Three of their picks are in the top 92, including the 28th pick of the first round and 60th pick of the second. Green Bay was awarded a compensatory selection near the end of the fourth round by the league last week. The Packers also have a fifth round pick (158th overall) and one sixth round pick (190th overall).

The Packers need wide receivers, but they also are seeking a linebacker, safety, quarterback, defensive tackle, running back, and return specialist. If the Packers deal their first selection, they may be able to obtain an extra selection in the third or fourth rounds and select two wide receivers.

"Certainly there's a need for receivers on our team," said Sherman. "Obviously we lost Corey (Bradford) and Bill (Schroeder). We have a depth problem there right now as far as quality depth is concerned. We need to keep looking at that position, and we will. If something comes to us, we'll act on it.

"You're in a different league at No. 28 than you are in the top 10. I've said many times, the players basically from 16 to about 36 or 40 are about the same player. You just hope you choose the right one. There's not a big difference in talent level in the draft between that draft pick and the 28th pick and the 29th, or the 15th and the 40th. It's all about the same."

Wide receiver is considered by many as the deepest area of this year's draft. The Packers traded for Terry Glenn, but are uncertain if Antonio Freeman will restructure his contract and remain with the team. Second-year pro Robert Ferguson is penciled in as the starter opposite Freeman, but he only played one down from scrimmage last season and was often injured. The depth after Ferguson tails off from there on the Packers' roster.

Sherman said he wants an impact player through the draft who can contribute immediately. Since the Packers' biggest need is at receiver, don't be surprised if the general manager and coach trades down to hit hard on that area and/or any of the team's other needs.

"There's going to be enough talent in the first round and into the second round that we'll be able to find a player that should be a factor," Sherman said. "Whether he'll start for us I think depends on the position we take.

"I don't want to get into a situation where you reach, and you need a linebacker so you reach down deep and try to pull one, and you take a lesser player than if you took somebody else. It's going to be interesting when we get to that point to see what's available, and what we need, the best player and all that scenario wrapped up into one."

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