Flurry of activity in second round

Packers made three trades, deal Walker

Javon Walker finally got his wish and the Packers got rid of a giant headache. It all happened during a whirlwind second round of the NFL Draft. Forget general manager Ted Thompson's assertions just days ago that trading Walker this weekend was "unlikely." The unlikely became reality in one quick hurry.

The Packers were on the clock for the 36th overall pick in Round 2 when the trade winds began to howl. First, the Packers traded this pick to the New England Patriots for two choices: No. 52 in the second round and the 75th overall pick in Round 3. The ink wasn't even dry on that deal when Green Bay pushed the trade button twice more. First, they sent the disgruntled Walker to the Denver Broncos for the 37th selection in Round 2 and then traded the pick, plus the 139th overall pick, to the Atlanta Falcons for three picks: 47, 93 and 148 overall.

Did the Packers get fair value for Walker, a former first round choice who suffered a serious knee injury early last season? As the old saying goes, time will tell. In the meantime, here's what happened once all the dust finally settled in Round 2.

With the 47th selection in the second round, the Packers went all the way to the North Pole - by way of Boise State University - to bolster their offensive line. Offensive tackle Daryn Colledge, who grew up in North Pole, Alaska, and attended North Pole High School, stands 6-foot-4 and tips the scales at 299. Scouts say he has a lean, angular frame with decent overall muscle tone, long arms, broad shoulders and defined chest. He has exceptional quickness for a down lineman and does a nice job of extending his arms to make reach blocks and seal off the edge rushers. "I'm hoping to earn a starting spot with the Packers," Colledge said in a media conference call. "The Packers are the most historic team in the NFL and I'm looking forward to getting started."

Colledge becomes the highest drafted offensive lineman by Green Bay since they took Chad Clifton at No. 44 in 2000. Although he started 52 straight games at left tackle in Boise State's zone blocking scheme, Colledge believes he can play at tackle or guard. Head Coach Mike McCarthy believes Colledge can play inside or outside and gave an emphatic "Yes" when asked if the Packers plan to try him at guard. "He's a very athletic young man, very powerful," said McCarthy. "I think he'll be a very good second level player in the running game so he gives us some flexibility. We're trying to get the best five linemen on the field."

The Packers also addressed the wide receiver and kick return specialist positions with the 52nd overall pick, tabbing Greg Jennings of Western Michigan University. Though he doesn't have prototypical size (5' 10", 192 lbs.), Jennings comes to Green Bay with the reputation of a playmaker. He started 34 of 42 games and established school career records with 238 catches for 3,539 yards (14.9 average) and 39 touchdowns. He also returned 49 punts for 541 yards (11.0 average) and two scores while totaling 921 yards on 41 kickoff returns (22.5 average).

Though Jennings doesn't have ideal size, McCarthy doesn't seem all that concerned. "I was very impressed with his yards after the catch," McCarthy explained. "I think he's a young man who knows what to do when the ball's in his hands. He's very productive and has had three seasons over 1,000 yards so he has a playmaker mentality and has some return ability. He's a high character individual, someone that we feel is a great fit for us."

"I take a lot of pride in my route running and my ability to run after the catch," Jennings said when asked to describe his strengths. "I'm very excited to come to Green Bay and play with a future Hall of Famer in Brett Favre. That can only help me learn and improve the mental aspect of my game."

As to Walker, McCarthy said he hadn't spoken to him for several weeks. Walker was emphatic in saying he would never put on a Packer uniform again after the team refused to buckle to his contract demands. What kind of message does trading Walker send to other players who may want out of Green Bay in the future?

"I'm not really interested in whether someone's unhappy with their situation, you know, ‘He said, she said'," said McCarthy. "Obviously (Walker's) situation was something that was created long before I got here. I'll just say this: life is full of experiences and this has given us some knowledge of how we will deal with this in the future."

Tom Andrews began covering the Packers in 1974 as a reporter for Milwaukee radio stations WZUU and WOKY. He has been a contributing writer to Packer Report since 1999 and his articles have also appeared in the Green Bay Packers Yearbook, Packer Profiles, Packer Tracker and Sports Collectors Digest among other publications. Andrews is also president of Andrews Media Ventures, a Milwaukee area media and communications consultancy. Email him at toma@andrewsmediaventures.com.

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