Packers offensive in building depth

The Green Bay Packers wrapped up the NFL draft today with nine total selections, including seven picks on offense in three different areas of the team.

The Green Bay Packers took the first step in the post-Brett Favre era this weekend by reinforcing the offense with two quarterbacks, two wide receivers, a pair of offensive linemen and a tight end. General manager Ted Thompson downplayed the number of offensive selections, but the message is clear - the Packers are doing all they can to lessen the impact of Favre's retirement from football.

After selecting wide receiver Jordy Nelson, quarterback Brian Brohm and cornerback Patrick Lee on the first day of the draft, Green Bay made three trades on Day 2 and wound up with six players, plus a sixth round pick in the 2009 NFL draft. Thompson began the day by taking lanky tight end Jermichael Finley from the University of Texas in the third round (91st overall). The Packers then proceeded to take defensive end Jeremy Thompson of Wake Forest (fourth round, 102nd overall); guard Josh Sitton of Central Florida University (fourth round, 135th overall); offensive tackle Breno Giacomini of Louisville (fifth round, 150th overall); LSU quarterback Matt Flynn (seventh round, 209th overall) and San Diego State wide receiver Brett Swain (seventh round, 217th overall).

All in all the Packers fortified a number of skill positions, beginning the draft by selecting a wide receiver and quarterback and finishing it the same way. Though the Packers are set with their starters at both positions, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, Thompson obviously wants to improve the positions as much as possible to help the team play through any injuries to key players or lack of production by other younger players.

"In some respects I think we added some depth to the quarterback position," said Thompson. "We wanted to try to get a tight end if it worked out from a value standpoint. We weren't specifically looking to draft a defensive end, but we felt like a good one got in position where we could get him, and the same way with the receivers. In some instances, we added quality to our team."

Nearly every position on Green Bay's roster has established starters. However, coach Mike McCarthy has mentioned this offseason that there will be open competion for each of the two guard spots that were manned by Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz last season. Sitton will be in the running for one of those positions while Giacomini, who received a positive endorsement from Spitz, will compete for a backup position behind veteran tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher.

The Packers appear ready to enter the season with three young quarterbacks. Thompson said that McCarthy and quarterbacks coach Tom Clements are more than willing to work with Brohm and Flynn behind Rodgers. The Packers brought in veteran Daunte Culpepper for a visit last week, but Thompson indicated today that the team doesn't appear set on signing a veteran at this time.

"We'll still be open to looking at other people, but we'll see how it goes," Thompson said. "You're certainly dealt the hand you're given and we haven't had any luck adding another guy. Mike (McCarthy) and Tom (Clements) are both very comfortable working with young guys. We as a scouting staff and as a coaching staff like these guys quite a bit."

On defense, the Packers will groom Lee to play in passing defenses along with veterans Al Harris and Charles Woodson. Thompson, the brother of Packers reserve offensive tackle Orrin Thompson, is a pass-rushing defensive end. He will be pushing Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila for the right to play that role this season.

"We like him," said Ted Thompson. "He's a good player. He's got good size, good (arm) length, he can run. We were surprised that he was there. That was the impetus for us to move (up) get him."

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