Psst, Ted: We've got your blueprint

Packer Report outlines how Packers general manager Ted Thompson can plug four holes in the first three rounds of the draft. One trade makes it all possible, and it would make a huge difference in the success of the team in 2009.

Boston College's B.J. Raji is 337 pounds of nose tackle life preserver for the Green Bay Packers as they embark on life in a 3-4 defense. With Raji and Ryan Pickett sharing snaps in the middle, chances of success with the new defensive scheme increase dramatically.

But what if Seattle takes Raji at No. 4, or another of the 3-4 teams, like the aggressive Broncos, move up in the first round to get him?

Well, I hope you're reading Ted, because I've got your draft plan right here in the following 517 words.

It starts by trading down in the first round.

Just like Raji is the only ready-made 3-4 nose tackle in the first round of this draft, LSU's Tyson Jackson (6-foot-4, 296 pounds) is the only ready-made 3-4 defensive end in the first round. Given the weakness of the Packers' defensive line at the moment and the slim pickings in free agency, Jackson should be the target if Raji is off the board.

Scout.com draft expert Chris Steuber says Jackson should go somewhere around No. 12 through No. 16. With Denver on the board at No. 12, trading down further than No. 11 would be a gamble, but the Broncos have a lot of other needs. The Chargers, another 3-4 team that needs an end as they let Igor Olshansky go, are at No. 16.

Moving back from No. 9 to No. 14 or No. 15, according to my draft value chart, is worth an additional third-round selection. (Not to mention the savings in terms of signing bonus.) Since the Saints at No. 14 don't have a third-round pick, pick up the phone and talk turkey with the Texans at No. 15.

So, with Jackson in the fold to line up with Cullen Jenkins at end, the Packers have their second-round pick (No. 41) their third-round pick (No. 71), the Texans' third-round pick (No. 77) and the Jets' third-round pick from the Brett Favre trade (No. 83).

What else do the Packers need in this draft? Well, an offensive tackle would be nice, as would a pass rusher and nose tackle.

Well, look at who's available at No. 41: William Beatty, a 6-foot-6, 291-pound athlete who has the frame to put on 20 pounds. Plus, he operated in a zone-run scheme at Connecticut. Sweet!

So, with Jackson at defensive end and Beatty either starting at right tackle or learning behind Chad Clifton at left tackle, what's next on our list?

Oh, yeah. Nose tackle. Well, say hello to 330 pounds of Ron Brace, who was Raji's tag-team partner at Boston College. The Packers will have to act quickly to get Brace, because he won't last much longer in the second round. Good thing they acquired the Texans' third-rounder. Package that pick and the Favre pick to move back into the second round.

Voila! Jackson at end, Beatty at offensive tackle and Pickett/Brace manning the middle.

Now, how about that pass-rushing linebacker?

The great thing about this draft is the absolute depth at outside linebacker. While Everette Brown or Brian Orakpo would have been great picks at No. 9, there's value far down this list. Cincinnati's Connor Barwin, Virginia's Clint Sintim and Tennessee's Robert Ayers probably aren't sliding out of the first two rounds, but how about Richmond's Lawrence Sidbury (11.5 sacks) or Connecticut's Cody Brown (11 sacks)? Heck, you might be able to trade back a little ways to get one of them.

Either way, both might be projects, but for now, just let them go get the quarterback while Brandon Chillar or Brady Poppinga handle the other duties.

So, there you have it, Ted. If there's anything else you need to know, click on my e-mail link.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum.


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