Skip to main content

Packers Go On Offense For Defense In 2004 Draft


Having entered the 69th NFL Draft with eight potential picks, by the time the dust settled on 2004's selection weekend the Green Bay Packers had made four trades and added six players.

Four of the Packers' selections were on defense, while they also added a punter and an offensive lineman.

Approaching a season in which the Packers are likely to return starters at nearly every position, plus all-time leading scorer Ryan Longwell at kicker, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said that aggressive was the way to go.

"We're returning quite a few players," Sherman said Sunday evening from the media auditorium at Lambeau Field. "I think if you're a younger team that you take all your draft picks, but when you're trying to fix needs on your team (you can be aggressive).

"With all those draft picks, if we kept them all, would they have made our roster? Probably not. So if there's a guy that's on the draft board when you're picking or you can move up to get the guy thinking that he may go, I opted to do that."

The Packers started things off by selecting Arkansas cornerback Ahmad Carroll with the 25th overall pick, but after that they used only one more original selection: the seventh-round pick of center Scott Wells, which was a compensatory pick that couldn't be traded.

In between, the Packers traded back before selecting Montana State cornerback Joey Thomas, then moved up to grab Clemson defensive tackle Donnell Washington and Ohio State punter B.J. Sander, all in the third round.

On the second day of the draft, the Packers also moved up to acquire Arkansas State defensive tackle Corey Williams in the sixth round.

Defense was a key concern for the Packers going into the draft, and Sherman said that they addressed the issue as best they could.

"I was trying to get a pass rusher in the draft, but you can't create players that aren't there when you're picking," Sherman said. "Defensively, probably just about everything we could have accomplished, we did.

"I would have liked to have gotten a tight end. I'm glad we got an offensive lineman. Tight end and offensive linemen were two things that I was really hoping to get at some point. And our tight end went off the board early and then another one went off the board early, so we didn't get that player."

The Packers were also potentially in the hunt for a quarterback, but after four signal callers went ahead of them in the first round (Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and J.P. Losman), they weren't particularly enamored with what was left.

"We considered them at the time," Sherman said, "but I questioned myself: Does he fit what we do offensively? Can he beat out the players we have here? I didn't want to just throw away a draft pick."

That said, Sherman indicated that the Packers would attempt to sign undrafted free agent quarterback Scott McBrien of Maryland. And a deal for Cleveland Browns quarterback Tim Couch is still in the works.

"It's just a matter of whittling away," Sherman said of the Couch negotiations. "I'm hopeful that we'll get something done, but I can't say it's a definite.

"I don't think it's critical that we get him in this week. I'd like to get him in tonight if we could, if that was a possibility. But we're going to just try to hammer it out and get it done, and hopefully we can."

The Green Bay Packers will open their annual post-draft mini-camp Wednesday for veterans, with rookies joining the fray Friday.

Until then, the Packers will look to sign several undrafted free agents, hoping that some of them can have the same the impact of undrafted players like Kevin Barry, Tony Fisher, Erwin Swiney and Marcus Wilkins in recent seasons.

Beyond that, there are numerous potential moves the Packers could make before the 2004 season. The NFL Draft was a significant part of the Packers' personnel moves, but they aren't done yet.

Said Sherman: "I think there are still things out there that we are going to accomplish that we haven't accomplished."

Packers 2004 Draft Picks: Round (Overall Pick) Player

1 (25) CB Ahmad Carroll, Arkansas

3 (70) CB Joey Thomas, Montana State

3 (72) DT Donnell Washington, Clemson

3 (87) P B.J. Sander, Ohio State

6 (179) DT Corey Williams, Arkansas State

7 (251) C Scott Wells

Note: The Packers made three of the NFL's top 72 selections over draft weekend, marking the fourth time that's happened since the team acquired Brett Favre in 1992, but the first time since Sherman assumed the GM position (other times: 1992, 1995, 2001 - under GM Ron Wolf).

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content