Packers Happy With Day One Results


Marques Anderson

With their first-round pick the Packers looked to score touchdowns, with their third-round bid they took steps to prevent them, selecting defensive back Marques Anderson of UCLA with the 92nd overall pick.

Anderson (his first name is pronounced 'Marcus'), played the past two seasons at safety, but was a cornerback as an underclassman for the Bruins, giving the Packers hope that he'll aid them with his versatility in the secondary.

Noted more for his hard hitting and run-stopping, Head Coach/General Manger Mike Sherman said that at just over 5-11, Anderson is probably better suited to play safety, but that like all Packers defensive backs he'll get his first test at cornerback.

"He's a long-armed, big hand kid," Sherman said. "I'm not saying he's going to start corner for us, but just like (Tod) McBride, who was a safety and now a corner, he has those measurables that he is fleet of foot enough to play a little bit of corner for us.

"I'm not saying he's going to run with Randy Moss down the field, but he's gonna have a pretty good jam at the line of scrimmage with those arms and those hands."

Talking via telephone after his selection, Anderson said he was comfortable at either position and is simply eager to live up to his reputation as a hard-playing, hard-hitting defensive back.

"I pride myself in laying the lickings," he said. "I think that's what I'm going to bring to the Green Bay Packers, a lot of aggressiveness, a lot of cover skills where I can be just all over the field and make plays all the time."

Regardless of where he'll play, Sherman said Anderson had a value that couldn't be passed up in the third round. After forfeiting their second round pick trading up eight spots with the Seattle Seahawks to take wide receiver Javon Walker with the 20th overall pick in the draft, the Packers entertained offers to trade backwards in the third round, but those offers became moot when Anderson remained on the board.

"I don't think you can ever pass up a good defensive back," Sherman said. "I think every year you have to get defensive backs just for the reason I said, you're going to get guys banged up and hurt. There's such attrition, whether it's through salary cap or through injury, at that position.

"Those guys collide at high speeds. You have to have numbers there, we were able to do that with this pick. I'm excited about this guy, I really never thought this player would be here when we picked."

In fact, Sherman & Co. had Anderson pegged to go in the second round. If that's the case, the Arm Chair Draft Quarterback could theorize that the Packers got first and second-round potential out of their first and third-round picks, lessening the sting of having traded out of the second round.

Sherman's emotions were put at ease in that department when he noticed that the top-caliber linebackers in the draft - a position at which the Packers have a need and draft pundits suggest that the 2002 draft pool is thin - had been taken by the time Green Bay could have stepped in.

"If I could have come back in the second round and my linebackers were there and I gave away the second pick, I would have been frustrated," Sherman said. "They were gone, wiped out. Our board in the second round was done for the quality players I want. So I felt confirmed."

Of course that doesn't mean Sherman won't test the market for linebackers in Sunday's later rounds.

"The linebackers ran (off the board) extremely fast, the quality of linebackers that we're looking for," Sherman said. "There are a couple guys who we'll look at tomorrow at that position. I think if you really reach for a position at this level you get into a little bit of a bind...To target one player at one position would violate the system."

And so far the system in Sherman's first year as GM has worked, according to Mark Hatley, Vice President of Football Operations.

"It was an excellent day for us," Hatley said. "You always feel good when you come out with the players that you really feel can come out and help your football team. Sometimes you're fortunate when that happens, sometimes you have to make it happen in some areas like we did with Javon and sometimes the board falls just the way it was.

"We think we got two players that will help our football team, help get us to where we want to go, that's winning the Super Bowl. When you do that I think you feel good about your draft."

The 2002 NFL Draft concludes Sunday with rounds four through seven. At the start of the day, the Packers owned the 37th pick (135th overall) of the fourth round, the 21st (156th) and 29th (164th) pick of the fifth round and the 28th pick (200th) of the sixth round. The Packers have no seventh-round options going into Sunday.

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