In their search for potential starters to replace Al Harris and Charles Woodson down the road, the Packers can't select just any cornerback.
They need corners who can play the physical, in-your-face, bump-and-run style that Harris and Woodson do, because that's a defensive scheme Head Coach Mike McCarthy likes and has no designs on changing when Harris and Woodson are no longer around.
The Packers feel they've found a player with those skills in Auburn's Patrick Lee, whom they selected late in the second round Saturday, at No. 60 overall.
Lee spent much of his sophomore and junior seasons playing in a cornerback rotation, getting most of his time in nickel and dime packages. But he was a full-time starter last year as a senior and got to put his style on display, and the Packers liked what they saw from the 6-foot, 200-pounder.
"We've seen some of the things on film we're looking for in our particular scheme, and we feel very good about the fit Patrick will have coming into our place," McCarthy said. "We like his size, his physicalness. You see the tackling and his aggressiveness in bump-and-run. He really fits the temperament, the attitude and our style of play."
Lee estimated that he played as much as 95 percent press man coverage as a starter, and rarely played "off" or in zone coverage. A high school safety who converted to cornerback in college, Lee feels he's by no means an expert at the position and sees ahead of him a great opportunity to learn from two true professionals.
"I'll watch the older guys and learn from them and take in what they say and stuff," Lee said. "Al Harris and Charles Woodson, those guys are great. I'll learn from those guys and try to be the best."
Lee likely will compete for the nickel, or third cornerback spot, next year, along with other up-and-coming young players like Tramon Williams, Will Blackmon and Jarrett Bush.
Lee had just one interception in his career heading into his senior season, but he picked off four passes last year and added 10 passes broken up. One of his interceptions came against Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow of Florida.
Lee also had 55 tackles (40 solo) and averaged 25.8 yards on 11 kickoff returns last season.
"He had an excellent senior year," said GM Ted Thompson, who characterized the selection of Lee at No. 60 as a 'real good value pick.'
"He's a tough guy. He likes to play bump-and-run. We think he's going to fit well with what we do on defense in terms of putting these guys in lockdown situations."