Packers Trade Up To Acquire Peterson

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As the Green Bay Packers' first-round pick approached Saturday, one of the players receiving consideration for the 29th overall pick was Ohio State defensive lineman Kenny Peterson.

So when Peterson lasted into the third round, the Packers did what was necessary to put him in a green and gold uniform.

Swapping third-round picks with the Buffalo Bills, and trading away their fourth-round pick (127 overall), the Packers moved up from 94th to 79th and landed the All-Big Ten player.

"We made a move to go up to make sure we got him," said Packers vice president of football operations Mark Hatley. "I think when there is a quality player like Kenny Peterson you have to go get that."

The Packers' thinking was that their fourth-round pick was so late in the round, it might as well have been a fifth-round selection. Thus it became expendable.

"That's the way we looked at it," Hatley said. "We felt good about Kenny and we felt like for us to get a big man in the third round, we felt very fortunate about that."

The Packers like the versatility of Peterson, who played defensive end until his senior year when he shifted to defensive tackle.

Hatley said they plan to use Peterson inside, but that he has the speed to make an impact at end if necessary.

Peterson is listed at 6-foot-2 and 287 pounds, but is expected to start the season around 300 pounds.

The Packers feel Peterson has the speed to get at the quarterback, but also the strength to stop the run.

According to Hatley, Peterson broke several weight-room records at Ohio State, an impressive achievement at such a prestigious football factory.

Peterson said he might look undersized, but doesn't think he plays that way. He also said he was willing to play any position along the defensive line.

Having tabbed defensive improvement as a goal going into the draft, the Packers took steps in that direction Saturday taking linebacker Nick Barnett in the first round and Peterson in the third.

They traded their second round pick back in February to acquire cornerback Al Harris.

"Obviously with what we've done, we feel like we've upgraded ourselves," Hatley said. "As you're doing this you look at your football team and you have holes. What you try and do is address that and we think we have."

The Packers' next selection in the draft is now in the fifth-round, 165th overall.

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