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Wells Gives Packers 'Special' 7th-Round Pick


Wrapping up an NFL Draft that saw the Green Bay make four trades in two days, the Packers selected Tennessee center Scott Wells with the 50th pick of the seventh-round, the 251st draft choice overall.

Wells' pick was a compensatory selection for the Packers' losses in free agency over the 2003 season, and by rule was the one pick the Packers couldn't deal.

"I was holding my breath there in the seventh round," GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said. "I'm glad we got him. He was a state champion wrestler in high school and a special type of kid. Obviously coming up here and trying to make our offensive line is a challenge, but I think that he can handle it."

Wells' chances of making the team will be improved if he can master guard in addition to center, providing backup help at both positions.

The Packers are loaded on the offensive line with all five members returning from a 2003 season in which they opened enough holes for Ahman Green to set the franchise's single-season rushing record. But 2002 was a reminder how quickly injuries can demolish a line.

Sherman has frequently labeled cornerback and offensive line as the two worst areas of attrition on a football roster, so he was happy to add depth with Wells, who he figures was remaining on the draft board only because the 23-year-old is considered slightly undersized at 6-foot-1.

"That had something to do with it, I'm sure," Sherman said. "People like tall players. I think at center he'll have the ability to overcome that. But he was a very good pick for us."

The only offensive player selected by the Packers, the pickup of Wells brought an end to the team's moves in the 69th NFL Draft.

Although acquired with the fifth-to-last pick overall, Wells isn't facing impossible odds in trying to make the regular-season roster.

In 2002, tackle Kevin Barry made the team as an undrafted free agent, and in 2000 Mark Tauscher became one of the Packers' greatest value picks of all time when he was selected in the seventh round.

Given the Packers' depth and youth on the offensive line, Wells is facing an uphill climb, but he's not deterred for a second.

"Oh, I'm confident," Wells said. "When I came (to Tennessee), a lot of people told me I'd never play and I've managed to work my way into the starting lineup and start for four years, for 49 straight games. So, I definitely am confident I can go up to Lambeau (Field) and contribute to the team."

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