GREEN BAY, Wis. (WTAQ) - The 75th anniversary of the NFL Draft and the historic 3-day primetime event for the Green Bay Packers addressed some offseason priorities. Thursday night in round 1, the Packers used their 23rd overall pick on Iowa offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga. The 6'5" 314 pound Iowa product was a first-team all Big Ten selection.
GM Ted Thompson was surprised Bulaga fell to them and called him a good value pick.
"I like his makeup very much. He's a finisher, he's a tough guy. He's athletic, he's got great size. Loves football, real gung-ho type attitude. He's the real deal, I think," Thompson said.
To start day 2 of the draft, the green and gold used their 2nd-round pick on Purdue defensive end Mike Neal. The former prep star made the transition to defensive tackle while with the Boilermakers, making 11 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss after the move. Thompson enjoyed his ability at the all-star games.
"We think he fits very well into our system. He played defensive tackle mostly in college. He's almost ideally suited to play the 3-4 defensive end. We feel like he'll be a good asset for us in our sub packages rushing the passer from the inside," remarked Thompson.
Then Thompson lived up to his "trader" moniker, by dealing the Packers 3rd and 4th-round picks to the Philadelphia Eagles in order to move up in that third round and grab Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett. In three seasons with the Yellow Jackets, Burnett intercepted 14 passes to become 2nd on the school's all-time list.
"He's very athletic, he's got good size. I think he's got all of the ingredients we look for to play safety. I think he has the ability to be a dual guy and be the kind of guy that you are looking for that is athletic enough to cover down and can still come up and make tackles," Thompson said.
The final day of the draft saw the Packers use the first of 2 5th-round picks on Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless. The 6'4" 252 pound Quarless set Nittany Lion records for most receptions by a TE in a season (41) and a career (87).
Their 5th-round compensatory pick was used on TCU offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse. The 6'4" 319 pound Newhouse was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection and is versatile to play tackle and guard.
The Packers then used their 6th-round selection on Buffalo running back James Starks. At 6'2" and 218 pounds, Starks is a player who's worn many hats, playing quarterback, cornerback and then running back. Starks is the Bulls all-time leading rusher in both yardage, touchdowns and points scored. Starks did miss all of 2009 after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Their final pick of the 2010 draft, in the 7th-round, was used on East Carolina defensive end C.J. Wilson. The 6'3" 290 pound Wilson was a first-team All-Conference USA selection, starting all 14 games, with 57 tackles and 5.5 sacks.