Green Bay, Wi (WSAU)The Green Bay Packers will start with nine selections in the N-F-L Draft that begins tonight. General manager Ted Thompson often gets more picks by trading down in the later rounds. But part of the fallout from the owners’ lockout means that teams can only trade picks-for-picks, and that could put a damper on the wheeling-and-dealing. As the Super Bowl champions, the Packers have the 32nd-and-final selection in tonight’s first round. The team’s roster is so deep that it doesn’t seem to have any glaring needs. But there’s talk that Green Bay could trade up to get left tackle Derek Sherrod of Mississippi State as an eventual replacement for the aging Chad Clifton. And with the free agent departure of defensive end Cullen Jenkins, there are reports that the Pack could get Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson if he falls down the list. Bowers had micro-fracture surgery on one of his knees in early January, but some scouts say he could still play immediately. Wisconsin defensive end J-J Watt and tackle Gabe Carimi are the most likely Badgers to be taken in the first round.
Reports say about 20 players auditioned in Green Bay in advance of the draft. Wisconsin guard Bill Nagy was among them – and he says he’d love to sign with the Pack if he’s not drafted. But those free agent signings will have to wait. That’s because teams are still not acting on contracts while the N-F-L appeals this week’s court ruling which technically ended the owners’ lockout. A request to delay the ruling, pending the appeal, was denied yesterday.