New York, NY (WSAU) The Green Bay Packers chose Mississippi State left tackle Derek Sherrod with the final pick of the first round in the N-F-L Draft that started last night. Sherrod could be the successor to 11-year veteran Chad Clifton on the Packers’ offensive line. General manager Ted Thompson said he hoped Sherrod would be as a good as Clifton in “pass-setting” – and the G-M promised that Sherrod would be given a chance to play early on. Clifton and last year’s first-rounder Bryan Bulaga will remain the first-stringers at the tackle spots. Sherrod is expected to be behind Clifton in the depth chart, with the possibility of playing at either tackle slot. The Super Bowl champions held on the 32nd pick, despite speculation that they might trade down to get extra picks – or trade up if Alabama running back Mark Ingram fell down the draft board. He did, and the New Orleans Saints drafted Ingram at Number-28. Thompson wouldn’t say why he passed up Ingram. He said his staff was happy when Sherrod was still available in the 32nd slot. In Thompson’s words, “If you can get a quality big man, I think you always lean that way.” Sherrod is 6-5-and-a-half and 315 pounds. He started for three years at left tackle in the S-E-C – the same conference Clifton came from at Tennessee. Sherrod was the sixth tackle taken in the draft. Rounds two-and-three will take place tonight. The other four rounds are set for tomorrow.
For the first time since 2001, two Wisconsin Badgers were taken in the first in the first round of the N-F-L Draft. The Houston Texans chose defensive end J-J Watt as the Number-11 pick. And the Chicago Bears took offensive tackle Gabe Carimi in the 29th spot. Watt, the Pewaukee standout who gave up his senior year with the Badgers, was the second defensive end taken last night. He was in New York for the T-V broadcast, and he said everyone there told him his job would be to sack Peyton Manning – and he looks forward to doing that. E-S-P-N analyst Mel Kiper said Carimi could play either right tackle or right guard in the N-F-L, and he praised Carimi’s toughness. Carimi said he can’t wait to step on the field and start protecting Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler. The Green Bay Packers will see Carimi and the Bears twice – in Chicago on September 25th, and at Lambeau Field on Christmas Night. This was the fourth time that at least two Badgers were taken in the first round of the same draft. The last time was a decade ago, when Miami took corner Jamar Fletcher in the 26th spot, and Minnesota chose running back Michael Bennett 27th.