Monday, May 03, 2004 is usually gushing with praise for the Packers front office and coaches, that is what beat writers are supposed to do, but they had an article that was very critical of drafting P B.J. Sander in the 3rd round, and especially critical of their decision to trade up to draft him. As I've said before, I would never draft a kicker, because punters and place kickers are too inconsistant. Sander can expect a lot of criticism because of his high draft selection. Its unlikely that the Packers 4th and 5th round picks would have made an impact on the team, only 6 players the Packers have drafted in the 4th or 5th round are still with the team, but still the Packers have success historically in these rounds. Excluding previous 4th and 5th round picks that are starting in the NFL, QB Mark Brunell, QB Aaron Brooks, and WR Corey Bradford, the Packers drafted DEs KGB and Aaron Kampman, LB Na'il Diggs, RB Najeh Davenport, QB Craig Nall, and DT James Lee. 6 of the 11 last picks by the Packers in the 4th and 5th rounds are still with the team. If the Packers have a 50% success rate with 4th and 5th round picks, then the Packers essentially traded one of those players for a punter.

Another problem with trading this draft's fourth and fifth round picks for the pick that brought in Sander is that the Packers could have used either of the picks to draft a wide receiver, and this year's draft was deep in wide receivers. The Packers are set at their top 3 receiver spots with WRs Donald Driver, Javon Walker, and Robert Ferguson, but after those three, its a bare cupboard. Only WR Carl Ford has showed any promise, and that was only during last preseason because the Packers hid him on the injured reserve for all of 2003. This explains why rookie free agent wide receivers Sam Breeden and Chris Shreve were brought into minicamp. The Packers have no intention of bringing back WR Antonio Freeman, they gave his number 86 to Ford, but Driver, Walker and Ferguson all missed time with injuries in 2003, so I would expect the Packers will be signing a veteran free agent to back them up at some point this summer.

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