Thompson downplays Packers' need to draft linemen

Aaron Rodgers was sacked more than any other quarterback in the league last year so it was only natural at Green Bay’s pre-draft press conference that general manager Ted Thompson would be peppered with questions about drafting, you know, some linemen.

“I think I feel better (about the line) than you guys do,” Thompson joked with reporters.

And Thompson probably feels better about the line currently in place than most Packers fans do. Maybe the GM was laying a smoke screen when he did his best to downplay the need for the team to fill the ranks with some young linemen. The Packers have re-signed aging tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher. They have brought back Jason Spitz and Daryn Colledge with the plan being for one of them to win the left guard job. But injuries tore through the line last season and there was some poor play too. Clifton and Tauscher are near the end and the fear is that if the Packers don’t act soon, they’ll be in even worse shape soon.

“I have a lot of confidence in our guys,” Thompson said according to the Green Bay Press-Gazete. “The last several years we have been banged up the whole time, and I would like to trot our five guys out there, whoever they might be, in a healthy group for a number of weeks in a row and see how good we can be.

“It’s an area that is normally a little more stable, I’ll say that,” Thompson said. “I remember several years when I was playing with the Oilers where the same five guys played every snap for the entire season.”

Thompson doesn’t believe in reaching when it comes to the draft board and it could be that the offensive tackle remains when the Packers’ turn comes aren’t worthy of selection in that area. Still, he needs to produce some linemen from this draft to begin to develop for the future. Otherwise, he’ll be dreaming about his days with the Oilers when five linemen played every snap for a year.

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