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Bears, Packers Wrap up NFL Draft

The Green Bay Packers believe they found ideal candidates to fill their biggest positional needs and upgraded a star-studded roster as they attempt to make a Super Bowl run.


But that won’t be a realistic short-term goal if star quarterback and reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers is playing elsewhere.


Rodgers’ reported desire to leave the Packers overshadowed any draft moves the team made over the past three days, even as team officials maintained confidence they’d have him back this fall.


While Rodgers was attending the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, the Packers were finishing up their draft by taking Mississippi offensive lineman Royce Newman in the fourth round (142nd overall), Florida defensive tackle T.J. Slaton (173rd) and Appalachian State cornerback Shemar Jean-Charles (178th) in the fifth, Wisconsin offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen (214th) and Boston College linebacker Isaiah McDuffie (220th) in the sixth and Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill (256th) in the seventh.


That followed the selections of Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes in the first round, Ohio State center Josh Myers in the second round and Clemson receiver Amari Rodgers in the third round.


Van Lanen gets to live out a childhood dream after growing up about 10 to 15 minutes from Lambeau Field. The graduate of Green Bay's Bay Port High School didn’t initially realize what was happening when the Packers called to welcome him to the organization.


Gutekunst said the Packers were torn between Myers and Amari Rodgers while making their second-round pick. They ended up landing both. Green Bay gave up a fourth-round pick to move up seven spots in the third round to take Rodgers.


Trading up to draft quarterback Justin Fields in the first round and tackle Teven Jenkins in the second round of the NFL draft only started the process of fortifying the offense for the Chicago Bears.

They had plenty of work to do after being mired near the bottom of NFL offensive statistics for the last two seasons. So they wound up making their first five picks on the offensive side, including a second tackle in Round 5 in Missouri’s Larry Borom.


After trading in each of the first two rounds, the Bears used the 151st pick they acquired in the move up for Jenkins to take Borom. Then they traded again.


In Round 6 they traded down nine spots to 217 and acquired a seventh-round pick.


They selected running back Khalil Herbert of Virginia Tech at No. 217, then with their two other sixth-round picks they drafted North Carolina wide receiver Dazz Newsome and, finally, their first defensive pick, Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. They closed in Round 7 with 24-year-old BYU defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga.


Newsome is also a punt returner and Herbert has returned kicks.


The Bears are looking for special teams help after they didn’t sign back return man Cordarrelle Patterson.


The draft provided little help for new Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai, but Pace said that side is solid.


The Bears have veteran free agent Desmond Trufant in place to replace lost free agent Kyle Fuller. Graham could compete either at that spot or at nickel cornerback with Duke Shelley as Buster Skrine's replacement.

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