For the first time since becoming General Manager of the Green Bay Packers, Ted Thompson placed a draft day phone call to Madison, selecting Wisconsin wide receiver/kick returner Jared Abbrederis with the second of two fifth round choices today. The hugely popular Badger becomes the first Wisconsin player drafted by the Packers since offensive lineman Bill Ferrario in 2001. Mark Tauscher proved to be a pretty serviceable Badger as a 7th rounder and decade long starter at tackle. Abbrederis is a great story, a walk on from Wautoma High School, worked his way through the scout team, backup role, and eventually a starting wide receiver who made a huge impact. He finished with 202 receptions, 78 as a senior last fall, gaining 3140 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns, a career high 8 as a sophomore in 2011. Abbrederis' value to the Packers may come more as a return man. He was Wisconsin's primary punt returner with 55 career returns, averaging 10.6 yards a return. He's also handled kickoff returns. The Abbrederis pick was a whopper on social media today.
The snapper is a fellow Big Ten player as the Pack took Ohio State center Corey Linsley with the first of their picks in round 5. Linsley was a two year starter at center for the Buckeyes, earning first team All Big 10 last year. He's 6-2 and 296 pounds and he's going to get a pretty good opportunity to earn the starting job as a rookie, battling J.C. Tretter and free agent Garth Gerhart to succeed Evan Dietrich-Smith, now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.