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Packers make Northwestern's Dean Lowry fourth defensive player in five picks

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers continued to add to their defense when they selected Northwestern defensive end Dean Lowry with the second of their two fourth-round compensatory picks (No. 137 overall).

My take: General manager Ted Thompson must think the offensive struggles last year were an aberration because he has virtually ignored that side of the ball through the first four rounds of the draft. In five picks, he has taken four defensive players. The only offensive player, Indiana tackle Jason Spriggs in the second round, may not even need to play this year. The Packers slipped to 23rd in total offense last year, their lowest ranking in more than 20 years. But Thompson must feel confident that the return of receiver Jordy Nelson from his knee injury, a slimmed-down version of running back Eddie Lacy and the addition of free-agent tight end Jared Cook are enough to restore the offense to usual Aaron Rodgers levels. “I think so,” Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf said. “A lot of the times that’s the way the board works out, but we like our offense.”

Athletic big guy: For a big guy (6-foot-5, 296 pounds), the Packers liked Lowry’s athleticism. His 40-yard dash time of 4.87 seconds at the combine tied Robert Nkemdiche, who went in the first round to the Cardinals at No. 29, for the fastest time among defensive linemen over 290 pounds. “It’s cliché, but Dean’s a blue-collar guy [and] probably an underrated athlete,” Wolf said. The only knock on him physically may be his short arms (31 inches, which tied for the shortest among all defensive linemen at the combine). “He does have short arms for his frame, but we didn’t really see that as an issue,” Wolf said. “There’s a lot of guys with long arms who don’t extend them.”