By GREG BATES
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers have selected Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander with the 18th overall pick of the NFL draft, hoping he is the playmaker they desperately need after another subpar year on defense.
The Packers entered Thursday night with the No. 14 pick, but new general manager Brian Gutekunst acquired the Saints' first-round pick (No. 27), a fifth-round pick (No. 147) and the team's first-round selection in 2019. Then the Packers moved up to No. 18 and also received the No. 248 pick in the seventh round and gave Seattle the No. 27 pick, a third-rounder (No. 76) and a sixth-rounder (No. 186).
Injuries have ravaged the Green Bay cornerback position in recent years. The Packers dealt Damarious Randall to the Browns earlier in the offseason in a trade that brought backup quarterback DeShone Kizer to Green Bay. That left last year's second-round pick, Kevin King, as the Packers' top cornerback following an injury-shortened rookie year.
Veteran Tramon Williams returned as a free agent to the Packers, who also brought back Davon House. But a defense can never have too many cornerbacks in the pass-happy NFL.
With his potential to make an immediate impact, Alexander was too good to pass up for new coordinator Mike Pettine's defense.
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The Green Bay Packers choose Jaire Alexander, a Cornerback from Louisville as the 18th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The team, who earlier traded down to 27th in a deal with the New Orleans Saints, later traded with the Seattle Seahawks to move back up in the draft.
The Packers got the 18th and 248th picks from Seattle in exchange for the 27th, 76th, and 186th pick in this year's draft.
Green Bay, in their first deal with New Orleans, got a 5th round pick plus a 1st round pick in the 2019 draft.
He played in only six games in 2017, after starting the season with a knee injury. But he picked off five passes in 2016, and broke up nine passes in 13 games. He was selected to second-team All-ACC honors that year.
Despite missing half the season last year, he still garnered honorable mention All-ACC.
He also excelled as a punt returner, with 29 returns for 223 yards in 2015, and 19 returns for 195 yards in 2016.