Packers happy to have DE Peppers in the fold

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) gets tackled by Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, left, and Chicago Bears strong safety Craig Steltz (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) gets tackled by Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, left, and Chicago Bears strong safety Craig Steltz (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – Ted Thompson is happy to have Julius Peppers in the fold.

The Packers general manager says signing the eight-time Pro Bowl defensive end won’t have an effect on what Green Bay does with its nine selections in next week’s NFL draft. The first pick is at No. 21 overall.

The team’s most immediate needs appear to be at safety, linebacker, tight end, offensive line and cornerback. Thompson says the Packers simply try to draft the best player available.

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