The first day of the Green Bay Packers' rookie minicamp is underway, and there are already several interesting reports coming out of the players' media availability session before practice began.
A few of the big points revolve around the team's first-round pick, defensive end Datone Jones. He told the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Mike Vandermause that he currently weighs 285 pounds and will likely remain around that weight during the season. This should put to rest some of the concerns about him playing the five-technique end position in the Packers' 3-4 defense, as he measures in at the same height and weight (6'4", 285) as Justin Smith of the San Francisco 49ers. Don't assume he will be as effective as Smith right away, but that's most definitely a size at which he can be successful and disruptive.
We mentioned this in another post, but reports have confirmed that three Packers have signed their rookie contracts. Those players are fourth-round pick David Bakhtiari, sixth-rounder Nate Palmer, and fourth-rounder Johnathan Franklin who signed a four-year, $2.5 million contract.
One player who had reportedly agreed to an undrafted free agent contract may not end up becoming a Packer after all. According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Rob Demovsky, safety Ben Ericksen from Illinois State did not pass his physical with the team, and as a result may not end up signing. That would leave little depth at the safety position, as the Packers did not draft any safeties nor are any other UDFA safeties rumored to have been signed.
- David Bakhtiari began practice at left tackle with J.C. Tretter at right tackle. In between them were Andrew Datko at left guard, Garth Gerhart at center, and Lane Taylor at right guard (via). However, Mike McCarthy said that they will likely rotate them through different positions throughout the weekend (via).
- UDFA running back Angelo Pease had the run of the day, and stood out more than Eddie Lacy or Johnathan Franklin. (via)
- Apparently the UCLA defense uses much of the same language as the Packers' so Datone Jones "hit the lottery" according to Mike McCarthy. (via)
- Johnathan Franklin will be getting some practice returning punts during Saturday's practice (via). This comes after a Friday practice that saw around ten other players fielding punts, presumably in an effort to find a replacement for Randall Cobb (via).
- Despite being a rookie camp, a few second-year players were present, including quarterback B.J. Coleman, who looked solid and had "command of the huddle" (via).
That's the big news from Friday, and we'll be back with more updates from Saturday's practice.
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