The NFLPA Rookie Premiere is a fun event each spring that takes about 40 of the top players from the most recent NFL Draft and puts them together for a few days. This year’s edition of the annual gathering of rookies, which is held in Los Angeles, California, wrapped up on Saturday after three days of events designed to get the attendees up to speed on the business of football.
However, unlike in recent years, the Green Bay Packers were not represented at the event. In 2018, the team had two attendees: wide receivers J’Mon Moore (fourth-round draft pick) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (fifth round). The year before, running back Jamaal Williams (fourth round) was the lone Packer in attendance, while receiver Trevor Davis (fourth round) represented the team in 2016. 2015 saw two Packers picks receive invites: wide receiver Ty Montgomery (third) and quarterback Brett Hundley (fifth). In fact, this is the first time since the 2012 event that the green and gold were shut out.
Observant fans will notice a trend here. For the most part, attendees for the Premiere play exclusively offensive “skill” positions, with receivers or running backs drafted on day three often receiving invites ahead of offensive linemen or defensive players who were top-ten picks. Indeed, the 2019 Rookie Premiere had just one player in attendance who was not a receiver, running back, tight end, or quarterback: defensive end Nick Bosa, who was the San Francisco 49ers’ pick with the second overall selection.
Using this trend, the Packers’ likeliest candidate to be in attendance would have been tight end Jace Sternberger, who was a third-round pick in April. However, the event’s cutoff for tight ends was apparently in round two, as the latest player at the position in attendance was the Vikings’ Irv Smith, drafted 50th overall. Meanwhile, the lowest-drafted players overall were picked late in round five: quarterback Easton Stick (166th overall to the Chargers) and wide receiver Darius Slayton (171st to the Giants).