According to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, one of the few transactions around the league on Saturday was the Green Bay Packers signing cornerback William Hooper after a tryout with the team during rookie minicamp. Hooper was one of the 14 tryout players who joined the Packers for practice starting on Friday. Clearly, he must have made an impression in his short time in Title Town.
For what it’s worth, Baylor safety Christian Morgan — who was originally announced as part of Green Bay’s 12-man undrafted free agent class — was not on the team’s rookie minicamp roster. Packers.com’s Wes Hodkiewicz also noted that the Packers had three roster spots open before Saturday’s practice, which is only possible if Green Bay was short an extra man. Following the announcement of the Packers’ undrafted free agents and the addition of International Players Pathway player Kenneth Odumegwu, Green Bay should have filled 89 of their allotted 91 roster spots — leaving them with just two holes on the roster. All signs point to something happening with Morgan’s situation between the team’s announcement and the rookies actually hitting the practice field for the first time.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had Hooper ranked as the 112th cornerback in the 2023 NFL Draft and Hooper was reportedly measured in at 5’10” and 180 pounds during his pro day. Hooper managed to record a 4.45-second 40-yard dash, despite posting a poor vertical jump (33”) for the position.
If Hooper makes the 2023 squad, it will likely be as a special teamer. It’s worth noting here that special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia (who added the title of assistant head coach this offseason) ran practices on the opening day of rookie minicamp while head coach Matt LaFleur was handling other business. Hooper will join a cornerback room comprised of Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Rasul Douglas, Keisean Nixon, Corey Ballentine, Shemar Jean-Charles, seventh-round rookie Carrington Valentine, Kiondre Thomas, Benjie Franklin and Tyrell Ford under new passing game coordinator Greg Williams — who comes to the team off of a stint with the Arizona Cardinals.
Last season, the Packers’ only undrafted free agent rookie to make the 53-man roster was long snapper Jack Coco, who was originally brought in as a tryout player in the spring.
According to his college bio, Hooper was a back-to-back Second-Team All-Southland corner over the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He was also named third-team all-conference in the spring of 2021, the substitute season that FCS programs had for their regular season being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Per Northwestern State, he also held offers from at least five FBS programs while in high school.
The signing of Hooper could be an effort to make sure that he doesn’t land with the Buffalo Bills, the team he planned on trying out for during the Bills’ four-day rookie minicamp starting on May 11th.