The Green Bay Packers kicked off their first mandatory practice of the offseason on Tuesday when they opened up for the first day of minicamp. The Packers will only host a two-day minicamp this year, as the third scheduled day has already been canceled for a team-building event.
Head coach Matt LaFleur stated that there was “perfect attendance” at Green Bay’s minicamp, besides excused absences — per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Ryan Wood. The only players who did not report, according to Wood, were safety Tarvarius Moore — who has been at voluntary OTA practices — and outside linebacker Jonathan Garvin — who hasn’t been at OTAs. Aside from Garvin, the only other Packers who haven’t shown up for OTAs this spring were veteran cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas, who both reported for minicamp. At least on the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any significant contractual issues that would lead to a holdout on Green Bay’s roster.
Jordan Love to Tucker Kraft deep down the left sideline. pic.twitter.com/eZ9fRyKuhR— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) June 13, 2023
Quarterback Jordan Love probably had his most impressive day of practice this offseason today, as he got to go head-to-head against Alexander for the first time. Love threw a tight window touchdown to Romeo Doubs with Alexander in good coverage and shortly after completed a 96-yard bomb to Christian Watson — who again was matched up on Alexander. The pads have yet to come on, but there’s your dose of Love optimism for the week.
According to Andy Herman of the Pack A Day Podcast, the Packers’ starting offensive line today was David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan Jr. and Zach Tom (left to right.) Tom has had a significant amount of these “starts” this spring, which is surprising considering the fact that returning right tackle Yosh Nijman just signed a one-year, $4.3 million tender this offseason. It’s possible that Nijman ends up working off the bench as the team’s swing tackle this season.
Another notable “starter” in practice today was tight end Luke Musgrave, who typically gets worked in behind veteran Josiah Deguara. It seems like the tight end position is very fluid right now, but it’s nice to know that the rookie second-round pick is starting to crack the depth chart.
Herman also noted that the Packers split their team down the middle today, separating out the top end and bottom end of the roster on each side of the practice field. Undrafted rookie receiver Malik Heath out of Ole Miss earned a spot with “the ones,” which is something to look out for. Maybe he’s going to be our preseason darling this summer. Heath, a combine invite, ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash after leading the Rebels — over second-round pick Jonathan Mingo — in receiving last season.
About halfway through practice, it was reported that former Packers starting safety Adrian Amos had signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the New York Jets. Amos is the third Packers free agent to sign with the Jets following the addition of receivers Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard. If you were holding out hope that Amos would come back in 2023, that door has officially closed. Green Bay’s only remaining unrestricted free agents are tight end Marcedes Lewis and kicker Mason Crosby.
Defensively, the Packers’ “starters” today in their nickel defense featured T.J. Slaton getting the nod over Devonte Wyatt on the defensive line and Justin Hollins getting a “start” over Kingsley Enagbare and Lukas Van Ness on the edge. Van Ness typically has worked out with the second-team defense in the offseason, but moved up to working with “the ones” last week. For what it’s worth, Van Ness was one of the more impressive players during Green Bay’s OTAs.
At safety, Rudy Ford is consistently getting the starting snaps opposite of Darnell Savage, though, it’s worth noting that Tarvarious Moore was excused from practice. The players who were held out due to injury today were receiver Grant DuBose, tight end Tyler Davis, center Jake Hanson, defensive lineman Chris Slayton, outside linebacker Rashan Gary, cornerback Eric Stokes, safety Dallin Leavitt.
With Leavitt — the team’s primary punt protector — out, Savage was used as the punt protector on special teams, per Wood. We’ll see how that one works out.
According to Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated, rookie kicker Anders Carlson had an impressive day of practice, hitting five of six field goals from 40 yards or longer. Carlson connected on field goals of 41, 47, 49, 51 and 54 yards but was wide right from 44. I think we’d all be happy with those results, in a game situation.