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Green Bay Packers practice news and notes, 6/6: Van Ness works with the ones

The Packers’ first-round pick is moving up the depth chart already.

Green Bay Packers Offseason Workout Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Tuesday marked the final media-open practice that the Green Bay Packers will host during the organized team activities portion of their offseason program. Next week, the team will have its mandatory minicamp, meaning that outside linebacker Jonathan Garvin, cornerback Jaire Alexander and cornerback Rasul Douglas — the only three players who have skipped out on the entire offseason program — will finally be in town.

Here’s what happened at practice today:


The Packers’ offensive line was reshuffled a bit in Week 3 of OTAs, with incumbent starter Yosh Nijman getting the nod at right tackle over second-year player Zach Tom, per Packer Report’s Andy Herman. Previously, Tom had gotten the first right tackle look with “the ones” in Green Bay’s past two media-open practices.

Interestingly enough, Tom got time as the second-string center today. When we polled Acme Packing Company readers last week, 44 percent of respondents thought Tom should start at right tackle this upcoming season while 36 percent thought he should start at center. The second-string offensive line was comprised of Caleb Jones, Sean Rhyan, Tom, Royce Newman and Luke Tenuta (left-to-right), with Rasheed Walker — the 2022 seventh-round pick — notably being on the third-team offense. Last year, the Packers held onto 11 offensive linemen for the majority of the season, meaning that Walker is likely on the very edge of the roster bubble if 53-man roster cuts were made today.

At the skill positions, the starters today — per Herman — were running back Aaron Jones, tight ends Josiah Deguara and Luke Musgrave and receivers Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson. Second-round rookie receiver Jayden Reed has consistently seen playing time with “the ones” in OTAs, but mostly as a slot receiver in three-receiver sets.

One offensive player who made a splash today was rookie quarterback Sean Clifford, who according to’s Wes Kodkiewicz, went 9 of 11 for 75 yards in a two-minute drill that resulted in a fourth-down touchdown with the third-string team. Hopefully, this means that the second halves of Packers preseason games will be entertaining later this summer.


It didn’t take long for first-round pick Lukas Van Ness to jump up the depth chart. Last week, Van Ness was behind the likes of Justin Hollins and Kingsley Enagbare in the pecking order. Reports stated that the Iowa pass-rusher was consistently disrupting plays against the second-team offensive line. Today, according to Herman, Van Ness finally got that first-team nod opposite of Preston Smith with Rashan Gary still recovering from his 2022 ACL tear.

There were a couple of defensive standouts in practice today, which shouldn’t be surprising considering the fact that defenses are usually ahead of offenses at this point in the offseason. The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman noted that defensive linemen T.J. Slaton and Devonte Wyatt, two players who are expected to be full-time starters for the first time in their professional careers in 2023, made plays in the backfield in team drills. Hodkiewicz also mentioned that rookie seventh-round pick Carrington Valentine, one of my favorite draft choices from this past Packers’ draft, forced back-to-back incompletions in practice. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you watch our own Tyler Brooke’s video breakdown of what Valentine brings to the table.

In the post-practice presser, head coach Matt LaFleur — after being asked about Valentine — singled out Van Ness, defensive linemen Karl Brooks, defensive lineman Colby Wooden and outside linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. as rookies who are flashing in practice. Aside from Cox, all the other rookies named by LaFleur are defensive draft picks. Cox was signed as an undrafted free agent after being dismissed from both Georgia and Florida during his college career.

Paul Bretl of Packers Wire also mentioned today that free agent signing Tarvarius Moore, who was best known as a nickel back with the San Francisco 49ers before becoming a full-time special teams ace, has been seeing time with “the ones” at safety opposite of Darnell Savage. With Adrian Amos’ contract expiring, the camp battle for the team’s replacement safety is going to come down to returning spot-starter Rudy Ford (who is “starting” at safety at this point in camp), Moore and fellow 2023 free agent signing Jonathan Owens — who started every game with the Houston Texans last season.

Special Teams

Per Herman, the Packers’ young receivers are getting work as kick returners. In the early portion of practice, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed all got a chance to show their kick return ability, along with returning starter Keisean Nixon and running back Aaron Jones. Nixon is expected to hold onto the job, but it’s always nice to have options.