Bay Packers first round draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21)
gathers with teammates during NFL football rookie camp
Friday, May 16, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.
GREEN BAY —
From first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the 28 players who are
taking part in his team's rookie orientation camp on a tryout
basis, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy sees talent and
As a team that
has opened each of the past four seasons with at least three
undrafted rookie free agents making the 53-man roster, McCarthy
made it clear that young players like the ones participating in
this camp are the team's lifeblood.
"This is a
young man's league, and it has been for a number of years,"
McCarthy said, paraphrasing some of his message to the rookies
from Thursday night's team meeting with them. "Like I told
them, there's not a whole lot difference between some of these
tryout players and the guys that are here and have been drafted or
have already signed a free-agent contract."
No. 21 overall pick from Alabama, is expected to start at safety,
a position of glaring need the past two seasons.
"It's like a
dream come true. I'm here now. I'm ready to work,"
Clinton-Dix said. "As long as I keep my nose in this playbook
and continue to learn hard and study, I think I'll be fine."
Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, right, and Eliot Wolf,
director of pro personnel, watch during NFL football rookie
camp Friday, May 16, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.
Asked about the
first impression Clinton-Dix made Friday, McCarthy replied,
"I think he's off to a good start."
Because the draft
was pushed back this year, draft picks and undrafted free-agent
signees actually arrived at Lambeau Field earlier this week and
spent time in meetings and doing limited drill work with the
veterans, who are in the individual position work portion of the
offseason program. After two days of mingling with the established
players on the roster, the new kids had their first rookies-only
practice Friday and will do so again Saturday.
There are 58
players participating in the camp and McCarthy admitted that it's
difficult for players to make a major splash.
them to come in and have something jump out at you," McCarthy
said. "It's not how many balls you catch, not how many
completions you have, not how many balls you break up. You're
looking for movement ability, you're looking for fit, you're
looking for someone that has something special or something you
feel can add to the football team."
Bay Packers fifth round draft pick Corey Linsley runs during
NFL football rookie camp Friday, May 16, 2014, in Green Bay,
The Packers added
three players to their wide receiver corps during the draft -
second-round pick Davante Adams from Fresno State, fifth-round
pick Jared Abbrederis from Wisconsin and seventh-round pick Jeff
Janis from Division II Saginaw Valley State. Abbrederis figures to
be a fan favorite, having grown up 75 miles from Lambeau Field in
tiny Wautoma, Wisconsin, and playing for the home-state Badgers.
have it this way," Abbrederis replied when asked if he
might've been better off going to another team, where the
attention wouldn't be as great. "I can just feel the support
from everybody in Wisconsin."
noticeable name on the Packers' list of tryout players was
ex-Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla, who left the Ducks program last
fall and was later arrested for cocaine possession. He pleaded
guilty to the offense last December.
dominant performance at the NFL combine in February - Lyerla's
4.59-second 40-yard dash was third-fastest among tight ends, and
his vertical jump (39 inches) was the best at the position - he
did not even receive an undrafted free agent offer.
The Packers have
historically signed a handful of tryout players after the rookie
camp ends, and Lyerla, playing a position of need, has a chance to
earn that opportunity.
things in his college career, and (we're) fully aware of
everything that every prospect's done on and off the field,"
McCarthy said. "And with that, we feel he's earned the
opportunity as a tryout player to earn a spot to go to training
camp. I'm excited to watch all these guys."
GREEN BAY — The
Packers have signed fourth-round draft pick Carl Bradford,
finalizing the agreement with the linebacker on the day the team
opened its rookie minicamp.
McCarthy has said the 6-foot-1 rookie from Arizona State will
begin camp at outside linebacker.
Ted Thompson on Friday also signed undrafted free agent Tanner
Miller, a 6-foot-1 safety from Iowa.
Corey Linsley signed his rookie deal on Thursday. The center from
Ohio State could be in the mix for the starting job in Green Bay
after veteran Evan Dietrich-Smith left as a free agent for Tampa
The Packers this
week also formally announced the signing of receiver Jared
Abbrederis, a Wisconsin native who played college ball with the