Three Packers OTA practices open to public

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 2, 2016 – 3:07 pm

160401-offseason-950GREEN BAY — Three of the Packers’ upcoming OTA practices will be open to the public , weather permitting.

The dates are:

Tuesday, May 24
Thursday, June 2
Monday, June 6

Those workouts are slated for 11:30 a.m. CT at Ray Nitschke Field and open for public viewing.

The team’s mandatory minicamp from June 14-16 will also be open to the public, but the exact schedule has yet to be announced.

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McCarthy likes vibe surrounding returning veterans

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 30, 2016 – 9:09 pm

_PMG__9002GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers could sense a special vibe in the air when the Green Bay Packers returned for the start of the offseason program on April 18.

The Packers quarterback, a veteran mainstay at voluntary workouts, has learned over the years that one of the telltale signs of locker-room chemistry is atmosphere in the first team meeting.

The general rule? The noisier, the better.

“When (coach) Mike (McCarthy) has to kind of quiet guys down, when it’s not just quiet right when he walks in, you know there’s a good energy in the room,” said Rodgers two weeks ago.

McCarthy, speaking to the media for the first time since the team returned, concurred with Rodgers when asked about his quarterback’s assessment of the team following the conclusion of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

With 59 returning players with ties to the 2015 team, there is a feeling of unfinished business in the locker room given how last season ended.

“I agree with Aaron. It’s a great vibe,” McCarthy said. “When you walked into the team meeting room on Monday (April 18), you would’ve thought we were preparing for a playoff game. It felt like they never left.”

So far, McCarthy reports the team has had perfect attendance during the early portion of the offseason program, which began with a two-week strength and conditioning period.

McCarthy has been steadfast in his assertion that participation in the nine-week offseason program plays a critical role in the Packers developing their young roster into a championship-caliber team.

McCarthy, entering his 10th season as head coach, lauded newly signed tight end Jared Cook for how quickly he’s transitioned into the locker room and praised running back Eddie Lacy for being further ahead in the program this year.

Furthermore, the Packers welcomed seven new draft choices this weekend that they’ll begin to integrate into their program beginning at the team’s upcoming rookie orientation camp.

As great as it was to add young prospects to the positional ranks, the most immediate improvement will come from those returning players from last year’s team.

“Our No. 1 opportunity for improvement is the nine-week offseason program,” McCarthy said. “We had 63 players under contract that first day and those men sitting in the room, they are going to impact our football team the most as we move forward. I’ve always believed that. That’s how we set this thing up.”

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Packers draft Stanford T Kyle Murphy in sixth round

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 30, 2016 – 3:41 pm

Kyle MurphyGREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers continued to stockpile offensive tackles and Stanford products on Saturday evening in drafting tackle Kyle Murphy with their sixth-round pick (200th overall).

A first-team Pac-12 selection, Murphy (6-7, 301) started 14 games at left tackle for the Cardinal during his senior year after making 13 starts at right tackle as a junior in 2014.

The Packers drafted another large offensive tackle in the second round on Friday with Indiana’s Jason Spriggs. They also selected Stanford inside linebacker Blake Martinez with the first of their two fourth-round picks on Saturday.

Murphy is the fourth player from the Pac-12 the Packers drafted this weekend.

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Packers draft California WR Trevor Davis in fifth round

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 30, 2016 – 2:07 pm

Trevor DavisGREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers has another receiving target to throw to from his alma mater.

The Packers drafted California receiver Trevor Davis with their fifth-round pick (163rd overall). The 6-foot-2, 185-pound receiver had 1,071 yards and seven touchdowns in 23 games at California. He played his first two seasons at Hawaii before sitting out in 2013 due to the NCAA transfer rules.

Davis finished his career at California with 2,300 all-purpose yards with 1,110 kickoff return yards on 45 returns, including two returned for touchdowns. His 32.6-yards per kickoff return in 2014 ranked second nationally.

He ran a 4.42-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine with a 38 1/2-inch vertical jump and 6.60-second time in the three-cone drill.

The Packers previously drafted former California tight end Richard Rodgers in the third round in 2014.

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Packers draft Northwestern DE Dean Lowry

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 30, 2016 – 12:56 pm

Dean LowryGREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers added a lengthy end to their defensive line in drafting Northwestern defensive end Dean Lowry with their second fourth-round pick on Saturday (137th overall).

Lowry, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound true senior, had 134 tackles (31 ½ for a loss) with 12 ½ sacks over 48 career games.

Lowry ranked second on the team with 13½ tackles for a loss during his final season and set a NU single-game record with six tackles for a loss against Nebraska.

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Packers get inside linebacker in fourth round: Stanford’s Blake Martinez

Posted by Mike Spofford on April 30, 2016 – 12:43 pm

Blake MartinezGREEN BAY — The Packers wasted no time on Saturday addressing inside linebacker, drafting Stanford’s Blake Martinez with the first of two fourth-round compensatory draft picks, No. 131 overall.

The Packers have another pick coming up shortly, at No. 137.

Martinez started for Stanford, one of the top defenses in the Pac-12, each of the last two years, and led the team in tackles both seasons. In 2015, he earned All-America honors from a couple of publications and posted 141 tackles, leading the Pac-12. The next-highest total on Stanford’s defense was 57.

Martinez also intercepted one pass and broke up six passes. For his career (51 games), he had six sacks, five interceptions and four forced fumbles.



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Packers draft Utah State LB Kyler Fackrell in third round

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 29, 2016 – 9:52 pm

Kyler FackrellGREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers added another linebacker to their room on Friday night in drafting Utah State senior Kyler Fackrell with their third-round draft choice (88th overall).

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound pass rusher started all 41 collegiate games with 253 tackles (36 for a loss), 12 sacks and five forced fumbles.

He missed all but one game during his junior year in 2014 after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the second quarter of the season-opener against Tennessee.

Fackrell set a single-season school record with 12 quarterback hurries as a senior, including a single-game school record of six against Colorado State on Oct. 3, 2015.

He’s one of just 15 players in school history to earn first-or-second-team all-conference honors three times during a career.

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Packers trade up in second round for Indiana OT Jason Spriggs

Posted by Mike Spofford on April 29, 2016 – 7:29 pm

Jason SpriggsGREEN BAY — The Packers traded up nine spots in the second round, from No. 57 to No. 48, to select Indiana offensive tackle Jason Spriggs on Friday night.

The Packers traded with Indianapolis. Green Bay gave up a fourth-round pick (No. 125) and a seventh-round pick (No. 248), in addition to the second-rounder at No. 57 to move up.

Spriggs was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Hoosiers, starting 47 games at the position. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2015 and was a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy.

According to some draft analyst reports, Spriggs gave up just two sacks in each of the last two seasons. He gives the Packers depth at offensive tackle that was missing last season when the pass protection struggled late in the year during left tackle David Bakhtiari’s absence to injury.


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Packers draft UCLA defensive lineman Kenny Clark in first round

Posted by Mike Spofford on April 28, 2016 – 10:12 pm

Kenny ClarkGREEN BAY — The Packers addressed their primary need on Thursday night in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, selecting UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark with the No. 27 overall pick.

Clark played in 39 career games for the Bruins, starting 29 straight to end his career. He finished second on his team in tackles (75), tackles for loss (11) and sacks (six) in 2015. The TFLs and sacks are particularly impressive numbers for an interior lineman who lined up either over the center or between the center and guard most of the time.

Clark was an early entry in this draft, playing three seasons for the Bruins. He earned first-team all-Pac-12 honors last season, moving up from second-team all-conference honors in 2014. His three-year career totals are 164 tackles, 20 1/2 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

The Packers’ need on the defensive line became more significant this past offseason when B.J. Raji decided to step away from football despite having a contract offer on the table from Green Bay.

Photo Gallery: Best of UCLA DT Kenny Clark
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Barrington, Freeman will announce Day 2 selections

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on April 28, 2016 – 3:59 pm

Chiefs Packers FootballThe Packers’ past and present will be honored on Friday when former WR Antonio Freeman and current LB Sam Barrington announce the team’s second- and third-round draft choices.

Barrington, a seventh-round pick in 2013, was selected as this year’s team nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. It’s the first time third-round selections will be announced by nominees for the prestigious award, which recognizes players for excellence on and off the field.

Freeman, representing the NFL legends community, had 431 receptions for 6,651 yards and 57 touchdowns in eight season with the Packers (1995-2001, 2003). He ranks third in franchise history with six seasons of more than 50 receptions and three seasons of more than 1,000 receiving yards.

Freeman and Barrington join legendary Packers G Jerry Kramer and Pro Football Hall of Fame LB Dave Robinson in announcing selections this weekend. Kramer and Robinson will handle the Packers’ fourth- and fifth-round draft choices from Vince Lombardi’s office at the Packers Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Other Packers alumni who have previously announced draft picks include WR Donald Driver, RB Jim Taylor, S LeRoy Butler and WR James Lofton.

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