What did we learn from the Packers’ OTAs on May 31?
The Green Bay Packers have had their second padless OTAs this offseason.
Here is what we have learned (so far). More players were present at this practice, most notably, Rasul Douglas. It was a really windy day (12+ mph wind) at Ray Nitschke Field, which was challenging for the players.
Notable absent players: Aaron Rodgers, Sammy Watkins, Marcedes Lewis, Adrian Amos, Rashan Gary, Allen Lazard, Preston Smith, Jaire Alexander, Amari Rodgers
Rehab players: David Bakhtiari, Robert Tonyan, Elgton Jenkins, Kylin Hill, Dean Lowry (all rehab last practice)
Offensive line is the same as last week (Yosh Njiman, Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Cole Van Lanen) with Bahktiari and Jenkins out. Players are rotating positions such as Jake Hanson and Newman switching between RG and RT.
Jordan Love and Kurt Benkert are both running drills in practice. Benkert looks notably better than Love, has a tighter spiral and quicker release, more accurate with his passes. But, that is expected considering Benkert has been in the league longer.
Love has been struggling with handoffs and pitches, fumbling two attempts to Aaron Jones. Love ran a two-minute drill where he got two first downs but eventually overthrew Samori Toure on a slant route across the middle of the field on the third down.
Still needs work, but is getting better slowly but surely. Still somewhat wary of his potential, but he hasn’t really had an attempt to become QB1 because of Aaron Rodgers.
Doubs had a couple grabs, one of note is a nice back-shoulder catch down the sideline from Benkert, and two catches during the two-minute drill (both slants).
Watson has been struggling with drops but at this point it is nothing to be too concerned about. I wonder how he will perform in full pad practice. Remember, last season Ja’Marr Chase “struggled” with drops during practice but ended up becoming one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
Not much to talk about on defense, same defense as last week and this practice had an emphasis on offense.
Krys Barnes, De’Vondre Campbell, and Quay Walker all getting reps and practicing. Walker looks great, his feet have nice movement and he gets off the line fast. He had a clear sack on Benkert if it was full pads.
Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas are getting reps on defense, running drills and working on their hands. Matt LaFleur had some fun at this practice playing cornerback against Randall Cobb.
A lot of players getting reps in at kick return and punt return. Aaron Jones, Randall Cobb, and Christian Watson were some of the players running KR and PR drills from a machine.
Cobb and Doubs were the main two returning punts. Doubs had some struggles tracking the ball in the air but didn’t drop anything. Reminded me slightly of Amari Rodgers last season and it scares me slightly. Both Stokes and Douglas were running special teams drills so it seems like there will be some starters on the special teams next season.
Mason Crosby was looking leagues better than last season. Drilled every field goal he attempted at the OTAs. The most impressive was a 56-yard field goal in the wind. Attempted and made a 43, two 45, 47, and 49-yard field goal attempt. Hopefully he will perform better this season.
Overall, it is good seeing players getting reps during OTAs. Hopefully it will allow more opportunities for players who get reduced reps during full pad practice. Rookies are looking pretty good. Walker and Devonte Wyatt seem to be hungry to play in the NFL.