Key takeaways from Packers OTAs: What have we learned so far?

Highlighting the key points from the early stages of the Packers' organized team activities.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers' voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) began on May 20 and will continue into the beginning of June. It is always intriguing to see what the new year of Packers football will reveal in its early stages as a hungry and youthful team looks to build on an impressive 2023 campaign.

In just a sparse dosage of OTAs open to the media, there are already many notable details that should be touched on.

Headlines such as injury updates and positional battles highlight the beginning of the Packers' 2024 OTAs as the team continues to grow toward a Super Bowl.

Packers injury updates at OTAs

Offensive tackle Zach Tom (pectoral), edge rusher Lukas Van Ness (thumb), and safety Kitan Oladapo (toe) did not warm up with the rest of the team during Wednesday's practice as they continue to battle injuries, per Packer Report's Andy Herman. He added that wide receiver Alex McGough, running back Emanuel Wilson, tight end Tucker Kraft, and tight end Tyler Davis also did not practice.

Josh Jacobs, who has been battling a hamstring injury, did participate in individual drills but did not do any 11-on-11 team practice.

In more positive news, receiver Christian Watson and cornerback Eric Stokes appear to be in great shape. Both Watson and Stokes have had to overcome ongoing hamstring issues that have heavily limited their availability.

Watson mentioned in a recent interview that he "feels 100 percent" after missing numerous games in 2023.

Head coach Matt LaFleur commented on Eric Stokes: "I think [Stokes] is as good as I've ever seen him, both mentally and on the field."

Packers positional battles at OTAs

It is no secret that many spots on the Packers' eventual 53-man roster are up for grabs and will be fought for throughout the offseason process. Starting positions such as linebacker, safety, and others will have to be earned, and not given.

Particularly on defense, linebacker Isaiah McDuffie and safety Anthony Johnson Jr. have continued to start ahead of draft picks Edgerrin Cooper and Javon Bullard, per Andy Herman. The Packers organization believes in the philosophy that a rookie typically will not replace an older player immediately. Herman mentioned that Cooper and Bullard did rotate in rather quickly, however, McDuffie and Johnson Jr. remain the starters for now.

On the offensive side of the ball, there could be a potential quarterback competition behind starter Jordan Love. Second-year quarterback Sean Clifford currently serves as the team's backup quarterback, however, rookie seventh-rounder Michael Pratt could put pressure on Clifford going forward.

Pratt reportedly looked excellent in the team's two-minute drill on Wednesday. Given that the media only has access to one-third of the OTAs, this is not nearly enough evidence for Pratt to dethrone Clifford. The job remains Clifford's to lose until further notice. However, it is evident that Pratt has a tremendous skill set.

Along the offensive line, players are being shifted all over to various positions. First-round pick Jordan Morgan, who many suspected would play offensive tackle, began taking reps at left guard in the absence of Elgton Jenkins (who is not injured but did not attend the May 29 practice).

Rasheed Walker continued to play left tackle, as he did for most of last season, while new addition Andre Dillard has been getting snaps at right tackle. Josh Myers began at center, with Sean Rhyan starting at right guard. Herman also mentioned that Rhyan did move to center and got some snaps there as well.

The Packers have continued to show throughout their OTAs that they value athleticism and versatility more than anything else along the offensive line. Their philosophy of finding the best five players regardless of natural positioning has been a working strategy over the past few seasons as the Packers continue to fortify the front five to protect Jordan Love.

On special teams, the battle for the starting kicker continued as second-year Anders Carlson continued to lead the way. Per Sports Illustrated's Bill Huber, Carlson made six of seven field goals, his only miss being from 51 yards out into the wind. Former Georgia kicker Jack Podlesny hit three of his seven kicks, while Greg Joseph did not kick. LaFleur continues to call the kicking competition a "tight battle."

OTAs are just the beginning

It is important to realize that voluntary OTAs are just the beginning of the Packers' offseason program. With the media only seeing one of every three OTAs, it is hard to get an accurate depiction of many headlines that fans wonder about.

With mandatory minicamp and training camp just around the corner, there will be plenty of opportunities for fans and the media to watch the Packers practice for the upcoming season.

As the Packers dive deeper into the offseason, we will get a clearer glimpse of how the 2024 roster will shape up, how players are responding to injury, and which players continue to make plays.

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