What We’ve Learned from Packers OTAs So Far

The Green Bay Packers held their second public organized team activity on Thursday. The first OTA which was open to the public took place on Tuesday, May 24th, and the third and final public OTA will take place on Monday, June 6th. Here are some of the things that we’ve learned as the Packers begin their preparation for the 2016 season.

  • As expected, Clay Matthews and Datone Jones have been practicing with the outside linebackers group. Matthews is moving back to his original position after transitioning to inside linebacker in the 2014 season. Jones spent some time playing the elephant role late in the 2015 season, a hybrid position between outside linebacker and defensive end. Jones is expected to play primarily out of that position in 2016.

  • Jordy Nelson has been present for team stretches but has otherwise worked only in individual drills. That being said, Nelson appeared to be running through the route tree, catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. Nelson has stated that he’d like to take part in team drills but has been held back by his doctors. It appears that Nelson’s knee is healing well and that he’ll be ready for the start of training camp.

  • It has been reported that Eddie Lacy looks to be in better shape than he was last year, but according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Lacy is still in the 240s. That might sound heavy, but Lacy has always been a bigger back. Based on images of Lacy, it seems quite likely that he shed some fat and perhaps gained some muscle weight in his offseason workout with Tony Horton. All of this should help Lacy rebound from a somewhat disappointing 2015 season.

  • Davante Adams did not live up to expectations in his second year in the NFL. However, Adams has been one of the players repeatedly making plays early in OTAs. It’s good to see Adams shaking off the rust from last year.

  • Last year’s training camp standout, undrafted cornerback Ladarius Gunter has apparently picked up right where he left off. Gunter picked off Aaron Rodgers in an 11-on-11 drill on Thursday.
  • First round draft pick Kenny Clark has been unable to participate in OTAs due to his current enrollment at UCLA. Other rookie draft picks Trevor Davis, wide receiver, and Kyle Murphy, offensive tackle, are also unable to participate in OTAs until classes are no longer in session.
  • Another intriguing undrafted rookie from last season, Matt Rotheram out of Pittsburgh has been lining up both at his native offensive guard but also at center. The move may help Rotheram claim a spot on the roster this year, after making the practice squad in 2015.
  • QB Brett Hundley threw two picks in Thursday’s practice. Hundley is now the no. 2 QB behind Aaron Rodgers, after having a monster preseason in 2015.
  • Sam Shields returned to the practice field on Thursday after missing the first public OTA last week.
  • Quinten Rollins has missed both public OTAs with an undisclosed injury, as has Ty Montgomery, who is still recovering from the high ankle sprain that he suffered in 2015.
  • Jared Cook, the Packers’ free agency splash at tight end, missed Thursday’s practice, as well. He was present at practice last week.
  • The following is the list of all players that did not participate on Thursday: CB Quinten Rollins RB Don Jackson CB Robertson Daniel CB Randall Jette LB Joe Thomas OLB Lerentee McCray LB Sam Barrington C Corey Linsley T Kyle Murphy (absent) G T.J. Lang DE B.J. McBride WR Jordy Nelson WR Ty Montgomery TE Jared Cook DE Dean Lowry (absent) DE Datone Jones (absent) DT Kenny Clark (absent).
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Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.

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