Green Bay Packers sign eight of their 13 draft picks, including quarterback Sean Clifford
GREEN BAY − As the newest Green Bay Packers class took over Lambeau Field for rookie minicamp this weekend, the club was able to sign eight of its 13 draft picks.
Of those signing contracts Friday, all were from the fourth round and beyond. No draft pick from rounds one through three has yet signed.
Those signing their rookie contracts are: defensive lineman Colby Wooden (fourth rounder, Auburn), quarterback Sean Clifford (fifth round, Penn State), wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks (fifth round, Virginia), defensive lineman Karl Brooks (sixth round, Bowling Green), kicker Anders Carlson (sixth round, Auburn), cornerback Carrington Valentine (seventh round, Kentucky), running back Lew Nichols III (seventh round, Central Michigan) and safety Anthony Johnson Jr. (seventh round, Iowa State).
Clifford in particular was an important signing for the Packers, who want three quarterbacks on the roster headed into the offseason. The former Penn State player makes that possible, alongside presumed starter Jordan Love and returning practice squad passer Danny Etling. Following the draft, both general manager Brian Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur praised what Clifford will bring not only to the rookie class, but the locker room as a whole.
“We just really liked the makeup of the person. All those guys need reps,” Gutekunst said of Clifford following the draft.
Added LaFleur, “We went through the meetings with him and were impressed by his football acumen and his overall intelligence.”
Clifford, who is actually the elder to Love, is comfortable taking a back seat through this process.
“I’m a rookie, that’s how I’m treating it,” he said. “I think, if anything, I was ready to get out of Penn State just because I was a little bit older. Ready to move to (next) chapter. But for me, I’m a rookie. Ready to learn from Jordan, ready to learn from Danny. Excited to be here, privileged to be here and very thankful for it.”
Silverstein:Matt LaFleur's Green Bay predecessors set a high standard that will be difficult for him to reach
Dougherty:Young Packers could be in for an interesting but rough ride with Jordan Love at the helm
All rookie contracts for draft picks last four years. First-round picks will be up for a fifth-year option ahead of his fourth year on the roster. The bulk of these rookie contracts will likely be finalized before training camp. Last year, second-round receiver Christian Watson was the last to sign his rookie deal (July 20) which gave the Packers their entire rookie class locked up ahead of camp.
Those still to sign this year are first-round edge rusher Lukas Van Ness, second-round tight end Luke Musgrave and receiver Jayden Reed, third-round tight end Tucker Kraft and seventh-round receiver Grant Dubose.
The Packers 13 selections in this years draft tie a franchise record for most in the seven-round era. The club welcomed those picks, as well as their 12 undrafted free agents and 14 tryout players to rookie minicamp this weekend. The group, as well as nine current players with less than one accrued playing year and one international player, will spend the next two days immersed in the playbook and meetings.