McCarthy looking for impact from 5 'redshirts'
PHOENIX -- Four of the Green Bay Packers' nine draft picks from the 2014 class made major impacts last season.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix eventually became a starter at safety, Davante Adams spent most of the season as the No. 3 wide receiver, Richard Rodgers was in the tight end rotation and center Corey Linsley was the starter the from the opener through the playoffs.
But the other five draft picks had little to no playing time, either spending the season in injured reserve or the inactive list each week.
As virtual "redshirts," those five have an opportunity to use the season as a launching pad for more playing time this year.
Third-round defensive tackle Khyri Thornton and fifth-round wide receiver Jared Abbrederis were placed on injured reserve during training camp, while fourth-round linebacker Carl Bradford, sixth-round cornerback Demetri Goodson and seventh-round wide receiver Jeff Janis made the 53-player roster but found themselves on the inactive list nearly every game day.
Speaking about Thornton (hamstring) and Abbrederis (ACL) at the NFL annual meeting, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he doesn't think the season on injured reserve will impede their progress.
"I think Thornton has really turned the corner in the weight and conditioning part of it," he said. "And Jared is here every day. So, he just has to get stronger, a little bigger. Everybody felt great about the way he showed in spring and the training camp he was having. So, yeah, definitely. It won't be lack of work ethic, that's for sure."
Of the other three, only Janis took snaps from the line of scrimmage with 15 on offense. Goodson played strictly special teams and Bradford never suited up for a game.
In Bradford's case, he was drafted as an outside linebacker, but was shifted inside near the end of camp. McCarthy said Bradford will be inside from Day 1 this season.
"Yeah, I know (when) we drafted Carl, Ted felt pretty strongly that he was an outside linebacker," McCarthy said, "and it really helps in our scheme if you train them outside to inside just because the way everything fits together, then the learning is seamless jumping in and out of certain personnel groups. That was the thinking early with Brad (Jones). Brad, Jamari (Lattimore) and Carl."