Report Card Grades for Every Green Bay Packers Rookie so Far in Camp
After exiting in the divisional round of the playoffs last season, the Green Bay Packers are looking forward to this upcoming season where they hope to get a little bit further.
Sticking to their build-through-the-draft philosophy, the Packers loaded up on defensive talent with their first six picks of the 2012 draft in order to compensate for their poor defense.
So with OTAs over back in spring and the first preseason game done with, how are the Packers' bunch of rookies looking?
First Round: Nick Perry, OLB
Shortly after being drafted, Perry was anointed the starting right outside linebacker, bumping Clay Matthews to the left side.
The Packers are counting a lot on the first-rounder out of USC to take pressure off of Matthews and improve the pass rush.
He hasn't been a star of camp, but he finished with three tackles and, more importantly, a sack.
It'll be interesting to see how he fares for the rest of camp.
Second Round: Jerel Worthy, DL
Worthy, a second-rounder hailing from Michigan State, has been pretty much as advertised.
He's quick off the snap but has been caught offsides a few times during camp. It doesn't help that he's had to play against Aaron Rodgers, one of the best at drawing people offsides.
Worthy doesn't own a starting job, but that wasn't expected of him immediately. His energy in camp has been evident, a bit of a surprise after he was chastised for taking too many plays off in college.
Second Round: Casey Hayward, CB
One of my favorite rookies of camp so far is a cornerback who's matched up with many of today's exciting young players in the SEC, Casey Hayward.
Hayward had seven interceptions at Vanderbilt and has picked off numerous passes in camp due to his instincts and ability to jump routes.
He bit on a double move against the Chargers and got burned for a big gain, but has been good so far in camp.
Depending on how serious Davon House's injury is, Hayward could shoot up the depth chart to a starting job.
Fourth Round: Jerron McMillian, S
A bit of an unknown player out of small-school Maine, the Packers took McMillian in the fourth round to compete for the starting strong safety job. That was, of course, until Peprah got released and Charles Woodson got moved to strong safety in base packages.
McMillian has shown a willingness to throw his body around in scrimmage, which is good and bad. He's also shown the ability to stick with tight ends.
Despite some glimpses of promise, McMillian is still pretty raw.
He'll likely spend the year in a backup role, mostly playing special teams and occasionally seeing snaps in the dime package as the year goes on.
Fourth Round: Mike Daniels, DL
At a shade under 6'1" and only 291 pounds, Daniels was an interesting pick out of Iowa. He was seemingly too small for Green Bay's system.
Early in camp though, Daniels impressed as an interior pass rusher with his quickness and ability to gain leverage.
He's been out for a while with an injury though, which bumps the fourth-round defensive tackle's grade from an A.
Fifth Round: Terrell Manning, LB
The Packers traded up to get Manning, but so far their sacrifice hasn't reaped rewards.
Manning has had a quiet camp so far and is also buried in a deep group of linebackers.
As if having to compete with backups D.J. Smith and Robert Francois wasn't enough, the Packers also moved Jamari Lattimore and Brad Jones to the inside.
Manning's best attributes are in coverage and as a blitzer, but it's doubtful that he'll get to show those very often, if at all, during the regular season. That's assuming he makes the roster.
Even with Desmond Bishop's potentially serious injury, Titletown isn't going to be seeing much Manning.
Seventh Round: Andrew Datko, T
The biggest thing about Datko is that he needs to add strength.
The Florida State product could benefit by adding weight to his frame and it shows he needs to when he plays.
Datko hasn't had a very good camp so far but he'll have a chance to prove himself given how banged up the Packers are on the line.
He got absolutely destroyed by Chargers' rookie Melvin Ingram a few times, but did have a nice play in the run game where he opened up a hole at the goal line for fellow rookie Marc Tyler.
He's on the outside looking in for a roster spot.
Seventh Round: BJ Coleman, QB
As with any late-round, developmental rookie quarterback, Coleman has had his ups and downs in practice.
He'll throw a beautiful pass one play and an erratic one the next. He's got physical tools, but he's a project for sure.
On a side note, Jon Gruden just set a record for number of times a person has said "the guy just comes to work every day" in a broadcast while starting to talk about Coleman.
Undrafted Free Agents
Camp sensation Dezman Moses has been by far the most impressive UDFA of the group.
He's shown pass rush ability as an OLB, and when Clay Matthews sat down during the first preseason game, Moses was the first one in to replace him.
Another UDFA to keep track of is former USC RB Marc Tyler. With Brandon Saine and fellow UDFA Du'ane Bennett out and Alex Green on a snap count, Tyler was in for the majority of the game against the Chargers.
While not particularly fast or impressive in camp, Tyler was enjoying a nice game until former Packer Ricky Elmore ghost-slapped the ball out of his hands in the final minute, thus securing the Packers' loss.
Tyler is big and has the look of a workhorse, but he's likely ticketed for the practice squad.
Other than those two and a few other decent looking players, there's not too much to get excited about yet.
Grade for Dezman Moses: A+
Grade for Marc Tyler: B
Grade for UDFAs: B