Key Observations and Takeaways from Packers 2nd OTA Practice

By: Paul Bretl 5/30/24

The Green Bay Packers held their second OTA practice that was open to the media on Wednesday. Here are my key takeaways and observations from what took place.

Who was in and who was out? Zach Tom and Tucker Kraft were still sidelined as they recover from pec injuries. Kitan Oladapo was again out as well, still recovering from offseason foot surgery. Tyler Davis and Alex McGough, who dropped out of last week’s practice were also out. Lukas Van Ness did participate last week, but not this week. LaFleur said that he broke the tip of his thumb. After missing last week, Robert Rochell was back.

Elgton Jenkins, Preston Smith, and Rashan Gary were not present. Kenny Clark went through stretch but he did not participate in team drills. Matt LaFleur said he knew that these three would not be at today’s practice.

Josh Jacobs was back. He participated in individual drills but sat out of full-speed team drills and the two-minute drill. He did participate in walkthrough reps. “He’s progressing,” said LaFleur. They hope to get him on the field for full-speed reps next week.

Where was Jordan Morgan? After playing both tackle spots during the first week, Morgan was taking reps at left guard today with Jenkins not here.

More movement on the offensive line: Not surprisingly, we continued to see a heavy rotation along the offensive line. The only certainty right now is that Josh Myers will be taking snaps at center. Sean Rhyan saw a few reps at center, Royce Newman played both guard positions with the starters, and Caleb Jones saw some right tackle reps with the ones. Rasheed Walker continued to play at left tackle, and without Tom, Andre Dillard was the starter at right tackle.

Michael Pratt had an impressive day, leading the third-string offense to a field goal during a two-minute end of half situation. He appeared poised in the pocket, got the ball out quick and showcased his “big arm,” that GM Brian Gutekunst mentioned after the draft. After practice, LaFleur said that there are still inconsistencies and they’ve gone through about 40 percent of the playbook.

Most of practice was again at a slower pace as they focus on implementing the reps the right way. However, for the first time, the Packers did go through a full-speed two-minute drill. 

Who was starting on defense? Along the front was JJ Enagbare at right defensive end, followed by TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt, and Brenton Cox. In their 4-3 base, Quay Walker was the middle linebacker, with Isaiah McDuffie and Eric Wilson next to him. In the secondary was Jaire Alexander, Carrington Valentine, Xavier McKinney, and Anthony Johnson.

Other defensive notes: Edgerrin Cooper and Javon Bullard were quickly rotated in for Wilson and Johnson. When the Packers were in nickel, Karl Brooks was in for Slaton next to Wyatt, with McDuffie and Walker at linebacker. Last week, Bullard and Evan Williams were on the side of the field with the second and third string defenders. Today, each had the opportunity to get some work in with the starters. 

Colby Wooden took some snaps at defensive end today.LaFleur said this was a product of being shorthanded at that position today, but he did add that he believes Wooden can fill that role if needed as well. 

Anders Carlson had a very solid day, missing only one of his seven attempts. The Packers have been rotating kickers each practice, with two kicking and one sitting out. Today was Greg Joseph’s day to sit out, allowing Jack Podlesney to kick. He would go just 3-for-7. Afterward, LaFleur said each kicker has had his day and called it a “tight battle.”

During the two-minute drill for the first and second teams, the defense won both battles. Jordan Love was 2-4 with the drive stalling at midfield. Sean Clifford, meanwhile, got the offense into field goal range. He was able to connect with Malik Heath and Samori Toure on a few completions.

It’s this time of the year that we are always looking for that under-the-radar name to watch. One player I’ll mention is defensive end Deslin Alexandre, who was signed to a futures deal in January. During the two-minute period with the second and third-team defenses, Alexandre had two potential “sacks.”

Special teams notes: Daniel Whelan continues to really impress. He had great distance and hang time on his punts. Getting first reps as the fliers were Bo Melton and Corey Ballentine. Malik Heath and Keisean Nixon were with the second unit and Xavier McKinney was again working as the personal protector.