Packers cut three 2017 draft picks
The Sports Xchange
GREEN BAY – Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson typically protects his draft picks like a mother guards her newborn. Not this year, though.
During Saturday's final cuts, Thompson released three of his 10 draft picks. The trio that missed the cut were fifth-round wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey, sixth-round guard Kofi Amichia and seventh-round wide receiver Malachi Dupre.
In addition, fourth-round linebacker Vince Biegel was placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list with a foot injury.
"Sometimes it's what can you do for me right now, and sometimes it's what can do you do for me later," Thompson said earlier in training camp. "And that's an age-old conversation, especially at this time of year. Ultimately, I have to make a decision and then we go play."
Amichia and Yancey were signed to the practice squad Sunday.
--Green Bay kept seven wide receivers on its 53-man roster in 2016. This year, despite the talent being better, the Packers kept just five.
Green Bay's Geronimo Allison will become No. 6 after serving a Week-1 suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy. For now, though, the Packers will go with just five.
"It's part of the grand old game of professional football," Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said. "You go to camp, you compete and at the end of the camp and the competition you move on. And if it works out, it works out. If it doesn't, it doesn't."
--Green Bay released quarterback Taysom Hill on Saturday, but was hoping to get him to the practice squad. Instead, New Orleans claimed Hill on waivers on Sunday.
Hill was one of the top quarterbacks of the preseason, completing 14-of-20 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Hill also had 71 rushing yards on 10 attempts, including a 23-yard touchdown run.
"Overall, I was happy with the things that I did with limited opportunities, and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Green Bay's camp," Hill said after the Packers' final preseason game.
--Green Bay kept 10 offensive linemen just once in Ted Thompson's first 12 seasons. But thePackers kept 10 this year, despite the group being one of the least talented in recent memory.
Green Bay sent swingman Don Barclay to the injured reserve list Sunday bringing that number down to nine. Still, after a solid starting five, the Packers' backups had a rough summer - making the decision to go heavy on the line questionable, at best.
"Feel great about our offensive line depth," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said last week. "I tell ya, we've got great numbers on the offensive line."
--The Packers officially announced the signing of outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks on Sunday. Brooks, an 11-year veteran who spent the last nine seasons in San Francisco, has 53.5 career sacks and 493 tackles.
"Tough. Tough," Packers linebackers coach Winston Moss said of Brooks last week. "Physically imposing. A rusher. Can play very, very well versus the run. Can play stout versus the tight end. He can do everything that we would ask him to do in our scheme. He can play to the tight-end side, he can play to the open-end side. He can play the outside linebacker, he can play the elephant."
--Green Bay traded linebacker Jayrone Elliott to Dallas on Sunday for a conditional seventh-round 2018 draft choice. Elliott was a core special teams player in Green Bay, but no better than thePackers' No. 4 outside linebacker.
In three seasons, Elliott had 57 tackles, four sacks and one interception.
The Packers claimed outside linebacker Chris Odom off waivers from Atlanta. Odom, who played at Arkansas State, led the Sun Belt Conference with 12.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss as a senior.
"Every position, regardless of the position, we're always evaluating where we'd like to get better or do different things," Thompson said last week. "We do that all the time, not just now. We do that all the time. So we're always looking."
--The Packers took three running backs in April's draft, and despite so-so performances by the group throughout training camp, all three made the final roster.
Fourth-round running back Jamaal Williams averaged 2.44 yards per rush. Fifth-round back Aaron Jones averaged 5.53 yards per run, but just 2.0 yards on his six receptions. And seventh-round pick Devante Mays averaged just 2.69 yards per carry.
That trio will back up starter Ty Montgomery, who has just 80 career carries. Needless to say, Green Bay's running back group will be the most inexperienced in the NFL.
"Sometimes, what you see is they still have that (desire) to try and create a big play, like they did successfully in college," Packers running backs coach Ben Sirmans said of the rookie backs. "They're getting much better at learning how, in the NFL, sometimes (things) are going to break down in front of you. You've just got to be decisive and go hit the hole and get yardage. Overall, they've definitely been improving in that category."