Defensive back signs contract

The Green Bay Packers Wednesday signed cornerback Mike Hawkins, the team's second of two selections in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

Hawkins is the fifth of 11 Packers draft picks to sign. He joins guard/center Junius Coston (May 16), guard William Whitticker (June 20), defensive end Michael Montgomery (June 21) and linebacker Kurt Campbell (July 6). Hawkins suffered a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery in late May while participating in the Packers' opportunity sessions. He did not practice in the team's June minicamp.

Hawkins has limited football experience, but great potential because of his speed. He was a highly-touted prep recruit in 2002, eventually settling on Oklahoma, where he played in five games. After experiencing a personality conflict with a member of the Sooners coaching staff, he attempted to transfer to Southern Methodist or Texas Christian in 2003, in order to be closer to his mother and newborn daughter, but OU would not release him, according to the Packers.

Consequently, Hawkins (6-foot-1, 179-pounds) left school and worked odd jobs in the Dallas area. Late in 2003, he took part in an open tryout with the AFL's Dallas Desperados and was one of two players signed out of approximately 450 tryout participants. Hawkins was a member of the Desperados for the entire 2004 season and part of 2005, before leaving the team to prepare for the NFL Draft.

The Packers chose Hawkins with the 167th overall selection, the first of three picks obtained in a draft day trade with Philadelphia.

He will be competing against Joey Thomas, Patrick Dendy, Leigh Torrance, and Chris Johnson for backup positions at cornerback behind starters Al Harris and Ahmad Carroll.

Packers rookies are scheduled to report for training camp July 25 and practice for the first time July 26.

The two preseason roster reduction dates, mandated by the NFL, are Aug. 30 (to 65 players) and Sept. 3 (to 53 players).

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