Evaluating the 2006 draft class

All 12 of Green Bay's draft selections are beginning to get settled into their positions and roles on the team. Some are expected to start or contribute immediately while others are just trying to make the final roster.

Here is an update of each selection, along with an analysis of their training camp thus far:

-- A.J. Hawk (first round) cashed in with a six-year, $37.5 million contract July 29, allowing him to be on the field for the second day of training camp. The deal includes about $16 million in guaranteed money, including a $1.9 million roster bonus this year and an $11.9 million option bonus next March.

Hawk has been starting at weak-side linebacker and also practicing on special teams. Hawk is expected to be the centerpiece of Green Bay's defense for years to come and, so far in camp, he's not letting anyone down.

-- OG Daryn Colledge (second) signed a four-year deal that includes a $1.3 million signing bonus July 27. He's the starter at left guard.

Colledge is feeling his way, learning Green Bay's zone-blocking scheme. He has been going against Kenderick Allen, Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly regularly in practice. His progress test will come in this weekend's intra-squad scrimmage and preseason games.

-- WR Greg Jennings (second) received a four-year contract worth $2.85 million with a $1.24 million signing bonus July 24. He's battling for the No. 2 job opposite Donald Driver.

So far, Jennings has been impressive in training camp. He is showing an ability to create separation from defensive backs and catching passes over the middle. Jennings has good speed and even better instincts.

-- LB Abdul Hodge (third) was signed to a four-year, $2.42 million deal with a signing bonus of $808,000 just before the first practice July 28. The team is keeping him at his natural spot of middle linebacker for now, serving as an understudy to Nick Barnett.

Like Jennings and Hawk, Hodge is blessed with football instincts that will lead to a successful NFL career. Don't be surprised if Hodge is starting early in the season. If the Packers keep him at middle linebacker, Barnett could be shifted to an outside spot. Otherwise, Hodge may shift to the strong-side position in place of Ben Taylor.

-- OG Jason Spitz (third) entered camp as the starter at right guard after signing a four-year, $2.35 million contract with a $742,250 signing bonus July 26.

Like Colledge, Spitz has been anointed a starter since the June voluntary practices. Spitz has good size and quickness, but his true test will come in preseason games and in Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage.

-- WR Cory Rodgers (fourth) signed a four-year, $2.075 million pact July 25. He's battling for a backup receiver spot and return duties.

Rodgers injured his hamstring Monday and in practice and did not practice Tuesday morning. He will have his hands full against Jennings and other veteran receivers to make the final roster. Rodgers' best chance of making the team is as a return man, but he'll have to show that he can be a receiver as well in order to improve his chances of making it.

-- CB Will Blackmon (fourth) received a four-year contract worth $2.044 million, including a signing bonus of $433,500 on July 14. He has yet to be cleared to practice as he recovers from a broken bone in his foot sustained in a May minicamp practice.

Despite his talent and potential, Blackmon's injury has set him way back on the depth chart. The cornerback missed all of the team's Organized Team Activities practices in May and June, and probably will not be cleared to play for at least another week or two. Blackmon said he hasn't been able to run since he sustained the injury while running through a drill during the final practice of the May 19-21 minicamp.

When Blackmon returns, he'll have to leapfrog a handful of players just to play backup behind either Al Harris or Charles Woodson. If his foot doesn't heal soon, he may be a candidate for the season-ending injured reserve list, or the physically unable to perform list, meaning he'll have to sit out the first six weeks of the season.

-- QB Ingle Martin (fifth) has the inside track to the No. 3 job. He signed a four-year contract July 27.

Martin has been taking snaps with the third-strong offense, sometimes switching off with free agent Brian Wrobel. When Brett Favre does not practice, Martin moves up and plays with the second-team offense.

Look for Martin to be the team's designated third quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers and Favre.

-- OT Tony Moll (fifth) signed a four-year contract on July 19. He got a signing bonus of $145,000 as part of a $1.755 million deal.

Moll, a former tight end at the University of Nevada, has been inserted as a backup right tackle and practice with the second- and third-team offenses in camp. Moll practiced at left tackle in the post-draft minicamp and in the second minicamp in May, but was moved to right tackle behind Mark Tauscher late in the June OTA's.

"It's going well," said Moll, who switched between left and right tackle for Nevada last year. "It's definitely different not playing both sides. I'm learning all the plays, digging into my playbook at night. It's coming around. I like the guys I'm working next to."

Moll also is playing on the team's PAT (point after touchdown) unit, and practicing as a long-snapper behind Rob Davis and Thomas Gafford.

-- Johnny Jolly (sixth) signed a four-year contract worth $1.705 million ($94,600 signing bonus) on July 9. He has been playing with the second- and third-team defenses, mainly at right defensive tackle.

Jolly will have to fight hard to make the team. He is up against veteran defensive tackles Corey Williams and Colin Cole for playing time behind Ryan Pickett. Jolly received a few more reps in practice recently when Pickett missed practice time due to a concussion that he sustained in a car accident on Saturday.

Jolly also is playing on the kickoff return unit at the fullback position.

"I'm trying to get better with my technique so I will be able to play this season," Jolly said.

-- Tyrone Culver (sixth) The safety signed a four-year contrack on July 11 worth $1.704 million ($93,500 signing bonus). He has been playing with the second- and third-team units in practice.

Culver's chances of making the team improved drastically when the Packers released Mark Roman before the start of camp. The Fresno State product will be battling Atari Bigby and Tra Boger for the fourth and final spot at safety.

-- Dave Tollefson (seventh) received a four-year contract worth $1.645 million ($35,000 signing bonus) on June 23.

Tollefson plays with a lot of energy and will need it in order to make the 53-man roster. More likely, he's headed for the team's eight-man practice squad unless he has a remarkable camp. With Aaron Kampman and Mike Montgomery ahead of him, it will be a challenge for Tollefson to make the final roster cut.

At 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, Tollefson is somewhat undersized for a run-stopping end, but his energy makes up for his smaller frame.


Packer Report Top Stories