NFL Wire News

Top draft pick Randall joins Packers OTA


The Sports Xchange

GREEN BAY, Wisc. — The Green Bay Packers jumped back onto one of their outdoor practice fields Tuesday for the second week of organized team activities with encouraging news.

Defensive back Damarious Randall, their first-round draft pick this year, took part in 11-on-11 drills for the first time. Randall had been relegated to position drills since his arrival in Green Bay in early May because of an ankle injury.

“It’s good to get him in the team stuff and get him past the individual (work),” head coach Mike McCarthy said.

Randall missed most of the team’s rookie orientation camp a week after the draft because of the injury. The Packers’ medical staff also held him back during the opening week of OTAs.

Randall is being converted from a college safety at Arizona State, where he excelled as an athletic playmaker the last two years, to a cornerback. Randall projects to initially contribute in the slot, though he could contend for the starting spot on the perimeter vacated by the free-agent departure of longtime starter Tramon Williams.

Randall is the only member of Green Bay’s eight-player draft class who is unsigned.

Green Bay’s defense also had veteran outside linebacker Julius Peppers in action Tuesday after he was sidelined last week with an illness.

“It felt great to be back with the guys again. Running around, running through some plays, it felt good,” said Peppers, 35, who ranked second on the team with seven sacks last season, his first as a Packer.

Rookie quarterback Brett Hundley, a fifth-round draft pick, made his first appearance in front of Packers fans Tuesday. Hundley missed the OTAs last week, as he attended the NFL Players Association’s Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles with new teammate Ty Montgomery.

Montgomery, a receiver taken in the third round of the draft, continues to be away from Green Bay. Montgomery and undrafted rookie linebacker James Vaughters, who were college teammates at Stanford, must wait until the school’s spring quarter ends next week before they can rejoin the Packers for workouts.

“I wouldn’t say (they’re) behind the 8-ball,” McCarthy said of the duo’s missed time at OTAs. “There’s student-athletes who are on the quarters program. You have a plan for those guys and rules that are in place. There’s a format that you follow, and we’re confident everyone will be ready for training camp,” which starts in late July.

Notables still sidelined for Green Bay as they recover from injury issues at the end of last season or early this offseason include receiver Jordy Nelson, cornerback Casey Hayward, defensive lineman Josh Boyd and outside linebackers Mike Neal and Nick Perry.

Pro Bowl fullback John Kuhn is absent this week. He is among more than 20 current and former NFL players who are attending a broadcast boot camp put on by the league at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, N.J.

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