The Green Bay Packers signed nine of their 11 draft picks and officially announced the addition of nine rookie free agents.
For the Packers, all but first-round pick Datone Jones and second-round pick Eddie Lacy are under contract. Locked up are fourth-round picks David Bakhtiari, J.C. Tretter and Johnathan Franklin, fifth-rounders Micah Hyde and Josh Boyd, sixth-round choice Nate Palmer and seventh-rounders Charles Johnson, Kevin Dorsey and Sam Barrington.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, rookie contracts are slotted and are all four-year deals, leaving little room for negotiation. Thus, teams are getting their draft picks signed faster than ever.
Franklin, according to a source, signed for just more than $2.5 million.
“Frankly, from a coaching standpoint it never bothered me,” coach Mike McCarthy said after Friday’s rookie orientation practice. “I don’t think I’ve ever really asked if a player has signed his contract really til you get to training camp or close to training camp. I understand that’s a process, there’s a negotiation that they go through. Obviously, since the CBA it’s different, it’s easier and it moves a long faster. To answer your question, I think it’s a lot easier on the player. He’s got that done, it’s behind him and he can focus on football.”
The Packers’ rookie class includes Illinois State quarterback Matt Brown, Texas A&M center Patrick Lewis, Oklahoma State guard Lane Taylor, Kansas State running back Angelo Pease, Texas fullback Ryan Roberson, Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner, receiver Myles White, Eastern Michigan outside linebacker Andy Mulumba and Mississippi defensive tackle Gilbert Pena.
A 10th player who had agreed to a deal with the Packers, Illinois State safety Ben Ericksen, is not listed on the roster.
Here’s the scoop on the undrafted rookies, per a team-issued press release:
Brown, 22, was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 after setting single-season school records for completions (272), attempts (439), completion percentage (65.0), passing yards (3,370) and passing touchdowns (27). He started the final 45 games of his career and was the only QB in school history to throw for more than 2,000 yards in four consecutive seasons (2009-12).
Lewis, 22, started all 13 games at center as a senior for an Aggie offense that ranked third nationally in total offense and scoring. He earned honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition three times during his career, at guard as a freshman and sophomore and at center as a junior. Lewis played in 51 games during his career at A&M with 48 starts.
Mulumba (muh-LUM-buh), 23, played in all 48 games with 31 starts during his career and earned second-team All-Mid-American Conference honors in 2012. He registered 73 tackles (27 solo), including seven tackles for loss, a sack and two forced fumbles as a senior. As a junior, Mulumba recorded 51 tackles (19 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Pease, 21, played in 21 contests during his two seasons (2011-12) at Kansas State and rushed for 477 yards and two TDs on 96 carries (5.0 avg.). He posted 333 rushing yards on 60 carries (5.6 avg.) as a senior. Pease played two seasons at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College (2009-10), rushing for 834 yards and nine TDs on 155 carries (5.4 avg.) in 2010.
Peña, 26, appeared in all 13 contests with six starts as a senior in 2012 and registered 34 tackles (14 solo), including 6.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks. Pena played in 10 games as a junior and posted 11 tackles (five solo). He earned first-team All-Northeast Conference recognition at ASA College (N.Y.) in 2010 after recording 41 tackles, including 17 tackles for loss, and five sacks.
Roberson (ROB-er-son), 23, played in 52 games during his career at Texas and saw time at fullback, linebacker and on special teams. As a senior in 2012, he caught eight passes for 34 yards (4.1 avg.) and a TD and rushed once for 4 yards. Roberson helped the Longhorns average 35.7 points per game and 434.6 yards per game in 2012.
Stoneburner, 23, appeared in 48 games with 23 starts during his career and caught 53 passes for 714 yards (13.5 avg.) and 13 TDs. As a senior in 2012, he posted 16 receptions for 269 yards (16.8 avg.) and four TDs. In 2011, Stoneburner earned honorable mention All-Big Ten recognition after catching seven TD passes on the season, good for No. 4 nationally among tight ends.
Taylor, 23, played in 50 games during his career with 47 starts and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior from both the league’s coaches and media. He started all 24 games at right guard over his final two seasons and did not allow a sack over that span. Taylor earned honorable mention All-Big 12 recognition from the league’s coaches and media as a junior.
White, 23, played in 22 contests during his two seasons at Louisiana Tech and earned second-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors as a senior after catching 56 passes for 718 yards (12.8 avg.) and six TDs. He caught 30 passes for 414 yards (13.8 avg.) and three TDs as a junior in 2011. White began his career at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he led the team in catches (53), receiving yards (712) and receiving TDs (six) in 2010.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.