Dezman Moses hails from Willingboro, NJ, where he excelled at both wide receiver and inside linebacker in high school. Moses knows he wasn't the fastest or biggest player in school; instead he credits his success to working the hardest.
Moses graduated with scholarship offers in basketball, football, and baseball. He made the decision to play football at the University of Iowa, but never "fit in" and transferred after two seasons to Tulane. In his debut game he recorded a career-best 10 tackles.
At 6-2, 239 lbs., Dezman Moses put on quite a show on Pro Day. He recorded his lowest 40-yd time (4.82) and benched 225 pounds 22 times.
With his career at Tulane complete, Moses is ready to deliver at the pro-level. Moses has already stood out on special teams and is entrenched as Clay Matthews' primary backup at linebacker. While Moses has a lot to improve on in terms of technique, his attitude and relentless style of play are traits all coaches love to see. He comments, "This is a great opportunity, and I feel honored to have the opportunity to play with the Green Bay Packers...they believe in me and are willing to give me a chance, so I am definitely going to make the best of it."
After amassing an amazing 8,000 yards and 123 touchdowns in high school, Marc Tyler was a five-star recruit, Gatorade Player of the Year and No. 1-rated back in the country with NFL bloodlines. Fans all around the country eagerly awaited Marc’s college decision, hoping he could carry their team to a national championship.
Tyler chose USC, AKA running back U, and greatness was expected. Unfortunately, most news involving Tyler at USC was anything but great. Tyler was forced to redshirt his freshman year due to a broken leg suffered his senior year of high school. He appeared in 8 games as a reserve his redshirt freshman year and was poised to be one of the featured backs moving forward. Tyler’s sophomore season started with promise as he rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown in the team’s first game against San Jose State. Unfortunately for Tyler, that would be the only game he would play in all season; a sprained toe led to season-ending surgery.
Tyler stayed healthy throughout his junior and senior years, but the results on the field were unspectacular. In fact, Tyler became better known for his antics off the field than his play on it.
Now, all expectations have washed away. Tyler is an undrafted free agent and a long shot to make the roster. Tyler is welcoming the move to Green Bay and has said he’s looking forward to what the quiet Midwest offers.
With Brandon Saine and Du’anne Bennett both out with injuries, Tyler should have ample opportunities to leave a mark. The timing couldn’t be any better, either. After recently missing a few training camp practices because of a shoulder injury, Tyler soon returned and has felt comfortable with the shoulder brace he’s been told to wear during practices and games.
Avoiding the limelight and staying healthy is Tyler’s best shot at making the roster. If the young running back can make his mark on special teams, he could eventually fit into the backfield rotation.
Jerron McMillan was shocked when he received an invitation to Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine; so much, in fact, he called a combine official to confirm there wasn't a mistake. The official assured him there was no mistake and Jerron made the most of the opportunity by running a 4.36 second 40 yard dash. Now the University of Maine strong safety finds himself as a candidate to replace three-time Pro Bowler Nick Collins.
Despite serving as team captain and earning all-state honors his senior year, Jerron was left without any major Division 1 offers. Lucky for him, the coaches at Maine actively recruit players who have no received scholarship offers from other programs and decided to take a shot on Jerron. By his senior year, Jerron was the team's unquestioned leader on defense and regarded as one of the best small-school safeties in the country. McMillan lived up to the hype his senior season, finishing with 92 tackles, 3 sacks and a College Sports News All-American honorable mention.
Like many other players in the NFL, Jerron likes to rock the long hair look. He knows his flowing dreads, which go down to his lower back, gives opponent something to grab at; yet he can't bring himself to do away with them. Only time will tell if McMillan's game is closer to Troy Polamalu or Atari Bigby, but one thing that's for sure is no position on the Packers' roster is more unsettled than safety. Packer fans can only hope Jerron, and his locks, are here to stay.
Two sprained ankles and a torn labrum in the shoulder didn’t stop Mike Daniels from starting every game his senior season with the Iowa Hawkeyes. The injuries didn’t slow Daniels down enough to keep him from being drafted, either.
Daniels ignored people who told him he was too short to play defensive line and earned a scholarship to play football at the University of Iowa. The New Jersey native was redshirted during his freshman year, but due to his ability to accept coaching and tireless work ethic, Mike started his last two years, was named team captain and finished third in the Big Ten in sacks his senior year. Mike became so successful at Iowa that he was gifted not one, but two nicknames, “The Beast” and “Diesel.”
Shoulder surgery in late January to repair the torn labrum forced his absence from the drills at the NFL combine. Still, Daniels was able to meet with the Packers in Indianapolis and obviously impressed. Coach Dom Capers doesn’t seem concerned with Mike’s physique and feels he will be successful despite being shorter, weighing less and having smaller hands than the linemen he will be up against in the NFL.
Coming off a self-proclaimed “mediocre” senior year leaves only room for improvement and growth. Mike prides himself on being a quick learner, hard worker and smart player; skills that help him compensate for his size (or lack thereof). Don’t be surprised if Mike “Diesel/The Beast” Daniels will soon be able to add “Cheesehead” to his growing list of nicknames.
After only a few days of training camp, observers said rookie cornerback Casey Hayward looked amazing comfortable with his surroundings. Some players struggle with a move to a new city, but to Hayward, Green Bay already feels a lot like home. After being raised in the small town of Perry, Georgia, Hayward said he’s more used to cities like Green Bay than New York or Chicago. “I lived in Perry, Georgia, small town, not too many famous people or what not.”
Casey’s parents were his inspiration growing up and encouraged his football dream. Just like Green Bay, Perry is a football-crazed town. Hayward’s been on the field since the age of five, playing just about every position on the field along the way. By his senior year of high school, he was starting at cornerback and quarterback. Hayward led his team to the state quarterfinals by amassing over 2,500 total yards and scoring 36 touchdowns. His performance earned him the region’s 4-AAA Player of the Year; he was also named an All-State defensive back and All-Middle Georgia player. In addition to his impressive resume on the football field, Casey was a starting guard in basketball and sprinter on the track and field team.
Hayward weighed multiple scholarship offers coming out of high school, but he ultimately choose Vanderbilt because of his interest in pursuing a degree in sociology. Once he arrived at Vanderbilt he was exclusively used as a cornerback and contributed immediately. His experience playing quarterback in high school gave him a unique ability to read offenses. In 2011, his senior season, Hayward put together one of the finest seasons ever by a Commodore defensive back and became the first Vanderbilt All-American in four years.
Casey received attention at the 2012 NFL Combine from scouts who praised his intelligence, instincts and ability to recognize routes. His 15 career interceptions were tied for the most in school history. His ball-hawking ability was of no doubt an attraction to Green Bay, who selected Casey in the second round. We’ll see if Green Bay still feels like home to the rookie come winter.
He’s easily exhausted. He underperforms. He takes plays off.
The massive defensive end won't argue against what others have said about his play in the past; but Worthy insists no one will be saying those things about him in the future.
Taken in the second round of the NFL draft, Worthy uses his weaknesses as motivation. "All I can say is I'm going to come in and try to continue to work to be a lot more consistent, and I'm going to be a lot more consistent.” Worthy said. “ That's going to be my goal. The plays that showed up in the highlight tape, that's the same plays that I'm going to transfer up to the NFL and do it on a consistent basis."
Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio was where Jerel first showcased his talent. He willed his alma mater to many victories with 50 tackles, 10.5 sacks and 12 hurries his senior year alone. Worthy’s performance earned him a spot on the Superprep and Prepstars Midwest Teams.
Jerel was offered scholarships to six colleges coming out of high school, eventually settling on Michigan State. As a junior in 2011, he became the first Michigan State defensive lineman to earn All-America honors in 30 years. Despite standing 6 feet 2 inches tall and carrying 308 pounds, Worthy is fast. His quick feet and power make him unblockable…at times. In January 2012, Jerel announced he would forgo his senior year and enter the draft. He said his decision to enter the draft as an underclassman was partly because his father suffered a stroke in 2010 and the NFL would provide financial support for his family.
Although Jerel was disappointed not being picked in the first round, the doubters only fuel his desire for improvement. Yes, consistency is a negative, but the list of positives is much longer. He's extremely quick, forceful, intuitive and disruptive. Jerel wants to show his new team he was worth the pick. "I want to come in and have an impact right away. I just want to leave my mark and let these guys know that they (should) have no regrets about picking me."
Jeff Saturday has traveled a unique road to Pro-Bowl/All-Pro success in the NFL for over 13 years. His combination of leadership and teamwork built a winning framework for the Indianapolis Colts; he will look to continue those winning ways with the Packers as their new starting Center.
Jeff’s blue collar ways were developed early on at Shamrock High School. As a result of success in high school, he earned a scholarship to play at the University of North Carolina. Despite starting 37 games, being named team captain his senior year and multiple conference awards, Saturday went undrafted in 1998. Saturday was picked up as a free agent by the Ravens but was cut before the end of training camp. He would not receive his next opportunity until the Indianapolis Colts gave him a chance in January of 1999.
Given a chance to prove he belonged, Saturday became a fan favorite and one of Peyton Manning’s closest friends while playing for the Colts. The two played together until 2012 when Saturday was a free agent and Manning was cut due to injury concerns. Many expected Saturday to sign with whichever team landed Manning, but the veteran knew the Packers were a better fit for him. Saturday told ESPN, “I always felt like in Green Bay I was their very first choice…I’m really happy.”
For many football fans, Jeff Saturday exemplifies the workmanlike attitude an offensive lineman should have. His leadership and experience handling one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history have teammates and fans alike excited for the 2012 campaign. Saturday echoed their sentiments, saying, “My body feels great and I’m really excited about joining (the Packers)…I think I’m going to have a ton of fun with those guys.”
Anthony Hargrove’s journey to the NFL was not an easy one. His father wasn’t around. He bounced from foster care to homeless shelters in Brooklyn. His mother passed away from AIDS complications when he was 9. He finally found stability after being sent down to Florida to live with his aunt. While in Florida, Hargrove discovered his passion for football and played quarterback and safety for Port Charlotte High School.
Hargrove thrived on the football field and earned a scholarship to Georgia Tech. He excelled on the football field as a defensive end but struggled mightily in the classroom and flunked out after two season. After his dismissal from school he fathered a child out of wedlock and took several jobs to try to provide for his son while staying in football shape with the idea of making it to the NFL.
The St. Louis Rams decided to take a chance on him in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft. Things started off smooth, but Hargrove began acting up in his third year with the team and was traded to Buffalo. After two more productive seasons in Buffalo, Hargrove began using cocaine, alcohol and marijuana. He failed two drug tests and was suspended for a year by the NFL.
After 10 months in rehab, Hargrove was ready to prove he cared about himself as a person and his career as a football player. League executives were scared to take a chance on him, but the Saints gave him a shot and Hargrove never looked back. Hargrove played with the Saints for two seasons before moving on to the Seahawks. After one year with the Seahawks, Hargrove has moved on again. The Packers agreed to sign the free-agent in hopes of upgrading their putrid defensive line. "When you think of this team," Hargrove said of the Packers, "you think of one of the most respected organizations in the league. For them to come after me is very moving. I feel blessed today."
Before he had a chance to lace up his cleats with the Packers, the NFL handed Hargrove an eight game suspension for his alleged role in a “bounty” program with the Saints. Hargrove has denied the allegations and is appealing the ruling.
Whether he suits up for the team in week 1 or week 9, there is no doubt Green Bay fans and teammates will learn and respect Hargrove’s remarkable life story. Welcome to Packer Nation, Mr. Hargrove.
Poor defense was an epidemic during the 2011-2012 NFL Season. Missed tackles, giving up acres of yardage and too few takeaways put pressure on the offense to compensate for the all errors. After the NFC playoff upset against the Giants, we welcome with open arms Nick Perry, the first round draft pick, as a fantastic choice.
Perry is the youngest of nine siblings and the first professional athlete in the family. Growing up in Michigan, he helped lead Detroit King High School to an undefeated season and state championship in 2007. Although he holds school records for sacks in football and displayed an obvious gift, Perry’s focus wasn’t only on football. He also played basketball and spent much time with friends and family while off the field.
Miami, Michigan, Michigan State and the University of Southern California offered scholarships to the promising senior. He ultimately chose to go USC, just like the unstoppable NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Clay Matthews. He majored in economics, and as an early entry to the draft, he has about two semesters to go to get a degree. The 6’3, 265 pound linebacker offers a lot as a prospect. Athletic, powerful and fast, Perry should be able to consistently challenge offensive tackles and become a valuable player for years to come.
Perry seems willing to improve to his full potential and defensive coordinator Dom Capers thinks he can fit into the team’s nickel scheme. Perry certainly seems up for the challenge. “I’m ready to take it to the next level. It’s been a dream all my life. I’m taking my chance now.”