Green Bay Packers: 7 Quick Takeaways from Day 1 of Practice

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 24: A detail shot of the helmets on the Green Bay Packers bench during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 24: A detail shot of the helmets on the Green Bay Packers bench during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Day 1 of training camp is in the books, and here are seven quick takeaways from the Green Bay Packers’ first practice.

One of the highlights of every summer since I was a kid, was attending a handful of Green Bay Packers’ training camp practices. However, as we all know, that just isn’t possible this year.

The good news, though, is that the reporters who were in attendance for the first practice on Saturday have Twitter accounts, and they did an excellent job of keeping us up to date. So good, in fact, that even without being there, I was able to come away with some big takeaways from Day 1.

Let’s dive in.

Christian Kirksey in Space

While Christian Kirksey has to prove that he can stay on the field after playing just nine total games the past two seasons, if healthy, there is the real possibility that he could be an upgrade over Blake Martinez.

Although Martinez put up impressive tackle numbers each year, where he struggled was working in space. Kirksey, however, is very experienced there and mentioned that earlier this offseason when asked about what he brings to this Packers’ defense:

"“I’d like to bring versatility to the defense, whether it’s the passing game or the running game. I played in space (in Cleveland) the majority of the time.”"

Of course, with any of these takeaways, they should be taken with a grain of salt. It was just one practice, after all. But when a linebacker can hang with Aaron Jones out of the backfield, well, that’s certainly noteworthy in my book.

After practice was over, Andy would go on to say that Kirksey had one of the more impressive performances of the day.

Reggie Begelton Shines

We’ve seen other players struggle to make the jump from the CFL to the NFL, but one thing that we can’t deny is that Reggie Begelton put up ridiculous numbers last season in Canada. In 17 games, he hauled in 102 receptions, with a catch rate of almost 71 percent, for 1,444 yards, along with 10 total touchdowns.

Furthermore, he can provide this Green Bay Packers’ offense a boost where they really need it, and that’s making plays after the catch. This, of course, was an area that the Packer receivers struggled in last season, but of Begelton’s 1,444 yards, 519 of them came after the catch.

Begelton will be competing with Jake Kumerow, Malik Turner, and Travis Fulgham for the fifth and potentially sixth roster spot at receiver, and with his skill-set, he could find work as Green Bay’s primary slot receiver. While it’s only one practice, Andy Herman summed up Begelton’s performance best when he said, “he looks the part.”

The OL Competition is on

In a recent Zoom call with reporters, Matt LaFleur told us that the right side of the offensive line was wide open, and right from the start of practice, that was evident.

From the sounds of it, throughout the day, Billy Turner and Rick Wagner shared reps at right tackle, while Lane Taylor saw plenty of time at right guard as well. I imagine this is going to be a common theme throughout the rest of camp as LaFleur searches for the best tackle-guard combo on the right side.

AJ Dillon is huge

I’m sure many have seen the picture of AJ Dillon making its way around the internet, and whether it be LaFleur or Aaron Rodgers who was asked about him, their response was the same; he’s huge. Here is what Rodgers had to say:

"“He’s a large, large man… he’s a well built guy. Excited to see him get up to speed mentally… he’s a big boy.”"

Kenny Clark got paid

One of, if not the biggest story didn’t even take place on the practice field. Just before the first practice took place, it was reported that the Packers and Kenny Clark had agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $70 million.

Whether against the run or the pass, Clark has developed into one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL. And even with Green Bay’s current cap situation, at just 24-years-old, keeping Clark in Titletown was a must.

Now, it’s David Bakhtiari’s turn.

Tim Boyle Takes QB2 Reps

Although the Green Bay Packers did trade up in the first round to select Jordan Love, when it came to the reps at yesterday’s practice, he was QB3, which doesn’t really come as much of a surprise to me.

It’s been an unusual offseason in which there were no OTAs or mini-camps, and the overall time that Love has been able to spend in the building has been cut short compared to what it usually would be. Under normal circumstances, the transition from college to the NFL is a difficult one, and that rings even more true in 2020. So don’t hit the panic button just yet.

Meanwhile, when it comes to Tim Boyle, he is in his third season with the Packers and second in LaFleur’s offense. Realistically, he is going to be ahead of Love at this point. LaFleur is challenging Love to be one percent better every day.

Tyler Ervin worked with the receivers

The Green Bay Packers have a loaded running back room with Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, and Jamaal Williams, so seeing that Tyler Ervin spent his entire day with the receivers makes sense. Last year in his limited action, we saw him oftentimes lined up in the slot or out wide.

Next. Clark Gets Paid, Bakhtiari Should Be Next. dark

While he could still very well see some snaps in the backfield this season, it’s fair to assume that once again, a majority of his snaps on offense will be as a receiver. And as the Packers look for someone to take snaps from the slot, Ervin is certainly someone to keep your eyes on.