In an effort to improve a defense that performed woefully in 2011, the Packers devoted their first six draft picks to Dom Capers’ unit. Two of the six play outside linebacker: first-rounder Nick Perry and fifth-rounder Terrell Manning.
But it’s an undrafted linebacker who is generating the biggest buzz in offseason workouts. According to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Dezman Moses has “caught the eye of scouts and coaches” in his short time with the team.
With Clay Matthews held out of OTAs this week, Erik Walden moved up to the first team at right outside linebacker, with Moses taking Walden’s spot on the second string.
“I think Moses has a natural feel for the position,” outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene said. “He does a couple of things that just absolutely look natural in his movement for the position. He sees things at a very early stage. In the scheme implementation of our defense, he’s starting to see things early, and that’s always positive. He was a linebacker [in college], so he’s not making too far of a transition playing this position. He really has some good, natural feel about him.”
Moses, who wasn’t invited to the Scouting Combine, played linebacker at Iowa, but then moved to defensive end after transferring to Tulane.
“It’s like jogging your memory,” Moses said of the change. “It’s something you haven’t done in a while. You’ve got to teach your body the muscle memory. I’ve done it before so as you do it more, you become more comfortable with it. I’m just trying to get the overall scheme down so I can adapt and play fast.”
Tackle Bryan Bulaga remembers Moses from their time together with the Hawkeyes. “I thought he was a good player,” Bulaga said. “He was strong and quick. I’d go against him, and I thought he was good player. He can rush the passer. He’s doing a pretty good job here.”
Yes, it’s still early. But he’s off to a good start — and it looks like he’ll get a full and fair chance to earn a roster spot during training camp.
As long as Moses refrains from trying to part Aaron Rodgers’ red jersey.
(Photo credit: Packers.com)