There wasn't a group anymore anxious for the NFL lockout to wrap up than the rookie class of 2011. Once the lockout was lifted, they were ready to make their mark in the NFL.The Green Bay Packers have been particularly excited about this year's explosive group of young players joining the Super Bowl Championship squad. While many rookies are fighting to make a team, the Packers top two picks Derek Sherrod and Randall Cobb are competing for key roles on a very deep Green Bay team.
Exciting is the perfect word to describe Packers' rookie receiver Randall Cobb. An All-SEC stand-out at the University of Kentucky, Cobb will bring an element to the Packers special teams they haven't witnessed in a while, a return game. Cobb's ability to return punts forced SEC foes to give #18 the Devin Hester treatment, only helping Kentucky's field positioning in the 2010 season. Randall is extremely dynamic, in the Kentucky blue he saw time as a receiver, punt returner, placeholder, and even at quarterback. There is no doubt that this young talent will have an instant impact on the Packers 2011 roster.
Protecting the quarterback is priority number one for every NFL team. For the Packers, Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers is considered one of the best when given time in the pocket. It comes to no surprise that Packers' General Manager Ted Thompson selected yet another big body to put in front of #12 in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft. Derek Sherrod, a 321 pound offensive tackle out of Mississippi State University is looking to be a part of Aaron Rodger's safety belt for years to come. Sherrod will also be a force in the Packers' running game. Mississippi State's running back, Anthony Dixon, enjoyed running behind Sherrod; recording a single season rushing record with 1,391 yards on the ground. Derek Sherrod will be looking to make an impact on the Packers offensive line this upcoming season and for years to come.
While the top two picks look to make instant impacts, there are plenty of rookies looking for an identity on the 2011 Packers roster. Running back A.J. Green has looked sharp in the Packers pre-season thus far, and cornerback Davon House has impressed coaches early even with an hamstring injury bothering him. Tight end D.J. Williams has played well under the guidance of Packers' star Jermichael Finley, and has seen repetition with the first string offense at times. These young talents will give the Packers front office plenty of options when building their 2011 roster in hopes of a Super Bowl repeat.