Packer Report, through Scout.com NFL insider Aaron Wilson, broke the news that the Green Bay Packers have signed first-round pick Derek Sherrod.
Sherrod's four-year deal is worth $6.602 million and includes a $3.3 million bonus, a league source told Wilson. A separate source told Packer Report that about 80 percent of Sherrod's contract — $5.32 million — is guaranteed. The guaranteed money is a way to placate the first-round picks, who are making about half of what they did under the old collective bargaining agreement.
As part of the new CBA, there is a club option for a fifth season. Teams must activate that option before the end of the player's third season. It would be worth the average of the 10 highest-paid players at the position. Once the player's fifth season begins, the money is fully guaranteed.
Sherrod was drafted to be the left tackle of the future but might wind up at left guard for this year.
Sherrod was the sixth offensive tackle off the board but NFL Scouting's Dave-Te' Thomas, who has been employed by the league as a talent evaluator since 1968, considered Sherrod the best offensive line prospect in the draft.
Sherrod, a three-year starter at left tackle with prototypical length and above-average athleticism, didn't allow a sack as a junior and senior. Moreover, he earned his degree in August with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.54 and was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy — aka, the Academic Heisman.
"We think it's a really good value to get a big man that late in the first round that we feel like can come in and help us," general manager Ted Thompson said after the draft. "Where he's going to play, I don't know, but I know this: You can never have too many big men. And the more run blockers, the more pass blockers we have, the better off we do."
The Green Bay Packers announced the signing of seven draft picks on Friday evening, headlined by second-round pick Randall Cobb. Four of the signings were reported by Packer Report and others on Thursday: fifth-round tight end D.J. Williams, sixth-round guard Caleb Schlauderaff, sixth-round linebacker Ricky Elmore and seventh-round tight end Ryan Taylor. The others announced by the Packers were sixth-round inside linebacker D.J. Smith and seventh-round defensive end Lawrence Guy.
The eighth player is cornerback Davon House, a fourth-round pick from New Mexico State who agreed to terms, according to a source. House's deal is worth $2.34 million, including $675,000 this season.
Cobb's four-year deal is worth the prescribed $3,209,430 from the "2011 Rookie Compensation Pool" document that all teams and agents are using to hammer out contracts in short order. A source told Packer Report that his signing bonus will be $834,000.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.