Lost amongst the announcement of ten new players becoming Packers this past weekend in the NFL Draft was news that first-round draft choice Derek Sherrod couldn't visit Green Bay because of the devastating tornadoes that ravaged the southern United States last week.
Despite the lockout, NFL teams were allowed to bring in their first draft choice for local media availability.
"We didn't bring him in," said general manager Ted Thompson on Saturday evening after the completion of the Packers' draft. "He was in Columbus, Mississippi, not very far from where all the tornadoes and stuff went on. He was going to have to catch like four planes to get in here, so we decided we wouldn't."
The outbreak of tornadoes across several southern states last week has caused a death toll of 342 people, according to an Associated Press article. It was the nation's largest natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The damage was perhaps the worst in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where classes at the University of Alabama––a conference rival of Sherrod's at Mississippi State––have been canceled for the remainder of the year.
The Packers have had contact with Sherrod in the immediate aftermath of his selection, however.
"I'm sure our coaches and James [Campen, offensive line coach] talked to him a lot during that period about what we expect, football and things like that," said Thompson. "I doubt if we sent him a playbook."
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