Former Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod is officially a member of the defending Super Bowl champions.
Sherrod, who was taken with the final pick of the first round in the 2011 National Football League Draft, confirmed Saturday morning that he had agreed to a four-year contract with the Green Bay Packers.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported the deal was worth $6.602 million with $5.3 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $3.3 million.
Under the terms of the new NFL collective bargaining agreement, all first-round draft picks were given four-year contracts with a team option for a fifth year. The deal is contingent on Sherrod passing through the team’s medical test before he’ll be cleared to practice.
Sherrod was an All-Southeastern Conference selection in 2009 and 2010 as the 312-pounder helped pave the way for the Bulldogs to lead the league and finish ninth nationally in rushing with 227.6 yards per game as a junior. Sherrod helped Mississippi State push its way to 219.3 rushing yards per game, which ranked 15th nationally last season.
The MSU team captain has started 34 games and appeared in 46 contests for his college career.
“We’ll figure out all those pieces, how it fits together,” Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said after the draft on whether Sherrod is a left or right tackle. “We’ll get to know him better and validate the things we saw on tape once we get him here.”
The Bulldogs drought of first round prospects ends at 15 years with the last time being the duo of Walt Harris and Eric Moulds in 1996, which is the longest time in between first round picks by any Southeastern Conference team.
Sherrod said last weekend at the 2011 Big Dawg Camp for State’s high school prospects that he “hadn’t ever been to Green Bay yet” but the Press-Gazette said sources inside the Green bay organization said the Columbus native was on his way to the team facility in order to make the franchise’s first practice Saturday night.
“I’ve just been working out here in Mississippi just waiting for that phone call,” Sherrod said on July 22 at Davis Wade Stadium.
In what was considered a likely roster move, Green Bay release veteran offensive tackle Mark Tauscher allowing for Sherrod to immediately move into his roster spot behind starters Bryan Bulaga and Chad Clifton at right and left tackle positions respectively.
“We think he has a chance to be a complete player,” Packers general manager Ted Thompson said. “He played against good competition for three, four years. If you can get quality big men, I think you always kind of lean that way, particularly if you’re picking late in the first round.”