And then there was just one…
Nearing completion of the roster heading into the first day of training camp for all hands on Thursday, the Green Bay Packers Wednesday signed defensive lineman Aaron Kampman of Iowa - their fifth-round selection in the draft.
Kampman's formal addition, announced by GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman, left running back Najeh Davenport of Miami, the team's fourth-round choice, as the only draftee remaining outside the fold and he is expected to sign Thursday.
From the transactions perspective, Wednesday was a busy day for the Packers' football operation. In addition to officially bringing the 6-4, 286-pound Kampman on board, third-year linebacker Chris Gizzi was waived/failed physical and second-year fullback Kevin McLeod of Auburn was waived.
Kampman, the Packers' first of two selections in the fifth round (156th overall), was acquired with a choice obtained in Green Bay's draft-day trade with Seattle to move up eight spots in the first round to select wide receiver Javon Walker of Florida State.
A four-time letterman (1998-2001) for the Hawkeyes, he was a three-year starter, playing in 44 games overall, starting the last 37 contests and twice earning Academic All-America honors (2000-2001). He also was accorded first team All-Big Ten recognition by league media (first team) and conference coaches (second team) as a senior.
Statistically, Kampman amassed 342 total tackles (209 solo) to rank seventh in University of Iowa history at the time of graduation. He also contributed 18 sacks, 3 interceptions, 11 passes defensed, 2 fumble recoveries, 4 forced fumbles, 30 tackles for loss and 21 quarterback pressures over the course of his collegiate career.
"Athletically and motor-wise, Aaron has got the special qualities you look for in a player," Mark Hatley, the team's vice president of football operations, says of Kampman. "We feel like he's going to continue to get bigger and will be able to play inside some, which will give us some versatility…He's a real high-motor kid, and we think he has a big upside."
Gizzi, in his second Green Bay season, had served as the backup to Nate Wayne at weak-side linebacker last season before suffering a back injury in pre-game warm-ups at Tennessee Dec. 16. He subsequently underwent a microsurgical diskectomy to repair a herniated disk on Dec. 19 and was placed on season-ending reserve that day.
The 27-year-old Air Force alumnus was the club leader in special teams tackles at the time of his injury with 11 and finished the year second among Packers kamikazes. He also made 9 stops from scrimmage.
A first lieutenant in the Air Force reserves, Gizzi endeared himself to Packers fans early in the season during the formal remembrance of the terrorist attacks of September 11. He was selected to lead his teammates on to the field before the start of the Monday night game against Washington Sept. 24 and made a dramatic run downfield carrying the stars and stripes while a huge flag was being raised in the center of Lambeau Field in patriotic fervor and memory of those who died in the attacks.
Packers veterans are scheduled to report for training camp Thursday, joining rookies and first-year players who checked in Tuesday night. There will be no practices Friday, which will be devoted to physical testing. Two-a-day workouts will begin Saturday, with players and coaches making themselves available to sign autographs for fans following the morning practice, an opportunity which will be offered following each morning workout of training camp.