Marcedes Lewis wasn't sure if the Green Bay Packers were the right fit for him. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and tight end Jimmy Graham made him feel at home at Lambeau Field.
Lewis visited Green Bay last week thinking he wanted to explore his options during his first stint as a free agent following 12 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He received calls from other teams Adrian Clayborn Jersey , but he said that the Packers were the most persistent so he made Lambeau his first stop.
He never made another visit.
"This was the only place I took a trip ... I took my trip, and Aaron was here in the locker room. I started talking to him," Lewis said Thursday. "I started talking to Jimmy and I kind of made my decision that day.
"When I came down here, I didn't expect to sign anything," Lewis added. "I was just coming down here to get a feel. Once I saw Aaron and Jimmy, it was a no-brainer after that."
Lewis, 34, was released by the Jaguars in March after the team had picked up his one-year, $3.5 million option in February. His signing filled a glaring need - a blocking tight end - and gives the Packers another veteran at the position with Graham, a five-time Pro Bowler, and Lance Kendricks.
"I don't think we've had this much experience at the tight end position in my time here," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who called Lewis a "prime-time player."
"An on-the-line tight end is something we haven't had a lot of Kendall Fuller Jersey , as far as the way we've played over the years," McCarthy added. "He can block any defensive end on the league, and that's definitely a huge asset."
Lewis, who said he felt he got a "raw deal" from the Jaguars, started 157 games for Jacksonville. He has 375 career receptions, including 24 for 318 yards and five touchdowns last year.
Still, Lewis hasn't caught more than 25 passes in a season since 2012, when he had 52 receptions. His best season came in 2010, when he earned his lone Pro Bowl selection by catching a career-high 58 passes for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-6, 269-pound Lewis said he takes the "blocking tight end" moniker as a compliment, but added that "I pride myself on being a really good all-around tight end, whatever it is that I'm called upon to do."
It's the type of attitude that Rodgers loves to hear. Lewis' ability to help slow down pass-rushers should help an offensive line that has questions on the right side.
"Obviously, I'm a really good blocker Tevin Coleman Jersey , but don't get it mistaken. I didn't come here to be a tackle. ... Be on the other side of Jimmy doing some good things," he said. "It's going to be trouble out there."
Graham's strength is making tough catches. Kendricks provides experienced depth.
"Jimmy's not known as a blocking tight end, but he's willing. He will get in the way. He will punch you in the mouth," Lewis said. "So it's going to be interesting. We get in that personnel with three tight ends on the field and (defenses) have to leave base on the field, it's not going to be good."
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers turned to offense with their first of three picks in the second round, taking USC running back Ronald Jones II.
Tampa Bay then returned to an emphasis on defense with its final two second-round picks, taking cornerbacks M.J. Stewart from North Carolina and Auburn's Carlton Davis.
The Buccaneers closed out Friday night by picking Humboldt State guard Alex Cappa in the third round.
Tampa Bay selected Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea 12th overall during Thursday's first round.
"We're getting five guys that can help us either in the immediate future or some point down the road," Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said.
Finding a running back capable of easing the burden on quarterback Jameis Winston to carry the offense was a priority addressed by Jones' selection with the 38th overall pick.
"I can score from anywhere on the field," Jones said. "I've always been a home-run threat."
Jones rushed for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdown for USC last season. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry and scored 39 rushing TDs during his three years with the Trojans.
The Bucs haven't made the playoffs since 2007 and haven't won a postseason game since the franchise's 2002 run to a Super Bowl title.
Jones said when he visited with the Bucs, "it felt like how I did when I went to USC, it just felt like home."
Playing in the NFL and reaching the Super Bowl have long been Jones' goals.
"I've got one down, got to get the other for my dad Patrick Mahomes II Jersey , for myself and for the organization," Jones said.
Jones' father died when he was a sophomore in high school.
"He definitely told me that everything that glitters isn't gold," Jones said. "Never forget who I am, stay true to yourself. Those words from my father I never forget, they're always echoing in my mind."
With Brent Grimes turning 35 this summer and Vernon Hargreaves III, a first-round pick two years ago, losing his starting job last season, the Buccaneers were looking to strengthen the secondary.
Stewart has been honorable mention All-ACC players each of the past two seasons.
"I don't want to be last, I don't want to be second, I want to be first in everything," Stewart, taken 53rd, said. "I want to win. I want to compete every day. I think that's probably my best attribute Bo Jackson Jersey , my competitive nature."
Tampa Bay made a trade with New England, moving down from 56th to 63rd, and added a fourth-round selection.
"I was actually kind of in a negative state where I understood my value was slipping but when I got that call it changed everything," said Davis, picked 63rd overall. "I understood that I was getting an opportunity, I understood that this organization took a chance on a player. I have so much more to offer than what I've shown. I know that for a fact and I willing to prove that."
Davis had 138 tackles and three interceptions in 38 career games.
Tampa Bay added a third-round pick, No. 94 from Minnesota, to pick Cappa.
"We thought we were going to get three good football players and we got four," Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter said. "We're happy as we stand here tonight."
The Buccaneers sent fourth-and-sixth round picks to the Vikings.
Josh Okogie Jersey