May 11, 2013 11:57:47 PM
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Josh Boyd has lived in Mississippi all 23 years of his life.
After having nearly two weeks to let it soak in that he'd be leaving the South, he was off to his next destination. Boyd's airplane was about to land Thursday when he looked out to the landscape in Green Bay and had a thought.
"I'm like, 'Oh, this kind of looks like Mississippi a little bit,' " Boyd said. "But once I got here and we came back out and it was cold and it just started raining, it was like, 'Oh, OK, it's going to be a little bit different.' "
It will be different in so many ways for the former Mississippi State University defensive lineman, who will start a new life in Green Bay after the Packers used one of their fifth-round picks to select Boyd in April's NFL draft.
Boyd, who competed
Friday on the first day of the Packers' rookie orientation camp, believes the transition from Mississippi to Wisconsin will be a smooth one.
"I'm from a small town in Mississippi, so that's not a big deal. I'm pretty used to that," Boyd said. "My biggest factor would be the cold because it doesn't get this cold down there.
"I've played in some cold games. Like we played up in Tennessee and it was kind of cold, not this type of cold. It's going to be a challenge for me."
Boyd hasn't had a problem battling through ups and downs on and off the field in his career.
"Our strength coach and how our team worked at Mississippi State, they always wanted us to push through adversity," Boyd said, "so it was something I was kind of used to, so I kept fighting, kept pushing, and it got me to where I'm at now."
Boyd's past experiences and playing in the Southeastern Conference have helped him in his quest to make it to the NFL. When the Packers called Boyd on Day 3 of the draft and said they were going to select him with the 167th pick, Boyd was speechless.
"I really didn't hear too much from them," Boyd said. "I was talking to a lot of other teams and when they drafted me that was a big thing because it's a great organization and a playoff team. It's just an honor for me to get drafted here."
Boyd knows the Packers' storied history and that they have won a professional football record 13 world championships, including four Super Bowls.
"I've talked to a lot of guys about it and I also had a teammate at Mississippi State (Derek) Sherrod, he was telling me things about it," Boyd said.
The Packers jumped on the opportunity to draft Boyd and to add him to the mix in their 3-4 defense. Boyd, who had 33 tackles, one and a half sacks, and two and a half tackles for loss as a senior, played mostly in a 4-3 lineup at MSU, but he's confident he can play anywhere on the line in Green Bay's two-gap system.
"We did have packages where we were in a 3-4, and I played nose or a little bit of end," Boyd said. "I didn't think it will be that much of a difference as far as me learning systems."
Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac likes Boyd's size (he is 6-foot-3, 310 pounds) and his versatility.
"Probably the best thing he did when he was inside there was play the three technique, the one technique," Trgovac said. "For a big guy, he's got some pretty nimble feet."
Trgovac said he first noticed Boyd last season and he could be a nice run stopper for the Packers.
"He's a big man. Got some explosion to him," Trgovac said. "He's got some versatility as well. We'll have to see if we can get nose rush out of him. He was able to get some nice pop, and for a big man he's got good movement."
Once rookie orientation camp conclude today, Boyd plans to find an apartment in Green Bay and to start his new life away from home. He's excited for his parents to get the shot to see him reach his goal of playing in the NFL.
"My mom and dad, they've supported me from the time I started playing, so they are going to be happy to see me play here," Boyd said.
First, Boyd wants to make a strong first impression with the Packers and to contribute right away.
"It's pretty big just to show they didn't draft me for no reason," Boyd said. "I'm going to show them I'm a great player. I'm going to show them why I'm here."