The Green Bay Packers have plenty of new faces in town this off-season. It will be important to keep an eye on the battles throughout this roster this summer. With the pre-season meaning less and less, these camps are the players’ best chances to win or lose a job. The Packers have three spots that standout to me as battles to watch this training camp.
Packers Receiving Core
The Packers receiving core will be the one everybody talks about all summer. As I spoke about in my last article, the Packers depth chart is deep, and wide open. There will be a lot of contributors, and building chemistry with Aaron Rodgers starts in training camp. Allen Lazard is probably the only player guaranteed a starting role. We know how much Rodgers likes throwing to Randall Cobb, but he has definitely lost a step and has an eager group of young guys behind him on the depth chart. Sammy Watkins is another veteran that is in line to fight for a starting gig. A year ago, he averaged 30.3 receiving yards per game (career low). He will be eager to bounce back as well, especially having a chance to play with Aaron Rodgers.
Now, that brings us to the young guys. The talk will be about Christian Watson more than anyone at Packers training camp. He is their prized new rookie receiver, and he is supposed to be Davante Adams’ replacement. That is asking a lot out of a rookie. Not to mention, they just drafted Amari Rodgers last year. Also, he is going to be fighting for one of those starting spots, and is reported to be in the best shape of his life. I believe those two as well as the vets aforementioned will be the four to watch in the receiver battle. There is also rookie Romeo Doubs who could carve out a role for himself, although it probably won’t be as a starter.
Packers Defensive Line
The Packers defense is shaping up to be special this season. Most of their starters are returning this year, however, there are a couple of rookies coming in to take a starting job. The most important one might be at defensive tackle. We all know Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry will be back as starters, but who will be on the front three with them? Newly signed vet, Jarran Reed should have the front hand in this battle. He has 24.5 career sacks in 89 games. He is a 5-year vet, and a viable starter. On the other hand, rookie defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt has more upside to be an absolute game-wrecker and take this front to another level. These two will have a lot of eyes on them this summer.
Packers Linebacking Core
The Packers return All-Pro linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. In 2021, Krys Barnes was his running mate, but the team made it a mission to draft a linebacker in the 2022 NFL Draft. Quay Walker comes in eager to start for a contender as a rookie, but Barnes won’t just roll over either. Barnes has had 80+ combined tackles in each of his first two seasons as a pro. Walker is the superior athlete, and comes from the Nation Champion Georgia Bulldogs. He was a key piece on their defense which was believed to be the best in the nation by most people. He should be the front-runner for the job, but Barnes will push him to the brink.
Training Camp Preview
The Packers training camp is ready to kick off on July 27th, while some teams will start as soon as this week. There are lots of position battles to watch throughout all of these training camps. I am most curious to find out who will emerge as Rodgers favorite weapons. What rookies will make a name for themselves this summer? We will have to wait and find out.
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