OTAs are in just their second week, but the Green Bay Packers are shaping up to have plenty of intriguing battles for starting jobs and for the 53-man roster now through the end of training camp in August. Here’s one writer’s prediction for how things will shake out when the team cuts down to 53 men on September 2nd.
- Green Bay’s irreplaceable player looks to bring the Pack back to the promised land.
- The Packers retain their backup with the most potential and future trade value.
- Former receiver becomes the anticipated bellcow of the Packers’ backfield.
- Jonathan Dwyer-type of back adds the physical, cold-weather dimension missing after Eddie Lacy’s departure.
- Fifth round pick has exceptional receiving skills and should split time with Montgomery as a third down back.
- Post-John Kuhn fullback folk hero will pave the way for the younger tailbacks.
- Whether he’s used on the outside or in the slot, Rodgers’ favorite target looks to repeat his success coming back from injury a season ago.
- Contract year for the former second round pick who had his most consistent and productive season in 2016.
- Rodgers was adamant he wanted a healthy Cobb in his receiving corps and the QB will get what he wishes in 2017.
- Last year’s undrafted breakout performer is a vertical, long strider who became a dependable receiving weapon.
- Fifth round pick is reminiscent of James Jones in his thick body and ability to work the sidelines, but has sneaky speed to be a vertical option.
- Electing not to give up on last year’s speedy fifth round pick so quickly, Green Bay gives Davis another season to improve his route running and special teams skills.
- Rather than allowing the seventh round steal to be claimed by another team off the practice squad, Green Bay carries seven receivers for a second straight year while Dupre develops.
- Key offseason acquisition figures to become a valuable third down and red zone threat in the Packers’ offense.
- Green Bay is hoping for the former Badger to return to Wisconsin and become the lightning to Bennett’s thunder.
- The Hail Mary hero settles into his new role as a reliable third tight end option in the final year of his contract.
- Pro Bowler has become one of the top linemen in the league and arguably Ted Thompson’s finest third-day selection (though Mike Daniels has an excellent case as well).
- Right tackle had his healthiest season in 2016 and one in which he graded out as a top pass blocking tackle in the NFL.
- The Packers are expected to lock up their young center in the final year of his rookie contract.
- Unknown a season ago, the left guard filled in more than admirably in his first season as a starter.
- Late free agent addition has an opportunity to become the starter at right guard at age 33.
- Former second round pick showed flashes of long-term potential at left tackle in his rookie season and is a reliable third tackle right now.
- Second year player makes the squad by proving his versatility in camp to play right tackle and kick inside to guard.
- Jack-of-all-trades veteran can fill in at any position on the line, but is retained to battle for the starting right guard and backup center spots.
- 2016 practice squad player shows enough promise at guard to become part of the Packers’ interior depth.
- The most valuable defensive player on the roster is underrated across the NFL but wreaks havoc week in and week out.
- Last year’s first rounder should see increased time at the nose and build on his solid rookie campaign.
- Signed to a one-year contract, the former Redskin should be an immediate starter at defensive end, but is versatile enough to play on the interior as well.
- Northwestern product is primed for a breakout year as a regular contributor in the rotation.
- Third round pick is a brute that holds up well against the run and adds value to the pass rush.
Another year in Green Bay for the former late round pick who makes the team at least for the first four weeks while Letroy Guion serves his suspension.
OLB/ILB Clay Matthews
- Coming off a career-low five sacks last season, the former All-Pro needs to stay healthy but should be lined up inside and out to utilize his playmaking skills.
OLB Nick Perry
- Despite playing with a club, the pass rusher had his best season as a pro and must maintain that production with his hefty new contract.
OLB Jayrone Elliott
- With Julius Peppers and Datone Jones leaving in free agency, the door of opportunity opens for the edge rusher who has shown intriguing potential in spurts.
OLB Kyler Fackrell
- Second year player has length and athleticism, but needs to put it all together as a more regular contributor this season.
ILB Jake Ryan
- Inside ‘backer became a steady performer with improved tackling in 2016.
ILB Blake Martinez
- Mid-season Injuries slowed down a rookie season for a player that showed some range and coverage skills.
OLB Vince Biegel
- Fourth round pick could miss the start of training camp with foot surgery, but will be counted on to play at least a special teams role in year one.
OLB Johnathan Calvin
- Undrafted late bloomer would have been a third day pick with an extra collegiate year in the 3-4, but wins a job with his quick burst.
- Critical year for the third year pro to stay healthy and develop, whether that comes from playing in the slot or on the outside.
- Another third year corner that needs a healthy season to prove he can return to his impressive rookie form.
- Rookie corner has a tantalizing blend of size, speed, and fluidity that gives him a shot to earn a starting spot on the outside quickly.
- Natural outside cover man hopes to become a starter in his return to the Pack.
- Former undrafted player had his ups and downs against the NFL’s best receivers in the playoffs, but is a capable spot starter.
- There’s a lot to like in this undrafted free agent that has good size, confidence, and tackling, on top of being a core college special teamer. Pipkins gets the final secondary spot over Herb Waters, Demetri Goodson, Josh Hawkins, and David Rivers.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
- A Pro Bowler a season ago, he has become a playmaker and intimidator.
- Versatility has made the veteran leader a significant piece of the Green Bay secondary.
- Second round pick will see time as a safety and sub-package linebacker immediately with his desire to punish ballcarriers.
- Speed, physicality, and versatility give Brice a chance to fit into the diverse role once occupied by Micah Hyde.
- Special teams player saw time in the secondary during the postseason and fills a depth role at safety with Brice and Jones splitting time at linebacker.
K Mason Crosby
- No competition in camp for the 11-year pro who has been a model of consistency the past couple seasons.
P Jacob Schum
- After a slow start, last year’s surprise end-of-camp addition improved greatly as the season wore on.
LS Brett Goode
- Just like last season, Goode is not currently on the roster at this point in the offseason. Expect him to be re-signed and take on the long snapping duties if rookie Derek Hart struggles in training camp.