The Green Bay Packers got a 24-10 victory in their final preseason game of the season on Thursday night, beating the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field. In this contest, the team’s young players and reserves got extensive playing time.
While fighting for roster spots, a handful of young Packers impressed throughout the contest. Here are a few players who helped their stock.
CB Donatello Brown
While LaDarius Gunter made two splash plays in the first quarter, both came as the direct result of mistakes by the Rams’ offense. Brown, on the other hand, read a throw by Dan Orlovsky perfectly in the second quarter, flashing in front of Paul McRoberts for a nice interception. Brown also was targeted three times in a row in the red zone and was around the receiver and the football on each occasion, holding the Rams to a field goal. He also was in on a few tackles in the second half and made a strong case for a practice squad spot at the very minimum.
RBs Devante Mays & Aaron Jones
The two rookie running backs had nice games, and each finished with around 50 yards from scrimmage. Mays caught two passes early on the Packers’ first touchdown drive, picking up 36 yards, then had a few nice carries early in the second half. Jones caught a short touchdown pass from Brett Hundley, then broke off a 24-yard run up the middle. He led the Packers’ running backs in rushing with 48 yards on 8 carries.
Vogel put any questions about his grip on the punting job to rest, crushing the ball throughout the game and averaging 46 yards on seven punts. He had a couple boots with more than 5 seconds of hang time and had no poor kicks whatsoever.
Hill still might not make the 53-man roster, but he gave it a hell of a run. After taking a pair of sacks on his first drive (a 17-play drive featuring 12 runs that ended with a field goal), Hill led a touchdown drive that saw him run twice for 19 yards and complete all three of his passes for 28 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown strike to tight end Aaron Peck. On that play, he nimbly navigated the pocket with pass rushers all around him, stepping up and making an impressive throw across his body.
Without question, Hill showed this preseason that he has more natural ability than Joe Callahan and will almost certainly be the team’s preferred option as the third quarterback. The only question now is whether that ends up with him on the 53-man roster or being cut with the goal of getting him onto the practice squad.