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Cheese Curds, 6/24: Packers’ young defenders look for pass rush, find flow

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Tyler Lancaster and Jaire Alexander don’t seem to have much in common, but they’re both looking for a jump in year two.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Organized Team Activity Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

A year ago at this time, Jaire Alexander and Tyler Lancaster were two very different types of rookies. One was a first-round draft pick, a confident player who was assured of a prominent role in the Green Bay Packers’ evolving secondary. The other was an undrafted free agent who was largely an afterthought among the team’s defensive line group.

In their rookie seasons, however, both made significant contributions to the defense. Admittedly, Alexander was the impact player that many fans and scouts expected, while Lancaster took a while to get going. But the big Northwestern lineman unquestionably out-performed his modest background, proving to be a critical piece of the rotation up front late in the season.

In the past few days, both of these players have been on the minds of Packers fans and media. Lancaster received a profile from a writer for the Packers’ website, while Alexander was active in the Green Bay area, leading a group of people in some relaxation and flexibility activities.

Football is undoubtedly in peak offseason mode right now, but let’s embrace it and enjoy watching and reading about these young players who look to take significant leaps in their second NFL seasons.

Tyler Lancaster staying on a path of improvement |
Lancaster didn't flash much in the preseason last year, but when he earned a shot on the active roster in the regular season, he didn't disappoint. Now he's comfortable in the defense and is looking to improve his pass-rushing after a year spent as mainly just a run-stuffer.

Jaire Alexander leads outdoor yoga class on International Day of Yoga |
This is pretty fun - the more we read and hear about Alexander, the more interesting a person he seems to be.

J.J. Watt: Practicing against Packers, playing at Lambeau will be ‘really, really cool experience’ | Packers Wire
The Pewaukee native has never played a game at Lambeau -- he went on injured reserve three games into the 2016 season, when the Texans visited Green Bay in week 13 (a 21-13 Packers win). Now he's excited to not only play there, but to take part in practices on the field where he watched players work out when he was a kid.

Five blockbuster trades that would spice up the 2019 NFL season -
Jimmy Graham to the Jets? That's one scenario theorized here. The Packers would pick up some cap room ($3.75M this year and another $8M in 2020) but given their apparent excitement about Graham this year, it would probably take a third- or fourth-round draft pick to get him.

See The Photos Of Taco Bell's Newest On-Brand Palm Springs Resort
Look, I love a cheesy gordita crunch every once in a while, and the hot sauce packet-themed throw pillows and pool floaties are pretty fun, but this is a bit over the top.