clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cheese Curds, 6/23: Who will surprise for Packers in training camp?

After Juwann Winfree impressed in the spring, can he follow it up with a strong training camp?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Syndication: PackersNews Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Picking sleepers to come out of nowhere in training camp and earn a roster spot is a tall order. The Green Bay Packers have had plenty of undrafted rookies and unexpected contributors impress when the pads come on, but identifying which ones will make a run at a roster spot is a significant challenge.

This week, ESPN looked at some of the surprising players from minicamps and OTAs and called out a name that many Packers fans won’t recognize — and one that nobody likely expects to make the team as of this point.

There are opportunities at the safety position, however, and this writer believes UDFA rookie Christian Uphoff is poised to make an impression if given the chance. What about Bronson Kaufusi, the edge rusher-turned-tight end? His 6-foot-6, 270-pound frame would give the Packers a complement to Marcedes Lewis as a big-body blocker, if he has learned to develop that skill set. Maybe Patrick Taylor or Stanford Samuels are ready to take a step in their second professional seasons.

Ultimately, trying to identify these kinds of players is a shot in the dark, and sometimes they aren’t even on the roster in June. Remember former Packers special teams stalwart Chris Banjo? The Packers signed him on July 29th, 2013, after camp had begun, and he made the team. Although that situation is a rarity, it’s hardly impossible.

Give us your under-the-radar picks to make the 53-man roster as we run through a few bits of news and analysis regarding the Packers this morning.

2021 All-Under-25 Team: Lamar Jackson leads NFL's rising stars |
Jaire Alexander is the only Packer on this list, as Darnell Savage misses out at the safety position and Elgton Jenkins just misses the age cutoff. If this were an under-26 team, Jenkins and Kenny Clark both probably make the cut.

Surprise players you should know from NFL minicamps for all 32 teams | ESPN
Juwann Winfree impressed at least one beat writer during OTAs and minicamp, seemingly being the standout among the receivers who actually attended the full set of practices. Winfree was a practice squad player last year, but could he challenge for a special teams role as WR6 or WR7?

For two weeks in 1987, the Packers practiced at Olympia in Oconomowoc |
Head coach Forrest Gregg was angry about his team's performance early on in camp, so he shipped the team down to a resort out west of Milwaukee before the team's exhibition finale at County Stadium. The team had to cobble together goalposts for the practice field and employed police officers to help keep the public out -- and presumably keep the players in.

Size, experience make De’Vondre Campbell good fit for Packers’ defense |
Campbell's rookie year was the season that Matt LaFleur was on the Falcons' staff, and the two were key parts of an Atlanta team that made it to the Super Bowl. Campbell had three tackles and a QB hit in that year's NFC Championship win over the Packers.

Geriatric penguin at zoo gets custom shoes to help with arthritis -
Penguins -- they're just like us!