After a mostly up first couple weeks of preseason football, Week 3 took a big step back for the Packers. Offensively, the line struggled mightily against the Broncos. Defensively, they couldn’t deal with pulling guards. And on Special Teams, penalties ruled the day.
But with the bad, there was also plenty of good. Some players really stepped up and solidified roster spots, while some struggled to the point where they may have lost a roster spot. Here are 3 players who are trending up from Denver, and 3 who need a big boost Thursday night.
1 UP: Marwin Evans
Evans has been the best defensive player for the first two weeks of preseason and that didn’t change in Denver. Flying all over the field to make tackles and excelling in coverage, he has the look of a future starter at safety. And that is a great asset for the Packers to have fifth on their safety depth chart. He will spend most of the season on special teams again, but if he has to see the field defensively, it’s a relief for the coaches that he won’t be over his head.
2 UP: Trevor Davis
Davis was Up in Week 1 and Down in Week 2. But in Week 3, he showed that he is definitely a part of this team’s plans as a punt returner and designated go-route specialist. Excelling at finding holes on punt returns, he was more sure-handed as a returner and showed less fear when catching them. And as a receiver, he showed crisp footwork while running comeback routes and an ability to make guys miss in space. He seems set to be a guy who will be the primary punt returner while also working on his receiving skills during the week of practice.
3 UP: Christian Ringo
Ringo has been good all camp and appears to have taken the jump in his third year after spending his first two on the practice squad and the bottom of the roster. But Ringo has shown some Mike Daniels-esque qualities in the trenches, especially at using his strength and natural leverage to get into the backfield and cause havoc. His forced fumble against Denver was a thing of beauty and his battle with Brian Price for a spot on the defensive line has been one of the best in camp.
1 DOWN: Lenzy Pipkins
Pipkins has been a very good and talented young corner during the first few weeks of camp. But he looked like the undrafted rookie that he is in Denver. Beaten badly on Denver’s second touchdown, he lost his inside leverage, opening up the deep route and then tried to pull down the receiver to make sure the catch wouldn’t be successful, but it didn’t work. Pipkins is almost a lock for the practice squad at minimum, but he needs a big week to overtake LaDarius Gunter and/or Josh Hawkins for the final CB spot on the roster.
2 DOWN: Lucas Patrick
3 DOWN: Jason Spriggs
The second string offensive line as a whole could get a down, but if I’m going to single some people out for their play, it has to be these two. Seen as two of the more promising linemen in camp, both have been disappointments so far in camp. Patrick was seen as a potential replacement for uber-sub Don Barclay, but with Barclay’s injury in Week 1, Patrick hasn’t stepped up. Struggling to hold his ground at guard and at center, he was still a potential bottom of the roster guy before he suffered a potential concussion in Denver.
And Spriggs has been arguably the biggest disappointment in camp. Making almost no strides besides getting a little bigger after an off-season in the weight room, Spriggs has struggled with counter-moves badly, over committing either outside and allowing an inside move to get through, or vice versa. However, he has had some good moments, especially early on in the Denver game. Before he gave up the sack to Von Miller on Aaron Rodger’s final play, he did a great job holding his own against the best pass rusher in football. But he needs to do that consistently to give the coaches any sort of confidence in him this year.
Who else is trending up or trending down? Let us know!——————
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.