Last week I took a look at the players on the defensive side of the ball who have impressed and those who have disappointed, and now it’s time to look at the Packers rookies on offense.
Not surprisingly, given Ted Thompson’s track record of finding offensive talent in the draft, the offensive players have fared a little better than the rookies on defense.
Here are the rookies on the offensive side of the ball who have made a positive impression, and the ones that haven’t lived up to expectations.
Stud: Corey Linsley – Somewhat surprisingly, Pro Football Focus has actually graded out Linsley higher than JC Tretter through the first 3 preseason games. Granted Linsley has been facing a much lower level of competition, but being the 3rd ranked center in the NFL should give Packer fans a little peace of mind with Tretter expected to miss the start of the season. Linsley will have his work cut out for him getting ready to play his first NFL game at the incredibly loud Century Link Field on opening day, but playing in between talented veterans Josh Sitton and TJ Lang should make his transition to the starting lineup a little easier.
Dud: Davante Adams – By no means am I calling Adams a bust, but after 3 preseason games he hasn’t done anything to stand out and he certainly doesn’t look like he will be pushing Jarrett Boykin for the 3rd receiver spot any time soon. Adams should still contribute to the Packers offense this year, but don’t expect him to make the same type of explosive plays he made at Fresno State on a weekly basis, at least until he has a firm grasp of the Packers playbook.
Stud: Richard Rodgers – Rodgers was the draft pick that received the most criticism from Packer fans, including myself, but so far he has been a pleasant surprise, displaying good hands and an ability to get open. His pass blocking still needs work, but with Brandon Bostick sidelined the first few weeks of the season with an injury, Rodgers looks like the front runner to be the Packers starting tight end on opening day.
Dud: Colt Lyerla – Even though he went undrafted, expectations were high for Lyerla, the talented yet troubled tight end who left Oregon in October of last year after a series of off-field incidents. Unfortunately, the athleticism and ability that he showed in flashes in college were never displayed during training camp. His disappointing performance could very well be due to his extended absence from football, but after injuring his knee during Family Night and being placed on injured reserve, Lyerla will have to go another year without getting on the field.
Stud: Jeff Janis – He’s only caught one pass during the preseason, but not only was that pass for a touchdown, it was also a glimpse of the speed and athleticism Janis brings to the position. Janis has also been impressive in practice, routinely making acrobatic catches. Now it seems like he is a lock for the 53 man roster, an impressive feat considering how deep the Packers are at the wide receiver position and that he missed the first couple weeks of training camp due to a bout with shingles.