Packers Stock Watch: Who Is Rising and Falling in Camp?

Nate Palmer #51

With the wrap-up of Monday’s padded practice, the Green Bay Packers are now officially through 4 days of training camp.  While it’s still early, a handful of players have managed to distinguish themselves, some for the better and some for the worse.

Rising

Ty Montgomery
A surprise pick in the 3rd round of this year’s draft, Montgomery was an early front-runner to earn a spot on the roster as a return man, but his play-making ability early in training camp may be making a case for him to earn targets and contribute as another weapon at Aaron Rodgers’ disposal. Of all the receivers not named Nelson and Cobb, Montgomery seems to be making the most noise at camp, flashing good hands and an ability to cut fast and accelerate. Montgomery (whom fellow Packers Talk writer Matt Bove wrote a great piece on here) is certainly making a push for the 4th spot at wide receiver.

Ladarius Gunter

Even with the aforementioned Montgomery beating Gunter once deep, the undrafted cornerback out of the University of Miami has been consistently making plays in every day of practice.  Listed at 6’2″ and 202, Gunter has impressive size, easily making him the biggest CB currently on the roster.  When you combine that size with the ability to bat down balls and make interceptions (two things Gunter has been showing that he can do in camp), the Packers may have to make room for Gunter on the final roster.  Still Gunter, has been beat deep on several plays already (by Montgomery and Myles White), so he’ll have to continue to improve his game to separate himself from the other young talent at the position.

Nate Palmer

The former Illinois and Illinois State defensive end was taken in the 6th round of the 2013 draft by the Packers and transitioned to OLB.  Palmer has once again been transitioned to a new role on the defense, this time moving to the ILB spot.  The movement likely gives Palmer a much better shot at making the roster.  It was a surprise to many, however, that Palmer was not only transitioning, but playing ILB with the #1 defense whenever Clay Matthews was not on the field.  Palmer, who was wearing a cast on Monday after appearing to injure his left hand in practice on Saturday, has warranted his reps with the first team, and is making a serious effort to not only make the roster but to see playing time.

Falling

Khryi Thornton

One might say that the 2014 3rd round pick has been on the hot seat since last offseason.  The defensive end showed little in camp and preseason last year, and many thought that he was likely to be cut.  A hamstring injury in the final preseason game of the year perhaps saved Thornton’s spot on the roster, as he was added to the injured reserve. Fast forward to 2015, and Thornton has not shown anything warranting his draft pedigree in the last four days either.  The one notable moment from Thornton so far was his being removed from a drill for being offsides twice.  He certainly doesn’t seem to be endearing himself to the coaching staff.

Jared Abbrederis

It’s not that Abbrederis’ play has disappointed since joining the team as a 5th round pick last year, it’s simply that he has been unable to stay on the field.  After tearing his ACL in camp last year, Abbrederis missed his entire rookie season.  Now, Abbrederis has suffered a concussion in only the first day of training camp.  The concussion was suffered not from a head-on collision but merely a hard fall to the turf.  While Abbrederis has the backing of the fans as a home-grown prospect and beloved former Badger, his odds are getting longer by the day.  Being injured keeps one from showing what they’ve got in practice.  Moreover, with athletes just beginning to understand the long-term repercussions of concussions, it’s possible that the team and/or Abbrederis himself might start weighing the cost and reward of his continuing to play football.  At this point, it does not seem a stretch to say that Abbrederis’ career may depend upon his health over the next month.  For more analysis on Abbrederis’ injury, see Jeff Albrecht’s article over at CheeseheadTV.

 

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Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.

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3 thoughts on “Packers Stock Watch: Who Is Rising and Falling in Camp?

  1. You can’t mess with the brain. Multiple concussions are not a good sign for Abbrederis. I, frankly, don’t see how they can keep him. As to Khiri, I didn’t like him as an athlete when he was drafted. Ted might as well admit the mistake and move on. I feel the same about Edwards.
    But to have Palmer, Montgomery, and Ladarius Gunter work out well is really great. Palmer’s ascendancy may free up Matthews a bit so he can return to his natural outside position.

    1. Yeah … have to agree with that, Al. Maybe he has some “issues” and/or just lost his drive? Too much talent in camp not to give it your all and expect to stay on the team.

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