We have now seen a brief glimpse of what the Packers are capable of during the Family Night practice Saturday evening, but now we look ahead to Thursday, when the team starts their preseason slate against the New England Patriots.
There are a lot of storylines to follow, but let’s take a look at the Top 3 that we saw during Family Night that will carry over to the preseason
- Who are the last two receivers on the depth chart?
The first four spots are set at receiver with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, and Ty Montgomery all showing up strong in camp. Adams and Montgomery in particular really had strong showings Saturday evening. But that fifth and possibly sixth spots on the receiver depth chart are up for grabs after some struggles for guys at the bottom of the totem pole. Jeff Janis, after making one nice catch on a quick slant from Aaron Rodgers struggled with his hands, making a couple of bad drops, while the undrafted rookies all struggled, especially in the Move the Ball and the Two-Minute Drills. But Myles White may have closed the gap, showing great hands and strong football IQ with his routes during all the drills. He is making it extremely hard to keep off the 53 man roster.
- Which no-name rookie will step up during the preseason?
Every season in Green Bay, it never fails to see one rookie that no one had pay attention to step up and make a name for themselves in the preseason, getting a roster spot in return. Think of guys like Vic So’oto, Frank Zombo, Dezmon Moses, and Jayrone Elliott. The question is who it will be this year. Looking at those names, they are all linebackers, but I don’t think it will be that position this year. I’m looking at the secondary where Tay Glover-Wright looks to make some noise and try to solidify a roster spot at corner. The practice squad holdover had a big play on Family Night, probably the biggest one during 11-on-11 drills, picking off a Scott Tolzien pass and almost taking it back. If he can do that during the games, then it’ll be hard to keep him off the team.
- Who will man the special teams units?
For all of the lower rung guys on the roster, this will be where they can secure a spot on this team. The poor play of the special teams has been well-documented, and while it has been a veteran group in camp, there are still spots open for younger players to make their mark. Guys like Jean Fanor and Glover-Wright can make noise as gunners or protectors on punts, while linebackers like Carl Bradford and Adrian Hubbard can carve out a niche for themselves with kick coverage ability and sure tackling. If you can play special teams, you can play for the Packers. With the starting lineups pretty much set, these guys need to have a strong performance on special teams to have a chance at cracking the roster.
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.