After combing through countless takes of the 2018 draft class for Green Bay, the players all are making their ways to join the team in Green Bay for training camp and OTA’s.
The vast majority of the draftees will be given chances to make a name for themselves in team and individual drills before the preseason begins. With that in mind, let’s dive into a few positional battles that will take place in camp that will help solidify the team’s depth chart come September 9th.
Cornerback & Safety
The biggest talk of the offseason was to see how the Packers would upgrade their defensive backfield. Trading Damarious Randall was a curious choice to create even more of a need for depth, but GB resigned Tramon Williams and Davon House and used their first two selections on corners Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson.
Outside of Alexander, House, Jackson and Williams, Mike Pettine has Kevin King, Quinten Rollins and a plethora of others that he can use at corner, totaling up to 11 options currently. King is the tallest corner out of the bunch at 6’3”, but five others on the roster are at least six foot tall.
It will remain to be seen who will go into camp earning first-team reps and how the roster will shake itself out going into the regular season.
Best bet: Williams and King will man the two starting corner positions, with Alexander the main nickel guy. A mixture of Jackson, House, Rollins and Josh Hawkins will combine to fill in the remaining package positions when seen fit.
Jordy Nelson is gone. Doesn’t seem quite real yet does it? Don’t worry- the team has the depth to make up for Nelson’s contributions.
With Davante Adams earning a lucrative contract in the offseason and solidifying himself as ARod’s best target, the pieces behind him are not as easily determined.
Randall Cobb, the subject of pay cut and release rumors throughout the offseason, is the team’s number two receiver. The issue with Cobb being the second wideout is that he is suited more for slot routes than being split out wide, so his skill set is limited in Joe Philbin’s attack.
However, the wild card for Green Bay is Geronimo Allison, who has slowly gained the trust of Rodgers ever since joining the active roster in 2016. In camp, Allison has a great chance to make an impression and gain a relationship with Rodgers that could push him into the third wideout spot.
Of the three drafted receivers, each has a unique set of skills that Green Bay can implement. J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown all have a combination of speed, size and technique that stood out in the draft process.
Best bet: Behind Adams, Cobb and Allison on the chart, look for St. Brown to have a solid camp and move himself up into the top-four. MVS may struggle in his acclimation to the NFL, and Moore’s speed will make him a prime candidate for jet sweeps and the gunner position on punts.
The final position being looked at in this article, Green Bay added DeShone Kizer in the offseason, a talent that Mike McCarthy believed would have gone in the first round if he was in this year’s class.
Provided Rodgers’ health solidifies and is not a hot-button topic during the season, there should not be a big concern about QB depth.
But, with the history that Rodgers has with injuries, it is easy to understand why Green Bay brought Kizer in to compete with Brett Hundley and UDFA Tim Boyle.
Barring an injury, trade or a completely awful camp, Boyle will become a camp body with potential for a practice squad contract.
Kizer has shown in games, albeit with Cleveland, that he has the skills to survive in this league. While not overly off the charts, Kizer has the abilities showcased under Hue Jackson to lead an awesome that did not have a lot of usable parts on it.
In order for GB to keep three QB’s, there needs to be that good of competition in camp between Kizer and Hundley. Both are upgrades for a good amount of teams at the backup signal caller, which could lead to having some team come calling come cut-down season.
Best bet: With Rodgers’ spot being a foregone conclusion, look for Kizer to leave Hundley in the dust. With a better coaching staff than afforded in Cleveland, Kizer has the potential to be a huge success with Philbin’s offense.
Hundley’s time in Titletown will end on a very unfortunate note, as he will be shipped out to a team in need of a backup (Seattle, Miami and Houston come to mind). Boyle will not make the final roster but will be signed to the practice squad.
Have thoughts about training camp and how it will turn out? Leave your comments below!뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23