Training camp is nearly two weeks away and it will give us our first indication of what to expect from this year’s team. It will also be our first look at what Green Bay’s rookies look like in pads. Once preseason starts, we may even have better expectations of what to expect when the games matter.
The Packers drafted a strong 2019 class which included two first-round selections. Here are some bold predictions for each of the Packers 2019 draft picks:
Prediction: Gary Records Five Sacks
Gary’s career-high at Michigan was 5.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2017. However, Green Bay is projecting him to have a much more productive NFL career. Gary frequently faced double teams and consistently affected the opposing quarterback. The Packers have a new look pass rush in 2019 and Gary could be one of the beneficiaries from what appears to be a star-studded cast.
2. Darnell Savage
Prediction: Leads Team in Interceptions
Last year it only took three and that was done by HaHa Clinton-Dix who was traded halfway through the season. Savage showed promise as a ball-hawking safety in college which led him to seven picks over the last two seasons. He received a lot of attention during OTAs for his fit in the defense and being able to quickly to get up to speed. Hopefully, his high football IQ will lead to great production as a rookie.
3. Elgton Jenkins
Prediction: Becomes Starts At Guard
Left guard Lane Taylor had a down year in 2018 but injuries were a contributing factor. Jenkins was a highly-regarded prospect in this year’s class as a projected future starting interior lineman. The team also signed free agent Billy Turner who could eventually replace Bryan Bulaga at right tackle or possibly fill in if Bulaga gets injured. With the uncertainty surrounding Taylor and Bulaga’s medical history, Jenkins may start some games this year at guard.
4. Jace Sternberger
Prediction: Sternberger Hauls in Four Touchdowns
Tight end is still a big question mark in Green Bay. Jimmy Graham took a step back last year and Marcedes Lewis is in the final stretch of his career. Sternberger had one great college season at Texas A&M which propelled him to the top of the 2019 class for his position. Tight ends rarely do much in year one but Sternberger should get the chance to earn plenty of reps this season. Expect him to make the most of them.
Prediction: Keke Allows the Team to Move On From Mike Daniels
He doesn’t get talked about much, but Keke will be an exciting player to watch this summer. For his size, he is a good athlete that can make an impact from a variety of alignments along the defensive line. He projects best as a three-tech defensive tackle which is a role currently filled by Daniels. Daniels is in the final year of his contract so this year could be his final as a Packer. Perhaps Keke can make some noise and help fans move on.
Prediction: Hollman Starts On Special Teams
Green Bay’s special teams have been a disaster in recent years and Hollman could help. At Toledo, he was known for his tenacious play as a corner. That mindset bodes well for him as a solid special teamer in the NFL. Hollman also ran a 4.39 at his pro day which could help him gain an edge hustling for tackles on punt coverages.
Prediction: Williams Gets 100 Carries
Green Bay’s running-backs room looks pretty good with Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and their recent sixth-round pick out of Notre Dame. All three should see time in the backfield given recent trends. Teams frequently use a committee of backs to keep guys fresh and enhance longevity. This bodes well for Williams who is an ideal fit for Matt LaFleur’s offense and may end up becoming the primary backup.
Prediction: Summers Plays Meaningful Snaps
The Packers chose not to address inside linebacker besides selecting Summers with their last pick in the draft. He tested very well athletically but many questions remain in regard to his ability to withstand the toll it takes to play in the box on the next level. If Oren Burks doesn’t pan out as the starter opposite of Blake Martinez, Summers could get a shot.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.