Outside of the household names of Kenny Clark and Rashan Gary, as well as Preston and Za’Darius Smith, the Green Bay Packers need to conjure up some depth pieces that can help give their stars rest during games while not having a huge lapse in production. And while the regular season will be the real test, there seems to be four names that releasing that discussion.
Tipa Galeai, Jonathan Garvin, Randy Ramsey, and Tim Williams have all been putting up impressive training camp reps, and their performances have helped gain the attention of both the coaching staff and fellow DLine members.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was asked in a recent meeting with the media about the defensive line battle, and while he addressed the well-known steps that Gary has been taking this offseason, he specifically provided a potential look into the fourth outside linebacker on the depth chart come Week One.
“Rashan (Gary) is going to have a big part, a big role in what we’re doing, as well as Garvin,” Pettine said last week.
While not providing any sort of for-sure confirmation, Petine’s mention of Garvin lends itself to thinking that the seventh-round selection from Florida has made a huge impression to earn himself regular reps during the game. And while growing pains are prevalent for all rookies, Garvin’s age (having just turned 21 years young) lends itself to him having a high ceiling for the coaching staff to take advantage of.
For Galeai, Ramsey, and Williams, each of these players have made strides this offseason to forcing the hands of the coaching staff to give them roster spots come time for the cutdown. And while keeping all of them may end up being a difficult task, they each have made enough noise to at least have that conversation.
Williams has the most NFL experience and looks to have an inside track to a depth role on the team, and his pedigree (former Crimson Tide member) spoke for itself when the Baltimore Ravens drafted him a few years back. But he was never able to live up to his third-round draft grade, and he was picked up by the Packers after the first four games on the 2019 season, spending the last seven weeks of the regular and post season on the practice squad.
Ramsey has not seen any time on the field during an NFL game that actually counts, as he was signed to the team’s practice squad for the entirety of last season. And in the case of Galeai, the undrafted rookie out of Utah State was brought in as one of the better UDFAs, and he has been putting together a solid camp that has, at a minimum, forced the staff to seriously consider him for a roster spot.
Looking at the current depth and how it has played out through camps, it looks like both Garvin and Williams stack up as the most likely options for the 4th and 5th-string OLBs, with both Ramsey and Galeai looking more and more like priority practice squad guys that could get sniped by other teams.
The defense, which has been the unit more in question since the beginning of the Mike McCarthy era, seemingly has been able to build upon its free-agent signings of last offseason and used that momentum to bring in needed depth pieces from the draft. While playing in Week One versus the Minnesota Vikings will be the real test to see how the defense actually looks, Pettine and his staff should be very well set up for a bounceback year in 2020.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
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