Every season there are a few players that blow expectations out of the water. They may lack the pedigree of a high draft pick, but nonetheless outperform those ahead of them on the depth chart and turn flashes of potential into meaningful roles. Last season, for example, saw tight end Robert Tonyan catch more touchdown passes (11) than he had receptions (10) the previous year. Looking at the Packers roster, there are a few candidates that have an opportunity to have more of an impact than most fans might expect.
- Safety Vernon Scott – much has been said about the importance of the safety position in new Packers DC Joe Barry’s scheme, and the Packers have 2 solid options in Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage. With Savage expected to fill more of the “Star” role, the opportunity is there for Scott to play beside Amos in two-deep looks. He played only 89 defensive snaps a year ago but showed more willingness as a tackler than Will Redmond – which is imperative for a scheme that emphasizes light boxes and thus a need for defensive backs to help in run support. The departure of Raven Greene also leaves room for a much larger role for Scott in 2021.
- Edge Jonathan Garvin – a former 4 star recruit that will only turn 22 at the beginning of training camp, Garvin has just scratched the surface of his physical tools. With the Smiths and Rashan Gary ahead of him – he won’t see a majority of snaps. But I expect to see Za’Darius Smith and Rashan Gary both play some on the interior, with Joe Barry’s scheme allowing for defensive linemen to shoot gaps slightly more than a traditional two-gapping 3-4 defense. It is fair to see Garvin assuming a role akin to what Rashan Gary did in his rookie year behind the Smiths and Kyler Fackrell – playing close to 250 snaps.
- Tight end Dominique Dafney – he burst onto the scene in week 17 after scoring a touchdown against the Bears, but he showed the athleticism to fill the vital H-back role after ACL injuries to both Josiah Deguara and John Lovett. With Jace Sternberger serving a 2 game suspension to start the year (and having been ineffective at the H-back role in limited time in 2019), the door is open for Dafney to pick up where he left off last season. The Packers spent high draft capital on Deguara – but will likely ease him back into the lineup after returning from injury.
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