We’re in the dead zone. Packers training camp is still weeks away. The NBA season is over. Baseball hasn’t been good in a decade. For some Packers fans that means daydreaming about how the team’s current stars will be used next season and which young players will break out. OK, that’s basically every Packers fan. Today I want to go over a few players that I’m eager to watch in training camp. How will they be used? Where are they on the depth chart?
At first glance, Douglas’s role is clear. He’s an ideal number two boundary corner. He has enough athletic ability and instinct to make opposing quarterbacks pay if they target him too much. I think the coaching staff may get a little more creative with Douglas this year.
Already, in OTAs, we saw Douglas in the slot. That may be surprising because he is clearly not as quick as the team’s other two corners, but quickness isn’t everything in the slot on a zone heavy team. Micah Hyde and Casey Heyward performed well for Green Bay with below average athleticism. Add Douglas’ tackling ability and he may be the obvious choice for slot corner.
Another sneaky way to use Douglas is as one of the two-high players. Douglas is best when he’s anticipating and breaking on the ball and Darnell Savage is not at his best when playing deep. Use Savage in the slot or in the box and drop Douglas deep to make plays.
So, in training camp I want to see how Douglas is used. Does he get snaps at safety? Does he end up playing more slot than the other two starting corners? Could he end up as the Packers’ number one wide receiver??
Watson is an athletic dynamo who is rough around the edges and a drop machine. I doubt the Packers will get close to starting him any time soon. But what if they do? I’ll be eagerly watching for any tweets about Watson actually lining up with the ones and getting targets from Rodgers.
Otherwise, I want to get an idea of how he will be used in year one. Will he be lined up in the backfield? Is he going to go in jet motion every time he’s on the field? Will he be the starting kick returner? Punt gunner? Can he bench more than Jeff Janis?
Tom played tackle in college and many draft pundits thought he may be able to play tackle in a pinch in the NFL. Tackle is, of course, a more important position so securing yet another strong player at tackle in the fourth round would be quite the coup for Brian Gutekunst.
So far, Tom has only played guard. The team’s offensive line coaches like to get players going slowly before moving them around, so it’s possible that’s what they’re doing here, and he will play a little tackle eventually. But my hope was that he might even challenge Yosh Njiman for week 1 right tackle starter.
Speaking of college tackles who were projected to play guard in the NFL. Bakhtiari is the biggest question mark right now. He stuck with the rehab group for the entirety of OTAs despite being 18 months removed from his ACL injury.
A lot of Packers fans are full blown freaking out about this with some saying his contract may be the worst in NFL history if he never plays again. I don’t buy it. If he was able to play last season and told CheeseheadTV that it was just a matter of rest what could have changed? I’m not sure I could even name any players with Bakhtiari’s skill level and athleticism who had their careers ended this century after an ACL tear.
That said, all eyes will be on the star left tackle in training camp. Let’s hope he goes out and kicks ass and quiets the doubts right away.
Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.