There is a lot to be excited about with the Packers roster as it currently stands, but when training camp hits that’s when the cream begins to rise to the top.
Although the stifling days of late summer in Green Bay are known for fierce positional battles, there truly aren’t that many jobs up for grabs.
Not a bad problem to have!
I’m going to take a look at a couple of plot lines that could have bearing on the Packers come week 1 of the regular season.
How do the young defenders look?
Brian Gutekunst double-dipped in the first round of the 2022 NFL selecting two dynamic defenders out of the University of Georgia.
Quay Walker drafted 22nd overall looks to slot in at inside linebacker alongside reigning All-Pro De’Vondre Campbell.
Walker is a size/speed freak who was a bit of a surprise pick given the Packers seeming disinterest in outfitting the inside linebacker position with premium talent.
Now the Packers are sitting potentially with two very impactful starters in the middle of their defense.
It will be very interesting to see how much run Walker gets versus Krys Barnes and who is drawing starts in pre-season.
The Packers in general like to slow-roll their rookies, but Walker is the total Package and should in theory be difficult to keep off the field.
The second George Bulldog the Packers selected in the first round was interior defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt.
Wyatt was a slightly controversial pick because he entered the draft as a fifth-year senior and was 24 years old at draft time.
By comparison, Kenny Clark, who has anchored the Packers defensive line for approximately fifteen seasons is still only 26 years old.
Wyatt checks a lot of boxes, however.
He’s another mountain of a man who can move at 6-3, 304 lbs and a 4.77 40 time.
Wyatt has shown a strong ability to get to the QB, not necessarily showing up as sacks but racking up double digit pressures.
If we know one thing he likes athletic freaks who can rack up pressures, ahem, Rashan Gary.
Most importantly Wyatt should hopefully offer some much needed relief for Kenny Clark, whether it’s eating up blockers alongside him or keeping him fresh to wreak havoc late in games.
Hopefully when the pre-season lights come on, Wyatt is knock interior lineman off their spots with regularity and showing off his freakish athleticism.
Who is Aaron Rodgers new favorite weapon?
It’s well documented that no single player will player will fill the role vacated by All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams.
In fact, it could be several years down the road until the Packers are trotting out a bonafide, game changing #1 receiver.
They are not devoid of talent in the current WR/TE groups, and can certainly win with what they’ve got.
How high this unit flies will, however, depends on the health of the veterans and the development of the young guys.
Aaron Rodgers is well-known to take his time to develop chemistry with his battery-mates, and this often puts the young guys at a a disadvantage.
Assuming good health for Allen Lazard, I think he will lead the team in targets and TD’s. Lazard and Rodgers have been building up a strong rapport for a couple of years now, and with a larger target share now available it’s Lazard’s time to shine.
We know as long as Randall Cobb is available that he will get his.
I think Robert Tonyan has a great chance to make an impact like he did in 2020, so long as he doesn’t land on the PUP list to begin the season, and that’s a big IF.
I would expect one player out of the young trio of Amari Rodgers, Christian Watson & Romeo Doubs to contribute in a meaningful way. That will be the training camp battle that I am most interested in.
Does Jordan Love Look The Part?
Jordan Love will be a lightning rod so long as he wears green & gold, we already know this.
It’s strange to say, but the 2022 season is going to be make-or-break for the young Love, a guy who we hope doesn’t see the field.
Love needs to prove in the exhibition season that he is living up to the tools he was drafted for.
He’s now had three seasons of continuity with Matt LaFleur. The pandemic will not be costing him valuable off-season time.
There are no more excuses to be made, Jordan Love must show up to camp with a level of assertiveness and polish that we have yet to see out of the former first round pick.
Aaron Rodgers has made it very clear that although he has a multi-year contract in place, there is no guarantee that he plays past the 2022 season.
The Packers will be forced sooner rather than later to make a decision about Jordan Love.
Short of winning a Super Bowl in 2022 (fingers crossed!), Love, and not the numerous talented rosters and playoff wins will be the lasting legacy for Brian Gutekunst & co.
Let’s hope Love wins again.
You can follow Adam on twitter at @adamjcarlson28.