Everyone’s been raving about how Romeo Doubs is the star of camp so far. Also, how Zach Tom’s versatility and early camp performance could make him a steal of a 4th round pick. But there’s two new young players on the Green Bay Packers missing from the big headlines. What about the First Round Picks?
Though not as surprising as their draft classmates, Linebacker Quay Walker and Defensive Lineman Devonte Wyatt have also been turning heads at Training Camp. Due to their first-round status, Walker and Wyatt are expected to play at a higher level than those drafted later. So far, they are delivering, and are expected to be part of a high-ranked Packers defense.
The Packers 22nd overall pick has already been placed with the first team defense next to his All-Pro teammate, DeVondre Campbell since the start of camp. That tells you right away how highly the coaching staff thinks of Walker, and that position could be his to lose. Against the run he’s shown elite speed getting to the outside, as well as some crafty moves to escape blocks and get to the ball carrier. In the passing game his reaction times have been expectedly a little delayed, but that can be fixed fairly early. In Thursday’s practice he caught a tipped pass from Aaron Rodgers for the INT, and also showed off some impressive hands for an Inside Linebacker as shown in a tweet below from @AndyHermanNFL as he snagged a one-handed grab during drills. It’s been since the days of AJ Hawk and Desmond Bishop since we’ve had a solid ILB duo, those days waiting could be at an end with Quay Walker and DeVondre Campbell.
Next up we’ve got the 28th overall pick, Devonte Wyatt. Unlike Quay Walker, Wyatt has a bit of competition on the defensive line that he needs to edge out for more reps. After the obvious anchor of the defensive line, Kenny Clark, Wyatt also has Dean Lowry, Jarran Reed, and TJ Slaton to compete with for quality snaps. So, this has mostly stuck Wyatt with the 2nd team defense so far. Nonetheless, Wyatt has shown a lot of his power and explosiveness ripping through blocks and creating a pass rush. He also had a notable rep taking on a double team from a lineman and tight end on a rushing play, still getting into the backfield to make the stop. Kenny Clark has already raved that the addition of Wyatt is going to make his life easier, and so far, we might be seeing what he means
Tonight, is Family Night, and these rookies are going to get their first look at their new home under the lights and loaded with fans. It’s time to rise to the occasion, grab those headlines, and show us why they’re going to help us win a Super Bowl.
Greg Meinholz is a 24/7/365 Packers fan. When he’s not spending time with his family, he can be found meditating in his Packers shrine with a good beer. You can follow him on twitter at @gmeinholz.