Training camp is in full force for the Green Bay Packers, and with their first preseason game coming up on August 12, they will finally be able to get some actual grades on players. But with training camp also comes takeaways from drills and non-padded work, two elements that can sway the thoughts of certain players before they even play a meaningful snap.
Is it too early to form opinions on how impactful rookies will be in their first seasons? Absolutely, but being re-exposed to football for the first time since February certainly can make people form ‘takes’ that have little or no evidence to back them up – which is what is talked about here.
Quiet camp for Devonte Wyatt means…
One of two first-round defensive selections, defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt was brought in to give Kenny Clark a running mate. But a quiet training camp has led some to form opinions on him not being worthy of the high draft capital.
Oftentimes, rookies are brought up in takeaways due to making plays that put them in the doghouse. But in Wyatt’s case, his name was really only circulating through the Packers community for his performance during Family Night, when he had a few impressive reps in pass-rushing opportunities.
With Clark fully entrenched as the starter, free agent Jarran Reed has been the hurdle that Wyatt has needed to overcome. But with Reed exceeding expectations and putting together a strong camp, Wyatt has been relegated to a lot of second-team work.
The need for Wyatt to impress in Year 1 was less important than for Quay Walker, so a lack of talking points about Wyatt should not be a cause for concern.
Christian Watson missing time = failed pick
Green Bay missed their first first-round WR for Aaron Rodgers by a mere two selections, as Christian Watson was selected 34th overall. A ‘minor’ knee procedure has kept the North Dakota State prospect out of camp so far, a major hindrance in his development.
Typically, any undeveloped players in the WR room have struggled to earn the trust of Rodgers, but Watson seems to be bucking that trend this year. Rodgers has gone on the record to speak to Watson’s willingness to learn and constantly be trying to pick up on intricacies that he is missing by not being on the field.
If his willingness to learn and pick Rodgers’ brain continues while he continues to recover, then his ability to earn the trust of Rodgers when he gets back onto the field should not take as long.
Romeo Doubs is the next Jordy Nelson
It’s just another year of there being an offseason darling on offense, and this year it looks to be fourth-round Romeo Doubs taking on that role. The Nevada rookie has consistently been making highlight-reel plays in camp and looks to be solidifying his role this season.
Doubs can continue that underrated WR pipeline that has seen the likes of Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, and others in its history. But as previously has happened with the likes of Darrius Shepherd, Jared Abbrederis, and Reggie Begelton, you can’t get your hopes up too high.
Doubs likely won’t become another Nelson and become one of Rodgers’ favorite targets, but he certainly can become a trusted member in the WR group that is in need of finding developmental pieces for the future.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