With a little over two weeks away until the first round of training camp practices begin, the Green Bay Packers are close to having their 2023-24 NFL season start. A lot has changed for their roster this off-season and there will be quite a few positional battles to watch.
The offensive side of the ball has a pretty solid pecking order for most positions, starting with QB Jordan Love. Having both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon as 1A and 1B in the backfield will help take a lot of pressure off of Love’s shoulders in his first year as the starter.
Defensively, the front seven unit has a ton of talent on it for Joe Barry to put to use. Plenty of concerns have been raised about his ability to get the most out of his unit, and this season could very well be the tipping point if there are situations where Barry doesn’t use his best judgment.
The secondary is pretty well set at this point, especially at cornerback, with Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes yet again leading the pack. If these two options can stay healthy and help shutdown opposing wide receivers, then maybe this unit can actually be a consistent top-10 defense.
Even though there are plenty of positions figured out, Green Bay has a lot yet to determine. The following breakdowns are the three most important positional battles to watch come July 26.
With Christian Watson as the clear-cut top receiver for Love, the battle for his running mate looks to be between second-year option Romeo Doubs and second-round rookie Jayden Reed.
Doubs likely has the clubhouse advantage because of his performance in his rookie year (42/425/3), as he continuously showed his understanding of the playbook from early on. On many occasions, Doubs was able to be a security blanket for Aaron Rodgers last year, and he should be able to replicate that role this year.
Reed enters the fold after a productive collegiate career at Michigan State. With Green Bay taking him a bit earlier than consensus expected, it will be interesting to see if the Packers fast track Reed into the WR2 role or if they let things play out and keep this competition fair on both sides.
There are three players that can have their names written in sharpie for Green Bay’s offensive line – David Bakhtiari at LT, Elgton Jenkins at either guard spot, and Josh Myers at C. But to round out the OL for the other guard spot and right tackle, there are a few names in the mix.
Between Jon Runyan, Royce Newman, Yosh Njiman, and Zach Tom, there likely will be two starters that come out of this group. Plenty of experience between all four options makes this a good problem to have, but all four certainly have their shortcomings.
With how these four options stack up with one another, it would be a safe bet that the clubhouse favorites are Njiman at RT and Tom at the other remaining guard spot.
With no more Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage needs a running mate alongside him at safety. Off-season signees Jonathan Owens and Tarvarius Moore will likely fit into this equation, as will incumbent Rudy Ford and rookie Anthony Johnson Jr.
But the most likely option to take over this role is actually Rasul Douglas, who has seen time mostly at cornerback ever since joining the team. To be able to get your best defense on the field you need all of your best players on the field, and moving Douglas into a role that sees him more at safety is a great way to do that.
Douglas would need to acclimatate and get used to the position, but he would provide a good veteran presence alongside Savage to improve the performance from this position.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