All the players are scheduled to report to training camp on July 28th. With that in mind, here are five position groups to watch during Packers training camp.
1.) Middle Linebacker- The packers have 6 middle linebackers on their roster; Christian Kirksey, Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Kamal Martin, Krys Barnes, and Curtis Bolton. After letting Blake Martinez walk in free agency, Green Bay went out and signed Christian Kirksey. I think it is safe to say Christian is a lock for starting ILB. The big question is who will start at the other ILB spot. Oren Burks who was picked in the third round of the 2018 NFL draft, is a favorite to fill the spot. Burks has injury concerns and only played 6% of the defensive snaps last year for the Pack, but I also think Ty Summers and rookie Kamal Martin may challenge him for that spot.
2.) Slot/Third Cornerback- Green Bay has ten CB’s on the roster currently; Jaire Alexander, Dashaun Amos, Marc-Antoine Dequoy, Kabion Ento, Ka’dar Hollman, Josh Jackson, Kevin King, Stanford Samuels, Chandon Sullivan, and Will Sunderland. Most likely Jaire Alexander will be tasked with following the opponents best wide-receiver, and Kevin King assigned to cover there second best wide receiver. Which leaves us with the next two spots open for Josh Jackson who showed a lot of promise in his rookie year, but didn’t play much last year. He recorded only 11 tackles, 0 defensed, and 0 interceptions. Chandon Sullivan who stepped up last year and had 27 tackles, 6 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception may claim the spot over Jackson this year.
3.) Offensive Guard- The Packers offensive guards are Elgton Jenkins, Lane Taylor, Lucas Patrick, Cole Madison, Zach Johnson, Jon Runyan, Simon Stepaniak, and Billy Turner. I think that the second-year guard E. Jenkins has earned one of the starting spots with his zero sacks given up last year in his rookie year. With Lane Taylor getting healthy and Billy Turner possibly switching from tackle to guard, this should be a great battle between them. Lets not forget about the three rookies that were just drafted this year as well that will be in the mix.
4.) Tight End- The packers have 6 tight ends on the roster; Robert Tonyan, Jace Sternberger, Marcedes Lewis, Evan Baylis, James Looney, and Josiah Deguara. This will be a great battle with Tonyan playing through an injury most of last year but may come back this season with a breakout year. Second year player Jace Sternberger who was limited by injury last year showed he could connect with Rodgers towards the end of the year. Marcedes has shown a great talent for blocking and making challenging catches, and is set to challenge for the top spot as well. Coach LaFleur has made it known that he is excited to use Deguara in many ways across the formation so it will be interesting to see what role he plays in his first year in Green Bay. As for Looney and Baylis, I think they will have a hard time cracking a roster spot and may make the practice squad.
5.) Wide Receiver- The Packers have ten wide receivers currently on the roster heading into camp and they are: Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Malik Taylor, Darrell Stewart, Equanimeous St. Brown, Darrius Shepard, Allen Lazard, Jake Kumerow, Devin Funchess, Reggie Begelton, and Davante Adams. I think we can all agree that Davante Adams will be the number one receiver. The second, third, and fourth wide reciever spots will all be up for grabs. Devin Funchess who was acquired in free agency this year is the early favorite to win the second spot behind Adams, but I think Allen Lazard could beat him out for it. If not, he will most likely get the third wide-receiver spot, and Marquez Valdez-Scantling, St. Brown, and Kumerow will be getting the remaining spots.
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