Top 5 Position Battles to Watch in Green Bay Packers' Training Camp

Matt SmithContributor IIIMay 16, 2012

Top 5 Position Battles to Watch in Green Bay Packers' Training Camp

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    After the way last season ended, the Green Bay Packers are ready to get back to football and move on.

    In order to avoid the same fate as last season, Green Bay focused on improving its defense through the draft.

    As always, though, there will be some shake-ups at other positions. Shake-ups mean everyone's favorite preseason topic: position battles.

    Due to the expected emergence of several players and the infusion of young talent through the draft, there are five main position battles that Packers fans should keep an eye on when training camp comes around.

Outside Linebacker

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    Even though there's technically a competition for one of the starting outside linebacker jobs, it'd be foolish to think that Nick Perry won't win it.

    That leaves the team with Vic So'oto, Erik Walden, Brad Jones, Frank Zombo and Jamari Lattimore among others. Obviously, not all of them will make the cut.

    My best guess is that Walden and So'oto make it, while Zombo has a good chance as well.

    Everyone behind Clay Matthews and Perry is fighting for a roster spot, which will make it interesting to see who stays and who goes.


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    There are three scenarios regarding seventh-round pick B.J. Coleman and former Arena League star Nick Hill.

    Coleman stays and Hill gets cut, Hill stays and Coleman gets cut or neither stays.

    The two most likely scenarios are that Coleman becomes the third string quarterback or that both get cut and Coleman goes to the practice squad.

    The Packers only carried two quarterbacks for the majority of last year. Will they do the same thing again?


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    A lot of the way the secondary shapes up depends on the readiness of Casey Hayward.

    If the Packers like what they see in Hayward's ball skills and feel he's NFL-ready, that could precipitate moving Charles Woodson to safety.

    If not, Hayward would mainly be trying to beat out Sam Shields for playing time.

    Hayward could be anywhere between second and fourth on the cornerback depth chart, and his ability to beat out Shields has an effect on who'll be the starting strong safety in addition to his own spot.


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    Let's say that Green Bay decides to keep Woodson at cornerback. That'd leave the starting strong safety position open for grabs.

    Charlie Peprah figures to have the inside track to a starter's spot, but fourth-round pick Jerron McMillian will have something to say about that.

    If McMillian doesn't flat-out win the battle in camp, expect him to take over at some point in the season. Peprah wasn't very good last season.

    Also, what figures to be the fourth and final safety spot will have competition. That just adds more intrigue to an already interesting position.

Wide Receiver

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    In terms of spots, there are really only two up for grabs.

    First, Donald Driver must take a pay cut and then secure his spot.

    A sixth receiver spot is also a possibility after both Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel took pay raises last year in order to stay with the Packers. Rookie free agent Dale Moss is also in the mix for a sixth spot.

    If Driver does make the cut, he'll have to face Randall Cobb in an offseason battle that could determine who gets the majority of the snaps in the slot.

    James Jones also has something to prove.

    There isn't going to be a major shake-up at wide receiver, but everyone besides Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson has something to prove during training camp.