Stock Up, Stock Down for Key Green Bay Packers Heading into Week 1
While the Packers played poorly throughout the preseason, there were still plenty of players who saw their stock rise and fall. Some of this rising and falling was due to injuries, but the majority of it was how players performed throughout the preseason.
Let's take a look at the stock up, stock down report as we head into Week 1.
Stock Up: Micah Hyde, CB
One of the breakout stars of the preseason for the Green Bay Packers was rookie cornerback Micah Hyde.
He graded out as the 13th-best cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). His physicality and coverage skills were on display throughout the preseason.
Despite such a solid preseason, the real reason Hyde's stock is on the rise is due to the fact that fellow cornerback Casey Hayward has been ruled out of Week 1 with a hamstring injury. Hayward's injury will give Hyde plenty of snaps in the secondary against one of the best teams in the league.
If Hyde can play solid football while on the field this Sunday, his stock will continue to soar, and Green Bay will have no choice but to give him more opportunities throughout the season.
Stock Down: Johnathan Franklin, RB
Many (myself included) expected rookie running back Johnathan Franklin to make a huge impact during his rookie season.
Unfortunately, Franklin hasn't had the best preseason. In four preseason games, Franklin only managed 47 rushing yards on 21 carries. He also displayed the inability to pick up blitzing defensive players when asked to stay back in pass protection.
Overall, Franklin has fallen to third on the depth chart behind Eddie Lacy and James Starks. Unless there is an injury, it's unlikely that Franklin will see much playing time.
Stock Up: Don Barclay, OT
When Bryan Bulaga went down with a season-ending injury, the offensive tackle position became a huge battle throughout training camp. Former left tackle Marshall Newhouse was expected to be a starter once the regular season rolled around.
However, due to the spectacular play of second-year tackle Don Barclay, Newhouse will be starting the season on the bench. Barclay graded out with a positive grade in pass protection in three of the four preseason games, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
His ability to keep quarterback Aaron Rodgers upright heading into the season is why Barclay's stock is on the rise heading into the first week.
Stock Down: Casey Hayward, CB
After one of the best rookie seasons by a defensive player last year, cornerback Casey Hayward's sophomore campaign hasn't been going very smoothly.
For starters, Hayward only played in one preseason game this year. While he did record an interception against the Seattle Seahawks, he still could have used more playing time.
Hayward has also been dealing with a hamstring injury throughout training camp, and it's one that will keep him out of Week 1. If you can't get on the field, then all your stock is going to do is go down.
Stock Up: Eddie Lacy, RB
All it really took was one run for Eddie Lacy to win the starting running back job for the Green Bay Packers. His 15-yard run against the St. Louis Rams where he broke five tackles before going down was all the Packers needed to see from him.
Lacy will not only start the season atop the depth chart in Green Bay, but he'll also likely be featured in the offense pretty regularly. The Packers desperately need a ground game to complement quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Lacy looks like he'll be the one to do it.
As long as Lacy can stay healthy, which is something he had trouble with while at Alabama, he should have one of the more productive seasons for a rookie running back in the league.
Stock Down: Derek Sherrod, OT
Look, no player on the Green Bay Packers has had worse luck with injuries than Derek Sherrod.
He's still dealing with the repercussions of a broken leg from back in December 2011. That injury kept him out all of last year and has landed him on the reserve/PUP list to start the season. While it's possible for him to come back sometime during the 2013 season, it's hard to imagine him making too much of an impact this year after being away from the field for so long.
Until Sherrod can get on the field, his stock will continue to fall.
Stock Up: Johnny Jolly, DE
The most impressive player during the Green Bay Packers' preseason was defensive end Johnny Jolly.
After being out of the league for three years while in jail, Jolly came back with a vengeance. He graded out as the seventh-best 3-4 defensive end this preseason, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). He was most dominant against the run, but he also showed some ability to get after the quarterback by notching one sack in four games.
While it's unknown whether Jolly's performance was enough for him to see major playing time this year, it was certainly enough for him to make the final roster in Green Bay. Look for him to continue to be one of the better redemption stories in the NFL throughout the season.
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