Most Intriguing Rookie Storylines at Green Bay Packers' OTAs
Organized team activities, or OTAs, start on May 29 for the Green Bay Packers.
One of the greatest parts about OTAs is that you finally get to see rookies and veterans on the field at the same time. What this allows for is comparisons to see which rookies are more athletic or skilled and ready to ultimately take a veteran's job.
With the Packers drafting nine solid players and adding a whole bunch more undrafted free agents, there will be plenty of intriguing storylines to follow throughout OTAs. Today we'll break down a handful of the most intriguing ones.
Does Colt Lyerla Really Have a Chance?
There's no doubt that the biggest rookie name for the Packers this offseason is tight end Colt Lyerla. However, does Lyerla really have a chance in Green Bay?
He certainly has the skill set to be an impact player in the NFL. He's a fantastic athlete who can line up all over the offense and make plays after the catch. His overall abilities would be the perfect fit at tight end for the Packers.
Unfortunately, there are numerous concerns about Lyerla and his off-field issues. He left his college team last season and then was arrested later in the year. Those types of character concerns are always worrisome for a young player.
So, while Lyerla certainly has the talent to be a premier player, he needs to prove he can stay out of trouble. If that happens, then the answer to our earlier question becomes quite easy. Not only does Lyerla have a chance in Green Bay, but he could also become a key player in the Packers offense.
What About Adrian Hubbard?
The other undrafted free agent that everyone is talking about in Green Bay is outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard. He dropped in the draft due to health concerns surrounding his heart, but he has since been cleared medically.
What makes Hubbard's inclusion in OTAs so intriguing is that the outside linebacker position isn't especially strong for the Packers. Once you get past Clay Matthews on the depth chart there really isn't much to be excited about.
Nick Perry has been a major letdown since entering the league, and while Julius Peppers could play some outside linebacker, it's unknown how he'll perform without any experience. That'll ultimately leave the door open for Hubbard, who has great length and athleticism.
Should Hubbard really shine during OTAs, he could potentially set himself up for major playing time early in the season.
Can Davante Adams Leap Jarrett Boykin?
No team in the NFL has had the type of success the Packers have had at drafting second-round receivers. From Greg Jennings to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, the Packers excel at picking wide receivers in Round 2. They're looking to keep that streak alive this year with Davante Adams.
Bleacher Report's Zach Kruse did a great breakdown of what current players Adams resembles. In that article, Kruse calls Adams a blend of James Jones, Greg Jennings, Dez Bryant and Michael Crabtree. Those are some rather talented players to be compared to.
The reality with Adams is that it wouldn't be a surprise at all to see him jump over Jarrett Boykin on the depth chart. He's more skilled than Boykin, and he certainly has more potential.
Look for Adams to start the regular season as the No. 3 receiver for the Packers.
Will Corey Linsley Have a Real Shot at Starting at Center?
The most important positional battle this offseason might just happen with the centers. What's crazy to think about is that no matter who wins this battle, quarterback Aaron Rodgers will still be taking snaps from his fourth different starting center in four years.
By drafting Corey Linsley in the fifth round, the Packers either brought in competition for second-year player JC Tretter or they were simply looking for depth at that position. The more likely scenario involves depth, but Linsley might just have enough to push for Tretter's job.
What makes Linsley such an intriguing option is that he played almost all of his college football as a center. The same can't be said for Tretter, and it also wasn't true for former center Evan Dietrich-Smith. That experience for Linsley will take away a major part of the learning curve since he won't be learning a new position.
While the Packers will likely give Tretter the majority of first-team snaps in OTAs, Linsley seems poised to make some noise this offseason. Even if he doesn't take the starting job outright, don't be surprised if he pushes Tretter to the wall for his job.
Is Chase Rettig a Legitimate Backup Option?
One of the most surprising moves the Packers made in this year's draft was failing to select a quarterback. Green Bay has taken late-round quarterbacks in a handful of recent drafts in an attempt to find a legitimate backup for Rodgers.
However, after the seventh round finished up on that Saturday evening, the Packers signed undrafted free agent Chase Rettig from Boston College. Rettig was a three-year starter for the Golden Eagles but never really hit his stride while in college.
However, at 6'3" and 212 pounds with a cannon arm, Rettig certainly looks the part of an NFL quarterback. The big question will be whether or not he can develop quickly enough to jump past either Matt Flynn or Scott Tolzien on the depth chart.
Rettig initially looks like a prime candidate for the practice squad this year. Both Tolzien and Flynn have experience in the offense, and it'll be difficult for an undrafted rookie to overtake them. However, it wouldn't be shocking at all to see Rettig as the No. 2 quarterback once the 2015 season rolls around.
Can Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Be the Savior of the Defense?
When safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix fell to the Packers in the first round, shouts of joy could be heard around the world. No one expected the former Alabama star to drop that far.
Not only is Clinton-Dix a perfect fit for the Packers defense, but he plays at the position that struggled the most last year. The big question, however, is how much impact can just one man make?
At first glance, it appears like Clinton-Dix could make quite the impact. He's a legitimate playmaker in the secondary who can cover, tackle and force turnovers. That's exactly what the Packers need at safety.
To call him the savior of the defense might be a little much, but it wouldn't be far-fetched at all to think that Clinton-Dix could become one of the premier defensive players in Green Bay by the time the 2014 season is over.
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