Green Bay Packers: Top Position Battles to Watch in Training Camp
For NFL junkies, training camp can't come soon enough. While OTAs and minicamps are nice, they pale in comparison to training camp.
The good news for fans of the Green Bay Packers is that you only have to wait a few more days until camp begins. The Packers kick off on Saturday, July 26, and it should help begin to shape the final 53-man roster.
What training camp ultimately does for teams is help show which fringe players deserve to be members of the final roster. And the best part about these next few weeks will be the positional battles that take place.
For the Packers, there aren't really too many open positions up for battle due to the overall depth and experience on the roster. However, the positional battles that will be taking place should be extremely exciting.
Let's take a look at five of these battles that will stand out from the rest.
However, the Packers have a bevy of receivers who are loaded with talent, but they only have a handful of spots on the roster. That's why this will be such an exciting battle to watch.
Veterans like Jarrett Boykin, Chris Harper and Myles White will all be looking to make the final roster. Then there is the talented trio of rookies Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis. This group is so talented that all six have a chance at joining Nelson and Cobb as impact players on offense.
This battle is really up for grabs from the No. 3 receiver on down for the depth chart. It wouldn't be surprising to see other teams watching the Packers receivers to see which ones get released so they can make them an offer.
Look for this to be one of the hottest and most talked-about battles in training camp.
Of all the positional battles, this one might be the most important to the success of the team. Unlike the receivers, the talent of the tight ends in Green Bay is mostly unknown.
Sure, Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick played well last year, but neither have been a legitimate starter for a full year. Then there are rookies Richard Rodgers and Colt Lyerla looking to steal some playing time.
If the offseason was to end right now, it's likely that Rodgers would be the starter. He was easily the most impressive tight end during OTAs, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.
However, Rodgers will face extremely tough competition from Quarless, who seemed like the favorite to start before OTAs. Quarless is a more complete tight end but doesn't have the ultimate upside of Rodgers.
While Rodgers and Quarless are the favorites, it'd be foolish to count out either Bostick or Lyerla. It wouldn't be surprising at all to see this battle go down to the final days of training camp before a winner is announced.
While the center position isn't as glamorous as other offensive line positions, it's definitely just as important.
For the Packers, this battle has come down to only two players. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will almost certainly be taking snaps this year from either JC Tretter or rookie Corey Linsley.
Now this battle isn't really even that close right now. The job is Tretter's to lose, and even though he's never played a single NFL snap as a center, he's still been impressive throughout the offseason.
Linsley enters this battle as the long shot who could potentially take the starting job if he has a perfect training camp. He has more experience as a center than Tretter, but it'll still be an uphill battle for him.
This battle will likely end within the first few weeks of training camp. However, Linsley could make it more interesting with some stellar play.
This isn't the most obvious of position battles, but it's still a big one due to a handful of players' futures being in jeopardy. A poor training camp could get them cut and looking for a new team before the regular season.
The most notable player to fall into this category is outside linebacker Nick Perry. He's already missed all of OTAs and minicamp with an undisclosed injury, and newly signed Julius Peppers has likely taken his starting job.
So, training camp will be huge for Perry. It will also be extremely important for younger players like Adrian Hubbard, Nate Palmer and Andy Mulumba. The Packers desperately need some more production from this position and will be looking to find it during training camp.
A strong training camp for any of the above mentioned players could mean serious playing time once the regular season rolls around. On the flip side, a poor training camp could mean it's time to pack your bags and get out of town.
The success of the defense is ultimately going to depend on the success of the safeties for the Packers. Last year, they were terrible and the whole defense followed suit.
This year, the Packers have some new toys to play with. First, there's first-round draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He figures to play a major role on defense.
However, he spent all of OTAs watching Micah Hyde, who played cornerback last year, take his snaps with the first-team defense. So, there is potentially a battle brewing between those two for who will start at free safety.
There could also be a battle at strong safety between Morgan Burnett and Sean Richardson. While Burnett is a near lock to be the starter, he wasn't impressive last year at all. If Richardson can put together a strong training camp, he could potentially take Burnett's job.
With a handful of impact players looking to cement their status on the defense, this should be one of the best positional battles in training camp.