Green Bay Packers Training Camp: Week 1 Stock Report
It's the first full week of training camp for the Green Bay Packers. While the Packers are still at the early stages of camp, there is still plenty to talk about in Green Bay.
Despite only being three days into camp, there are already players who have seen their stock status change. Some, like safety Sean Richardson, have seen theirs rise in a significant way. Others, like tight end Colt Lyerla, need to improve quickly before they dig themselves too deep of a ditch.
The good news for all the players is that there is still plenty of time for things to change. Here's a look at the Week 1 stock report from Packers training camp.
Stock Up: Sean Richardson, Safety
With Micah Hyde and rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix being the most talked-about Packers safeties this offseason, it seems that everyone has forgotten about Richardson. Well, it didn't take long for Richardson to make an impact in training camp.
Richardson is entering his third year with the Packers. While he's done some positive things during the regular season, he's far from a lock on the final roster.
However, if Richardson continues to play like he did on Monday, he might even steal away some snaps from the starters. He made a great interception over the middle of the field when the team was in pads for the first time, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN. Considering the safeties combined for zero interceptions last year, this was a very good sign so early in camp.
As long as Richardson can keep his high level of play up, the Packers will have no choice but to get him on the field. This is especially true if he continues to make incredible interceptions like he did on Monday.
Stock Down: Colt Lyerla, Tight End
It hasn't been a good start to training camp for Lyerla. The undrafted free agent tight end hasn't taken advantage of an open race for snaps at his position.
Fox Sports Wisconsin's Paul Imig had this to say about Lyerla's first days of camp:
On a day in which there were very few dropped passes overall, Lyerla had two of them. One would have been a relatively difficult catch as Matt Flynn underthrew a deep pass, but Lyerla slipped, got his hands on it and couldn't haul it in. The other was a more routine play on a rollout from Flynn that Lyerla has to make.
The difficult catch isn't worrisome, but the routine plays are ones that Lyerla has to make. With guys like Richard Rodgers performing well, Lyerla doesn't have the luxury of playing poorly, since he's an undrafted free agent.
If Lyerla wants to find a spot on the final roster, he's going to need to get his stock trending upward in a major way rather quickly.
Stock Up: Richard Rodgers, Tight End
Few players have had as good of an offseason as Rodgers, a rookie tight end. He was the MVP of OTAs, and he's continued his strong play at the start of training camp.
What stands out most about Rodgers is his impressive hands. In fact, Rodgers supposedly catches everything thrown his way, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The question that Silverstein brings up, and one the Packers are surely interested in, is if Rodgers is a capable blocker. If he turns out to be one, he'll absolutely be the starting tight end when Week 1 of the regular season rolls around.
There's still plenty of camp left, but right now Rodgers appears to be a huge winner.
Stock Down: Injured Defensive Players
Nothing hurts a player's status more during training camp than being injured. For the Packers, the majority of injured players are on the defensive side of the ball. And to make matters even worse, most of those defensive players could be fighting for their job by the end of camp.
The injury report, via Bill Huber of PackerReport.com, includes outside linebackers Nick Perry and Mike Neal, inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore, defensive end Jerel Worthy and defensive tackle Letroy Guion. Of those five players, all need strong camps to ensure a roster spot and legitimate playing time.
Last year wasn't a good year for injuries in Green Bay, especially on the defense. If the above players can't be back on the field soon, the Packers will need to find capable replacements for the regular season to ensure they get proper production.
Stock Up: The Receiving Corps
It was hard to single out just one receiver because it seemed like all of them are excelling early in training camp.
Rookie Jared Abbrederis is impressing, per Demovsky. Potential backups Myles White and Chris Harper were excelling in one-on-one drills, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Oh, and who could forget about Jordy Nelson receiving a big contract extension right before camp?
Receiver was already a position to watch due to the depth and overall talent. However, now that this group's stock is on the rise, it'll be an even more exciting position to keep an eye on.
Stock Down: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Safety
With the safeties struggling so much last year, it seemed like first-round pick Clinton-Dix would have been a shoo-in to start from the first practice. However, that hasn't been the case for the former Alabama safety.
Not only was Clinton-Dix playing with the second-team defense during OTAs, but he's also been pushed to the bench during the first few days of training camp. Hyde, who is making the switch from cornerback to safety, appears to have a slight edge over Clinton-Dix, according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com.
Now Clinton-Dix's stock isn't down too much, but it is down a little simply due to him not already playing with the No. 1 defense.
Stock Up: Johnathan Franklin, Running Back
While Franklin's career on the field in Green Bay is over due to a career-ending neck injury, he might have a place off the field with the Packers. Head coach Mike McCarthy said he wanted Franklin back in a non-playing role, according to Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
It's hard for someone who doesn't play the game anymore to have their stock go up during the offseason, but Franklin is a special case. It'd be a great story if he was able to get back to helping the Packers in some way.
Stock Down: J.C. Tretter, Center
Heading into training camp, the job for starting center seemed like a lock to go to J.C. Tretter. Well, it might not be that easy for the second-year lineman.
Tretter had a tough day of practice on the third day, when he lost multiple battles with defensive tackle B.J. Raji, according to Imig. If Tretter is losing one-on-one battles with Raji, how's he going to fare against the likes of Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions?
There's still quite a bit of room between Tretter and No. 2 center Corey Linsley. However, that gap will continue to close if Tretter continues to have his stock decline.