One thing that's great about training camp is the backup player who impresses everyone to take the starting job. Last year, it was offensive tackle David Bakhtiari who came out of nowhere to earn a starting job for the Green Bay Packers.
This year, the Packers have one of their deepest rosters in recent years. Nearly every position has talent going two or three deep past the starters. So, seeing a backup step up this year and take a starting job wouldn't be a surprise at all.
Today we're going to highlight the three players who have the best chance to go from backup to starter during training camp.
ILB Jamari Lattimore
Let's start with the backup that the Packers desperately need to take a starting job. We all know about the deficiencies of the starting inside linebackers, and Jamari Lattimore could help alleviate some of those woes.
Now Lattimore has just returned to training camp from a stomach illness, so he hasn't been able to impress much. However, Lattimore did have one outstanding play so far in camp during one-on-one sessions.
Should the Packers start Jamari Lattimore?
Lattimore beat offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga in one-on-ones the other day, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. This was the first time that Bulaga was beaten in such a drill since the 2012 offseason. While this one play doesn't guarantee success for Lattimore, it's a good starting point to show his strength and athleticism.
Back in June, Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote on how much the Packers value Lattimore. They wouldn't have re-signed him this offseason if they didn't think he could become something for them.
With Lattimore now at full strength, don't be surprised if he starts impressing in a major way. Look for Lattimore to challenge Brad Jones for his starting job throughout training camp.
S Sean Richardson
No player has been more impressive throughout training camp so far than Richardson. First, he left a lasting impression on ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert:
Lasting impression of #Packers camp today: S Sean Richardson ripping ball from WR Jordy Nelson for INT over middle. Big-time play.— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) July 28, 2014
A few days later, Richardson was again the star of practice, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
S Sean Richardson is the three star player of practice so far. He's everywhere. Leveled TE Richard Rodgers.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) July 31, 2014
Richardson has simply been making plays every single day of camp. He's been all over the field, creating turnovers and laying out offensive players when he can.
I think Sean Richardson is having an excellent training camp. He's done a lot of good things. He had an interception today in the pursuit drill, the pursuit screens and finish drill there to start off practice. He did some real good things early in the week on special teams.
It's that type of praise that could ultimately earn Richardson a starting job. Now it's unlikely that he'll start at free safety, so Richardson is really battling for Morgan Burnett's job. It's a long shot, but if Richardson continues to make huge plays throughout camp, the Packers might not have any choice but to start him.
WR Jared Abbrederis
The last backup who could find himself in a starting role is the rookie wide receiver out of hometown college Wisconsin. Abbrederis has already shown that he's a favorite of the fans, as he earns the biggest cheers out of the crowd.
However, Abbrederis is also proving that he can play a little football. In this video from Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Abbrederis makes an outstanding catch against cornerback Jarrett Bush.
A few days earlier, Abbrederis beat starting cornerback Tramon Williams, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. If there's one thing that Abbrederis has proven he can do, it's catch footballs.
There was this diving catch:
Second straight day Jared Abbrederis makes a diving catch. This off a throw from Flynn— Dan Koob (@DanKoob) July 28, 2014
Then this leaping catch on a deep ball:
Rookie WR Jared Abbrederis makes a leaping catch on a deep ball from Flynn, drawing a great reaction from the crowd.— Green Bay Packers (@packers) July 27, 2014
All in all, Abbrederis is showing the Packers that he's not your standard fifth-round pick. Now it's impossible for the rookie from Wisconsin to replace either Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb, but he has an outside chance at that No. 3 receiver spot.
If Abbrederis continues to be as impressive catching the football as he's been in camp, it'll be hard for the Packers to keep him off the field.