As OTAs and camp start, the foundation becomes laid for all 32 NFL franchises, and the 80 players all compete for the already limited spots on the 53 man roster. As is the case for all teams, certain positions are more open than others. This is also the case for Green Bay.
We take a peek at the wide receivers and tight ends, where several players battle for one spot, and in the case of the tight ends, three must battle for two.
Green Bay's receivers are among the best and deepest in the NFL. Two 1,000 yard receivers in Jennings and Driver, and young, solid contributors in Jones and Nelson. This group is a consistent one, and are Aaron Rodgers's best weapons in the passing game.
Again, as OTAs and camp starts, Jennings and Driver are lock to make the roster; Jones and Nelson will be competing for more playing time as the number three receiver in the slot. The number five spot is again open, with Swain having been injured early last season after winning the No. 5 spot over Ruvell Martin.
Plenty have been brought in to compete, including Charles Dillon, Shawn Gore, Jeff Moturi, Chastin West, and Patrick Williams. Interesting cases include Dillon, who has return ability, and Shawn Gore, who brings plenty of potential to the table.
The tight end saw an improvement from 2008, with the emergence of Finley in the offense, and Havner's growth as a tight end. This year, Finley has claimed the starting position as the No. 1 tight end. This year, there are two spots open, but four tight ends.
These include Tom Crabtree, Donald Lee, Havner, and rookie Andrew Quarless (fifth round draft pick). Crabtree is not likely to make the roster at this point, being a practice squad player; therefore, the competition remains between Havner and Lee. Lee is getting closer to thirty, and his production and role in the offense has declined the last two years. The coaches like the mismatch that Quarless brings, and is likely to make the roster. That leaves Lee and Havner for one more spot.
At this point, Havner has more to offer, with roles in the offense and special teams, more than Lee has at this point. Lee's age and decline does not help him. At this point, the three tight ends to start the season will be Finley, Havner, and Quarless. Lee is likely to be traded or released at this point. The wide receivers and tight ends to catch the 53 will be:
Locks: Jennings, Driver, Jones, Nelson
Bubble: Shawn Gore, Charles Dillon
Out: Williams, West, Moturi, Swain
Locks: Finley, Quarless
Bubble: Lee, Havner