Packers' Projected Winners of Key Position Battles

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 18, 2021

Packers' Projected Winners of Key Position Battles

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    Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    The Green Bay Packers, like every other franchise, will be using the rest of training camp and preseason to sort out a handful of depth chart situations.

    Offensively, Green Bay needs to set its No. 3 running back and figure out which players will be targeted by Aaron Rodgers after Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

    Most of the team's defensive starters are set, so the next two preseason contests will help determine the overall depth.

    Green Bay's top defensive focus should be the secondary, where a handful of players are fighting to be the backups at safety and cornerback.

No. 6 Wide Receiver

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    The battle to fill out Green Bay's final wide receiver spot comes down to how well Devin Funchess performs in preseason.

    Adams, Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb all did not feature in the preseason loss to the Houston Texans.

    It makes little sense for any of the first-team wideouts to play more than a series per game in the preseason. A strong argument could be made for them to not dress in any of those contests and solely focus on Week 1.

    2021 third-round draft pick Amari Rodgers should find his way on to the 53-man roster in some capacity. If it not at wide receiver, Rodgers can be utilized in the return game and in other areas of special teams.

    Funchess needs to prove he has not lost too much in his step after sitting out the 2020 season. He had six catches for 70 yards against Houston.

    The former Carolina Panthers player will show off his skill with Jordan Love in the pocket since Aaron Rodgers is sitting out preseason games.

    Malik Taylor is Funchess' biggest competition. He had five catches for 50 yards in the preseason opener. The only true difference between the two wideouts was Taylor caught each one of his targets. Funchess caught six of the eight balls thrown in his direction.

    Funchess is the more experienced player. If he performs well enough in preseason, he could add a physical presence to the roster that would help out the Packers offense in the red zone and on third down.

    Prediction: Devin Funchess

No. 3 Running Back

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    Dexter Williams, Patrick Taylor and Kylin Hill did not have many touches to show off their talents at running back versus Houston.

    Williams was Green Bay's leading rusher with 32 yards on four carries.

    Taylor received nine handoffs and averaged 2.4 yards per carry on his way to a 22-yard performance.

    Hill had minus-two rushing yards on five carries, but he scored the team's lone touchdown on a 22-yard pass play from Jordan Love.

    There does not appear to be much separation between the three after one preseason game, which makes the next two matchups against the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets so important.

    If Hill can be a larger part of the passing game, he may end up with the edge over Williams and Taylor.

    Hill was an explosive back at Mississippi State and could provide a jolt on special teams, or in situations where AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones need a rest.

    The No. 3 running back competition still appears to be wide open, but keep an eye on Hill, and if he can do more on the ground in the upcoming games.

    Prediction: Kylin Hill

Backup Cornerback

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    Mike Roemer/Associated Press

    Green Bay has at least three cornerbacks set in stone for its 53-man roster.

    Jaire Alexander and Kevin King should be the starters and first-round draft pick Eric Stokes should receive plenty of snaps in the nickel spot and in relief of the two starters if they need rest.

    Kabion Ento appears to have the inside track to land one of the final roster spots over Ka'dar Hollman and Josh Jackson.

    Ento grabbed an interception as part of his overall strong performance against the Texans.

    That should give him the edge going into the last two preseason games. Jackson, a 2018 second-round pick, and Hollman will receive chances to make up ground, but that is not the situation either player wants to be in with the preseason nearly halfway over.

    Prediction: Kabion Ento