The NFL Draft and free agency is in our rearview mirrors. There is very little day-to-day NFL news aside from random minor transactions across the league and conversations about where/when this star player will be traded. The NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing. Baseball is gearing up for a long, hot summer. The dog days of Summer are upon us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look down the line at what else the coming summer months hold for us: Training Camp and the NFL preseason. We will be going over all 32 teams’ offseason, division by division: their player personnel moves, coaching changes and projected preseason depth charts. Let’s check in on the cheeseheads – the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay Packers Pre-Training Camp Projected Depth Chart
|QB||Aaron Rodgers||Jordan Love|
|RB||Aaron Jones||AJ Dillon|
|FB/TE||Josiah Deguara||Dominique Dafney|
|WR1||Davante Adams||Marquez Valdes-Scantling|
|WR2||Allen Lazard||Equanimeous St. Brown|
|WR3||Amari Rodgers||Juwann Winfree|
|TE1||Robert Tonyan||Josiah Deguara|
|TE2||Marcedes Lewis||Jace Sternberger|
|LT||David Bakhtiari||Ben Braden|
|LG||Elgton Jenkins||Jon Runyan|
|RG||Lucas Patrick||Simon Stepaniak|
|RT||Billy Turner||Royce Newman|
|NT||Kenny Clark||Tedarrell Slaton|
|DE||Tyler Lancaster||Kingsley Keke|
|OLB||Rashan Gary||Preston Smith|
|ILB||Krys Barnes||Oren Burks|
|ILB||De’Vondre Campbell||Kamal Martin|
|OLB||Za’Darius Smith||Randy Ramsey|
|CB1||Jaire Alexander||Eric Stokes|
|CB2||Kevin King||Josh Jackson|
|CB3||Chandon Sullivan||Shemar Jean-Charles|
|FS||Adrian Amos||Christian Uphoff|
|SS||Darnell Savage||Vernon Scott|
|LS||Hunter Bradley||Joe Fortunato|
|KR||Amari Rodgers||Malik Taylor|
|PR||Amari Rodgers||Josh Jackson|
*BOLD player name = Rookie*
Green Bay Packers 2021 NFL Draft Class
Round 1 (29th overall): CB Eric Stokes, Georgia
Round 2 (62nd): G/C Josh Myers, Ohio State
Round 3 (85th): WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson
Round 4 (142nd): T/G Royce Newman, Ole Miss
Round 5 (173rd): DL Tedarrell Slaton, Florida
Round 5 (178th): CB Shemar Jean-Charles, Appalachian State
Round 6 (214th): T/G Cole Van Lanen, Wisconsin
Round 6 (220th): LB Isaiah McDuffie, Boston College
Round 7 (256th): RB Kylin Hill, Mississippi State
Green Bay Packers Offseason Player Personnel Moves
|Player||Position||Age||2020 Team||2021 Team||Info / Notes|
|Player||Position||Age||2020 Team||2021 Team||Acquired via|
|Kurt Benkert||QB||26||ATL||GB||Free Agency|
|Blake Bortles||QB||29||LAR||GB||Free Agency|
|De’Vondre Campbell||LB||28||ARZ||GB||Free Agency|
|Player||Position||Age||2020 Team||2021 Team||Departed via|
|Corey Linsley||C||30||GB||LAC||Free Agency|
|Montravius Adams||DL||26||GB||NE||Free Agency|
|Jamaal Williams||RB||26||GB||DET||Free Agency|
|Tim Boyle||QB||27||GB||DET||Free Agency|
|Lane Taylor||G||32||GB||HOU||Free Agency|
|James Burgess||ILB||27||GB||SF||Free Agency|
|Parry Nickerson||CB||27||GB||MIN||Free Agency|
|Raven Greene||S||26||GB||TB||Free Agency|
|Player||Position||Age||2020 Team||2021 Team||Info / Notes|
|Robert Tonyan Jr.||TE||27||GB||GB|
Green Bay Packers Offseason Review
This has been a weird, stressful offseason for the Green Bay Packers organization and its fan base. The team is asking itself, “A-a-ron. Where are you? Where is A-a-ron right now? No A-a-ron, huh?”. The answer: he is living his best life and focusing on his mental health – according to awesome vacation pics posted on social media and words spoken by the man himself. There is still a swirl of awkwardness around the Packers, as the team is in a standoff with their Hall of Fame QB. Rodgers has publicly stated his issues with the front office, particularly general manager Brian Gutekunst, and hasn’t been a part of any offseason team activities. Jordan Love has been getting all the reps he can handle in the meantime, and this is still a team with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Coming off of back to back 13 win seasons and appearances in the NFC Championship in head coach Matt LaFleur’s first two seasons at the helm, this team is a legit Super Bowl contender – if their star quarterback shows up rested and ready to roll.
As per usual, the Packers didn’t add anyone of major significance through free agency, but also didn’t suffer any monumental losses – assuming A-a-ron is still their QB. The major moves involved keeping several key contributors in the fold. Aaron Jones has become a quality back in this offense, rushing for over 1,100 yards last season while averaging 5.5 yards per carry and sprinkling in 47 receptions. Re-signing him (4 years, $48M) was the top priority for the Packers this offseason. With Jamaal Williams leaving town as a free agent, AJ Dillon steps into the RB2 and short yardage role Williams held down the last couple of seasons. Dillon is a big, bruising runner who has the physical profile to be the featured back in case of injury to Jones, and has been working on his skills in the passing game this offseason. The team also drafted Kylin Hill in the 7th round to add depth. Hill could prove to be a late round steal, as he is a solid fit in this offense, and adds value as a proven receiver out of the backfield.
The Packers bringing back Robert Tonyan Jr. and Allen Lazard was huge to keep the offense well stocked for Rodgers (or Love). Tonyan had a breakout season in 2020 with 11 touchdowns, and showed he could be the big middle of the field/red zone target the team has needed. Lazard is competing to be one of the starting receivers, and could be in line for a breakout of his own if he can stay healthy. Green Bay also drafted receiver Amari Rodgers in the 3rd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Rodgers is a good athlete, has strong hands to make contested catches, and should be a factor immediately from the slot for this offense as the new Randall Cobb.
The biggest changes this season on offense will involve the offensive line. Star left tackle David Bakhtiari is recovering from a torn ACL, and will likely miss training camp and possibly the start of the regular season. All-Pro Corey Linsley signed with the Chargers as a free agent, opening up a hole at center – Linsley has been starting for Green Bay since 2014, when healthy. So with those key starting positions opening up, the Packers are forced to do some serious shuffling that will have to be sorted out during training camp and the preseason. Billy Turner, Ben Braden, Yosh Nijman, and rookie Royce Newman are fighting it out for the starting tackle spots, based on how minicamp went. Turner is likely the only one of that group guaranteed a starting job, at either tackle spot. Newman was a guard in college, but the Packers like offensive linemen who play multiple positions, so we’ll see how the transition to right tackle goes; he could be the swing tackle if he doesn’t win a starting job. On the inside, only Elgton Jenkins is guaranteed a starting role – either at center or guard. The other two starting roles inside will come from a group consisting of Lucas Patrick, Jon Runyan, Simon Stepaniak, and rookies Newman, Cole Van Lanen, and Josh Myers. Myers emerged from minicamp as the current starter at center, with Jenkins at guard. This situation will remain fluid, however, throughout training camp and the preseason, with the team trying different combinations and seeing what sticks.
The defense didn’t undergo any major changes, but did hire a new defensive coordinator in Joe Barry, and lost starting inside linebacker Christian Kirksey in free agency to Houston. The competition to start at the two inside linebacker positions will be between five or six players, including rookie Isaiah McDuffie and free agent signing De’Vondre Campbell; Campbell is a virtual lock to claim one of the inside starting spots. The Packers lost Montravius Adams in free agency to New England, but they re-signed Tyler Lancaster, and drafted girthy Florida defensive lineman Tedarrell Slaton in the 5th round. They’re a bit thin on the defensive line, and may add some depth before the start of the season. In the secondary, the Packers retained the services of a couple of potential starters in Kevin King and Chandon Sullivan. Last we saw King, he was getting burned in the playoffs, and the team selected cornerback Eric Stokes with their first round pick. Stokes ran a 4.28 40 yard dash at his pro day, and had three quality seasons at Georgia; he allowed only 16 receptions all season and had four interceptions in 2020. King and Stokes will battle it out to see who starts on the outside opposite shutdown All-Pro Jaire Alexander, while Sullivan is likely locked into the starting nickel role going into training camp.
The Green Bay Packers are the best team in the NFC North on paper. They went 13-3 each of the last two years, getting eliminated in the NFC Championship both years. Everything depends on if Rodgers will be at training camp, and if he will play a full season. If he does – I believe he will – then this team will have a shot at a title. If Love has to take the reins over the course of 17 games, all bets are off, and the North could be had. If that happens, all of Green Bay will be left saying, “Ya done messed up A-a-ron!”.
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