The Green Bay Packers will open up training camp in 2022 on Wednesday. NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers is already stealing the show after reporting to camp looking like Cameron Poe. Aside from Rodgers, here are 11 players that I’ll be keeping close tabs on throughout training camp and preseason.
WR Samori Toure
The seventh-round pick is going to have to show he can make an impact on special teams if he has any hopes of making the final 53. Toure is a talented wide receiver and has already grabbed the attention of the reigning MVP. However, with Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Amari Rodgers being (likely) roster locks, will Toure be able to do enough to make Green Bay consider keeping seven wide receivers on the active roster? That’s something that Green Bay has never done during Matt LaFleur’s tenure.
TE Josiah Deguara
(AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)
Deguara is a breakout candidate for the Packers. As a rookie, he suffered a knee injury during his fourth career game. This past season he hauled in two receiving touchdowns. With Robert Tonyan likely set to start the season on the PUP, Deguara has a chance to showcase why he could be the future at tight end for the Packers.
K Mason Crosby
(AP Photo/AJ Mast)
The veteran kicker went from Mr. Automatic to hold onto your butts in 2021. Crosby made every field goal attempt in 2020 and followed it up with one of his most trying seasons during his 15-year career. Crosby connected on just 73.5 percent of his field goals last season, the second worst mark of his career. Not all of the struggles can be put solely on Crosby, but will Crosby and the kicking unit enjoy a bounce-back year in 2022? Crosby’s performances throughout training camp and the preseason will be worth monitoring.
QB Jordan Love
Every rep for Jordan Love will be heavily scrutinized. As the former first-round pick enters his third year in the league, how comfortable will he look under center? With Rodgers most likely sitting out all of the preseason games, Love will likely see plenty of live reps during Green Bay’s three preseason games. Those games could give Green Bay fans a look into the possible future, as Love will likely be working with rookie wide receivers, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure. Unlike most years, the preseason may be must-watch TV for Packer fans.
OLB Kingsley Enagbare
The Packers have a very formidable pass-rushing duo in Rashan Gary and Preston Smith. However, who will be edge No. 3 for the Packers? With a strong training camp and preseason, the fifth-round pick could earn quite a bit of playing time behind Gary and Smith during his rookie season. Enagbare had a knack for putting pressure on the quarterback during his time at South Carolina. Will that ability show up throughout training camp?
OL Sean Rhyan
Where will the Packers have Rhyan lining up? Will this year’s third-round pick play guard? Will they see how he holds up at right tackle? Rhyan started 31 games at left tackle for the UCLA Bruins. During those 31 career starts, Rhyan only gave up two sacks. With David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins starting training camp on the PUP, the Packers may opt to give Rhyan reps at tackle during camp.
OL Zach Tom
Tom has the versatility to play all five positions along the offensive line. This year’s fourth-round pick finished his career at Wake Forest with 23 starts at left tackle and 14 starts at center. With his versatility, Tom could line up at left tackle one day and left guard the next. His ability to handle everything thrown at him during camp will be worth watching.
WR Christian Watson
The Packers traded up in the second round to draft the NDSU wide receiver with the 34th overall pick. It’s the earliest the Packers have drafted a wide receiver since they selected Jordy Nelson with the 36th overall pick in 2008. With his combination of size and quickness, Watson will be a must-watch player throughout camp and the preseason. Can he carve out an important role right away?
WR Sammy Watkins
Can the former first-round pick stay healthy throughout camp? Watkins hasn’t played a full season since his rookie season back in 2014. If Watkins can stay healthy, he’d give the Packers an explosive playmaker and help take the pressure off the younger wide receivers.
CB Shemar Jean-Charles
In Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, and Rasul Douglas, the Packers have arguably the best cornerback trio in the NFL. What happens if one of them gets injured? With a strong camp, Jean-Charles could put a lot of people’s minds at ease. How the second-year cornerback holds up throughout camp could determine if Green Bay’s front office opts to go out and add a veteran cornerback, like say old friend Kevin King.
WR Amari Rodgers
(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Rodgers, like Jean-Charles, didn’t get a lot of opportunities to shine during his rookie season. When he was on the field, he was probably hoping he was back on the bench. Rodgers looked like he lacked confidence as a punt returner, something he shined doing during his time at Clemson. How sharp will last year’s third-round pick look on offense? Rodgers was a YAC monster during his time in college. Will that ability to create after the catch show up during the preseason? With a strong training camp and preseason, Rodgers could springboard that into more snaps on offense this season.