Packers rookie Royce Newman will start at right guard vs. Jets

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Rookie offensive lineman Royce Newman is going to get his chance to win the job as the starting right guard for the Green Bay Packers to start the 2021 season.

Coach Matt LaFleur confirmed Newman, a fourth-round pick, will start at right guard on Saturday against the New York Jets

“I thought Royce did a really nice job yesterday. He will get an opportunity to start the game on Saturday,” LaFleur said Thursday.

Following an impressive NFL debut last Saturday, Newman has worked with the first-team offense at practice this week, and now he’ll get a chance to play with the top unit in a game setting.

“He’s a good young player. You can see the talent. There’s a lot to learn, especially for any young rookie, but he’s progressed nicely,” LaFleur said.

Newman played 28 snaps – all in the second half – at right guard in the preseason opener against the Houston Texans. He’s competing with veterans Lucas Patrick, Jon Runyan and Ben Braden for a starting job at one of the guard positions.

The Packers like Newman’s athleticism and versatility.

“It’s a combination of many things. We had high hopes when we drafted him. He’s a really athletic guy who is pretty versatile, who can really play four positions. He’s coming along nicely. It’s a competition at that right guard spot. We’ll give him an opportunity to get a little bit more reps at that position,” LaFleur said.

Patrick was the primary starter at right guard last season. He has worked with the No. 2 offense as a guard and center with Newman ascending to the first-team.

It’s possible the Packers could start three new interior players in Week 1 against the Saints, including two 2021 draft picks. Runyan, Newman and rookie Josh Myers are all starting candidates.

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