Every year when the Green Bay Packers report to camp it is an absolute spectacle. Being one of the most popular franchises means that there will be a lot of intrigue and "buzz" surrounding your team. This year's camp is no exception to this.
This article will dive into three bold predicitons to play out in training camp for the Green Bay Packers.
1. Packers depth at WR allows Rodgers to win second MVP
During this year's free agency period whenever it came to the Packers on offense the question was, "Who would replace James Jones"? Well the answer was Jarret Boykin as he emerged during Cobb's injury. He had 49 receptions for 681 yards and 3 touchdowns while only starting eight games. You also have the aforementioned Randall Cobb, who is one of the most explosive slot receivers in the league. There is also incumbent, yet underappreciated, superstar Jordy Nelson. Nelson has some of the best hands, body control, and route running in the league.
Add these three with their three drafted rookies Davonte Adams (2013 college football leading receiver in catches and touchdowns) Jared Abbrederis ( all-time catch leader in Wisconsin University history), and Jeff Janis (2013 First Team All DII), and you have a stable of potential greatness. This is depth unlike which Rodgers has ever seen and I would bet they find a way to keep all six receivers on the roster. With so much talent and interchangable parts, Rodgers will have endless amounts of success picking and choosing his weapon of choice. MVP, you heard it here first.
2. Defense regains 2010 Championship form
Surpsingly, the Packers can be just as good on defense as they are on offense in 2014. Their success obviously depends on staying healthy, but a healthy CLay Matthews can go a long way. He is one of the top five pure pass rushers in football when healthy and has legitimate pass rushers around him now. The Packers added future Hall of Fame linebacker/defensive end Julius Peppers. Even at his advanced age he is a good sack artist that can compliment Clay Matthews extremely well on the opposing side.
On the defensive line the Packers have moved veteran Pro Bowl lineman B.J. Raji back to nose tackle. He will play here for the first time since his dominant season of the Super Bowl in 2010.They also bring back last year sack leader and emerging star Mike Daniels, who had 6.5 sacks. Along with last year's first round pick Datone Jones who missed a considerable amount of time with injury, they should have a good core of young athletic players that can get after the quarterback and stop the run at the point of attack.
In the defensive backfield they have their most depth, especially at cornerback. Here at corner they have veteran Tramon Williams and a Pro Football Focus top fifteen rated Sam Shields as starters. Following right behind is third year player Casey Hayward who led rookies in interceptions two years earlier with six. Add in last year's sixth round standout Micah Hyde and returning veteran Davon House and you have a legitimate group of cornerback pieces.
At safety, veteran Morgan Burnett will hold strong safety while free safety appears to be a split position. In the base 3-4 defense, all indications are multi-talented Micah Hyde will play free safety and when they move to the nickel defense, Hyde will slide to slot corner and rookie first round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will move to safety. This provides them so many different looks and personnel combinations that should make them incredibly diverse. This is the most depth and talent I can ever remember and should make them a top tier defense in 2014.
3. Rookie tight end Richard Rogers will emerge as a potential star
All reports from mini camp was that rookie tight end Richard Rogers was dominant. He was exercising his athleticism all over the field and catching anything thrown near him. A couple reports had him making acrobatic one handed catches each day at mini camp, while others spoke of Aaron Rodger's fondness of him.
Rogers was forced to convert to receiver in his offense last year at University of California, and was a forced to be reckoned with at 6'4 and 250 pounds. Now back at tight end, this third round pick says he feels comfortable once again lining up in-line and flexed at the slot position as a tight end. His size speed combination should make him an interesting wildcard in the Packers' offense this year.
With Andrew Quarless hurt currently Rogers has every opportunity to ear nhimself this job and show the coaching staff why he can be so dominant with his rare skill set. His talent could make Aaron Rodgers and this offense that much more intimidating in 2014.