Go back to the Draft Kit to see other teams
Summary from the Final Week of Camp
Aaron Rodgers feels healthy, conditioned, and “accurate” entering his 17th season, and there’s been no on-field reason even to recall the spectacle between him and the front office. Unsurprisingly, Jordan Love gave an uneven performance over the first two quarters against Buffalo. The youngster blended a few impressive throws from pure instinct with off-target heaves he shouldn’t have made. He’s still very much a work in progress, particularly when forced to juggle the pass rush and make poised throws downfield. Still, he’s shown enough to be considered a competent backup while continuing to study under an all-time great. No. 3 Kurt Benkert was cut but is expected to join the practice squad.
Already well-established as one of the NFL’s premier backs, Aaron Jones isn’t letting up. “For me, it’s just being the number one back in the league. That’s every back’s goal. Statistically, whatever that means,” Jones said last week. After signing a massive contract this offseason, he’s due for one of the heaviest workloads of any starting NFL tailback. The Packers need the backups to step up and replace the valuable reps Jamaal Williams contributed in prior seasons. A.J. Dillon is a north-south bruiser, but the team is optimistic he can round out his game and take on some of Williams’ vacated role. Dillon worked with the wide receivers in the offseason to become a better route runner. Rookie Kylin Hill looks to have run away with the No. 3 job. He’s made more than his share of chunk plays as both a runner and receiver and will return kicks.
For the first time in a while, Aaron Rodgers is publicly excited about his receiving corps. “When you look at those four receivers we have at the top of the depth chart,” the quarterback said, “It’s pretty special. You got the best guy in the league, you got three incredible role players… Perimeter-wise, we’ve had a really nice camp.” Davante Adams looms large as the No. 1, but it’s encouraging knowing Rodgers approves of his wingmen. They’re essential in taking advantage of Rodgers’ still-live arm, particularly Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who led the NFL in yards per catch (20.9) in 2020. Valdes-Scantling has worked to refine his all-around game and should be the starter opposite Adams. There’s ample talent in the slot, where Randall Cobb has drawn raves in his return to the Packers, and rookie Amari Rodgers has asserted himself as a usable piece. Cobb will likely command most of the dedicated slot snaps. Amari Rodgers will be a weapon on gadget plays, having lined up all over the formation in practice and caught 13 passes in the preseason games. Malik Taylor won the battle for the final roster spot over Equanimeous St. Brown.
Robert Tonyan Jr had a solid camp. Acme Packing Co’s Paul Noonan does a great job breaking down Tonyan’s value as an ultra-reliable target for Aaron Rodgers, if unspectacular. “He’s not reached his ceiling yet, in my opinion,” tight ends coach Justin Outten said during camp. Behind Tonyan, coach Matt LaFleur could keep a handful of bodies into Week 1. Jace Sternberger will likely get another chance to contribute on some level, but he’s suspended for two games. That opens the door for Josiah Deguara and Dominique Dafney.
The aggressive defensive scheme requires a potent pass rush, which is why the front office invested a first-round pick in Rashan Gary in 2019. Gary took a huge step forward in his second season, and he’s drawn ample praise from his veteran teammates. “I feel like he’s going to have a high production year this year; I’m calling it now,” fellow linebacker Preston Smith said early in camp. “He’s going to do a lot of great things this year for us and for himself. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.” Gary is a core piece of the youth movement, and the young, talented secondary will look to feed off the pass rush and make plays. With the short-term injury bug biting right now, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the front office look at newly-cut pass-rush depth next week.
A pair of rookies will handle the return duties this season. Kylin Hill has secured the No. 3 running back role and kickoffs, while receiver Amari Rodgers gets the first crack at punt returns. Randall Cobb is also an option in high-leverage situations.
Summary from Week 3 of Camp
Aaron Rodgers likely won’t see any more preseason action; he doesn’t need the reps, but presumed successor Jordan Love does. Love didn’t get any reps against the Jets, though, as he continues to work back from a shoulder injury suffered in the opener. The youngster was in the midst of an encouraging performance, with coach Matt LaFleur still critical but optimistic about the future starter. Love’s MRI showed nothing concerning last week, and LaFleur doesn’t seem too nervous about his young passer. In fact, according to LaFleur, Love was actually close to seeing action against the Jets. His absence allowed Kurt Benkert to solidify his hold on the No. 3 role with an impressive showing, though it’s unlikely the team keeps three quarterbacks into the season.
Aaron Jones returned to practice from a minor hamstring ailment, and it’s no concern he sat out the Jets game. Jones has nothing to prove, and the team has a stable of young backs to evaluate for depth. Complementary thumper A.J. Dillon again looked powerful and explosive, and no one doubts his impact on the ground game. The team is hopeful Dillon will replicate some of the marks Jamaal Williams made through the air. Dillon caught just 21 passes in college, but the team is treating him like all the other backs, even flexing him out wide in certain packages. His progress will determine how much of Williams’ workload we can expect him to take on. Dexter Williams is a Packers camp veteran at this point, but he may be falling out of running for a roster spot. When Jones sat out of practice, Kylin Hill and Patrick Taylor took on most of the first-team snaps in his place. Both looked great against the Jets, and Hill is also pushing for kick-return duties. Packers Wire’s Zach Kruse thinks Hill already “has the No. 3 job locked up.”