Every year, professional sports team have a handful of players who have at least one year or so of experience who have not quite hit or are near their full potential. Here are three Packer players in particular who most to prove this upcoming season and those on the decline:
Packer to Improve: Rashan Gary
Rashan Gary, the Packers 2019 first round draft pick, was a very questionable pick. His upside and natural talent was his building block in his path from college to the pros. His stats from his rookie year were very below average (21 tackles and 2 sacks) at best for a first round talent, but to be fair to Gary, his playing time was stalled mostly due to the emergence and star playing of the Smith brothers. Gary has had a promising offseason in terms of progression, so if this turns into results, he should have no problem in finding more snaps this coming season whether as EDGE or as an interior defensive lineman.
On The Bubble: Oren Burks
Third year inside linebacker Oren Burks has not had a flashy career in terms over production. in two years, he has only recorded 35 total tackles with no sacks. Burks has also seen a lot of his playing time come from special teams, which comes in as a factor to his low stats. The Packer additions of Christian Kirksey and Kamal Martin may make it harder for Burks to find time on the field if he does not improve his game.
On the Decline: Josh Jackson
Josh Jackson was a huge grab for the Packers in the 2018 draft. Lining him up opposite of Jaire Alexander was a recipe for success in a struggling Packer secondary. His rookie season was notable as he recorded 49 total tackles. However, 2019 was a different story. He only reached 11 tackles and saw his playing diminish significantly. With Alexander surging and King looking more promising of a contract extension, Josh Jackson could very much see his playing time continue declining. At this possible rate, it is very likely to see Jackson’s time as a Packer come to an end via trade or release.
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