Aaron Rodgers has officially arrived at Lambeau Field for mandatory Packers minicamp. With QB1 back in the building, there will be plenty to start watching for as this team starts to come together. These are the top three things we will be looking for.
Which defensive backs will step up against Aaron Rodgers?
Packers fans are well aware of the starting trio in Green Bay at cornerback. Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, and Rasul Douglas make for one of the best CB rooms in the NFL. Beyond that, there is a giant question mark. Who will take over as that slot CB / hybrid safety role? Packers minicamp will tell us a lot.
Last year Chandon Sullivan had that role, however will be playing elsewhere in the NFC North. CB Shemar Jean-Charles, Cb Keisean Nixon, S Vernon Scott, S Shawn Davis, and even newly converted linebacker (from safety) Tariq Carpenter are all players to watch. If the Packers don’t bring in a veteran for this position, it will figure to be a position by committee type of approach until one person shows they can make a difference.
Do the Packers have a tight end competition?
One of the more hyped players this off-season has been TE Tyler Davis. According Wes Hodkiewicz, Tyler Davis has garnered the attention from multiple coaches. Head Coach Matt LaFleur and new special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia were both on that list:
“He certainly made his mark on special teams and he’s a guy that I know Rich was really excited about when we hired Rich, just what he can bring,” LaFleur said. “He’s a guy that’s going to give you great effort each and every snap and he can really run.”
Robert Tonyan figures to be TE1 when minicamp starts. Tonyan had an incredible 2020 season that saw him catch 11 touchdown passes, 52 receptions on 59 targets, and 586 yards. 2021 was off to a bit of a rough start before suffering a season ending ACL tear. He ended with 18 receptions on 29 yards for 201 yards and two touchdowns in 8 games. While Marcedes Lewis will continue to be that veteran / blocking presence at tight end. Josiah Deguara is another question mark at this position, he will attempt to compete with Tonyan and Davis for those meaningful reps in Packers minicamp.
Rodgers and his wide receivers.
One of the biggest story lines all off-season will be Rodgers’ relationship with the new wide receivers in Green Bay. Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Sammy Watkins top the list of players to watch. However many eyes will also be on second year receiver Amari Rodgers, who had a disappointing rookie season.
Of the two, Romeo Doubs has certainly outshined Christian Watson in OTAs so far this year. That is not to say Watson hasn’t been impressive, but the case of the drops has seemed to follow him to the pros. This was an update from Andy Herman at last week’s OTAs:
Christian Watson had another drop against air today in drills today. His hands have definitely been questionable. I don’t think there’s been a practice yet where he hasn’t dropped at least one pass. Does it matter much? Prob not – but noteworthy at least.
Those drops won’t sit well with Rodgers on the field. We will see if this is something that corrects itself when you have a hall of fame QB Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball.