For the Green Bay Packers, this is the dawn of a new era. Gone are the days of 30 point games offensively and big chunk plays featuring Davante Adams. The offense now runs through Aaron Jones and a cast of unknown characters at wide receiver. However, when it comes to the Green Bay Packers defense, it is hard to find many flaws.
It is talented at seemingly every position. Coming off a season where Green Bay finished ninth in overall defense, they have two players who are making early impressions during training camp. One is a second year linebacker. The other is a defensive lineman taken in the fifth round.
First, there’s linebacker Jack Heflin, a second year linebacker who was an un-drafted rookie who made the Packers roster a year ago and looks to take an even bigger leap in year two.
“I got nothing to lose” says Heflin. Heflin is competing alongside the likes of Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry for a position on the defensive line but he is up for the challenge.
During the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers, Heflin played 37 snaps on defense and recorded four tackles including one for a loss. Coach Matt Lafleur had high praise. “He did a nice job of shedding blocks and playing with his hands”. He’s worth keeping an eye on as the preseason progresses.
Secondly, the other defensive player that Packer fans should keep an eye on is rookie linebacker Kingsley Enagbare.
Enagbare is a fifth round draft pick from the University of South Carolina competing for a roster spot at linebacker. During the first preseason game, he recorded a sack and three pressures. “My eyes got big – a little bit too big”, when telling reporters about his first time rushing the quarterback.
It remains to be seen how quickly both of these players progress during training camp and if we will see either player make the final roster. I believe both of them will.