This offseason, the Green Bay Packers had a short Aaron Rodgers retirement, dealt with rumors of a quarterback trade, traded Davante Adams, and lost their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. And this was a much tamer offseason than last! Now, head coach Matt LaFleur must figure out which players can help his back-to-back MVP QB get back to the Super Bowl after an 11-year drought. As Green Bay Packers training camp gets underway, here are three positional battles to watch closely.
Green Bay Packers Training Camp Info
Location: Nitschke Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Rookies report: Thursday, July 22, 2022
Veterans report: Tuesday, July 26, 2022
First game: at Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, September 11, 4:25 p.m. EST
Battle No. 1: WR1 — Sammy Watkins vs. Allen Lazard vs. Randall Cobb vs. Christian Watson vs. Romeo Doubs
To be honest, this could be Green Bay Packer training camp battles one, two, and three. With All-NFL WR Davante Adams and solid No. 2 Marquez Valdes-Scantling gone, Aaron Rodgers’ top target in 2022 is a complete mystery.
Allen Lazard is only 26, and his 40 catches for 513 yards and eight touchdowns in 2021 were all career highs. However, that feels like his ceiling. Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb are proven veterans with lots of talent but have proven they’re best in a No. 2 or 3 role. Plus, at 29 and 32 (on August 22), respectively, their long injury histories will only get longer, not shorter.
That leaves rookies Christian Watson (Round 2, No. 34) and Romeo Doubs (Round 4, No. 132) as the other options.
Of the two, Doubs has looked like a more legitimate NFL WR, as Watson struggled with drops in minicamp.
Look for Lazard and Watkins to win the jobs coming out of camp, but don’t be surprised if, by midseason, at least one of Watson or Doubs takes over.
Battle No. 2: RB2 — Kylin Hill vs. Patrick Taylor
It’s not the sexiest Green Bay Packers training camp battle, but it is one that could mean something for the team (and your fantasy team) down the line. With RB1 and RB2 set in stone with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, the camp competition in the Packers backfield is for that third-string spot.
The combatants here are Kylin Hill and Patrick Taylor. Hill is a talented 2021 seventh-round pick out of Mississippi State. He played sparingly in 2021 before tearing his ACL in Week 8. That’s when Taylor got sporadic playing time that included a TD in a meaningless Week 17 loss to the Detroit Lions.
Hill will win the battle, which might not mean much if Jones and Dillon stay healthy. However, Jones has missed 12 games in five seasons, and Dillon’s missed five in two.
Battle No. 3: ILB2 — Krys Barnes vs. Quay Walker
The Green Bay Packers defense is basically 100% set at 10 out of the 11 positions on the field. The one spot where there will be a training camp battle is at inside linebacker.
De’Vondre Campbell will again hold down one ILB spot in Joe Barry’s defense. Next to him will either be Krys Barnes, who made 13 starts last season and recorded 81 tackles, or the 2022 No. 22 overall pick out of Georgia, Quay Walker.
Walker has all the tools to be a future impact linebacker in the NFL. However, Barnes is a solid player and won’t give up his spot without a fight. Still, Walker is just too talented not to win the spot outright in this Green Bay Packers training camp battle.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference