Now that the NFL Draft has concluded, we have a better idea of what the Green Bay Packers positional groups are going to look like going into the season.
That also means we have a better idea of who’s going to be battling for playing time and who basically gets a starting job handed to them.
These guys all had pretty bright futures. Right up until the draft, that is.
The Packers were high on Hyde after a strong rookie season and for good reason. Coach Mike McCarthy talked about how he had to find a way to get Hyde on the field more in 2014. Well, the logical way to do that was to move him from cornerback to safety. At corner, Hyde is going to be sitting behind Sam Shields and Tramon Williams and battling Casey Hayward for snaps. Well, that is probably what he ends up doing instead of starting at the back end of the defense. The Packers drafted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round and you have to assume he ends up starting. They also foolishly gave Morgan Burnett a contract extension prior to last season, so you have to assume he’s the other starter. Unless the Packers totally reverse their usual M.O. and actually make a guy they gave a new contract to EARN his job, then Hyde is a part-time player again.
Yeah, he’s not actually on the team because the Packers haven’t given their best defensive lineman from last season a contract for some reason. However, we all assumed they would at some point because Johnny Jolly is not only awesome, but the heart and soul of the defense. You don’t need any guys with leadership traits, though! The Packers picked defensive lineman Khyri Thornton in the third round. They add him to a group of offseason signings that include Letroy Guion, Julius Peppers and B.J. Raji. These moves add up to a nice, quiet fuck you to Jolly (and Ryan Pickett, who we expected wouldn’t be back).
Remember when the Packers were saying Bostick could be their tight end of the future last season? We do. It was right before he got injured and went on IR. Well, instead of entering 2014 as No. 2 on the depth chart and maybe competing for the starting spot, Bostick is just one of five tight ends again. The Packers took Cal tight end Richard Rodgers in the third round and re-signed Andrew Quarless in the offseason. They also have Ryan Taylor and Jake Stoneburner hanging around too. If we were going to handicap it, we’d bet that Quarless opens the season as the starter, but Rodgers is going to get his fair share of reps. So Bostick pretty much just lost the tight end of the future label without actually doing anything to lose it.
Here’s another guy that was getting hype all offseason. Boykin, a Total Packers favorite, came on in his second NFL season, recording over 600 yards receiving. McCarthy was talking about how much he liked Boykin and we all assumed his role would expand with James Jones departing in free agency. Then the Packers went out and drafted three receivers. Two of those guys probably aren’t going to take time away from Boykin, but then there’s Davante Adams. You don’t draft a guy in the second round and not expect him to make a big contribution. Adams obviously isn’t going to start over Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb, but Boykin will have to prove himself again to keep Adams out of the No. 3 spot. You know who’s even more screwed? Chris Harper and Kevin Dorsey, the two guys below Boykin on the depth chart.