Green Bay Packers 2021 Pre-Training Camp Superlatives

ASHWAUBENON, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 19: Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass during Green Bay Packers Training Camp at Ray Nitschke Field on August 19, 2020 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
ASHWAUBENON, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 19: Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass during Green Bay Packers Training Camp at Ray Nitschke Field on August 19, 2020 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Green Bay Packers training camp is almost here, so it’s time for one of my favorite exercises that I do a few times over the course of the year, and that would be superlatives.

I’ve chosen a number of different superlatives, which is defined as “an exaggerated or hyperbolic expression,” and pick which player I believe best fits that phrase. Feel free to share your answers with me below in the comment section, or find me on Twitter at @Paul_Bretl.

Most Excited to see: Jordan Love

I mean, is there any other answer here? Due to COVID protocols, we didn’t even get to see Jordan Love during training camp last year outside of a few videos. There was no preseason, and of course, he didn’t suit up for the regular season.

Even if Aaron Rodgers is back for training camp and Love doesn’t take the QB1 reps or see the same quantity of snaps that he saw during mini-camp, it will still be fun to see him in action. Two big items that Nathaniel Hackett mentioned that Love needed to work on, and something to keep our eyes on, is his footwork and going through his progressions.

Under the radar: Kabion Ento

I feel like there are a few players that could be included here, but if I have to choose one, I’ll select Kabion Ento, who I do believe makes the 53-man roster.

Ento can be an immediate contributor on special teams and took plenty of reps during mini-camp as a gunner. On top of that, before being placed on IR last season, the Green Bay Packers did place him on the 53-man roster, allowing him to return at some point if healthy enough. To me, that speaks volumes about what the Packers think of him.

Now or never: Josh Jackson and Oren Burks

I’m going to cheat and list two players here as I believe both Josh Jackson and Oren Burks are on the hot seat. Jackson is still plagued by the same issues that he struggled with as a rookie, and by the end of the season, he was a healthy scratch—meaning the Packers didn’t think he could contribute on defense or special teams.

Burks battled injuries over his first two seasons and hasn’t flourished in coverage like the team had hoped for when they drafted a former college safety. While against the run, once he’s engaged by a blocker, he is all but taken out of the play.

To Burk’s credit, he’s been a solid special teams player, but I don’t believe that will be enough to keep him around. Green Bay can save $1.3 million in cap space by moving on from Jackson and $945,000 by cutting Burks.

Most Intriguing: Devin Funchess

As I’ve said before, the player that I’m the most intrigued by this summer is Devin Funchess because he is someone that I could see being a key contributor on third downs and in the red zone with his big frame and ability to line up in the slot.

However, on the flip side, I could see him being cut as well, given that he hasn’t played in nearly two years. We don’t know how quickly he will shake off the rust or pick up the Matt LaFleur offense.

Rookie of the Year: Josh Myers

Ultimately we have to see how training camp and the preseason unfolds, but by the sounds of it, Josh Myers is going to be the starting center for the Green Bay Packers.

While we never truly know how a rookie will adjust to the NFL, Myers comes from a big program, is an experienced player, gets to the second level well, and is a good fit for LaFleur’s wide zone-blocking scheme. I also think he will see the most playing time of any of the rookies.

Green Bay Packers X-Factor: Billy Turner

Billy Turner’s versatility and ability to play at a fairly high level at multiple positions last season helped this Green Bay Packers offensive line absorb a number of injuries and end up as the top offensive line unit in football.

According to PFF ($$), Turner saw 423 snaps at right tackle, 363 at left tackle, and another 244 at right guard. He allowed just two regular-season sacks and 25 pressures—much better than the nine sacks and 52 pressures from 2019. He also ranked third among tackles in ESPN’s pass-block win rate metric.

Without Turner playing as well as he did, this Green Bay Packers offensive line isn’t nearly as good as they were, and as a result, the offense wouldn’t have been as good either.

Best camp battle: Offensive Line

If David Bakhtiari is back for Week 1, then there is likely one guard spot up for grabs. If he’s still out, then there may be two guard spots up for grabs with a number of candidates to fill those roles.

As Matt LaFleur has told us in the past, he wants to put the best five offensive linemen on the field. Competing for those spots will be Royce Newman, Ben Braden, Jon Runyan, Cole Van Lanen, and Ben Braden.

UDFA to watch: Christian Uphoff

For an undrafted rookie to have a chance of making the final roster, they, of course, have to perform when given the opportunity during training camp and the preseason. But they also have to play a position where there is a few roster spots up for grabs.

Coming out of Illinois State, Uphoff is well-versed as a two-high safety, something that we should see quite a bit of from this Joe Barry defense, and he’s also shown that he has decent ball skills, is a willing tackler, and a versatile defender. He’s also at a position where the only guaranteed roster spots belong to Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage, leaving at least two and possibly three roster spots up for grabs.

Don’t forget about: Josiah Deguara

We saw very little of Josiah Deguara during his rookie year as his season ended early due to an ACL injury. But in that small sample size, we saw exactly why Matt LaFleur wanted to add him to this offense. Week 1 against Minnesota, we saw his versatility as he lined up in the backfield, in-line, and also in the slot. He made a few key blocks and had a few designed opportunities in the passing game as well.

Deguara helps LaFleur achieve that “illusion of complexity” that he’s always talking about, which helps the offense keep opposing defenses off balance. I can’t wait to see what LaFleur draws up for Deguara over the course of a full season and what his impact on this offense can be.

Underappreciated: Adrian Amos

Maybe it’s because he doesn’t make the flashiest plays, but I don’t believe that Adrian Amos gets enough love for how good he is. The reliability and consistency that he brings to the safety position is nearly unmatched.

Last season when thrown at, Amos gave up only 7.9 yards per catch, he had a passer rating of just 79.0, and he came away with three interceptions and seven pass breakups. He was the second highest-graded safety overall by PFF and the highest-graded safety in coverage while playing over 1,100 snaps.

With an average annual value of $9 million per year, Amos is the 15th highest-paid safety in the game and an absolute steal at that price for the Green Bay Packers.