The Green Bay Packers kicked off training camp on Wednesday, holding two practices that were open to the media. They go behind closed doors on Friday before returning for an open practice on Saturday.
Thanks to the media availability, we were able to get a glimpse of what the Packers are working on, who is running with what units, and the drills they’re running. Using the plethora of tweets, articles, and podcasts released by the likes of Andy Herman, Paul Bretl, Justis Mosqueda, and plenty of others, here are two winners and losers from the first few training camp practices.
With the Green Bay Packers kicking off training camp, here are the very early winners and losers from the first few practices.
Winner: Jaire Alexander
The highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, Jaire Alexander, has practiced like it since the very beginning. He always brings a high-intensity level, wanting to prove himself on every single snap. When quarterbacks haven’t avoided him entirely, he’s been breaking up passes left and right.
Alexander had a fine season last year, finishing as PFF’s 8th-ranked cornerback. However, his expectations are much higher and he has yet another gear to hit. The hot start is helpful, and we’ll see how he carries it over into more practices and games.
Loser: David Bakhtiari
David Bakhtiari has spent literal years working to recover from a torn ACL he initially suffered back in December of 2021. Even two and a half years later, however, it doesn’t appear as if he’s fully recovered. After practicing on Wednesday, he was absent on Thursday. The team didn’t give an official update, but my assumption is that it’s injury-management-related. That could be a precarious development just two days into training camp.
Winner: Zach Tom
Zach Tom was projected to be in the middle of a battle for the starting right tackle job throughout camp. However, if the first two days are any indication, the starting gig is his. He played there full-time with the ones on Wednesday while his primary competition, Yosh Nijman, played left tackle with the twos. With Bakhtiari sidelined on Thursday, Nijman lined up with the ones at left tackle while Tom managed all of the right tackle snaps.
Loser: Sean Clifford
The Packers surprisingly used a fifth-round draft pick on quarterback Sean Clifford after many analysts had him as a priority free agent. There’s no doubting Clifford’s football intelligence, it’s his arm strength and accuracy that are the biggest question marks.
Throughout the first two practices, Danny Etling has been the no. 2 quarterback behind Jordan Love and not Clifford. That’s surprising, considering the status of each player. Clifford will have every opportunity to work up the depth chart, but his start is notable.