The training camp phase of the Green Bay Packers’ schedule has concluded, paving the way for the preseason battles. Noteworthy progress has been made, and there’s a lot more in store.
This week, the Packers engaged in a joint practice with the Cincinnati Bengals, providing a glimpse of how they measure up against another team. More such opportunities lie ahead, with three preseason games and another joint practice on the horizon.
This development bodes well for the eight offensive players facing a precarious situation, perched on the roster bubble as they vie for a spot on the initial 53-man roster heading into the regular season.
These eight offensive players on the Green Bay Packers are squarely on the roster bubble entering the beginning of preseason.
Malik Heath, Bo Melton, Grant DuBose
Malik Heath hasn’t made quite the splash in training camp as he did during OTAs and minicamp, but he’s managed to maintain his presence on the shortlist of wide receivers the Packers might retain if they decide to keep six (with Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed, Samori Toure, and Dontayvion Wicks considered locks).
If Heath doesn’t secure the sixth wide receiver spot, another contender is Bo Melton. Continuously impressing the coaching staff, Melton has demonstrated his mettle on crucial occasions. While establishing his long-term worth might be a challenge amid the array of young receivers, Melton is poised to rise to the occasion.
Last but certainly not least, Grant DuBose has the opportunity to reenter the conversation. Although he missed the initial week of training camp due to injury, his status as a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft affords him a favorable position in Gutekunst’s evaluation. He faces the task of playing catch-up, yet his potential is underscored by his draft status.
Patrick Taylor and Tyler Goodson
Following a decision to retain just two running backs on the initial 53-man roster last year, the Packers are once again faced with the real prospect of pursuing a similar path. Nonetheless, Patrick Taylor and Tyler Goodson have taken it upon themselves to exert maximum pressure and potentially alter the course.
Taylor brings his prowess to the realm of special teams, emerging as a force across multiple units. On the flip side, Goodson showcases a distinct dynamism and versatility on the offensive front. The impending question remains: which direction will the Packers ultimately steer, if any at all?
Caleb Walker and Rasheed Wallace
Currently, Green Bay’s tackle situation appears secure, boasting David Bakhtiari, Zach Tom, and Yosh Nijman as commendable choices. However, the landscape might shift in the not-so-distant horizon, as Nijman gears up to test free agency next season, coinciding with the looming quandary surrounding Bakhtiari’s future.
Amidst this backdrop, Caleb Walker and Rasheed Walker emerge as long-term tackle projects, brimming with enticing potential. The primary question is whether the Packers can viably accommodate two such prospects within their roster framework. The cautious strategy might involve gambling on one while attempting to discreetly secure the other on the practice squad.
Jake Hanson’s NFL journey is a testament to the unpredictable nature of the league. From assuming the mantle of Week 1 starter in 2022, he now finds himself battling for his spot on the roster in 2023. Such fluctuations are par for the course in the realm of professional football.
Adding a layer of intrigue, Sean Rhyan’s recent performance has mirrored his third-round potential, casting a new light on Hanson’s trajectory. The dynamics above him and how Green Bay navigates that intricate situation – bolstered by their interior depth featuring Elgton Jenkins, Jon Runyan, Royce Newman, and Rhyan – could play a pivotal role in shaping Hanson’s NFL destiny.