Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Competition Already Brewing at Lambeau

Compiled and Written By: Todd Stelzel, PackerToddsnEnds

1st Rd Pick DB Damarious Randall, AZ State, Image From:www.zimbio.com
Competition already seems to be brewing on the back burner now that all of the rookie picks have finished with OTA practices for the Green Bay Packers. As is always the case, it is too difficult to say which players will be "Pro Bowl" bound and which will not even make the roster. There are always 7th round gems in the rough (Donnie Driver comes to mind) and 1st round busts (Justin Who-rell?). After Ted Thompson made his selections, I became intrigued with these Packer match ups. Remember, this is premature and players have to prove themselves on and off the NFL field.

Damarious Randall and Quinton Rollins vs Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde. Need I say more? Rookies have a difficult time covering NFL wide receivers, much less trying to unseat veterans, who finally get a chance to start (now that Tramon Williams and Davon House have left the house). Neither Randall or Rollins will start, but both will have an impact when they are finally assigned special roles on the Packer defense and special teams.

Ty Montgomery vs Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis. Quite possibly the best competition in camp this year. It promises to be a good one between these three players. I look for all three receivers to make the 53 man roster this year. In addition, all are in contention to be the kick/punt returner, and possibly the 4th "go to" wide receiver for the Pack. In my eyes, Ty will surprise and the 3rd round selection will beat out both Janis and Abbrederis, respectively.

Jake Ryan vs Carl Bradford. Doesn't matter which 4th round pick wins the ILB position opposite Sam Barrington, so long as one of these two guys wins the position so that Green Bay can finally move Clay Matthews back to the outside edge rushing, which is what he was built to do. Bradford may surprise people. Don't forget....he may have been a "healthy inactive" last year, because guys like Hawk, Lattimore, and Jones were in his way (taking up roster spots). As it looks right now, nobody stands in his way for a roster spot or for that matter, a starting position. On the other hand, I believe hard hitting Jake Ryan, the 4th round pick out of Michigan, will have something to say about that by the end of camp.

Brett Hundley vs Scott Tolzien. Off the cuff, Tolzien will be the winner and back up Aaron Charles Rodgers, because he knows the playbook, the routine of the daily grind and how the receivers run their routes. While Hundley is cramming and on the hurry, Tolzien will be relaxed, poised and confident-looking.

With the exception of Justin Perillo, Kennard Backman seems to have little competition as the third tight end behind Richard Rogers and Brandon Quarless. However, he will have to earn his keep by playing special teams. The same could be said for Aaron Ripkowski, the big bruising fullback from Oklahoma. Ripkowski could end up ripping a job away from the beloved John Kuhn, but I doubt it.(Fans cheering "Rip! Rip!" instead of "Kuhn! Kuhn?" Hmm...) Nonetheless, the Packers keep both guys on the squad, because they are both definitely big time special team players.

With most of the roster already set, I wish the newest additions all the luck in the world. Competition is the key ingredient for the Packers winning formula; has been for quite some time. If you ask me...given Ted Thompson's 2015 draft picks, there are already some great battles and competitions a-brewing....and it's not even July and training camp time yet!

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