The draft is over and the Packers have signed their UDFA’s to bring their 90 man roster up to 89 so now the fun begins! The position once thought of as a weak spot (ILB) now has a bevy of young talent competing for a starting spot. Sam Barrington pretty much locked down his spot last season with a good year but who will be his counterpart? We all know Matthews will certainly jump inside on some packages but for the most part they need their best pass rusher doing just that, rushing the QB, so that leaves second year rookie Carl Bradford who I personally think gets the job along with this years 4th round draft pick Jake Ryan coming into camp as the top runners.
But we can’t count out Joe Thomas who was making a case last season to beat out Brad Jones before sustaining a knee injury that sidelined him for half the year before getting re-signed to the PS to finish out the season. Then there is Nate Palmer, Josh Francis, Tavarus Dantzler and James Vaughters who will be working to step in as Barrington’s side kick. Coach McCarthy said he fully expects Bradford to take that next step this year and he said Bradford stayed in town to train this offseason so he most likely saw something in him we didn’t have the privilege of watching. By Thompson waiting until the fourth round to even address the ILB position it tells me they were not worried about the position.
As for the secondary… I for one am excited to see how this plays out, with Williams and House leaving in free agency, most fans were freaking out about who would be on the island aka the outside corner. Hayward seems to be the front-runner for this position but I am not so sure that’s what will happen, Casey is a slot corner and very good at it so moving him outside doesn’t make sense in my opinion. Hyde could also be considered for the same spot and Goodson, who never took a snap at corner last year but was active all year to play special teams and be a backup also has a shot. That leaves this year’s draft picks and UDFA’s to fight it out. Randall is a safety who looks the part but I’m not sure he is the answer and Rollins only has one year experience playing corner in college before entering the draft so while he could be thrown into the fire so to speak I think he will be a project for at least a year. So who does that leave? Sebetic, Blake, Glover-Wright, Gunter and this new kid they just signed Travis Manning who looks interesting on tape, so like I said I am excited to see who steps up to replace Williams on the island.
But you let us know who you think gets the starting role this year in the comments below or on our facebook homepage.
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