It’s finally here. The Green Bay Packers’ season starts this weekend – 18 weeks, 17 games. Let’s look at some young players that could make a big impact on Sunday.
We’ve made it here at last. In just four days the Green Bay Packers play regular-season football. The rest of this week will feel like forever, but we’ll get there. We all have a good idea of who will likely be the star players for the Green Bay Packers this season, but I want to take a look at a few younger players (players in year one or two) who we could see make a legitimate impact on the first game of the year.
1. Josiah Deguara
I’ve talked about Deguara often for Game On Wisconsin. In his small sample of on-field play, he’s shown some really good stuff. He showed good blocking ability early on in 2020 before his rookie season was cut way too short, and we’ve also been able to see what he could bring in the passing game.
With Jace Sternberger suspended for the first two games for the Green Bay Packers, it’s very likely Deguara gets a lot of action in Jacksonville against the Saints. While we have not seen explosive passing plays from him in preseason, we’ve seen positive chunk yardage plays.
I believe Deguara is poised to come back onto the field and impress us once again in the first game of the season, but in an even bigger way. I’m not making a prediction that he will come out of Sunday with 100 yards and a touchdown – but I am saying that I expect a handful of important plays out of him. As some on twitter have been saying in recent days, don’t forget about him.
Underrated: Adrian Amos
ROY: Josh Myers
Unsung hero: Allen Lazard
X-Factor: Rashan Gary
Dark horse: Krys Barnes
Bounce back: Preston Smith
Don’t forget about: Josiah Deguara
Breakout: Darnell Savage https://t.co/w5OUFii8uY
— Tim Backes (@timbackes) September 4, 2021
2. T.J. Slaton
The man is massive. The rookie from Florida had generated some buzz in the preseason as he showed his ability to disrupt the run game and also get at the quarterback. He will for sure be getting reps. On the unofficial depth chart released Tuesday, TJ Slaton was listed as the number 2 tackle behind Kenny Clark.
here’s the packers’ first unofficial depth chart for week one. lucas patrick and royce newman are your starting guards pic.twitter.com/PmF0bk1q5K
— Zach A. Jacobson (@itszachariahj) September 7, 2021
He’s quickly turned into one the draft favorites from some on the beat, and it’s not hard to see why. When your 5th round defensive tackle has looked like an animal in preseason, it’s hard to not get excited about that. Alvin Kamara is going to be the most important person to stop on Sunday if the Green Bay Packers want to win. With a new quarterback under center it is imperative they force him into uncomfortable situations.
Jerry Montgomery on what #Packers have in TJ Slaton: "6-4. 330. 18 percent body fat. He's a man. If we get that moving in the right direction and using his hands, that's going to be a big force in the middle."
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) August 22, 2021
3. Amari Rodgers
Amari Rodgers looked very good in preseason. In this offense, I can truly see him having a huge rookie season. He can be lined up inside or outside, and could bring some serious juice on special teams. Even with the Green Bay Packers trading up for him in the draft, it was a steal. I definitely thought he would go earlier than the third round.
Amari Rodgers is giving off Randall Cobb vibes, and has the man to learn from as well. He is walking into a great situation as a rookie. He’s working with an MVP quarterback and is not being forced into a significant role. He’s shown he is a good route runner and has great catching ability. This rookie season for Rodgers has the potential to be really special for the Green Bay Packers. He is going to get plenty of opportunities from Nathaniel Hackett and Matt LaFleur.
Highest preseason slot percentage for rookies drafted in rounds 1-3
Rondale Moore: 91.2%
Amari Rodgers: 80.4%
Jaylen Waddle: 73.9%
Terrace Marshall: 60.7%
— Kevin Cole (@KevinColePFF) August 23, 2021
4. Josh Myers
When a rookie is immediately given the starting role in camp and gets early praise from an eventual hall of fame quarterback, you’re going to be jacked to see what the kid brings come the regular season. Josh Myers was Green Bay’s selection in the second round and some upset that they didn’t take Creed Humphrey. Myers can easily put those complaints to bed if he holds his own against the Saints’ front.
He was not perfect in preseason, but he gave great reps and has shown so far he can handle the job. You live and die on offense by your offensive line play. With two rookies starting that can leave room for questions, but Myers looks like the dude. He may not be Corey Linsley just yet, but so far he looks very promising.
The first “official” unofficial depth chart lists Royce Newman as the starting RG. Not a surprise given how camp ended, but it’ll be the 1st time in more than a decade that GB will open with 2 rookies starters on the O-line. My story on Josh Myers tomorrow will have more on that. pic.twitter.com/ZhHsN6mwTL
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) September 8, 2021
The time is now. The season will be long, and the Green Bay Packers have a tough schedule ahead in 2021. This Sunday has been on everyone’s mind now for months. The young talent pool for the Green Bay Packers looks very promising, and it would be great to see many of them produce right off the bat this weekend. Fans… it’s go time!