Roll out the reaction is back! Patrick Kotnik discusses five newcomers for the Green Bay Packers he’s eager to watch as training camp gets underway.
WRs Christian Watson and Sammy Watkins
Well, I should probably discuss these two together since they’re both starting training camp on the PUP list.
Sammy Watkins’ injury that landed him on NFI is a “very short-term thing,” Brian Gutekunst says. Says Christian Watson will miss some time with an injury, but it doesn’t seem long term.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) July 27, 2022
It’s no secret that there are question marks when it comes to the wide receiver group for the Green Bay Packers. Honestly, I’m eager to see how this entire group performs during training camp from Christian Watson to Sammy Watkins to Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure.
Romeo Doubs just went up and GOT one over Kabion Ento on a jump ball deep down the left sideline. Rookie fourth-round WR from Nevada continues to show out.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) July 27, 2022
But behind presumably the team’s top receiver in Allen Lazard, all eyes will be on Watson and Watkins. The Green Bay Packers have a strong reputation for finding quality receivers in the second round of the NFL Draft, but some of those guys (like Davante Adams) didn’t become the star they are today instantly. Watson will have an opportunity right away to show what he can do. Others like Adams and Jordy Nelson didn’t necessarily have to step up right away since the Packers already had studs at receiver like Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and James Jones.
Watkins is on a mission to play at the same high level that made him a crucial piece of Kansas City’s Super Bowl run during the 2019-20 season.
Luckily for these receivers, the reigning back-to-back league MVP is under center.
OL Zach Tom
Death, taxes and the Green Bay Packers finding quality offensive linemen late in the NFL Draft. Will Zach Tom follow in the footsteps of those such as Corey Linsley, David Bakhtiari and Jon Runyan?
Time will always tell of course, but Tom is another rookie who may have an opportunity to see quality snaps in his rookie season with Bakhtiari still inactive and Elgton Jenkins also recovering from an ACL injury, though Jenkins is ahead of schedule.
Zach Tom at LT with the 2s.
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) July 27, 2022
Zach Tom never allowed a sack from Center & his pass protection grade never dipped below 76.8 in 4 years.
Played LT the past 2 years. Could also be moved to G
— Tom Grossi (@tomgrossicomedy) April 30, 2022
Versatile linemen are a beautiful thing. The Wake Forest product can play tackle and guard and Green Bay’s front office knows you can’t have enough quality offensive lineman. At the very least, he will provide depth for the most important position groups on the football field.
LB Quay Walker
Tampa Bay showed how crucial having dominant linebackers is en route to their Super Bowl win during the 2020-21 season.
It was no secret the Green Bay Packers needed athletic inside linebackers following their blowout loss to the 49ers in the 2019 NFC Championship Game. They finally got their answer in De’Vondre Campbell last season but is Walker, a first-round pick, another missing piece that can elevate this defense?
Brian Gutekunst likes the idea of #Packers DC Joe Barry pairing De'Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker in nickel, forming an athletic second level on his defense: "I think every defensive coordinator would like to have 2 guys who can run and do the things the guys that we have can."
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) April 29, 2022
Ooo Quay with some sideline to sideline juice to make the “tackle” on Jones on an outside run.
— Andy Herman (@AndyHermanNFL) July 27, 2022
Walker will get the opportunity to show what he’s made of early on. He’s already practicing with the starters and he may bolster an already tough-looking Green Bay Packers defense. Playing alongside Campbell could draw comparisons to Tampa’s Lavonte David and Devin White.
P Pat O’Donnell
Who didn’t enjoy O’Donnell’s posts with Mason Crosby?
— Pat O'Donnell (@PatODonnell_16) May 2, 2022
New Packers punter Pat O’Donnell said he’s currently living in kicker Mason Crosby’s basement. Crosby was a reason O’Donnell came here after a long career with the Bears. They didn’t know each other well but there was mutual respect and “now we’re like best friends.” pic.twitter.com/ohLvjAQqEd
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) April 20, 2022
Putting a punter on this list is kind of a stretch, I get that — considering O’Donnell will make or break his time with the Green Bay Packers by what happens on the field — especially on the frozen tundra in a few months. I will admit I got too excited and optimistic early on last season with Corey Bojorquez’s play.
But it’ll still be interesting to see how special teams look over the course of training camp and the preseason led by Rich Bisaccia — O’Donnell will certainly be an important piece to the puzzle and his previous experience kicking in cold weather in Chicago should come in handy.
If you’re the Green Bay Packers, things can’t get any worse on this side of the ball…right?