Packers training camp preview: replacing departed players
Tom Crabtree.Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - The 2013 Green Bay Packers will look similar to the 2012 edition; however, there are a few key players the team will need to replace.
The most personnel turnover is at the wide receiver position. Donald Driver retired and Greg Jennings left for Minnesota via free agency.
But while Driver had slipped to the bottom of the depth chart Jennings was still a big part of the offense.
Certainly the Packers have plenty of talent with Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb but the real question is how good are the other wide receivers?
The Packers will have to rely on inexperienced players to fill out the depth chart.
Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross return for a second year but the Packers will also take a good, long look at rookies Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey. Undrafted free agents like Myles White will have an outside shot at making the roster.
Tight end Tom Crabtree also left via free agency and that sets up a free-for-all for depth behind Jermichael Finley. D.J. Williams, Andrew Quarless, Ryan Taylor and newcomer Matthew Mulligan are all in the mix and it'll be interesting to see how many tight ends the Packers keep during the regular season.
On defense the Packers will need to replace Charles Woodson in the secondary. Like the wide receiver position the Packers will lean on a number of young players including Sam Shields, Casey Hayward and Davon House. Rookie Micah Hyde should see some snaps in training camp as well. Another big question here is how effective Tramon Williams will be on the other side of the field.
At linebackers the Packers parted ways with inside linebackers Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith. Brad Jones will stay inside and start along side A.J. Hawk but the question here is depth. Once again there is inexperience but potential with the likes of Robert Francois, Jamari Lattimore, Terrell Manning and rookie Sam Barrington.
Be sure to tune into Wisconsin's Afternoon News at 4:30 every day this week as we preview a different area of the team leading up to the start of training camp on Friday.