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NFL Green Bay Packers

5 Green Bay Packers Facing Make-or-Break Season in 2014

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5 Green Bay Packers Facing Make-or-Break Year in 2014

Mike McCarthy
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

The Green Bay Packers had a disappointing season in 2013 by their lofty standards. With a healthy Aaron Rodgers and improvements made throughout the roster, the Packers are expected to re-emerge as a Super Bowl contender in 2014. That doesn't mean they're void of uncertainty, though. Here are five players who will be facing a make-or-break season.

5. Don Barclay, Offensive Lineman

Don Barclay
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

5. Don Barclay, Offensive Lineman

Don Barclay
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The 25-year-old veteran from West Virginia struggled at right tackle in 2013. According to Pro Football Focus, Don Barclay ranked as the league's No. 55 overall offensive tackle. There has been some talk of moving Barclay inside to center or back to guard. Regardless of where he lines up, he'll need to prove he's a solid backup if not a capable starter. Barclay will be a restricted free agent in 2015.

4. Brad Jones, Linebacker

Brad Jones
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

4. Brad Jones, Linebacker

Brad Jones
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Hawk has struggled for the Packers, but his sidekick, Brad Jones, could be the one Green Bay is eager to replace. Jones battled a hamstring injury in 2013 and was used primarily as a situational player when he was healthy. He needs to prove he can be reliable against the run and in coverage in 2014 if he would like to keep his starting job.

3. Andrew Quarless, Tight End

Andrew Quarless
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

3. Andrew Quarless, Tight End

Andrew Quarless
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers are unlikely to re-sign Jermichael Finely, leaving a void at tight end. Competition is expected to be a major theme at the position throughout the summer. Andrew Quarless is in the running for the starting job, but will need to showcase why he's a more capable receiving option than his underwhelming production thus far suggests.

2. Bryan Bulaga, Right Tackle

Bryan Bulaga
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

2. Bryan Bulaga, Right Tackle

Bryan Bulaga
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Former first-round pick Bryan Bulaga has missed 23 games over the past two seasons. He's attempting to return to his 2011 form, when he ranked as Pro Football Focus' No. 8 overall tackle., but he'll need to make a successful recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last summer. Bulaga is schedule to hit free agency in 2015, so a healthy, efficient season is a must if he hopes to land a lucrative deal.

1. B.J. Raji, Nose Tackle

B.J. Raji
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

1. B.J. Raji, Nose Tackle

B.J. Raji
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Another former first-round selection, B.J. Raji is set to enter a crucial 2014 campaign. An inconsistent first five seasons in the league left Raji with a limited market this offseason. Instead of inking a multiyear deal, Raji returned to Green Bay on a one-year contract. With a move to nose tackle in 2014, Raji hopes to dominate in the trenches in order to command more interest in 2015.