By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on June 19, 2014
Training camp and the unofficial start to the 2014 NFL season is only about a month away. For the Green Bay Packers, an opportunity to legitimately compete for a second Super Bowl title in five years awaits. Here are five questions that will face the franchise during next month's camp.
Players as talented as tight end Colt Lyerla are rarely attainable on Day 2 of the draft, let alone after it's complete. But Lyerla, who the Packers signed in undrafted free agency, isn't your typical prospect. A litany of off-the-field issues, including cocaine possession, scared away most teams, but Green Bay took a flier. Needing to prove his reliability on and off the field, Lyerla has his work cut out for him to make the team.
Evan Dietrich-Smith signing with the Buccaneers in free agency has left a void at center in Green Bay. Expected to fill it is 2013 fourth-round pick JC Tretter. If Tretter struggles in camp and the preseason, though, expect versatile backup Don Barclay to supplant him in the starting lineup.
The Packers were believed to have interest in selecting Ryan Shazier or C.J. Mosley during the first round of the draft before both prospects who were swooped up prior to their pick. That interest, however, revealed that GM Ted Thompson and company have little faith in inside linebacker Brad Jones. Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington and even fourth-round pick Carl Bradford will all enter camp within striking distance of Jones' spot.
Instead of using their first-round pick on a linebacker, the Packers nabbed free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. A highly skilled center-fielder, Clinton-Dix seemingly has what it takes to upgrade Green Bay's secondary. He won't be handed a spot on the first-team, though. He'll have to beat out Micah Hyde in camp to start come Week 1. Will he make an effortless transition to the speed of the NFL?
As long as the Packers have Aaron Rodgers they will be perennial Super Bowl contenders. Unfortunately, they only had the star quarterback for nine games in 2013. Keeping him healthy will be key to the franchise's prospects of getting back to the big game. A big part of protecting him will be finding a quality left tackle. The Packers could roll with David Bakhtiari, who struggled in 2013, or move Bryan Bulaga over from the right side.
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