By Chris Peterson @cpetersonHDN on June 21, 2014
The Green Bay Packers have one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the NFL and every year there are always players who surprise to play bigger roles than expected. Here are five players who could be surprise starters for the Packers in 2014.
Currently, second-year man J.C. Tretter appears to have a hold on the starting center job in Green Bay, yet nothing is won along the offensive line until the pads come on in August. Linsley is a true center who has some ability. He is a tough player and he will give Tretter a run for his money in training camp.
Boyd has been a forgotten man this offseason for Packer fans, but after finishing the season strong in 2013, he has a chance to start as a defensive end in the base 3-4 defense for Green Bay this season. He is not a great pass rusher, but he is stout against the run and could be the day one starter at the five-technique.
Lattimore was impressive when he was on the field in 2013. He is a tough, physical inside linebacker who is particularly good in the run game. Brad Jones is slated to start ahead of him, but with an impressive training camp, there is no reason why Lattimore couldn't pass up Jones on the depth chart.
Perry has started 11 games the past two seasons, so him starting is not a huge surprise unless he ends up starting ahead of Julius Peppers. That is not to say Perry is better than Peppers, just that the Packers may decide to limit Peppers to just pass rush situations. So when the base defense starts on the field, it could be Perry, not Peppers getting the nod.
A big development this offseason for the Packers defense has been the possibility of Hyde moving full-time to safety. It's clear the Packers want him to see more snaps on defense and if he can make the transition he will compete with Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for a starting job. Clinton-Dix will play right away, but if Hyde impresses, Clinton-Dix may start as a third safety. Starting jobs should be earned not given.
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