By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on July 28, 2014
Training camp is well underway for the Green Bay Packers, but it's not too late to make some bold predictions for their summer. Check out these five predictions for the team's camp and preseason.
When the Packers invested their first-round pick on Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the consensus was that they acquired an immediate starter at free safety. However, Micah Hyde lined up with the first team opposite Morgan Burnett at safety during the first weekend of camp. It's obviously still early, but the Packers are clearly high on Hyde's ability, meaning Clinton-Dix will have to earn the right to start come Week 1.
Second-round pick Davante Adams was one of the most talented receivers in perhaps the deepest receiver class ever. But the Packers had a heap of depth at the receiver position themselves before nabbing Adams in May. He faces a steep climb up the depth chart, but, given his well-rounded skill set, should be able to unseat Jarrett Boykin as the No. 3 receiver with a consistent camp and preseason.
Most expect inside linebacker Brad Jones to remain a starer alongside A.J. Hawk in 2014, but after struggling to defend the run in 2013, the Packers should force him to compete with Jamari Lattimore for the spot. Lattimore only played 256 snaps last fall, but flashed potential rushing the passer. I expect him to outplay Jones in the exhibitions, which should lead to a changing of the guard.
Packer Nation is selling tight end Colt Lyerla's stock after a rough start to training camp. The former Oregon standout has immense talent, highlighted by a rare blend of size and speed, but a litany of off-field issues scared away teams in the draft. As an undrafted free agent, though, he could turn out to be a steal. If he can rebound from a few ugly drops over the weekend, he has the talent to find a home on an unimpressive tight end group.
Speaking of tight ends, the Packers need a starter to step up after losing Jermichael Finley to a scary neck injury last year. Although they've flirted with re-signing Finley, they likely would've by now if a deal was imminent. Thus, a young talent will need to emerge. Andrew Quarless is penciled in as the starter for now, but Richard Rodgers, the club's second third-round pick in May, possesses a higher ceiling.
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