Thanks to the new rookie wage scale, it took less than a month for the Green Bay Packers to get all of the their rookies under contract. With most of undrafted free agents signed, it’s time to debate which of the rookies are going to make the 53-man roster.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
I don’t think there is any reason to question whether or not the guys drafted in the sixth round or earlier are going to make the team. If they Packers didn’t think they were good enough to make the team, they wouldn’t have wasted a draft pick on them. With that said, the Packers drafted three wide receivers, so seventh round draft pick Jeff Janis will have to prove himself if he wants to make the cut.
Guys with Something to Prove
Adrian Hubbard- Hubbard went undrafted out of Alabama, despite many projections of him going in the late rounds. He possesses freakish athleticism and has prototypical length and size, but his production in 2013 didn’t indicate such. With a lot to prove, I think comes into training camp with a fire in his belly and makes the team. He will need to beat out a player from 2013’s roster in Nate Palmer, but I think the motivation of going undrafted is going to power this guy throughout training camp.
Rajion Neal- Neal’s respectable career at Tennessee was capped off with a sensational senior season where he amassed 1124 yards on 215 carries for 12 touchdowns. But with Eddie Lacy fully entrenched as the starter and James Starks as the backup, Neal will be competing with Dujuan Harris and Jonathan Franklin for third slot on the depth chart. It is very likely that the Packers only carry three running backs on their roster, with other positions in need of more depth. With that said, I expect Harris to make it out of this bunch if he recovers well enough from a knee injury that sidelined him for all of 2013. When Harris broke on to the scene two years ago, he proved that he could be a great change of pace back and be a pass catcher out of the backfield.
Jeff Janis- I expect the Packers to keep six wide receivers on their 53-man roster, which means rookie Jeff Janis is going to have to compete for the sixth and final spot. This won’t be easy as there are four others are vying for that spot including second-year veterans Myles White, Chris Harper, and Kevin Dorsey. I’m not sure if Janis will make the cut, but with Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson entering the final year of their contracts, the Packers will be looking to keep any promising wide reciver talent as close as possible.
Colt Lyerla- Lyerla is definitely the rookie to watch during training camp. Many scouts thought he possessed the talent to be a first round pick, but his off-the-field red flags caused him to go undrafted. Despite a huge need for a pass catcher at tight end, Lyerla is going to really have to impress GM Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy for them to take the risk on him. I believe he has the talent to do it, but he’s going to have to get his head right if he wants to make this team.