The Green Bay Packers are in their third week of voluntary OTAs and held their weekly practice that was open to the media on Tuesday. While the players are still practicing without pads, there were still some players that stood out and trends that were worth noting.
Here is a look at five important observations from Week 3 of Green Bay Packers OTAs:
Carrington Valentine Stepped Up
Rookie cornerback Carrington Valentine had a strong day at OTAs earlier this week. The seventh-round pick out of Kentucky broke up two passes from Jordan Love intended for Romeo Doubs.
Valentine has been getting extra reps mostly due to the absence of starting cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas who were not at voluntary OTAs. Former first round pick Eric Stokes is still recovering from his foot and knee injuries and is unable to participate in practice.
Head coach Matt LaFleur was pleased with what he has seen from Valentine thus far. “I thought ‘CV’ has done an unbelievable job,” LaFleur told reporters. “You can really see the body movement skills that he possesses, and he’s been working hard. I think there’s been some great lessons along the way, but he’s a guy that certainly has the talent. It’s going to be on him to put it all together and go out there and do it in the preseason.”
Zach Tom Is Getting Time at Multiple Positions
One player who everybody is watching at OTAs is second-year offensive lineman Zach Tom. Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich said that the center, right guard and right tackle positions were up for grabs and that the coaching staff wanted the best five players on the field.
Tom has seen both first- and second-string reps at right tackle, alternating with Yosh Nijman. He also played with the second-string offensive line at center.
Where Tom ends up will go a long way towards determining who starts along the right side of the offensive line and at center.
Green Bay Packers DLs Devonte Wyatt and T.J. Slaton Looking Good
The Packers lost Jarran Reed and Dean Lowry in free agency this offseason. That means Devonte Wyatt and T.J. Slaton are expected to step up and start in their stead.
Both young players have looked good at OTAs this week. Obviously, playing without pads limits what we can tell about a defensive lineman. So far, Wyatt, the former first-round pick out of Georgia, and Slaton, the 2021 5th-round pick out of Florida, were consistently penetrating into the backfield to break up running plays.
For a Packers defense that struggled against the run for the last several years, this is an encouraging sign.
Lukas Van Ness Gets First Team Reps
This year’s first round pick Lukas Van Ness has been getting reps with the first team at OTAs. Over the first two weeks, he was mostly playing with the second team.
Preston Smith is not at OTAs this week and Rashan Gary is still working with the rehab group on his knee, but Van Ness has taken full advantage of the opportunity this created.
The former Iowa star continues to look fast and is spending time in the opposing backfield and looks athletic and strong.
Romeo Doubs and Jordan Love Developing Chemistry
Packers quarterback Jordan Love and second year wideout Romeo Doubs continue to develop chemistry at OTAs. It seems that whenever Love needs a key completion, he has confidence that Doubs will be open and can make the catch.
“When in doubt, you know you can throw it out there and he’s going to make a play,” Love said when asked about Doubs. “He’s done a great job of going to get the ball wherever it’s at, has made some really tough catches. And it kind of just builds everybody’s confidence, builds my confidence in him, just being able to throw the ball out there, and know he’s going to make a play.”
If Doubs becomes Love’s “go-to receiver,” that could have an impact on the offense with Doubs getting a high volume of catches. Then Christian Watson could operate as the deep threat and Jayden Reed is now the favorite to become the slot receiver.
It’s still a long way to the first game of the regular season in September but Doubs and Love look like they are off to a strong start at OTAs.
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