The Green Bay Packers continue to prepare for the 2022 NFL season and will be holding practice for five straight days this week. Now the pads have come on which means the intensity level has been raised a notch. The team has one more week before the start of the preseason and players will be fighting for the chance to impress the coaching staff and get a better opportunity in those games once they are played.
Here is a look at five less heralded Packers players who have made an impression since training camp started last week. For more on players who have stood out early in camp, click here.
OL Jake Hanson
Hanson is entering his third training camp with the Packers since they drafted the former Oregon star in the sixth round back in 2020. Hanson has played only six offensive snaps in five regular season games with the Packers. He is finally fully healthy and seems comfortable in the offense. Injuries slowed Hanson’s progress, especially in his first season with the team.
Hanson has primarily been a center but he has seen time at guard as well during training camp. The Packers coaching staff envisions Hanson as a potential successor to Lucas Patrick who served as the primary backup at both center and guard over the last three seasons.
Hanson must continue to show he’s ready to step into this role and his play in preseason games will be critical to his chances to make the team.
CB Rico Gafford
Gafford was originally a cornerback who was converted to wide receiver by the Raiders. The Packers moved him back to his original position after they selected three wideouts in this year’s draft.
Gafford has excellent speed and has impressed observers on both defense and special teams thus far in training camp. The former Wyoming star has broken up a lot of passes in practice and served as a gunner on special teams where his speed can be a big advantage.
The top three cornerback spots are set but behind Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas and Eric Stokes the competition is wide open and Gafford has made a good first impression.
S Dallin Leavitt
The Packers signed Leavitt before camp started at the behest of special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. Leavitt has been a standout on special teams for the Raiders since he joined the team in 2018 and also played 23 percent of the team’s defensive snaps last season.
The Packers are hoping the former Utah State star can improve their special teams and possibly give the team some badly needed depth at safety behind starters Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage.
Leavitt has done well on special teams early in training camp which may be enough to earn him one of the final roster spots especially if Bisaccia has a say in who some of those final players making the team will be.
S Vernon Scott
The Packers lack proven depth at safety and Scott is considered one of the favorites competing for the third safety spot on the roster.
Scott had a big interception of Jordan Love earlier this week in practice and was moved up on the depth chart the following day and was practicing as the third safety.
The former seventh-round pick out of TCU only played in three games last season and had a disappointing 2021 but is hoping to bounce back this season.
He is in a duel with Leavitt, Shawn Davis and rookie Tariq Carpenter but Scott appears to be off to a strong start in camp thus far.
CB Shemar Jean-Charles
Jean-Charles made a big jump from Appalachian State to the NFL and predictably didn’t see a lot of action on defense as a rookie.
This year in camp, Jean-Charles looks much more confident in coverage and has often put himself in position to break up passes and make strong breaks on the ball.
Jean-Charles is expected to see time covering slot receivers during training camp. If he can do that successfully, it will give him an advantage in the fight for the number four cornerback spot.
The Packers are hoping Jean-Charles takes a step forward in his second NFL season and that his fast start to training camp is the beginning of that process.
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