The Green Bay Packers will open training camp in less than a month. The team is optimistic heading into the 2024 NFL season after making a surprise run to the playoffs in 2023. While there are clear cut favorites for most positions in the starting lineup, there are some positions that are most definitely up for grabs as we head towards the start of the new season. Here is a look at the top five position battles we can expect entering training camp:

Packers Position Battles Entering Training Camp, Number Five: Backup Quarterback

The Packers are set at starting quarterback with Jordan Love, but there will be a battle for the backup spot between incumbent Sean Clifford and rookie Michael Pratt.

The Packers selected Clifford in the fifth round of the 2023 draft. The Penn State alum looked good in the preseason and won the backup job. During his rookie campaign, he threw only one pass.

This year, GM Brian Gutekunst selected Pratt in the seventh round. The former Tulane star has looked very decisive during OTAs and according to most reports, outplayed Clifford.

Most seasons, the Packers keep two quarterbacks on the active roster and one on the practice squad. Clifford and Pratt will fight for the backup job

Number Four: Long Snapper

Veteran Matt Orzech struggled through his first season in Green Bay in 2023. His inconsistency was one reason for Anders Carlson’s struggles at kicker.

The Packers signed undrafted free agent Peter Bowden out of Wisconsin to compete with Orzech. Bowden was considered the top long snapper coming out of college by most scouts.

The Packers will only carry one long snapper on the roster and that will be determined by who excels in training camp and in the preseason.

Packers Position Battles Entering Training Camp, Number Three: Kicker

Kicker will be a three-way battle and a vital one for Packers head coach Matt LaFleur. The Packers cannot afford to lose close games because of missed kicks.

Last year, Carlson struggled as a rookie. He got off to a great start before struggling the rest of the way.  The Auburn alum led the NFL in missed kicks which is never a good statistic to have. That includes five missed extra points during the regular season and one more in the playoffs.

The Packers added former Vikings veteran Greg Joseph to the roster to compete with Carlson. They also signed former Michigan star James Turner just after the conclusion of OTAs after he was waived by the Lions. Joseph adds experience while Turner was more consistent in college than Carlson was.

The Packers want Carlson to win the job after investing a sixth-round pick in him a year ago. But they cannot afford to have an inconsistent kicker on the roster either. Don’t be surprised if Gutekunst adds another kicker if none of these three candidates impress during the preseason.

Number Two: The Offensive Line

It’s tough to figure out the offensive line right now. LaFleur has often said he wants the best five players to be the starters. We know Elgton Jenkins and Zach Tom will be among them if they are healthy enough to play. Tom missed OTAs with a torn pectoral muscle.

Rasheed Walker is the incumbent left tackle, but he will face competition from first round pick Jordan Morgan.

Josh Myers has been inconsistent at center. Either Jenkins or Tom could play center as can rookie fifth round pick Jacob Monk.

Sean Rhyan will start training camp atop the depth chart at right guard but could see competition from Myers if he doesn’t win the center job. Sixth round pick Travis Glover and Morgan may also figure into the competition at either guard position.

The versatility of Morgan, Jenkins and Tom gives the Packers coaching staff more options to figure out the top five. The sooner they get them chosen and working together the better the line’s cohesiveness will be once the season starts.

Packers Position Battles Entering Training Camp, Number One: Cornerback

We know Jaire Alexander will be one starting cornerback but who will be the other? The favorites are former first round pick Eric Stokes and second-year man Carrington Valentine.

Stokes has outstanding speed. He played very well as a rookie in 2021. Unfortunately, he struggled in 2022 before suffering a season-ending injury midseason. Stokes was limited to three games last season but hopes to be healthy and return to form in 2024.

Valentine emerged as a starter after Alexander and Stokes were injured and played well enough for the Packers to trade Rasul Douglas at the trade deadline. He will need to be more consistent in his second season to lock down the starting job, but he did impress coaches at OTAs.

Both players will see the field, but the starter obviously will play a bigger role in Jeff Hafley’s defense this year.




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