5 things to watch closely for Packers in remaining NFL preseason games

Packers Coverage

The Green Bay Packers had a tumultuous offseason. The drama surrounding Aaron Rodgers dominated headlines, as no one knew when he would come to camp. Luckily for the organization, a deal was reached and he is ready to lead the Packers once again in 2021.

The future is also up in the air for wide receiver Davante Adams, who cut off contract extension talks with the team in late July. But, the team cannot worry about what the future may hold. They need to focus on what is right ahead of them with the 2021 season.

Green Bay is once again in a position to contend for the Super Bowl this season but needs to iron out a few things in the remainder of training camp and preseason.

Here are five things to watch for in the Packers’ remaining preseason games.

5. Eric Stokes Development, Can He Help Right Away?

With their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Eric Stokes out of Georgia. Stokes will be one of the players the team is relying on to help turn things around in the secondary. How much they can rely on him out of the gate is the question.

Cornerback is notoriously the most difficult position for rookies to transition from college into the pros. Stokes’ development will catch the attention of a lot of people. They have some depth in the secondary, but the team would assuredly like to have their first-round pick out there contributing as soon as possible.

4. How Much Will Starters Play Together

This offseason is yet another adjustment for NFL teams. Last year, teams had to combat COVID-19, doing a lot of virtual work. This year, the league returned to a training camp that was closer to how things were previously, but there were still some major changes.

With the regular season expanding to 17 games, there will only be three preseason games. Teams are taking extra precautions to ensure their starters are ready to go when the games start to count in a few weeks.

How much will we actually see the Packers’ regulars out there, together, in the preseason? There is a lot of chemistry already between the players, but shaking off the offseason rust could seep into the regular season without much preseason game action.

3. Amari Rodgers Impact

With their third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Clemson wide receiver, Amari Rodgers. At the time, Rodgers looked destined for a pretty significant role in this year’s offense.

He was selected with the idea of taking over slot receiver duties. But, with the addition of Randall Cobb, Rodgers will likely be pushed to the second unit.

His development in the preseason is something to watch. Green Bay has a deep group of wide receivers, but if he plays well he could force his way into the lineup. His number could be called any time, especially if injuries occur, so it would be nice to see him take advantage of the reps in the preseason so he is ready to go once the regular season rolls around.

2. Who Emerges Across From Jaire Alexander

The Green Bay Packers have a star cornerback in Jaire Alexander. Unfortunately, his dominance leads to the cornerback opposite of him getting picked on regularly. Green Bay has to find a player that can get the job done to help elevate this defense to the next level.

Kevin King was re-signed in free agency and will get a crack at it. Newcomer Isaac Yaidom, who was acquired from the New York Giants in exchange for Josh Jackson, will also factor into the mix.

First-round pick Eric Stokes could also get a chance if he shows he is ready for it during the regular season. In addition to Stokes, Green Bay also used a fifth-round pick on Shemar Jean-Charles out of Appalachian State in the fifth round. 

Someone emerging from that group would be a boon for the team’s defense that is also looking for another pass rusher to emerge alongside Za’Darius Smith.

1. Jordan Love’s Development

While his chance to be the Green Bay Packers’ starter at quarterback was pushed back at least one more year, the development of Jordan Love is paramount. He will eventually be taking over as the starter under center from Aaron Rodgers and it could come as early as next season.

Getting as many reps as possible under his belt in the preseason will help him be better prepared when he plays in games that count for something. He is dealing with a shoulder injury right now, and the MRI looked good, but the team is being extra cautious. But, he will be given every chance to play in their next preseason game.