The Green Bay Packers team is going to look very similar to the 2020 team. General Manager Brian Gutenkunst and Co. thought the best chance to run it back to another Super Bowl run, was to re-sign Aaron Jones, Chandon Sullivan, as well some other key players that played a huge part in making it to the NFC Championship.
With salary cap restraints, it was obvious they had to negotiate with a few players to take pay cuts entering the 2021 season. Training camp is looming around the corner, and with a large portion of the roster returning, there will not be a lot of position battles, and in the Packers’ case, they won’t come with significant playing time. With that said, here are the 2021 Green Bay Packers’ key position battles to look out for.
2021 Packers Key Position Battles: Offense
RB: Mike Weber vs. Kylin Hill vs. Patrick Taylor vs. Dexter Williams
The Green Bay Packers are sitting pretty at the running back position with their two-punch combo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Head Coach Matt LeFleur mentioned regularly that he wants to run with three backs. However, Jones and Dillon will be getting the most of the workload.
Dexter Williams played his college ball at The University of Notre Dame. He contributed from 2015-2018 with 1,600 yards rushing with 20 rushing touchdowns in his collegiate career. However, he really hasn’t transitioned very well to the next level. Williams was waived in September 2020 and re-signed that same month to the practice squad. He was elevated to the 53-man roster in weeks 7, 9, and 16. Williams has struggled from day one in the passing game and most importantly in pass protection. It’s safe to say this will be his last chance to prove he can contribute at the running back position.
Mike Weber was very productive back in college at Ohio State and was signed to the practice squad in 2020. Meanwhile, Patrick Taylor and Kylin Hill are both very solid backs, and one of the two will most likely get the third spot.
WR: Equanimeous St. Brown vs. Devin Funchess
The Green Bay Packers drafted Amari Rodgers to fill the slot/gadget spot in LaFleur’s offense and will be joining a talented group of DeVante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Marquez-Valdes Scantling. Depending on how many receivers LaFleur wants to carry on the active roster, there will most likely be one or two positions open.
Devin Funchess, now 26-years-old, opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic and sustained an injury in 2019, so he hasn’t played a regular-season game in three seasons. Before Funchess’s injury, he only had three receptions with 32 receiving yards. He is by far from a roster lock. Equanimeous St. Brown struggled most of the 2020 season with only 16 targets and had two drops. It would be obvious to make the decision to go with the age (Brown) factor than their past production. Malik Taylor and Reggie Begelton both have an uphill battle making the 53-man roster, they will most likely start the season on the practice squad.
2021 Packers Key Position Battles: Defense
LB: Randy Ramsey vs. Jonathan Garvin
Just like at the running back position, The Green Bay Packers are set at the edge rusher position with Preston Smith and Rashan Gary. Jonathan Garvin had the fourth-most snaps last season while seeing the field only eight percent of the time on defense. Randy Ramsey is going to have to prove himself this training camp to see if he can take away some of those snaps from, Garvin. Due to the varying degrees of playing time, there would have to be an injury to see them have a big role in their position