With the Green Bay Packers second preseason game in the books and the team’s third exhibition game against the Seattle Seahawks just around the corner, let’s take a look at how the players fighting for roster spots on the team have helped or hurt their cause.
Today we’ll take a look at the players on offense that have raised or hindered their stock on the team with their play as of late, and tomorrow we’ll take a look at the defensive players.
(Click on the link for last week’s player stock watch)
Eddie Lacy – Lacy made his preseason debut on Saturday against the Rams and really looked impressive. He ran with power, breaking tackles, and demonstrated quick feet as he made his cuts in the running lanes. The rookie back’s eight carries for 40 yards in the game doesn’t quite show how sharp Lacy looked running the ball. Lacy will need to build off this strong performance this Friday against the Seahawks to beat out DuJuan Harris for the starting running back position.
Don Barclay – Barclay got his first start at right tackle on Saturday, and he didn’t disappoint. Barclay got good push off the ball on running downs and didn’t give up any major pressures. Barclay did have a few snaps where he struggled in pass protection with Graham Harrell under center, but overall, Barclay proved he can start in this league. Barclay’s first team reps have increased in practice this week, and even though Marshall Newhouse is still competing for the right tackle spot, it’s Barclay’s job to lose at this point.
Brandon Bostick– Bostick was a long shot to make the roster entering camp this year. However, he has come on the last couple of weeks and put together a nice three-catch, 29-yard performance. Bostick also had a really nice lead block on an Alex Green 13-yard run. The young tight end is proving his value to this team. He could really secure a roster spot with another strong performance in this week’s preseason game against Seattle.
Mason Crosby – After a rough start to camp, Crosby has really gotten his act together as of late. He was a perfect 3 for 3 in St. Louis, and has only missed one field goal in practice so far this week. With his preseason performance, he has definitely improved his chances for keeping his roster spot on the team.
Myles White– White only had three catches for 28 yards in St. Louis, but his 19-yard catch was a big play in the game that got Green Bay in the red zone and set up the game’s only touchdown. White also almost had an impressive touchdown reception in the back of the end zone in the third quarter. He just didn’t quite get both feet down before going out of bounds. White has had a good week of practice so far, and has been working ahead of Tyrone Walker and Jeremy Ross in the team’s three-wide receiver sets. Maybe with a good showing against Seattle, White will surpass the other young receivers on the roster for a spot on the team.
James Starks – After an average performance in the preseason opener, Starks looked awful against the Rams on Saturday. First, he was the fourth back to come into the game, behind Lacy, Franklin, and Green, and he only managed four yards on three carries. Starks was pulled from the game after he bounced to the outside and fumbled the ball. Luckily, the defender stepped out of bounds before recovering the fumble, so the Packers didn’t lose possession. Starks also looked terrible in blitz pickup. On a 3rd-and-2, Starks completely missed a blitzing linebacker. His attempt to even block the defender was very timid. After having a strong start to camp, it appears Starks stock has dramatically fallen as of late. He’ll need a good performance this Friday to even have a chance at making the team.
Tyrone Walker– Walker was one of the standout players in the Packers preseason opener, but the undrafted receiver was surprisingly disappointing on Saturday. He had a few key drops and only one catch for 14 yards. In practice this week, Myles White has moved ahead of him on the depth chart. Walker will need another showing like he had in the preseason opener this week to have a good chance for a roster spot.
Johnathan Franklin – Franklin looked really impressive early in camp, but the last couple of weeks he seems hesitant and overwhelmed. It’s important to be patient with rookies, so Franklin’s not in danger of losing a roster spot. However, it doesn’t appear at this point he’ll make much of an impact on offense this season. He hasn’t done much so far with his opportunities in the two preseason games, and he has been a non-factor in the return game. The rookie back has two preseason games left to push for playing time on the team.
Vince Young – So far in the two exhibition games, Young hasn’t done anything to challenge Harrell for the backup quarterback position. Young is at a bit of a disadvantage coming late into camp and having to learn a new system, but if Young was going to make a serious push for a roster spot, last Saturday’s preseason game would have been his best chance. Instead, he still looked a little lost in the offense and his throws downfield were really off target. Young probably won’t see much playing time this Friday. His best hope is that he survives the first wave of roster cuts next week and gets a chance to show what he can do in the fourth preseason game.
Jermichael Finley– Finley was dominant against the Rams last week. He had four catches for 78 yards and really demonstrated his playmaking ability down the seam. This just shows what Finley can do when he gets man coverage and the defense has to account for the run. The middle of the field opens up. Finley is having a great camp. Let’s hope he continues this momentum heading into the regular season.
David Bakhtiari – Bakhtiari made a few errors in his second preseason start. That’s to be expected with a rookie left tackle. He give up a sack when Rams’ defensive end Robert Quinn made a move and beat Bakhtiari on the inside. Bakhtriari also had a full-start during the Packers two-minute drill just before the half. Other than these two blunders, the young left tackle played well in the game and didn’t give up any other pressures.
Jake Stoneburner – Stoneburner had arguably the most impressive play of the game. B.J. Coleman was being pressured and scrambled to his right. He tossed the ball up just short of the end zone, and the undrafted rookie tight end made an adjustment on the ball, pulled in the catch, and as he was falling out of bounds, stretched out broke the ball over the plain for the touchdown. Stoneburner has some serious pass catching ability. His stock has also recently gone up with his performance in practice. Stoneburner could be a dark horse to make the team, and in the very least, a strong candidate for the team’s practice squad.
Check in tomorrow for the Packers player stock watch on defense.