This year more than ever, Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson needs to hope he’s put together a strong draft class. The season opener is upon us, and the Packers will most likely start four rookies. All of these rookies are expected to have a big impact on the team’s season.
First round pick Datone Jones is expect to set the edge against the run and add to the pass rush. He comes to the Packers with huge expectations after leading NCAA football with 19 tackles for a loss at UCLA.
Second Round pick Eddie Lacy will be counted on to strengthen the run game. Green Bay hasn’t had a dominant rusher since Ahman Green went plowing though the frozen tundra. Lacy could be the answer. He is a big, physical back who averaged an astounding 6.8 yards per carry with his tenure at Alabama.
Fourth round pick David Bakhtiari fell into an unlikely situation. Bryan Bulaga, Aaron Rodgers‘ blind side protector, went down with an unfortunate ACL tear. It was Bakhtiari who was called on instead of last year’s starter, Marshall Newhouse. The former Colorado Buffalo had an impressive preseason, only recording a few errors.
Fifth round pick Micah Hyde fell into a similar situation as Bakhtiari. Packers starting corner Casey Hayward went down with a hamstring injury. Hyde played so well in the preseason, that he got the nod over Davon House. The former Hawkeye has excellent instincts and is a ball hawk.
Some of these players (Jones and Lacy) have been penciled in as potential starters since the NFL Draft; but Bakhtiari and Hyde have fallen into their roles through hard work and injury to players ahead of them on the depth chart.
It’s their time to prove their worth. Sunday’s game will also put on display Thompson’s abilities to find players who step in on short notice.
Stay tuned …