Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Second year player predictions: Who steps up for the Packers?


It’s another year for Green Bay Packers fans like myself and we are hoping to see new players like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix become the next Nick Collins.

While that very well may be, we should be just as excited for several players who will be headed into their sophomore year this season.

What should we expect?

Datone Jones Jim Oxley photograph

Datone Jones
Jim Oxley photograph

Datone Jones/Defensive End

Jones had a bit of a disappointing rookie season between the injuries that slowed him and low sack totals. Jones totaled 3.5 sacks, but 2 of them came in one game. Jon Gruden loved him and the pick last year, and I am willing to give Jones the benefit of the doubt with the injuries. If Jones can stay healthy this offseason and season, I think he could have a great year on the line.

2014 predictions – 30 tackles, 7 sacks

 

Eddie Lacy/Running Back

Eddie freakin’ Lacy. The man was simply a machine last year, and considering the totals he put up even without a passing threat due to Aaron Rodgers injury, he should be even better next year.

It is tough to go too much higher when predicting more from Lacy given a fantastic rookie season, but with Rodgers’ return, a year in the system, and the offensive line gelling even more, Lacy should be due at least a few more yards and a TD or two.

2014 predictions – 1,400 yards, 13 TDs, 350 receiving yards

Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (69)  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

 

David Bakhtiari/Left Tackle

Bakhtiari really surprised us last year. Bryan Bulaga went down and we did not feel like we had a prayer at any solid protection, let alone a running game. But after a couple mistakes versus some top tier pass rushers Bakhtiari settled into a groove and really showed he could play. With a full year in this, jitters should be gone and we could have the makings of the next Josh Sitton on the line.

2014 prediction – This one is tougher to predict, so let’s just say he won’t be going anywhere. Bakhtiari will get it done.

 

J.C. Tretter/Center/Line

Tretter will hopefully be the answer at center. Tretter had the unfortunate situation in breaking his ankle last season and did not play. All Packers fans are hoping he takes the spot and runs with it. If center can be nailed down the Packers could have some line continuity they have not had for years.

2014 predictions – Starting center, we hope.

 

Johnathan Franklin/Running Back

We saw a lot of him during the Cincinnati game and then none of him. That fumble really hurt, as well as the inability to really spark anything returning kicks. The problem for Franklin is simply the Packers sudden wealth at running back. When you have the Offensive Rookie of the Year  (Lacy), the surprising return of a tone setter (James Starks), and a talented player returning from injury (DuJuan Harris), you are not going to see many chances.

2014 predictions – Honestly? If the boy sees the field for extended periods we’re in trouble.

 

Green Bay Packers cornerback Micah Hyde (33)Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Micah Hyde/Cornerback

This kid excites me. Hyde helps bring cornerback depth on a team that really needs it. Hyde is now quite experienced in the nickel and from the sound of it could bring some help at safety. I am sure he wants to atone for that dropped interception in the wildcard round versus the 49ers with a few picks this year.

Hyde may never be as talented as another fifth round pick that got paid the big bucks this year (Richard Sherman), but he is a great player who could fill the Charles Woodson and nickel role, especially if this ends up being Tramon Williams last season in Green and Gold.

2014 predictions – 3 interceptions, 5 passes defensed, 15 tackles

 

The rest …

Normally I would not lump the rest together, but the Packers drafted quite a few players last year. Of the remaining five players, four are on the roster, given receiver Charles Johnson got an opportunity on the Cleveland Browns roster.

Josh Boyd could have a good presence as a big rotational defensive tackle. He might be a B.J. Raji replacement if he can get it going.

Nate Palmer and Sam Barrington are developmental players that could be good special teams and role players this year at linebacker. Kevin Dorsey will be fighting an uphill battle recovering from an injury and battling for a roster spot versus three new wide outs.

2014 predictions – Boyd carves out a nice role, Palmer and Barrington do well solidifying special teams, and Dorsey ends up on the practice squad or more likely, cut.

How do you think these guys will play out the 2014 season?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Tags: Datone Jones David Bakhtiari Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers Micah Hyde

  • Mike Brand

    i think the only reason we have not traded franklin is deep in the minds of the coaches and the gm is not if but when james starks goes down again . james is a good back when healthy but he has what people call accident prone we were lucky last year lacy did not go down but if you look back starks had a nagging injury that allowed franklin to play the bengals game. i honestly think frankling takes starks place if starks has any type of injury . the odd guys out i think is harris and hill but hill can go on the ps but harris has no other options other than being kept or going to another team . the rest im right there with you dbak is gonna be way better and datone jones will be better and lacy might even squeeze 1500 yards out with a healthy aaron to take pressure off of him

  • David Wendorf

    Franklin was the most explosive back we had last year, period. If he sees much of the field this year, it’s because he’s learned to take care of the football and has proven himself as a legit threat – which is far from us being in trouble. That fumble vs Cincinnati did hurt, but his play previous to that was a big reason we had a chance in that game. I’d much rather see Franklin in the backfield on 3rd and forever draw plays than Kuhn, who has no chance of breaking a big play. Hyde is a question mark. His rookie stats were much less than impressive, other than his sure tackling. He may be better suited to safety. I think Datone also has a bigger year than the article suggests, with Worthy, Perry, and Matthews healthy and Peppers in the mix. Barring injuries, this is a scary good team with lots of depth.

  • Kross Examiner

    Franklin came through in his 1st and only game to play extensively as a rookie w/108 yds. If I recall, Lacy also had a fumble early in his rookie career and got benched temporarily, but also got the chance to come back and show what he can do. When Franklin gets another chance, he’s going to open some eyes in yr two.