Rookie development is no longer optional, but essential for NFL teams operating in today’s salary-cap era.
Green Bay Packers fans know this holds especially true for a draft-and-develop franchise like the Packers that typically shies away from pouring major capital into the free agent market.
The current 2017 season has seen the Packers place no fewer than 11 rookies on their 53-man active roster, not counting fourth-round pick Vince Biegel, who should be set to make his pro debut after the bye week.
So far, rookie production has been a mixed bag in that many of the first-year athletes show ample promise, but are also enduring growing pains that they’ve been undoubtedly working on in their time off.
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But while fans must be careful from burdening these neophytes with unfair expectations, the coaching staff must get more of out of this group if they hope to turn things around.
A combination of injuries and a general lack of depth at multiple position groups has necessitated the increased usage of these young hopefuls that are trying to make a name for themselves at the next level.
Here are your midseason rookie grades that serve as an indication of where each individual is in his development and how far they’ll need to go to reach their potential.