11. Special teams
In the mix: Zach Triner (LS)
When you are replacing two thirds of the kicking unit, it’s tough to have a high ranking. Having two thirds of that unit be rookies, you get the worst unit on the team.
Mason Crosby is the only proven commodity and will have to deal with a new holder and long snapper. While those two positions don’t get much publicity, they are an important function to the kicking game.
Despite having a solid rookie year, Justin Vogel was replaced by JK Scott. Scott comes from Alabama, where he played in pressure situations and fared well. His strong leg should hold up well in the Wisconsin winters. Directional kicking is where the Packers were lacking in 2017, so the hope is Scott can improve this area.
The Packers will also be replacing super-gunner Jeff Janis. Janis never got much time on offense but was a major reason why the Packers didn’t give up a punt return for a touchdown in 2017.
Trevor Davis’ position on the team could be determined by how many receivers the Packers keep, and if one of the three rookies proves to be uncuttable. Should Davis get cut, Ty Montgomery could fill the kick return role, while Randall Cobb and Jaire Alexander could handle punt return duties.
Injuries at the kicker position have proven to be easier to find replacements for during the season than other positions. But that doesn’t take away from the importance of having continuity on special teams.
Special teams are an often-overlooked unit until they fail. Crosby has proven to be a reliable kicker, but there is a lot of uncertainty up and down special teams.