Packers: Three early predictions for training camp 2019

Green Bay Packers, Jake Kumerow (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Jake Kumerow (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers
MADISON, WI – OCTOBER 21: Troy Fumagalli #81 of the Wisconsin Badgers is brought down by Darnell Savage Jr. #4 of the Maryland Terrapins during the second quarter at Camp Randall Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

3. Darnell Savage Jr. is the only rookie to earn a starting job

The Packers will have high expectations for their rookie class, and rightly so, but there’s a good chance only one first-year player will earn a starting job at training camp, and that’s safety Darnell Savage Jr.

First-round pick Rashan Gary has superstar potential as an edge rusher in Mike Pettine’s defense, but he’ll likely start as a backup behind Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, two of the Packers’ big free agency signings in March.

Offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins was Green Bay’s second-round choice, and he’ll be competing for a starting position at guard. Will it be a surprise if Jenkins starts in the season opener? Absolutely not. But entering training camp, I’m predicting Lane Taylor and Billy Turner to start in Week 1.

Similarly, third-round pick Jace Sternberger will likely be a backup at tight end with Jimmy Graham as the starter.

But that shouldn’t be the case for Savage, who has a clear path to a starting role immediately. Having already earned high praise from his teammates, Savage is another player who can be a star for the Packers. And unlike many of the other rookies, he should be considered the favorite to start at safety with Adrian Amos.

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The 2019 draft class is an important one for the immediate future of this team, but Savage might be the only player to start in Week 1.