Packers: Three early predictions for training camp 2019
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.
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.