Preseason doesn’t always provide the most exciting football, and the games are often considered “meaningless”. However, there are many Green Bay Packers players who will benefit from the return of preseason this year.
Due to the pandemic, there were no preseason games last year, but the Packers are scheduled to play three exhibition games this summer against the Houston Texans, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills.
Here’s a look at three players who will benefit from the return of preseason.
3. G Ben Braden
Ben Braden earned the praise of Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich, who believes he’ll compete for a starting job at either guard or tackle.
He will need to perform well throughout training camp to secure a spot on the 53-man roster as there is a lot of competition along the offensive line, but Braden will help his chances significantly with an impressive preseason.
It will be a great opportunity to showcase his talent and, importantly, his versatility. If he holds up well in live game action against other NFL teams, it will put him in a good position to make the roster.
2. WR Juwann Winfree
There’s plenty of competition for the final roster spot at wide receiver, but a name to watch is Juwann Winfree.
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky highlighted Winfree as a surprise player from OTAs and minicamp, writing that it “looks like he’ll make a strong run at a spot in the rotation”. With many of the veteran wide receivers sitting out of practices early on, Winfree made the most of his opportunity.
Winfree actually played in two games for the Packers last season but featured on just eight offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference.
With a strong performance this summer, he can give Equanimeous St. Brown competition for the final roster spot at wide receiver.
1. QB Jordan Love
Jordan Love needs as many reps as he can get. At some point in the near future, it’s likely the Packers will turn to Love as QB1. It could be as early as this season, but 2022 seems more realistic.
Aaron Rodgers’ absence from the offseason program proved to be a blessing in disguise for Love, who was able to get far more first-team reps than he would’ve done with Rodgers in attendance. That would’ve helped him a lot, as will the return of preseason.
It’s one thing to do it in practice. But to get out there at Lambeau Field and get a good number of snaps in live game action will be huge for Love’s development.