3 Packers veterans who could lose their starting job to a rookie

Green Bay Packers, Royce Newman (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Royce Newman (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Krys Barnes
Green Bay Packers, Krys Barnes – Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

Krys Barnes, LB

De’Vondre Campbell was the Packers’ number one inside linebacker last season, but Krys Barnes also played a significant role on defense, starting 13 games.

In total, he played on 52 percent of the Packers’ defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. Even with Campbell on the team, Barnes played more snaps in 2021 than when he was the Packers’ best linebacker in 2020.

Barnes has been a solid player for Green Bay over the past couple of seasons, making a total of 161 tackles, two sacks, nine tackles for loss, and four pass defenses since the start of 2020.

He made one of the Packers’ defensive plays of the season in 2021, tackling Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams out of bounds to prevent a touchdown on third-and-goal. Williams looked set to stroll into the end zone, but Barnes made an incredible tackle to save the points.

Why Barnes could lose his starting job isn’t as much to do with his performances, but because Green Bay drafted Georgia’s Quay Walker 22nd overall.

Walker is going to be a key contributor on defense right away, and the expectation should be for him to start early on in his career. It likely won’t be long before it is Walker, not Barnes, starting next to Campbell.