Is Doubs the new Davante? Can Watkins and Cobb stay healthy? Will running back Tyler Goodson snare a roster spot while Kylin Hill recovers from the ACL? Who is the pass catching tight end until Bobby Tonyan returns?
These are the sexy questions as training camp news goes from a trickle to a stream. The money question is about the “big ugly’s” up front.
We’re pre-programmed as fans to focus on skill players. With football on television the camera follows the ball. We see a lot more of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends than those faceless guys in the trenches.
Sure, it’s tempting to wax poetic on Romeo Doubs being the next big thing. Still, a more shocking, though no pads premature, prediction is that Zach Tom could land an opening day start at left tackle.
I don’t speak O-line lingo, but I’ve heard about guys who can “drop their hips,” “have a great anchor” or “first punch.” The early chatter on Zach Tom is, the guy can play.
“He’s done it in college and he’s got the athleticism, and he’s got great technique. He really does,” said Head Coach Matt LaFleur. More important than glowing words, Tom is getting the playing time with the 1’s. Like David Bakhtiari, another relatively unknown lineman the Packers found in the 4th round, Tom is considered a tad undersized. Although this could soon be moot when the Packers two best lineman Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari return to the field, it’s the August A-topic. It’s quite possible that Tom is the most “ready-for-prime-time” pass protector on the active roster. It’s not far-fetched to think the Packers may be better end to end on the line with Yosh Nijman at right tackle, and Tom at left.
Nice problem to have
Imagine an October with Bakhtiari and Jenkins back up front. Imagine the security for LaFleur, Offensive Coordinator Adam Stenavich and QB Aaron Rodgers, adding 2-All Pro quality lineman to the offense with proven starters like Tom and Nijman sitting on the bench at the ready? Imagine.
Yes the Doubs reports have been exciting. Yes, the recovery and emergence of 2nd round pick Christian Watson will be high-interest to all of us. But meat and potatoes matter. The emerging talent, depth and physical recovery on the offensive line is the most encouraging news of camp.