Pad-less, but instructive

The smart fan doesn’t over-value reports from mini-camps and training camp. But you don’t ignore them either. Many times, training camp hype gets hopes so wildly off base that it all seems like fools gold.

The best, most concrete news so far is no significant injuries to any key players. No matter, it’s still a month before the games count, so here are 15 questions, observations and random predictions based on the cotton candy of early training camp.

(These observations are only based on camp reporting from numerous sources):

15- Rookies Carrington Valentine and Anthony Johnson Jr. will not only make the roster, they’ll see meaningful playing time on defense.
14- Tucker Kraft, a post draft darling, seems AWOL, so far. Is this 3rd round thing a real curse?
13- Alex McGough “could” contend for the practice squad. He’s not Curt Warner.
12- Early reports suggest the State Department may want to issue “do not travel orders” to “Jaire island” for opposing WR’s.
11- Free agent punter Daniel Whelan is 24. Returning punter Pat O’Donnell is 32 and costs the Packers about a $1-million more on the cap. Whelan has been booming kicks. This is one to watch.
10- Speaking of kickers, how much heartburn will Anders Carlson cause LaFleur, Bisaccia and Gutekunst?
9- As of now, the top 4 receivers appear to be Watson, Doubs, Reed and Tourre, besides injury, I’m not sure what would change that pecking order?
8- Has TJ Slayton actually improved to be a difference maker on the defensive line? Or is it a July mirage?
7- Tyler Goodson looks like the 2nd best “pure runner” on the roster after Aaron Jones. He doesn’t play special teams. Is injury his only path to the roster?
6- It seems like Zach Tom may have already won the right tackle job. It seems like the Packers value Yosh Nijman as the first tackle off the bench right or left.
5- As of July, there’s not a safety on the roster who can feel confident about their playing time, including Darnell Savage. This may hold true through December.
4- Keisean Nixon will be an impact player on defense, special teams and maybe, just maybe, offense.
3- Lukas Van Ness and Luke Musgrave are scary rookies. They wow you with potential, then vanish from notice from one practice to the next. Reminder, rookies are inconsistent.
2- Few players can impact the Packers fortunes, positive or negative, as much as Devonte Wyatt.
1- We still don’t know much about Jordan Love. Still, nothing from the spring to the first-days camp suggest the spot is too big for him. It’s fair to extend the cautious optimism for another week.

So often we learn as fans to not believe everything you hear in July and August. It’s only training camp. There’s lots of positions and roster spots still to be earned. But there’s something to be learned. The news gets more real in the coming weeks.

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