For fans of the Green Bay Packers, this offseason has been filled with confusion and a lack of moves that can aid Aaron Rodgers near the end of his career. Nevertheless, the Packers figure to be the favorites to repeat as NFC North champions in 2020.
With that being said, Green Bay didn’t do much this offseason that should instill confidence in their efforts to contend for a Super Bowl next season. First and foremost, the Packers traded up to select Jordan with the No. 26 pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Therefore, instead of helping Rodgers on offense, Green Bay actually took his eventual replacement. Seeing that they took Love in the first round, that shows they are confident in some of the younger players on the roster.
All that being said, here are three potential breakout players for the Packers in the 2020 season.
3. Jace Sternberger
After another disappointing year with the Packers, Green Bay decided to release Jimmy Graham this offseason. It didn’t take long for Graham to find a new team, signing a two-year deal with the Chicago Bears in free agency.
On the other hand, with Graham’s departure, the Packers are in need of someone to step up at the tight end position. While Marcedes Lewis has the most experience, Jace Sternberger has the highest ceiling of Green Bay’s tight ends.
Sternberger, who was Green Bay’s third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, wasn’t able to see the field until the playoffs due to an ankle injury. In his first two postseason games, the Texas A&M product contributed three receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown. By the end of the 2020 season, Sternberger could be one of Rodgers’ favorite targets in the passing attack.
2. Rashan Gary
Dissimilar to what transpired this offseason, the Packers had an outstanding offseason in 2019. Besides signing Adrian Amos from the Chicago Bears, Green Bay also inked deals with Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith in free agency.
Altogether, the Smith duo combined for 25.5 sacks and 60 quarterback hits in their first season with the Packers. At the same time, Rashan Gary — Green Bay’s first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft — didn’t get many opportunities to see the field. Not to mention, Gary was dealing with a nagging shoulder ailment.
Now, with Gary healthy, he could see more snaps on defense as he looks to put his disappointing rookie campaign behind him. Even though he’ll have to rotate with the Smith duo, Gary is poised to be a vital member of the Packers in 2020.
1. Allen Lazard
Again, despite making the NFC Championship Game last season, the Packers lacked pass-catching options outside of Davante Adams. While Green Bay was hoping that Marquez Valdes-Scantling would step up as the No. 2 wideout, Allen Lazard flashed some upside at the position.
With no one showing consistency, Lazard was thrust into a prominent role in the first half of the season in 2019. As a matter of fact, Rodgers himself lobbied for Lazard to get a chance in Week 6 versus the Detroit Lions. The undrafted rookie out of Iowa State responded with four receptions, 65 yards, and one touchdown in his debut.
At the end of the season, Lazard finished with 35 receptions, 477 yards, and three touchdowns despite having a limited role. But after turning some heads in 2019, Lazard could finally give the Packers a No. 2 receiver alongside Adams.