Packers mailbag: Who will emerge in 2015?


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Each week, we'll take questions about the Green Bay Packers. They can be submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #PackersMail.

This week, we will discuss the following topics:

  • Who might emerge among last year's rookies who didn't see much, if any, action

  • The future of the inside linebacker position

  • Moving the draft to Chicago

  • Predicting the first round of the draft

Demovsky: Based on what we saw in training camp last year, the two receivers -- Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis -- sure look like they have a shot. Before he tore his ACL, Abbrederis looked like he had the makings of a slot receiver who could make plays in the middle of the field. Meanwhile, Janis emerged late in camp as a guy who might be able to stretch the field. However, based purely on where they were drafted, defensive tackle Khyri Thornton (third round) and linebacker Carl Bradford (fourth round) should be more likely to be impact players. But neither showed much in camp last summer. The Packers basically stashed Thornton on injured reserve with a hamstring injury that probably wasn't season ending, and Bradford wasn't active for a single game last season after making the transition from outside linebacker to the inside late in the preseason. Finally, Demetri Goodson will at least get the chance for some playing time given the loss of cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Davon House in free agency, but Goodson didn't show a great ability to play the ball last preseason and will have to make a major improvement.

Demovsky: It may already be happening. The fact that there are few, if any, inside linebackers projected as first-round picks this year might say more about the position than the guys who are playing it. It could become devalued in the same way running backs are in the draft. Maybe the Packers matched the $2.55 million restricted free agent offer the Oakland Raiders make to Sean Richardson to play him at some kind of hybrid safety/inside backer spot this year.

Demovsky: I don't view it as a significant change. The actual location of the draft does not mean much. In fact, most teams don't send their key personnel to the draft. Packers general manager Ted Thompson keeps his coaches and scouts at Lambeau Field during the draft. Typically, they send equipment manager Bryan Nehring to the draft. Nehring turns in the card with the Packers' pick on it, so the location of the draft is really nothing more than a ceremonious thing.

Demovsky: Honestly, I try not to play that game. Here's why: I think my efforts -- and the readers -- are better served trying to figure out who the Packers will take, rather than who I think they should take. None of us on the outside can possibly have enough information to make an informed choice. So when I do go on the record, it will be to predict who I think Thompson will take at No. 30.