Mailbag: Could Richard Rodgers start?

June, 21, 2014
Jun 21
8:00
AM ET
Each week, I will ask for questions via Twitter with the hashtag #PackersMail and then will deliver the answers over the weekend.
Demovsky: If organized team activities and minicamp are any indication -- and considering they are practices in shorts and helmets, they may not be -- it would appear rookie Richard Rodgers might have the inside track. His size (6-foot-4, 257 pounds) and athleticism stood out during the offseason practices. At least once a practice, he made an eye-catching play in the passing game, and coach Mike McCarthy said of Rodgers at the conclusion of minicamp this week that "if there was one thing that jumped off for a rookie in the offseason program, I would say he was very productive." Now, he got more reps because returning starter Andrew Quarless did not practice at all this offseason, but Rodgers took advantage. He will have to show that he can be an effective blocker once the pads come on in training camp, but at this point he might be in the lead. Demovsky: That is one of the great mysteries of this offseason, along with why linebacker Nick Perry was sidelined. Quarless indeed finished last season healthy and was the starter after Jermichael Finley's early-season injury. Quarless never made an appearance in the locker room during the media availability periods, and McCarthy does not have to disclose injury information -- and usually does not -- during the offseason. We may have to wait until training camp to find out. Demovsky: It has to be the secondary, right? Anytime you add a first-round pick at a position, he better make an impact, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix looks the part so far. Even if Clinton-Dix does not start right away, the feeling is that the safety position will be upgraded if for no other reason than M.D. Jennings, who started the last 26 games at free safety, is out. Most feel Micah Hyde would be an upgrade at safety, too. Plus, the entire cornerback group has returned. If there's one major question on defense, it has to be whether the inside linebacker group can improve without any significant personnel additions. Demovsky: It's highly unlikely Randall Cobb would agree to such a deal. His agent surely knows what Cobb could attract on the open market. In fact, a recent sampling of opinions around the league by colleague Mike Sando found that Cobb would be one of the most coveted receivers in a deep free-agent class, so why would Cobb settle for that kind of contract? Now, things could change if he were to sustain another injury before he signs his next deal but at this point, it appears he will be in line for a deal with significant up-front money. Note: There will be no mailbag next week because I will be on vacation. Mailbags may be sporadic between now and the start of training camp, but there will be fresh content every day on the Packers' page so please check in on a daily basis. 

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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