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Leapfrogging Eddie Lacy or James Starks on the depth chart is an unattainable goal for John Crockett, but he is on a mission to make the third spot his own. Crockett was set for a heavy workload in the Hall of Fame Game, but the game cancellation saw a vital opportunity go up in smoke. Just like with the last two players, Don Barclay is facing a situation where he’s battling for one of the final spots on the depth chart and may not win the race.
The Packers have a few options for their final offensive lineman on the roster, and Barclay just isn’t going to be it. Though the 2015 Green Bay Packers managed to get to the playoffs, and even win a game, they failed to win the NFC North for the first time since 2010. It is hard to call any season that sees you go to the Divisional round of the playoffs after losing your star receiver for the season a “failure”, but the 2015 season left a sour taste in the mouths of many Green Bay Packer fans.
In retrospect, the writing may have been on the wall for the Packer reign of NFC North dominance even before the season started. Picked by many as a player poised to have a break-out season in 2015, Adams had mediocre numbers at best, hauling in 50 receptions for less than 500 yards and only one touchdown. This lack of production from Adams, along with missing the contributions of Nelson that don’t show up on a stat sheet, all added up to what was one of the worst seasons of his career for All-Pro caliber quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The 2015 season saw Aaron Rodgers throw for the fewest yards in his career (in a non-injury year) since taking over for the legendary Brett Favre in 2008 with only 3,821 yards. However, for the Packers, 2015 is in the past, and it’s on to the new season, with a renewed focus on regaining their perch upon the top of the division.
In addition to Nelson’s return, they’re also banking on a new, slimmer version of Eddie Lacy to help the team re-establish a dominant ground game.
To say that the failings of the 2015 season for the Packers were entirely the fault of the offense, though, would be a mistake. Though the team was middle-of-the-road in both points per game and yards allowed per game, the defense could not stop shooting themselves in the foot during the 2015 season.
Two of the first three picks the Packers made in the 2016 NFL Draft addressed the defensive side of the ball, while adding talented and smart players. On the final day of the draft, the Packers again placed a focus on smart defenders, taking Blake Martinez, another linebacker (from Stanford University), and Dean Lowry, a defensive lineman from Northwestern. While the Packers look to rebound in 2016, the road ahead isn’t going to be an easy one for them. Giving Teddy Bridgewater a legitimate threat at wide receiver should only serve to further his progress in this league, while also taking some of the pressure off of Peterson.

No matter which way it plays out, whether the Vikings can repeat, the Packers regain control of the division, or the Bears or Lions come from nowhere to shock everyone, watching the battle for NFC North supremacy should be fun for football fans throughout the season. The Packers' big win on Sunday propels them into the top three of SB Nation's power rankings. After demolishing the NFC South-leading Carolina Panthers 38-17 on Sunday, the Green Bay Packers have now made the leap into the top three of SB Nation's NFL power rankings. Green Bay officially slides in behind only the 5-1 Denver Broncos and the 6-1 Dallas Cowboys, meaning the Packers finish ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, two NFC teams with better records. As for the NFC North, the Lions moved up as well by virtue of their comeback win over the Packers next opponent, the New Orleans Saints. The Indianapolis Colts will play the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Playoff Round on Sunday, January 11, 2015. In the Wild-Card round, the NFC said farewell to the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions, who lost to the Carolina Panthers and refs Dallas Cowboys respectively. The Denver Broncos will face Peyton Manning's former team in their first playoff game after enjoying a first-round bye.
Crockett wants to complement the Packers’ 1-2 backfield punch as a useful change-of-pace back. Lacy and Starks will be used sparsely against Cleveland, allowing the second-year back to finally get a chance to prove himself. Crockett’s aim isn’t to only beat out the challengers for the third spot on the depth chart, but also carve out his own niche in the Packers offense. They invested draft picks in Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy, and Tretter and Taylor offer more upside. Star receiver Jordy Nelson was lost for the year with a knee injury, though the organization and fans everywhere had high hopes that they would be able to pick up the slack with guys like Davante Adams. Adams failed to show much progress from his rookie to his sophomore effort and struggled mightily at times when the team really needed him.
2016 sees Jordy Nelson return, and with his return, the Packers offense is once again at full strength. Anyone who watched Lacy last season could see that the extra weight he was carrying had diminished his effectiveness and agility. The defense was also a big let-down for the team in 2015, and it’s obvious that the front office recognized the weakness and made every effort to address it in the off-season.
The Green Bay Packers defense was the fourth-most penalized squad during the season, racking up well over 1,000 penalty yards.

Though he shows no signs of slowing down yet, Peterson is on the wrong side of 30, and it’s only a matter of time before he can no longer carry the team on his shoulders.
The win, the team's fourth in as many weeks, has positioned the Packers atop the NFC North and among the elite teams in both the NFC and the league at large.
Detroit is now at 8th, while the Chicago Bears come in at 20 and the Minnesota Vikings bring up the rear at 27. In the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens knocked out the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Indianapolis Colts held strong against the Cincinnati Bengals to advance to Round 2 of the tournament. The trouble is he’s as likely to fly into a pileup for a minimal gain as he is to break one out into the open field.
Not only are there limited roster spots for reserve offensive linemen, but Barclay is coming off a 2015 season during which he was an absolute disaster.
Unless he flips the script during training camp, Green Bay will be showing him the door in fall.
He had a number of untimely drops and seemed almost to shrink away when the moment got too big for him. In spite of the reduction in yards, his touchdown and interception numbers remained consistent with his career averages. If 2015 showed Packers fans and the organization as a whole anything, it is just how valuable an asset Nelson is to this team. With the loss in weight, fans everywhere hope Lacy can regain the quickness that made him a star coming out of Alabama, while still maintaining a bruising running style that makes smaller defenders think twice before bringing him down in the open field.
They followed Clark up in the third round by taking linebacker Kyler Fackrell from Utah State.
Minnesota still has Adrian Peterson, and added weapons themselves in the 2016 NFL Draft, namely their first-round selection Laquon Treadwell. No portion of this site may be reproduced without the express written permission of The Oakland Raiders.
Crockett needs to display maturity, with the Packers trying to bottle his talent without the inconsistencies.
After the way he played last year, he’s likely going to be on very thin ice over the next few months.

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