A new season means new opportunities. Some teams change more than others in the offseason, but change comes for everyone nonetheless. Through the draft, free agency, retirement, trades, etc., no team is exactly the same one year to the next. The Packers are no different.
On offense, there were some significant changes. There’s the blockbuster move – Davante Adams was traded to the Raiders. And then there’s smaller moves: Signing Sammy Watkins while selecting a receiver in the second round of the draft.
So is the team better? We’ve got a while until we’ll know for sure. But we can take a look at some of the players who are primed to have a big year.
Aaron Jones, RB
In 2021, Aaron Jones recorded 799 yards on 171 touches, adding four touchdowns. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry, the second lowest of his career. Coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2020, Jones saw a drop in production. Sharing touches with AJ Dillon could have kept him from finding the rhythm he was in that had him as one of the leagues top running backs in 2020. Regardless, if he is going to continue to be the lead back for the Packers, he’s going to have to find that formula once again. Time will tell whether or not he can capture that same magic.
Allen Lazard, WR
There’s so many receivers that have a ton to prove for this team. Allen Lazard, who just signed an extension, has. been the most productive of late. In 2021, Lazard had 40 catches for 513 yards and 8 touchdowns. Decent numbers for a second or third option, but if Lazard is hoping to slot in that WR1 role, he’s going to have to step up his production. The trust Rodgers has for him was evident last season, receiving 60 targets, which was second amongst receivers, behind only Davante Adams. To fill the void left by Adams, Lazard is going to command more targets, and if he stays on his current trend of improvement, he’s poised to have a very productive season.
Robert Tonyan, TE
In eight games last season, Robert Tonyan had just 204 yards and two touchdowns on 18 receptions. An ACL tear against the Cardinals sidelined him for the rest of the year, but regardless, he was not finding the end zone as much as he had in 2020, where he recorded 11 touchdowns, which tied Travis Kelce for most by a tight end that year. Fresh off an extension, Tonyan will have to prove that he can stay on the field, and find the formula for success that put him on the map in 2020. With the losses at receiver in the offseason, expect Rodgers to rely on familiar targets throughout the year. This could prove to be good news for Tonyan, assuming he can stay healthy. Nevertheless, it will be good for the Packers to have their top tight end back on the field.
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