Welcome to the new weekly article, Youngin’ of the Week. Here to continually discuss the development of the young players in the Packer program.
Green Bay began the season with a win over their NFC rival Seattle Seahawks. This win feels great because the defense played well, and the Packers had multiple young players contributing in larger roles than they’ve been relied on in the past. Against one of the most talented teams in football, no one looked to be overwhelmed.
Before we get to the youngin’ of the week, let’s see how some of the other young talent fared.
Kyle Murphy: The second year sixth round pick received his first start at right tackle, against one of, if not the best, front seven in football. He managed to hold up fairly well, despite Rodgers having pressure in his face for most of the game. The Green Bay offensive line gave up four sacks, but it could have been much worse if the right tackle had an Allen Barbre type performance. Murphy held his own.
Quinten Rollins: The Packers expanded Rollins role against the Seahawks, allowing him to blitz Wilson on multiple occasions. Rollins was used as the slot corner for a lot of the game, giving him a nice angle for said blitz, or to get involved defending the running game. He certainly performed, leading the team with eight tackles, going along with 1.5 tackles for loss, and a pass deflection. This may be the best role to get the most out of his basketball background.
Jamaal Williams: The rookie out of BYU was given the nod as the backup running back. He only touched the ball twice for a total of nine yards, but considering starting running back Ty Montgomery averaged 2.8 yards per carry, it wasn’t a bad debut for the fourth round pick. Even more importantly than his production with the ball in his hands, Williams stepped up to slow down a free pass rusher on multiple passing plays.
Kyler Frackrell: The second year outside linebacker out of Utah State had an average preseason, leading to some speculation whether he’d make the 53 man roster. After week one, he’s made at least one huge play for the Packers this season, recovering the fumble created by Mike Daniels early in the third quarter. He also managed a tackle and a hit on Russell Wilson yesterday.
Kenny Clark: After having a nice preseason, Clark continued to show why the Packers selected him the in the first round of the 2016 draft. He finished the game with one tackle and a pass deflection sitting about three yards deep from the line of scrimmage. Most importantly he played very well against the run, sliding with the direction of the run play, leaving no holes for the running back.
Josh Jones: The highly touted hybrid prospect never saw the field as part of the defensive unit, exclusively playing on special teams. He showed his athleticism flying down the field as a gunner, but also showed his rawness, taking poor angles to the ball carrier. When the game slows down for him a touch, he’ll be making plays all over the field.
Kentrell Brice: The second year undrafted Louisiana Tech safety was given the nod over rookie Josh Jones as the team’s third safety. Brice tallied four tackles as well as putting pressure on Wilson, forcing him to throw the ball away on a safety blitz. If there’s one thing for certain for the 22 year old, he is willing to put his body on the line to make a play.
Youngin’ of the Week:
Justin Vogel: The 23 year old undrafted rookie punter out of Miami University had a great debut for the green and gold, earning him the week one Youngin’ of the Week. In a low scoring affair, the Packer’s new punter averaged 43.8 yards per punt for a total of 219 yards over his five punts, including an inside the 20. He managed to keep the Packers on the right end of the field position battle throughout the game, which perhaps made the difference in the one possession win. Punting has been anything but a plus for the Packers in recent memory, Vogel has the potential to finally fix that issue.