There will be a handful of players on the Green Bay Packers that will need to perform at a high level in 2019. Obviously, first-year head coach Matt LaFleur will face a lot of pressure this coming season. The Packers haven’t been to the playoffs in two seasons. Along with that, their starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, isn’t getting any younger. LaFleur won’t be given a honeymoon period to adjust to his new job. He will need to have his team ready to go from the very start. But LaFleur isn’t the only guy that will need to perform at a high level in 2019. There are four other members of the Green Bay Packers roster that will need to perform or they could be out the door.
Green Bay Packers Who Need to Perform in 2019
Having a new head coach means starting from scratch for the Green Bay Packers. What they have done, or in this case, not done, is in the past and they now have an opportunity to make an impression on their new head coach.
We are highlighting four Green Bay Packers, two on offense and two on defense, that will be under pressure to perform in 2019. All four of them have had their struggles. This season, they will need to show they can contribute. For some, it might be their last chance with the Packers.
J’Mon Moore, Wide Receiver
Last season, Green Bay Packers top personnel executive Brian Gutekunst selected three wide receivers. The first wide receiver he selected, in the fourth round, was Missouri product, J’Mon Moore.
Unfortunately, for the Packers, Gutekunst, and Moore, out of the three wide receivers selected, Moore contributed the least. He played in 12 games last season and only caught two passes for 15 yards. Moore did return four kickoffs, averaging 25.5 yards per return, but was benched due to fumbling. In Moore’s first season with the Packers, he was a non-factor.
Moore has good size and showed quite a bit of athletic ability while at Missouri. With LaFleur installing a new offense and giving Moore a clean slate, the Packers are hoping Moore will show he was worth the fourth-round pick they used on him. If he struggles once again, there is a chance he could be out the door after 2019.
Jason Spriggs, Offensive Tackle
Former Packers general manager Ted Thompson traded up to select Jason Spriggs in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. Thompson believed that Spriggs could develop into the top backup, to both starting left tackle David Bakhtiari and right tackle Bryan Bulaga. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened so far in Spriggs’ career.
To say Spriggs has underperformed would be an understatement. He has struggled with the quickness of speed pass rushers, the strength of bull rushers, and also creating holes in the running game. Spriggs has struggled in every aspect of the game. If he wasn’t a second round pick, he would have been shown the door by now.
But Spriggs will be entering the final year of his deal this coming season. No doubt it will be his last chance to show he can play at the NFL level. He will have the benefit of playing under first-time offensive line coach Adam Stenavich. Stenavich is implementing a new outside zone blocking scheme. A scheme that could benefit Spriggs.
The Packers are in need of a swing backup offensive tackle. They are hoping that Spriggs can finally live up to his second-round price tag. If he can’t display that, he will cement his status as a draft bust and be moving on.
Oren Burks, Linebacker
Like with Moore, Burks didn’t have the type of rookie season that the Packers were hoping he would.
It appeared that Burks was going to play a big part of the Packers inside linebacker group last season. But when a shoulder injury occurred late in the preseason, Burks’ potential contribution went out the door.
When he got healthy, he found that his potential playing time went to fellow linebacker Antonio Morrison. Burks did contribute on special teams but never was a real factor in the Packers defense.
Now healthy, Burks is expected to perform this season as the starter next to fellow inside linebacker Blake Martinez. Burks possesses the type of speed and athletic ability that could be a major asset in Mike Pettine’s defense. Out of this group, we believe that Burks will be up for the challenge and will be a major contributor this season.
Josh Jones, Safety
Josh Jones might not even get a chance to wear the green and gold in 2019. He has hinted that he would like the Packers to trade him before next season. Trading up and selecting Darnell Savage in the first round certainly put the writing on the wall, and Jones now wants to move on. But it isn’t a done deal that Gutekunst would give up Jones, a former second-round pick, especially for nothing.
If Jones does return, he will need to perform, not just for the Packers, but for possible future suitors. In his two NFL seasons, Jones’ play has been up and down. He is a core special teams player for the Packers and has also been solid at nickel linebacker. But at safety, his natural position, he has struggled. While it appears Savage will start next to starting safety Adrian Amos, Jones still could be a contributor on the backend of the defense.
If we were going to bet, we believe that Jones will be playing somewhere else next season. But if we are wrong, and he is back with the Packers, he will need to show he is more than just a special teams player and nickel linebacker.