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It’s still summer break for Matt LaFleur and the Green Bay Packers, but the start of training camp isn’t far off — players start reporting on July 17, and the first practice is scheduled for July 22.

Ray Nitschke Field — the setting of Packers camp — is the perfect proving ground. Who will arrive back in Green Bay and provide a summer surprise for the Packers ahead of the 2024 season?

Here are some players we’re most excited to watch during Packers training camp:

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DL Karl Brooks


GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 28: Karl Brooks #94 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after sacking Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions during the third quarter in the game at Lambeau Field on September 28, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Karl Brooks is coming off an impressive rookie year and now finding himself on the radar of some national NFL analysts this offseason. Brooks would play both defensive end and inside last season for the Packers, showcasing his ability to win from different spots on the line. He would total 30 pressures and four sacks and ranked 37th out of 129 defensive tackles in PFF’s pass-rush productivity metric. With Brooks entering his second season, where we see many successful NFL players make their biggest jump, along with his versatility and playing in Jeff Hafley’s scheme, which is predicated on getting into the backfield as quickly as possible, I think we see a big jump in production from Brooks. — Paul Bretl

WR Bo Melton


GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 07: Bo Melton #80 of the Green Bay Packers is tackled by Tyrique Stevenson #29 of the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Lambeau Field on January 07, 2024 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks get all the love in the Packers ascending receiver group, but Melton’s momentum as a player cannot be denied. He caught everything last summer, improved on the practice squad, forced his way onto the roster and then made the most out of every opportunity, catching 16 passes for 218 yards over the final five regular season games and even hauling in a touchdown pass during the postseason. Melton has elite speed and Matt LaFleur loves his tenacity as a blocker. I don’t know how LaFleur will get all of his receivers on the field, but Melton is a rapidly improving young player who should have a legitimate role in a dynamic offense. While Melton might enter training camp as WR5, I’d bet his production and value far outweighs the typical WR5 by season’s end. — Zach Kruse

S Javon Bullard


Green Bay Packers defensive back Javon Bullard (20) runs through drills during rookie minicamp on Friday, May 3, 2024, at the Don Hutson Center in Green Bay, Wis.
Tork Mason/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The defense was held back by inconsistent and, at times, discombobulated safety play throughout the 2023 season. However, the Packers believe they have rectified those concerns with the signing of Xavier McKinney and the drafting of three versatile prospects, with Bullard being the top pick and front runner to be a starter. There’s a lot to like about Bullard’s game in terms of what he put on tape as a two-year starter at Georgia, such as his physical approach and ability to line up all over the field. He will undoubtedly give Green Bay the interchangeability they seek in their starting safeties tandem. I’m definitely intrigued by Bullard’s overall skillset and learning about how the team plans to maximize everything he has to offer in Hafley’s scheme. — Brandon Carwile

LT Rasheed Walker


January 20, 2024; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Rasheed Walker (63) before a 2024 NFC divisional round game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Packers spending a first-round pick on Jordan Morgan, a left tackle from Arizona, Rasheed Walker is as confident as ever this offseason. Matt LaFleur has also commended him for how he’s approached the offseason, even if there may be some uncertainty around whether or not he will be starting at left tackle. What LaFleur and Adam Stenavich wanted from Walker last season was consistency, and we started to see that down the stretch. In the final six games, including two playoff games, Walker surrendered just one sack and eight pressures and did so against pass rushers like Nick Bosa, Micah Parsons, Montez Sweat, Brian Burns, and others. We often hear about the Year 2 leap, and while Walker is entering his third NFL season, this will be his second as a starter, so I believe we will see a similar developmental jump for him. For what it’s worth, throughout offseason programs, Walker has dominated the starting left tackle reps. — Paul Bretl

K James Turner


Michigan place kicker James Turner attempts a field goal against Washington during the first half of the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

The unknown in the kicking battle. Plenty of eyes will be on incumbent Anders Carlson and veteran Greg Joseph, but don’t rule out a surprise from Turner, a rookie from Michigan who hit 85 percent or more of his kicks during three of his four seasons as a collegiate kicker. While released by the Lions, most observers — including Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire — believed Turner had an excellent offseason workout program in Detroit. While Carlson and Joseph might be the favorites, could Turner turn out to be the right combination of consistency and potential for the Packers at kicker? He’ll get his chance to win a big job for a potential Super Bowl contender. — Zach Kruse

LB Edgerrin Cooper


GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – MAY 03: Edgerrin Cooper #56 of the Green Bay Packers participates in drills during the rookie minicamp at Ray Nitschke Field on May 03, 2024 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Cooper is dripping with tools to be an impact linebacker in the middle of Jeff Hafley’s defense. He’s an explosive mover and the question is how quickly will he adapt to NFL-speed? As of now Cooper is my pick to be the Defensive Rookie of the Year. I’ll be intrigued to hear how quickly Cooper gets up to speed during training camp. — Brennen Rupp

CB Carrington Valentine


Green Bay Packers cornerback Carrington Valentine (37) celebrates a defensive stop during the first quarter of their game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Eric Stokes is finally healthy, and he’ll have an opportunity to revive his career during camp, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Valentine provides a significant road block to Stokes regaining a starting job at cornerback. A seventh-round pick who flashed starting ability as a rookie, Valentine added weight and strength this offseason to help as a press perimeter corner in Jeff Hafley’s scheme. He’s long, athletic and supremely confident — all the ingredients required to play corner in the NFL. If he takes a second-year leap after playing valuable snaps as a rookie, Valentine is going to be difficult to displace as a starter. Training camp snaps against Jordan Love and the Packers receivers provides the perfect place for Valentine and Stokes to compete for playing time. — Zach Kruse

CB Eric Stokes


Green Bay Packers cornerback Eric Stokes (21) walks across the field during a joint practice between the Green Bay Packers and the Cincinnati Bengals, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, at the practice fields next to Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

The former first-round pick has had his career derailed by injuries. After a promising rookie season, Stokes has been snake bit by the injury bug. Can he rediscover his rookie form? I think he’ll be a player that benefits the most from Hafley’s scheme. With a strong camp and a bill of clean health, Stokes could claim the other starting CB position across from Jaire Alexander. — Brennen Rupp

DL Lukas Van Ness


Aug 26, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Lukas Van Ness (90) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Will the second-year leap show up right away for the Packers’ 2023 first-round pick? Van Ness is going back to a 4-3 front, which could allow him opportunities to rush the passer with his hand in the ground both from the edge and inside. The physical talent is all there. The flashes as a rookie were there, too. Now, it’s time to see if “Hercules” can start putting everything together as a more comfortable and confident second-year player. — Zach Kruse

RB Marshawn Lloyd


Green Bay Packers running back MarShawn Lloyd (32) runs through drills during rookie minicamp on Friday, May 3, 2024, at the Don Hutson Center in Green Bay, Wis.
Tork Mason/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

In the summer of 2017, a mid-round pick named Aaron Jones showed real flashes of star talent during his first training camp and preseason in Green Bay. Can Lloyd, the Packers’ third-round pick, put on a similar show? The 220-pound has explosive ability as a runner, and the Packers think he can be an asset catching passes. Lloyd might not be ready right away, but it’ll be fun to see if the flashes — breaking tackles, avoiding tackles, creating explosive plays — show up in camp. Preseason games will likely provide the best opportunities, but running back is often a position where the talent is obvious early. — Zach Kruse

Read all the best Packers coverage at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Packers Wire.

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