The most intriguing position battle of Green Bay Packers’ training camp this summer has been at tight end. With the status of former starter Jermichael Finley still in question, the Packers have moved on and a competition for his old starting job has ensued between Brandon Bostick, Andrew Quarless and rookie Richard Rodgers.
It has been a close race and each player has had their ups and downs but after a solid performance against the Tennessee Titans in last Saturday’s preseason opener, Bostick seems to have inched ahead.
Not only did the third-year tight end from small Newberry College put together an impressive 23-yard catch and run against the Titans, he also came back on Monday in practice and had three catches in the Packers final two-minute drill of the day. Bostick got the call as the no.1 tight end in the drill and quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked comfortable going to him, finding him three times early in the drive for seven, eight and five yards, respectively.
“I’m trying to at least mimic or give them at least some of what Jermichael did,” Bostick said to ESPN.com. “I’m not trying to be Jermichael 2.0, but at the same time make the plays that Jermichael did.”
Bostick, who spent the 2012 season on the practice squad before making the roster last season, has successfully made the transition from wide receiver in college to tight end in the NFL. Last season, he showed his true potential as he hauled in seven passes for 120 yards and a touchdown in 10 games before an injury ended his season prematurely.
“He’s super talented,” Packers backup quarterback Scott Tolzien said of Bostick. “He’s a big body that can also move really well, so he creates a mismatch.”
The former rookie free agent also knows that if he wants to start, he has to be more than a pass-catcher, which is why he has increased his weight from 250 pounds last season to 260 pounds in order to become a better in-line blocker.
Quarless, who started 10 games in Finley’s absence, catching 32 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns is still in the mix to start as is Rodgers, who was picked by Green Bay in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. But at this point, Bostick appears to have inched ahead with his playmaking ability in the passing game and unless Quarless or Rodgers steps up their game, Bostick could very well be the Packers starting tight end against Seattle on opening night.