Training camp and the preseason has made the final cut down as always very interesting for Packers fans. As constructed, the Packers roster heading into training camp doesn’t have as many questions as a lot of other teams did. Still, there are some interesting competitions going on. Some do not seem to have an obvious winner while others do. So lets get to it and go over my final Packers roster prediction.
I will also list my practice squad predictions and day one roster moves. For an idea of how my views of the Packers roster has changed, check out my previous Packers roster prediction piece. Of course, you can also find the Packers roster on their official site.
Packers Roster Prediction: Offense
Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love
Does anything else need to be said here? This position has been set since before training camp.
Running back: (3)
Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor
This one was a bit of a hard one. Both Patrick Taylor and Tyler Goodson were deserving of the 3rd spot. Coach LaFleur came out recently and said special teams and blocking would be a large determining factor in who ends up being the 3rd running back. Goodson obviously had the special teams snafu and got trucked in pass pro. So I gave it to Taylor who has contributed at both.
There is a chance Taylor gets cut on cut-down day and re-signed a day later. Goodson is a year away from being able to trust in pass pro. He needs a year in the weight room to put on some functional strength and bulk, being under 200 pounds right now. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are obvious and easy.
Wide Receiver: (6)
Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, Romeo Doubs, Amari Rodgers, Christian Watson
The top six are set and have been set since before training camp. There have been a lot of Packers bloggers and fans talking about “The Packers have to keep Toure” or “Winfree will get claimed”.
What’s funny is Packers fans say this every year during training camp when some bottom of the roster receiver makes some plays in camp. Then of course the Player doesn’t get claimed and ends up on the practice squad. Even if Juwann Winfree gets picked up, are the Packers really missing out? He is a nice story, but he is a #4/#5 receiver at best.
I doubt Samori Toure gets picked up, because there is a reason he went in the 7th round. From a pure athletic standpoint he is average for an NFL receiver. He struggles with press, which he would see A LOT more of in a regular season game, and he is going to end up playing mostly in the slot. The Packers already have three guys who will play in the slot.
Tight End: (4)
Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Tyler Davis
Three of these guys were always locks to make the roster. Only questions were: Will Robert Tonyan start the year on the PUP list? Well that’s already been answered. Will Tyler Davis do enough to keep his spot? I would say barely, but his hold on a roster spot will be tenuous until he starts playing better. Would they keep five tight ends? None of the other tight ends stepped up enough to force their way on the roster.
Offensive Line: (9)
David Bakhtiari, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Yosh Nijman, Zach Tom, Jake Hanson, Elgton Jenkins, Sean Rhyan
Whether to keep nine or 10 offensive linemen is a big question. A lot will depend on how the Packers feel about the availability of Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari at the beginning of the season.
If they feel neither will be ready, I could see them keeping a 10th. But it seems from practice reports Jenkins should be good to go. Maybe he misses Week 1, but beyond that it looks like he’ll be ready. I think if the Packers at least have Jenkins early, they will feel fine with nine until Bakhtiari is ready since he can play anywhere.
If they keep a 10th, it will be between Caleb Jones and Rasheed Walker. The rest of the line is pretty set.
Packers Roster Prediction: Defense
Defensive Line: (5)
Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Jarran Reed, TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt
I know Jack Heflin has been the talk of Packers Twitter after the good game he had against KC. But I just don’t see them keeping six. They play a lot of two DL in their nickel packages, which take of 70% of the snaps on defense. So that 6th guy is probably essentially a game day inactive all season.
Even if someone gets hurt you, might see them go into a game with only four active DL, especially against teams that pass a lot. Or, they could just bring up someone from the practice squad for a game or two. They also will want to get Wyatt snaps; being a 1st round pick and all. I don’t see anyone claiming Heflin either.
Edge Defenders: (5)
Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Kingsley Enagbare, Kobe Jones, Jonathan Garvin
This position was interesting. You have four guys fighting it out for two spots. They all bring their own different skills sets. Keeping each has different advantages and disadvantages. Kobe Jones and Jonathan Garvin are the two who have shown the most upside, and been the most consistent throughout camp. Jones has those long 34 1/2″ arms. Garvin still flashes upside with his elite explosiveness and length.
They could keep Tipa Galeai for his special teams play, but he’s not a player you really want seeing many snaps from scrimmage. He is 25 going on 26, and hasn’t shown much growth. Galeai came in at 229 and looks like he might weight 235 now. He is probably maxed out.
La’Darius Hamilton has shown flashes, but for the most part looks like he is the player he is going to be. This is another position though that may see someone cut and re-signed a day later.
De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker, Krys Barnes, Isaiah McDuffie
This group was an easy one. De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker are your starters, with Krys Barnes and Isaiah McDuffie as your 3a and 3b. From preseason play, it looks like both will play plenty of special teams. I think Barnes will see most of the #3 reps, especially in shorter yardage situations.
Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Rasul Douglas, Keisean Nixon, Shermar Jean-Charles, Kiondre Thomas
At the start of camp the top three were set, but after that was a lot of unknown. Throughout camp Keisean Nixon showed up — once he was healthy. Shermar Jean-Charles showed some improvement from year 1, and Kiondre Thomas stepped up of the remaining corners.
Nixon should see some time in the slot, dime back, and of course on special teams. Jean-Charles looks like a solid #4/#5 CB and special teamer. Thomas stepped up the most from scrimmage of him, Kabion Ento, and Rico Gafford. He, of course, will also play special teams when activated. Interestingly he is probably the third-fastest of the six corners, behind Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes, of course.
Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Shawn Davis, Micah Abernathy, (Dallin Leavitt)
After the starters this position was a big question mark. Who would be the #3 and #4? Would they keep five? Through training camp and last minute pick ups, I feel those questions have been answered.
Shawn Davis showed some flashes in mini camp and continued to play well in training camp and preseason. I’d say he is locked in as the #3 safety. He was battling Vernon Scott, until Scott was injured and waived. That left the #4 spot wide open. Tariq Carpenter was injured most of camp, and when he did play he got burned in coverage.
Innis Gaines and De’Vante Cross didn’t do anything, and Dallin Leavitt was injured early on. That leaves Micah Abernathy, who looked explosive, aggressive, and physical. All great fits for special teams and a guy who could play some snaps if there was was an injury. He also tested out as an elite athlete when he came out with a 9.09 RAS score.
Dallin Leavitt will be on the initial 53, but will go to the IR the next day and may be brought back later in the season.
Mason Crosby, Pat O’Donnell, Jack Coco
This is a pretty easy group to pick out. Mason Crosby says he will be ready. Pat O’Donnell has had some boomers, but also out kicked his coverage a couple times. Jack Coco is the only question.
Coco hasn’t been bad per se, but he hasn’t been great either. He is definitely better than Steven Wirtel. There is a chance that another long snapper gets cut that Green Bay likes better, but for now I think Coco stays.
Practice Squad: (16)
Danny Etling, Tyler Goodson, BJ Baylor, Caleb Jones, Rasheed Walker, Sal Cannella, Samori Toure, Juwann Winfree, Jack Heflin, Chris Slayton, Jonathan Ford, Ellis Brooks, Kabion Ento, Tariq Carpenter, Ramiz Ahmed, and a free agent
Danny Etling is the #3/emergency QB. Goodson and BJ Baylor get a year to develop and could get activated with Aaron Jones’ injury history. Same thing with Caleb Jones and Walker. Jones needs to continue to work on his body and Walker on his technique.
Sal Cannella showed some flashes as a move TE. He could be worth a year to develop. Toure gets time to develop and hopefully come in next year to replace Randal Cobb. Winfree would be the first guy up in case of an injury. Heflin would be the first guy to be called up if there was an injury as well. He has looked a little quicker this pre-season. If he continues to work, he could be a rotational guy next year.
Chris Slayton showed some flashes as a play-maker and could make the rotation next season. Jonathan Ford is overkill right now with the Packers already having three guys who can play nose tackle on the roster and Ford being a “nose-tackle-only” type player. He also needs to continue to work on his fitness and his anchor. For a NT, his anchor is not that good.
Ellis Brooks is young and still has some potential. Summers and Wilborn are 26 and 25 respectively, and we kind of know what they are at this point. Just because he knows the defense, I think they keep Kabion Ento, but I would not be surprised if they brought someone in from the outside.
Carpenter gets to change meeting rooms (linebacker) and told to put on 5 to 10 pounds. Ramiz Ahmed is kept incase Crosby’s age starts to show or he’s not ready by week one. I also see them bringing in at least one outside player — They usually bring in at least one. Probably a safety, cornerback, or interior offensive lineman.
There is my final prediction for the Packers roster. I hope you enjoyed reading the 100th Packers roster prediction article out there. Let me know what you guys think!