Final Packers Roster Prediction

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

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Quarterback: (2)

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

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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.

Linebackers: (4)

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.

Cornerbacks: (6)

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.

Safeties: (4/5)

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.

Specialists: (3)

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

Offense

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.

Defense

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!

Early Favorite Group of Five Players: Offense

We are here right before the start of the college football season and I am going to give you guys some of my early favorite group of five players. I have a good grasp on the group of five or non Power five conferences. I have been updating and researching them for the RiseNdraft database for over a year. The majority of these players will not go in the first or second round. They either can fill a specific role like a solid back up QB or have the athletic upside to develop into a starter in the NFL. Some of them may not even be eligible for the 2023 draft. They are players I am keeping my eye on.

You can also read my full positional rankings for the 2023 draft as well if you like. These players are also in no specific order.

Quarterbacks:
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  • Holton Ahlers – East Carolina. fifth-year Senior who’s started a lot of games but probably doesn’t have the upside to be a starter. Could be a real solid backup.
  • Clayton Tune – Houston. Another fifth-year Senior. But he has starter upside and has improved every season. Gets no hype for his performance last year.
  • Tanner Mordecai – SMU. A former Oklahoma Sooner, he transferred to get immediate playing time. Like Tune, he put up big numbers in his first season in Dallas and got little to no publicity for it.
  • Grayson McCall – Coastal Carolina. Everyone knows about McCall. A really good college quarterback whose upside is in question. At the very least, he will be a good backup.
  • Hayden Wolff – Old Dominion. A third-year Sophomore. He redshirted in 2019, but his 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID. Started in 2021 and played better every game. He could be a dude in a year or two.
  • Hank Bachmeier – Boise State. A little undersized, but a real smart dude who can move around a bit. Upside is probably as a real solid #2.
Running backs:
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  • Isaiah Bowser – UCF. A big 6’0 225 pound back that runs with power and can block decently. Not a breakaway threat. Can fill the short yardage/power back role on a team.
  • Keaton Mitchell – ECU. A small but fast (sub 4.4) scat back type. He could fill the lightning role/3rd down back for a team. He needs to add some bulk though only being 180 and needs to work on his pass pro.
  • Alton McCaskill – Houston. He came out of no where as a freshman in 2021 and rushed for almost 1,000 yards and 16 TDs. Has good size and great vision. He was looking to have a big 2022, but tore his ACL in the spring. He might be able to come back late in the season.
  • Brandon Thomas – Memphis. Thomas is a redshirt Sophomore. So he is technically eligible for the ’23 draft, but unless he has a really big year I don’t expect him to come out. He is a good all around back that averaged almost six yards a carry. He shares carries with Rodrigues Clark, but is the better player.
  • Tre Siggers – SMU. A good back with decent size and speed that transferred in from North Texas. Not much impact as a receiver. If he improves could be a real good #2 back.
  • Brian Battie – USF. Listed as a running back, but will probably be mostly a returner at the next level due to his size. Only 5’7 165, so he is going to have to bulk up a bit. But a dangerous return man. Has played ok from scrimmage as a runner and receiver. Just a Junior.
  • Amare Jones – Georgia Southern. Jones has decent size and speed, but what stands out most about him is his ability to play both RB and WR. He is not just a one trick pony either. He is a solid pass blocker for his size (5’11 195). Jones could be a good gadget player.
  • Chris Smith – Louisiana-Lafayette. Okay size at 5’9 197, but runs a sub 4.4. Has big time returner potential. Has also played okay from scrimmage as well. He is not much of a receiver or blocker at this point. If he improves he could find a role.
  • Rasheen Ali – Marshall. True Junior. He basically didn’t play his first two years, then came out of nowhere and started every game last season. He played really well in ’21. His blocking was not good at the beginning of the season, but he showed improvement and was pretty good by the end. Good size and speed. Could develop into a starter in the NFL.
  • Lew Nichols III – Central Michigan. By the end of this season, I’m betting he is a household name. He has ideal size at 5’10 220. Nichols has production- he rushed for 1848 yards and 16 TDs and produced as a receiver. He has agility to make defenders miss and has good contact balance. He could go on day 2.
  • Sean Taylor – Western Michigan. 1,150 yards and 9 TDs in ’21. Taylor was a solid all around player last season. He has good speed, but undersized at around 180. If he could bulk up he could be a solid 3rd down back.
Wide Receivers:
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  • Tre Tucker/Tyler Scott – Cincinnati. Both players are of similar size and skill sets. Tucker being the smaller slightly faster player. Both have good speed and can be slot receivers at the next level. Scott averaged 26 yards a catch in ’21. He is also a Junior. Tucker can also return kicks/punts.
  • Rashee Rice – SMU. Rice will probably be one of the higher drafted players on this list; possibly second round. He can play anywhere on offense. He has good size at 6’1 203, speed (4.4), and a big catch radius (33 1/4″ arms). He is physical and gets YAC.
  • Keylon Stokes – Tulsa. He missed a chunk of ’21 with an injury and never seemed to get healthy. Played well in 2020 and 2019. Only 5’10 but 200 pounds. He has good speed. Stokes will mostly play in the slot.
  • Michael Jefferson – Louisiana Lafayette. Big receiver at 6’4 200 with solid speed (4.48). Jefferson plays physical and is a good blocker. He really came on towards the end of the season and could break out this season.
  • Grant Dubose – Charlotte. He has good size (6’2) with long 33″ arms and solid 4.5 speed. Really flashed last season and had over 800 yards after not playing in 2020. Dubose still has some upside. He is a fourth-year Senior so he could come back in 2023.
  • Jason Brownlee – Southern Miss. Good size (6’2 200) with really long 34″ arms. This gives him a crazy catch radius. He played really well in 2021. His speed is middling; which caps his upside. If he can improve his speed and show more separation in ’22 he could move up boards.
  • De’Corian Clark/Zakhari Franklin – UTSA. Both players arms are 33″ or longer and have at least 10 1/8″ hands giving them the ability to win 50/50 balls and strong hands. They are both around the same height, but Clark is 214 where Franklin is only 190. Clark is faster, around 4.45 and has more upside. Franklin is more polished as a route runner and was more productive in 2021.
  • Dallas Dixon – Central Michigan. Dixon is a real sleeper. He played well last season, but just didn’t have the production with just 45 catches as CMU ran the ball a lot. He will be the #1 receiver this season and could take off. He showed a lot of potential to be an NFL receiver. Dixon can get YAC and has sub 4.5 speed to go with his solid 6’1 200 pound frame.
Tight Ends:
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  • Alec Holler – UCF. Holler is a former walk-on. He is undersized at around 6’3 230. He is a decent athlete who might be able to make it as an H-back. While not much of a blocker he isn’t bad for his size.
  • Josh Whyle/ Leonard Taylor – Cincinnati. Both are almost complete opposites. Whyle is a long and lean receiving threat who has spent a lot of time detached from the line and is an ok blocker. Taylor on the other had is big and is a solid blocker who has some receiving skills. Both should get drafted.
  • Christian Trahan – Houston. Trahan is on the short side at 6’2, but he has long 34 3/8″ arms. This arm length should allow him to continue to play in-line in the NFL. He is a bit on the inconsistent side, but he is a good athlete and has potential.
  • Zack Kuntz – Old Dominion. A large man at 6’8 250 with an 83″ wingspan. He runs a sub 4.6 and can vertical 40″. He originally started out at Penn State. He had a big year in 2021 with 73 catches for 692 yards. His big weakness has been in the blocking department. If he can improve there fans might call him Jelani Woods 2.0.
  • Gary Williams – Colorado State. He played behind McBride last season but still saw significant snaps. He is on the smaller side at 6’2 245, so he may have to move to an h-back/move tight end role. He has good speed and flashed as a receiver in 2021. Also surprisingly he is a good blocker. His development will be one to monitor.
Offensive tackles:
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  • Samuel Jackson/Edward Collins/Ryan Swoboda/Tylan Grable – UCF. Yes that is right there are four offensive tackles for UCF that could get drafted or at least signed as PFA’s. Lets start with Jackson; he has great size at 6’6 335, but his arms are just 32 3/4″ and athletically he’s just ok. He took his pass blocking to a new level in 2021, but he probably will end up playing guard in the NFL. Collins has good size as well at 6’5 315. He has started at LT but played poorly. Collins switched to RT and played a lot better. Not being very athletic he could also potentially move to guard.

Swoboda is a mammoth man at 6’9 322 with long 34 1/2″ arms who transferred over from Virginia and is expected to start at RT. He is a RT only prospect. He’s been solid but hasn’t shown much growth the last few years. He has a good shot at getting drafted. Grable is the sleeper and has the highest upside. He transferred in from Jacksonville State. A 6’7 290 pound physical freak who was a high school QB that switched to TE when he first got to Jacksonville State. His pass blocking has been solid the last two seasons. He could be a big mover up draft boards.

  • James Tunstall – Cincinnati. A double transfer Tunstall has been everywhere. He started at UConn then transferred to Stony Brook and then sat out the 2020 season. He has great tackle size at 6’7 319 with long 34 3/4″ arms. He started all of ’21 at LT. Athletically he’s not the greatest so he might have to switch over to RT.
  • Noah Henderson – East Carolina. A former walk-on, Henderson took over at RT in week 2 and didn’t look back. He has good size and is a good athlete. The former walk-on was solid in pass pro outside of a couple games. He needs to take another step though to have a shot.
  • Patrick Paul – Houston. Patrick is the younger brother of Chis who played at Tulsa and was drafted in the 7th by the Cowboys in this past draft. Patrick is a different player than his brother. He is a 100% LT and has the size(6’7 315), athleticism, and length to stay there in the NFL. Good in both the pass and run game. Should be a day 2 pick. He is a redshirt Junior.
  • Jaylon Thomas/ Marcus Bryant – SMU. Thomas is the more well known player. He is good in both the run and pass game. But due to his length(32″) and size 6’3 326 he will need to move to guard in the NFL. He has potential to be a good one. Bryant is another massive man at 6’8 314 with solid athleticism. He is a true Junior so he could stay four years. He played both left and right tackle but was better at right. He was really good in pass protection in ’21. Run blocking was a little up and down.
  • Donovan Jennings – USF. He has been a three year starter at LT for the Bulls and has blocked well; but due to his length (32 3/8″) he is going to have to move inside. Needs to improve in the run game.
  • Nick Saldiveri – Old Dominion. Saldiveri became a starter in 2019 and was just ok, nothing special. The school’s 2020 season was canceled and when they came back for the ’21 season he was a totally different player. He was great in both phases. He has good size (6’6 315) and decent athleticism. Only a Junior so he could come back for the 2023 season. He has been almost exclusively a RT.
  • John Ojukwu – Boise State. Ojukwu is a player I have written about before. He is another player I feel has a chance at going day 2. He has great size and length(6’6 312 35 3/8″ arms), and big 10 7/8″ hands. A four year starter at LT that has steadily gotten better each year. He has the athleticism to stay at LT.
  • Aaron Frost – Nevada. 2022 will be his 4th as the starting RT. Frost has been a very good run blocker in his time at Nevada. His pass blocking has been inconsistent mainly due to his aggressiveness. He tends to get too aggressive. If he can throttle that down a bit he could be a decent pass protector. A move inside is a certainty.
  • Frank Crum – Wyoming. Entering his 3rd year as the starter at RT. Crum has a large frame at 6’7 315, but isn’t much of an athlete so he will probably be a RT only prospect. Solid in both pass blocking and run blocking. He probably still needs to take another step to get drafted.
Interior offensive line:
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  • Matthew Lee – UCF. Lee has started two years at center and was an OT in high school. He has good size and athleticism. Being only 295 though he will need to add some bulk before coming to the NFL, but he has time with him being a 4th year Junior. His pass blocking in ’21 was really good and even for being a little undersized his run blocking is decent. A sleeper pick that could go higher than most expect.
  • Jacob Likes – Memphis. Likes is undersized at 6’2 280. He played real solid as a first year starter in ’21. Obviously he needs to add bulk. A decent athlete. Even for being 280 his run blocking isn’t bad. Already a good pass blocker.
  • Sincere Haynesworth – Tulane. A starter since mid way through the 2019 season he has shown growth each season. Even as a true freshman his pass blocking was solid. An undersized center at 6’1 305. He compensates that with his big hands and long arms; 10 1/8″ and 33″ respectively. His run blocking has come a long way as well. One of the better centers in the class that doesn’t get much PR.
  • Kyle Hergel – Texas State. Unknown until recently when it was revealed he was on Bruce Feldman’s freak list. His size is average at 6’2 305 with 32 1/2″ arms, but has a 78″ wingspan so he has a wide body. He was a so-so player before making a huge leap in 2021. Very good in pass pro and run blocking. Needs to play against better competition.
  • Jake Andrews – Troy. A two year starter at RG who also has experience at C and LG. Andrews is a big man at 6’3 331. A decent athlete for his size who has actually been better in the pass game than the run game. Could make it as a versatile back up. Overaged, will be 23 in November.
  • Rusty Staats – Western Kentucky. He is being included in this list for two reasons: His amazing name and his play on the field. He was a first year starter this past season at center. He blocked really well in 2021 all around. His run blocking was a bit inconsistent. If anything holds him back at the next level it will be his borderline athleticism. He does have some experience at guard and that could be a better spot for him eventually.
  • Sidy Sow – Eastern Michigan. Sow is entering his 5th year as a starter. He actually started most of 2018 at LT, the rest at LG. He is a big dude at 6’5 334. Due to his lack of elite athleticism he will be a guard only player in the NFL. He has battled inconsistencies through out his career, but has worked on it and has improved over the last couple seasons. Sow still needs to continue to work on it in regards to his pass blocking. A very consistent run blocker the last two seasons.

Cincinnati Bengals RAS: Defense

Thanks for checking out my second part on the Cincinnati Bengals RAS — this time we are tackling the defense. If you haven’t read it yet you should also read about the offense. The Bengals historical picks can also be viewed if you like and want go further back. Again we are going back to 2017. So let’s jump into it:

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Cincinnati Bengals Defense RAS Breakdown

Defensive line:

The Bengals have drafted five defensive linemen since 2017. Ryan Glasgow, Andrew Brown, Renell Wren, Tyler Shelvin, and Zachary Carter. Interestingly enough, there is not much of a height difference between them. They are all between 6’2″ and 6’4″. There is, though, a large difference in weight with the lightest being 282 and the heaviest being 350. It does seem they like their defensive line with long arms. All have 33 1/2″ arms or longer.

Now the average RAS score comes out to a 6.36, which isn’t all that special in of itself. But, if you remove Tyler Shelvin and his really bad .86 RAS, it jumps to a 7.74. Three of the players have RAS scores over 8. So you can say this is one position they find athleticism important.

Now looking at specific testing, four of the five did score at least ok in explosion drills. 40 speed seems to be of some importance. Four of the five ran a 5.13 or faster. Agility drills seem somewhat similar to explosion testing, in that four of the five tested at least a little above average. Bench does not seem to be of importance as they range from 19 reps to 31.

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Edge:

Now here is a position the Cincinnati Bengals have invested a lot of draft capital in. They have drafted eight since 2017: Jordan Willis, Carl Lawson, Same Hubbard, Khalid Kareem, Joseph Ossai, Cameron Sample, Wyatt Hubert, and Jeffrey Gunter. We only have testing on seven of the eight.

They average out to a real solid 8.29 RAS score, and none scored lower than a 5.98. There was a big variance in height, with the shortest being 6’1 5/8″ and the tallest being 6’5 3/8″. Weight wise they are between 255 and 270, with six being 258 or heavier. So you can say they are middle of the road when it comes to weight. They like their guys 260ish to 270. Arm length does not seem to be of importance. They vary from 31″ to 34 3/8″.

They all scored at least good testing on explosion drills. Five of the seven had vertical jumps of 35″ or more. The broad jump does not seem as important, with only three jumping 10′ or more.

As for speed testing, it seems they rely more on 20-yard dash than 40 or even 10. Five of the seven posted elite 2- yard dash scores, with all posting a 2.7 or faster. Agility testing also seems to be somewhat important. One of the seven did not do agility testing. Four of the six posted very good or elite agility scores, with even Gunter posting solid agility scores.

Linebackers:

Linebacker is also a position the Bengals have invested a lot of draft capital in. Duke Tobin has drafted seven linebackers since 2017. They are Jordan Evans, Malik Jefferson, Germaine Pratt, Deshaun Davis, Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither, and Markus Bailey. We don’t have testing on the last two.

The five average RAS score is a healthy 7.85. Davis brings that score down a bit with his 2.65. There is some variance in height, with the shortest at 5’11” (Davis) and tallest at a hair under 6’3″ (Evans). Weight wise, though, there is not a lot of variance. Davis-Gaither is the lightest at 224, but after him the rest are between 232-241. Arm length they are all kind of similar, with six of them between 31″-32″.

This seems to be another position where explosion testing is somewhat important. Four of the five Bengals defenders that we have RAS testing on all had sold-to-elite explosion scores. Speed, though, seems to be super important to the Bengals. Four of the five ran a 4.63 or faster 40-yard dash. Agility also seems like a front office wide focus. Again here, four of the five have at least good scores in agility testing, with the short shuttle seemingly more important than 3-cone.

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Cornerbacks:

I separated out corners and safeties because some teams do scout them athletically different and some don’t (Packers). So just trying to be consistent across the board.

The Bengals have drafted four corners in the last six drafts. Davontae Harris, Darius Phillips, Jordan Brown, and Cam Taylor-Britt. This is a smaller number than most teams. Their average score is a 6.96, with three of them having a score of 7.77 or higher.

With height there isn’t a huge difference. Between 5’10 – 6’0. Same thing with weight; 193-205. So it does seem they like their corners to be sturdy. The Bengals also like their corners to have solid arm length, with three of the four having at least 31 1/8″ arms.

Explosion testing for corners does not look to be of any importance to them. They vary from bad to elite. The lowest vert was 31″ and the highest was 39.5″. 40 speed, though, does seem to be of some importance to them. The slowest 40 was a 4.54, while the rest were 4.51 or faster. Agility testing, again like other positions, they want their guys to be at least okay. Three of the four ran a 4.2 or faster short shuttle. Same with 3-cone, with the slowest being a 6.96.

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Safeties:

For the final position in our look at the Cincinnati Bengals RAS breakdown on defense, we come to the safeties. Since 2017 the Bengals have drafted four safeties, with two just coming this past draft. They were Brandon Wilson, Jessie Bates, Daxton Hill, and Tycen Anderson.

All four tested very athletic. The average score for them was 8.59, with the lowest a 7.18. Height wise they were between 5’10” – 6’2″. As for weight, they were between 191-209. So a decent range, but if you remove Anderson they are all cornerback sizes: 5’10-6’1 , 191-200. Arm length doesn’t seem to be of any importance.

With safeties, the broad jump seems to be more important than the vertical. Three of the four had broad jumps of at least 10’1″, but the lowest vert was 33.5″ with the highest being 41″. Like corners, speed seems to be of big importance with the slowest being 4.5, with the other three being 4.4 or faster. Three of the four also scored good-or-better agility scores, with the 3-cone testing seemingly being more important than the short shuttle. Three of the four ran 3-cones of 6.78 or faster.

With the defense done, that concludes our look at the Cincinnati Bengals RAS breakdown. Which team will be next? Stay tuned to find out!

Cincinnati Bengals RAS: Offense

Welcome back to the series — I know it’s been awhile. In case you are not familiar, this series is where I look at the RAS scores and athletic testing of the draft picks from each front office. For this one I am looking at the Cincinnati Bengals and their connection to RAS in regards to the draft. Now I know the Bengals do not have a de-facto GM. But upon research, around 2016 was when Duke Tobin was given more control and is seen as when he became more or less the GM. Although I didn’t feel it necessary to go back to 2016, so I went to 2017.

You can also find my most recent article about RAS and the Patriots. For anyone in the scouting community or who wants their mock drafts to be more accurate these articles will help you identify prospects who may or may not be on a teams draft board. Every team’s draft board varies from one to the other. So let’s get it started with the position the Bengals have had the most success with:

Cincinnati Bengals RAS
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Quarterbacks:

Quarterback is one of the few positions that is more or less the same across the league as far as athletic testing. The Bengals are in line with the rest of the league.

They have drafted three quarterbacks since 2017. Logan Woodside, Ryan Finley, and, of course, Joe Burrow. They are between 6’1″-6’4″ and all at least 213 pounds. We do not have any testing on Burrow, but Finley and Woodside average out to a 6.94 RAS and would be considered slightly above average athletes for their position. Most teams want a guy who can get a first down if needed, but mostly can maneuver around the pocket.

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Running backs:

Since 2017, the Bengals have drafted five running backs. Joe Mixon, Mark Walton, Trayveon Williams, Rodney Anderson, and Chris Evans. It seems there are two types of backs they draft. Bigger backs like Mixon, Anderson, and Evans all are 5’11”-6’0″ and 211-228 pounds. Walton and Williams would be smaller backs, both in the 5’8″-5’9″ range and both just over 200 pounds. The four Cincinnati Bengals have an average RAS score of 7.13.

From their explosion testing, you could say they like their backs to be explosive. All of them have a 9’10” broad jump or higher, and outside of Walton all had a vertical of 33″ or more. 40-yard dash times does not look to be too important to them since the times range from 4.45 to 4.6. It also seems they like their running backs to score at least average in agility drills.

Cincinnati Bengals RAS
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Wide Receivers:

The Bengals have drafted five receivers since 2017. Starting with John Ross, Josh Malone, Auden Tate, Tee Higgins, and Ja’Marr Chase. They have an average RAS score of 6.47 which doesn’t sound particularly impressive. But if you take out Tate who had a epically low 1.84, you get an average score of 7.63. Tate’s selection seems to be more of an outlier. Looking at their size profiles, it seems the Bengals learned their lesson from Ross. After him every receiver was at least 6’0″ and 200 pounds.

Both the 40-yard dash and broad jump seem to be important to the Bengals. Outside of Tate, two of them jumped at least 11′ and the other two were over 10′. Again, outside of Tate, they all ran a 4.54 or faster, with three running 4.4 or faster. Interestingly, the vertical does not seem to be important to them. At least three of them had verticals of 31″ or lower. Agility scores also do not seem to be something the Bengals hold to. There is no agility testing on Ross, but three of them scored either average or poor times.

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Tight ends:

The Bengals have only drafted two tight ends since 2017, Mason Schreck and Drew Sample. The Cincinnati Bengals draftees have an average RAS score of 8.44, so it seems when they do draft tight ends they like them to be highly athletic. Both are 6’4″ and over 250 pounds.

They do seem to prefer prospects to have at least average explosion testing. Both had verts between 33.5″ and 34.5″. Similar broad jumps as well, 9’7″ and 9’10”. Again, very similar 40 times 4.76 and 4.71. Short shuttle also looks to be important to them. 4.31 and 4.27 were both their times and those are considered solid for a tight end.

Cincinnati Bengals RAS
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Offensive line:

The Bengals have drafted 10 offensive linemen since 2017. One of the interesting things is they have drafted three centers in that time and two of them were not able to workout. They have also drafted four guards, and three tackles. They are JJ Dielman, Billy Price, Roderick Taylor, Jonah Williams, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Adeniji, Jackson Carman, D’Ante Smith, Trey Hill, and Cordell Volson.

All the Cincinnati Bengals draftees RAS scores averaged out comes to a 5.97, which is not very impressive. Looking at the guys they have drafted, only two had RAS scores over 6.22. So it can be said that they do not prioritize athleticism in the offensive line.

Centers:

Since only one of the centers worked out we can’t find any common ground in testing. But we can look at size. All three are between 6’3″-6’5″ and 305-319 pounds. With arm length from 32″-33 5/8″. So what we can say from that is they tend to like their centers on the bigger side.

Guards:

As to their guards, they do seem to like them on the taller side. Two of the four are 6’6″, with Taylor being 6’3″ and Carman being 6’5″. The lightest guard was 312, with Taylor being the heaviest at 320 pounds. So it seems as with centers, they like their guards on the bigger side and with long arms with the shortest being 33 7/8″.

They do like their guards to be explosive; all three were good-to-elite in their testing. All three tested average in speed, with each running in the 5.2 range. As far as agility testing, this does not look like an area that they prioritize. Two of them tested poorly and the other, Jordan, was just ok.

Tackles:

The three tackles they drafted are 6’4″-6’5″. Weight wise, they are also all in the same range — between 302-305 pounds. Again, they all tested similar in the bench, between 23-26 reps. With arm length there was some variety, Williams was the shortest with 33 5/8″ and Smith as the longest 35 1/4″. You could surmise they don’t like tackles with short arms.

As to testing, it seems like they aren’t too particular with explosive testing as long as the tackle is average or better. As for speed, the 40 times were all over the place, but the 10 yard dashes were somewhat similar and were all at least solid. The slowest was a 1.83 and the fastest was 1.77, which is very good. Similar to the guards they do not prioritize agility testing with their tackles.

Stay tuned for the next part on the defense!

Packers 2023 NFL Draft Outlook: Which positions are of importance?

The 2023 Draft is months away, but teams are already looking at the draft board. Which positions are of the most importance?

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I know it’s probably too early for most Packers fans to be thinking draft, but let’s look into a Packers 2023 NFL Draft outlook. I am going to separate the positions into: yes, maybe, or no. Now obviously things can change depending on free agency, injuries, trades, etc…You can play with the Packers 2023 cap at Over The Cap to give you an idea of what they are looking at going into 2023 in regards to free agency and the cap.

If you want to look into specific players for the 2023 NFL draft you can read some of my other NFL draft articles. Now, let’s get to it!

Yes?

So these are positions that I am expecting Gutekunst and the Packers to target early in the 2023 NFL draft (fourth round or earlier) pretty much regardless of what happens or the outlook on the position come year’s end.

Edge rusher:

Outside of Preston Smith and Rashaan Gary, there is very little talent at this position. Smith will also be over 30 in 2023, and Gutey tends to let guys walk around that age. Kingsley Enagbare may eventually become a decent #3 type, but they still need more depth and someone to eventually replace Smith. Regardless of what happens, I expect them to draft at least one in the first four rounds, possibly two.

Safety:

This position is some what similar to edge. There is no depth behind Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage. All the guys behind them are, at best, #4 type players. Tariq Carpenter is a linebacker playing safety, and a guy who should only be playing special teams anyway.

Also both Savage and Amos will be free agents next offseason — the age that Gutey lets guys walk unless they are All-Pro or Pro Bowl level players. It’s possible he bucks that trend, but with their cap issues they may only be able to re-sign one or the other. So, more than likely they are looking at having to replace one of their starters in 2023.

Wide Receiver:

You may be thinking “But Brian, they just drafted three receivers?”. Yes that is true, but don’t forget: Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins will be free agents, and Randall Cobb is essentially playing on a one-year deal. So, all three of them could be gone, and I expect at least two of them to be gone. Also, Samouri Toure was just a seventh round pick and the history shows most don’t make it. Essentially, there is a good chance he doesn’t make the roster in 2022.

You are left with Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Amari Rodgers who are locks for 2023. Yes, they could sign a veteran, but again their cap situation will not leave them with much money to sign one. I would think if they do it will be for around what Watkins signed for. Even still, they need more talent in depth.

I don’t expect them to draft three like they did this year, but would not be surprised if they drafted one on day two and another late on day three.

Defensive line:

There are a few free agents at this position that can really sap the depth. Both Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed will be free agents after the 2022 season, and Jack Heflin might not even make the roster in 2022. So the Packers would be left with Kenny Clark, TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt, and maybe Jonathan Ford (who I do not see making the roster in ’22).

Now we are hoping Slaton develops, but we just don’t know. They still need depth. With just those three guys on the roster, they will need at least a fourth and fifth. Your fourth guy tends to see a decent amount of playing time in the rotation.

So they may not draft someone in the first or second round, but don’t be surprised if they draft one in the third or fourth.

Maybe?

The 2023 NFL Draft outlook for the Packers at these positions will depend heavily on what happens in 2022 with players in regards to their play, free agency, and or how they come back from injury.

Tight end:

This position really depends on a number of factors. How does Robert Tonyan come back from his ACL? Is he the player he was in 2020 or similar to the guy he was in 2021? Big dog is probably in his last season in Green Bay and probably the NFL. But does he still look like he can continue to play, or has Father Time finally come for him?

As for Josiah Deguara, does he finally get back to the player he flashed he could be as a rookie before tearing his ACL? Or is the player he was in 2021 the player he is now? Finally, there is Tyler Davis. Does he continue to build upon what he flashed in 2021? Or was he just a flash in the pan and a bottom of the roster type guy?

There are a lot of questions to be answered at this position in 2022. Once we have those answers, we will have a better idea of how big of a need the position will be in the draft. I still feel they end up drafting at least one tight end somewhere, but it could just be on day three.

Offensive Tackle:

A position that is somewhat similar to tight end. There are a number of questions that need to be answered. Mostly injury related. If everyone gets healthy and is back to their old selves then this becomes a non-need. David Bakhtiari needs to be healthy and show he can at least play at a close level to his pre-injury self and the same with Elgton Jenkins.

If Yosh Nijman can show some progress in the preseason and early season, and Rasheed Walker shows he can play in the NFL then that will go a long way in solidifying the position. If, however, Bahktiari is a shadow of his old self or has trouble getting on the field, Nijman shows no growth. and Walker doesn’t look like he belongs this could become a big issue and the Packers will need to spend an early pick at the position (first two rounds probably).

Jenkins will also be a free agent after the season and could get a big pay day. If they don’t extend him he could get a big offer and walk.

Running back:

Another position with a lot of questions heading into 2023. Let’s start with Aaron Jones, whose cap number jumps to $20 million in 2023. There is no way Gutey is going to pay him that much. Does he take a pay cut, renegotiate his contract, or get cut outright?

If they cut him, they save $10 million on the cap. With his age and injury history, it seems like almost a certainty. If so, who is the 1B to AJ Dillion’s 1A? Does Kylin Hill show enough coming off his ACL tear to say that he can be that guy? Could Patrick Taylor or one of the undrafted rookies show something?

A lot will depend on the answers to those questions. Worst case scenario? They have to pretty much rebuild the position. Best case? They are set for the next few years and don’t need to draft the position, except maybe late day three.

Quarterback:

Everything, as always, depends on what happens with Aaron Rodgers. Do the Packers win the Super Bowl and he rides off in the sunset? Does he ask for a trade? Does Father Time hit him like a ton of bricks? Or do the Packers just decide to start the rebuild and trade him? He is impossible to cut due to the cap hit.

Then, of course, how does Jordan Love develop in the preseason? Does he even get in a regular season game?

The answers to these question will determine if they draft a QB. They could draft one in the first if everything goes south, or they could not draft one at all, or even somewhere in-between.

Special teams:

Kicker, punter, and long snapper could all be different in 2023. A lot again will depend on how they play. Mason Crosby is 38 and coming off a knee procedure. Father Time comes for everyone eventually.

Gabe Brkic has potential and may show something and the Packers keep him around to be his successor or he could fall on his face and the Packers end up having to draft a kicker in 2023. Same for Pat O’Donnell. He has been pretty average though his career and the Packers may look for an upgrade. As for long snapper, who knows?

No?

I add the question mark because you can never say 100% they won’t draft position X. You just don’t know what’s going go happen in season and how the draft ends up shaking out. Someone could drop to you that is too much of a good value so you draft them and figure it out later. But if everything goes more or less according to plan, I do not expect Gutey to draft any player from these positions early on (fourth round or earlier).

Linebacker:

Gutey just signed De’Vondre Campbell to a big contract extension, they just drafted Quay Walker at pick #22, and Krys Barnes is a very good #3. So Campbell isn’t going anywhere for at least a couple years. Walker will get at least three seasons to produce and Barnes is a restricted free agent next offseason. So the three of them should all be back in 2023. There would be no need to draft a linebacker any earlier than the sixth round.

Unless, again, someone falls to them and they take the value and figure it out later. They may try and take someone late day three to improve that fourth linebacker spot, but outside of something like that I don’t see them touching the position.

Interior Offensive line:

The Packers have recently stocked up on interior offensive linemen. In the last three years they have drafted eight players who are either interior offensive linemen or, at the very least, guys who can play inside. Simon Stepaniak is the only one of the eight who is not still with the team. A number of them have shown they can at least play at the NFL level.

With the cases of Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, and Royce Newman they have all shown they can all be starters. Jake Hanson has improved a lot since his rookie training camp and he has looked like an NFL player. Cole Van Lanen is still a wait and see, and of course so are Sean Rhyan and Zach Tom who have both seen time in practice on the interior.

It is a position that they have a lot of depth at, and I do not see any reason for them to draft one in 2023 outside of late day three.

Cornerback:

Brian Gutekunst has set Matt LaFleur up with probably the best top three corners group in the league. Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, and Rasul Douglas have all played like #1 cornerbacks. The NFL has become a sub-package league, where teams are in nickel A LOT.

Joe Barry did not use dime personal very much last season. Maybe due to personnel, or due to just not liking to use it much. Either way with what Keisean Nixon showed in 2021 playing the slot for the Raiders, the Packers should be fine at dime back as well. With Shemar Jean-Charles as the #5/special teamer, Barry seems to be set at the position.

Of course I would not be surprised if they did draft one on day three to compete with SJC or Nixon, but I wouldn’t expect it any earlier than the fifth round.