The Packers Offensive Line’s Future

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The Packers offensive line’s future is something that has been talked about in recent weeks amongst Packers fans. With Jon Runyan Jr. taking over at left guard, Jenkins playing well at left tackle, and Newman playing solid at right guard. Going forward what is the Packers plan on the offensive line? Because it seems like they have 7 guys who could all be starters in the NFL. So I will attempt to lay out what their plans going forward probably are by looking at them as an organization and their history. I’ve come up with three potential scenarios all will include a couple obvious picks. Bakhtiari at left tackle and Josh Myers at center. Also Lucas Patrick is not coming back and Billy Turner probably gets cut, I think most of us know that. Now lets get to it!

Option 1(everyone’s favorite one):

So the first option seems to be most fans favorite. The Packers move Elgton Jenkins over to right tackle and everyone else stays where they are. So the offensive line would be Bakhtiari-Runyan-Myers-Newman-Jenkins. I understand why a lot of fans like this plan; Jenkins can play all five spots and your tackles tend to be your better offensive linemen. LaFleur has also said he wants his best five guys on the field and objectively these are probably the five best linemen on the roster. I do not feel like tackle is Jenkins best spot and I think LaFleur would want guys at their best positions. To me this is still probably option 1A or 1B to Brian Gutekunst and LaFleur.

Option #2(My favorite):

The five best offensive linemen on the roster going forward are Bakhtiari, Runyan, Myers, Newman and Jenkins. I think most Packers fans would not debate that. Bakhtiari when healthy is a top 2 left tackle in the league, and he ain’t #2. Myers has looked like a three year vet at center, he can still improve of course. Runyan has looked good two years in a row and does have some of his dad in him. He plays hard and is physical like his dad, and is a better athlete than him. He could play either guard spot. Jenkins of course can play anywhere and at a high level. And last but not least Newman did beat out both Runyan and Patrick for the right guard spot. He has had some troubles of course and hopefully continues to improve as the season goes, but he is still one of the five best linemen. He needs to add some strength and mass in the off-season.

With all that being said how I feel they should line up next year would be Bakhtiari-Jenkins-Myers-Runyan-Newman. The thinking behind this is putting each guy at their best position. While Jenkins can play any spot, Its shown in the film that he can be an all pro left guard. Runyan has looked solid at both left and right guard so that wouldn’t matter either way. Newman though physically looks more like a tackle. Long arms, long body, and quick feet. Off his college film he looked better and more stout at tackle. He has had trouble with anchoring at right guard so far in the NFL and I feel would hold up better outside.

Option 3(The wild card):

This is one that had not talked about a lot amongst fans, but I know it is a scenario the Packers have talked about or worked though. Inset Yosh Nijman in at right tackle. He played well against the 9ers, and coming out of Virginia Tech he was an athletic freak. His RAS score was a 9.81 at 6’6 6/8ths and 314 pounds with 34 1/4″ arms. I tweeted this out yesterday. The reason he went undrafted is that he was a four year starter at VT and his technique and hand usage was a complete mess. Exactly what happened there to cause this? who knows. But scouts saw that as a sign that he didn’t have it, that he was a “looks like Tarzan plays like Jane” type player. Yosh also wasn’t the most aggressive player.

He has changed that. Nijman still has work to do. He can still get a lot better, but he has shown enough growth that he looks to have starter potential. Then of course everyone else kind of easily slots in Bakhtiari-Jenkins-Myers-Newman-Nijman.

Bonus option #4!

The fourth potential option would be an easy one. The Packers take a right tackle early in the 2022 draft and slot him in there as a rookie. Jenkins moves back to left guard. They let then let Runyan and Newman fight it out for the right guard job and the loser backs up both guard spots and right tackle.

So what do you guys think is the Packers offensive line’s future looks like?

Mock Packers Off-Season 1.0

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Even though the 2021 NFL Season just started, it is never too early to talk about the offseason. Here is a mock Packers off-season for your reading pleasure.

Most of us know that teams do this stuff all through out the season. They work many different scenarios to prepare themselves for the offseason and also to work out their plan A, B, C, etc… Now obviously these change throughout the season due to injuries, trades, resigning’s, etc… So I will periodically update this through out the season and the coming off season to give you guys an idea of what the Packers are probably planning. Its too soon to go through the probably 50 plans they have right now so I will just go over what I think are the top two.

The cap numbers I will present in this article are not exact. They are ball park/rounding up or down. This is just to give an idea what the plan could be. I did use cap numbers from overthecap.com. You could also look up Ken Ingallas on twitter at twitter.com/keningalls

Heading into the 2022 season the Packers are projected to be about 40 million over the cap. So to get under here are the moves I feel the Packers will do.

Trades:

Trade Aaron Rodgers post 6/1. This will give them a cap relief of about 27 million.

Cuts:

Preston Smith pre June 1 which saves 7.25 million. Billy Turner post June 1 which nets them another 3.14 million. Kevin King post June 1 as well, which saves them another 750k. Marcedes Lewis which saves 2.08 million. Dean Lowry which takes off another 2.1 million and Randall Cobb which saves about 2.8 million.

Extentions:

I feel the Packers will extend Jaire Alexander, Adrian Amos, and Za’Darius Smith to the maximum salary cap savings for 2022, than take a big hit on ’23 and ’24 when the cap is expected to go up a lot. The most they can save on Z is 12.2, Jaire would be 10.64, and Amos would be 6 million.

Free Agents:

I feel in this scenario they let Issac Yiadom, Tyler Lancaster, MVS, Lucas Patrick, Oren Burks, De’Vondre Campbell(he is technically under contract), Dennis Kelly, Robert Tonyan, Will Redmond.

They resign Davante Adams, Allen Lazard(who is a restricted free agent) and any other lower tier free agents and or restricted free agents like Bojorquez, Nijman, Malik Taylor, Dafney, Black, etc…

Before those signings they would have about 26 million in cap space, which seems like a decent amount; but its not. You need space for your draft class, undrafted free agents, your practice squad, and any restricted free agents as well. You also want to leave yourself a few million of space in season in case you need to sign a free agent due to injuries or move a few guys up from the PS to the active roster. Davante and Lazard would take up most of the space. There would probably be a few million let to sign one or two lower tier free agents like a Dennis Kelly or De’Vondre Campbell level player. They would not have the space to sign Tonyan or MVS unless they did more restructuring.

Draft:

With that being the roster entering the draft this would be how I would think Gutekunst would approach the draft.

29. Zion Nelson, OT, Miami-Fl

Right tackle of the future. His style of player. Young, athletic with tons of upside. Could move to left tackle down the line.

61. Deslin Alexandre, DT, Pittsburgh

Clark needs more help. Slaton helps against the run. They need more help getting after the QB.

93. George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Pickens is MVS’ replacement. He’s not not as purely physically talented, but he has higher upside. Way better hands. He needs a lot of work on his release package. Perfect guy to learn from in Adams. If he develops he’s a #1 receiver.

129.Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State

Replacement for Tonyan. Similar skill set. Great hands. OK blocker. Good route runner. Decent athlete.

161. Amari Gainer, LB, Florida State

Athletic freak to replace Campbell as the weakside backer. He could be the dime backer by year two.

196. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Perfect fit for the star spot. He can play inside, outside, safety, defend the run, can even blitz a little. Has good size too. Like a poor mans Charles Woodson.

224. Zamir White, RB, Georgia

Freakish explosion. Could return kicks and is just a value pick.

Second option:

Everything is the same as above but Davante walks and they resign both Lazard and MVS.

28. George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Lazard and MVS are both great #2/#3 receivers but neither is a true #1. This mock draft didn’t fall the way the last one did. Receivers went a lot earlier.

60.Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

Similar to Nelson. Athletic freak with tons of upside. Last year was his first as a starter.

92. Amari Gainer, LB, Florida State

Same as above

130. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State

another athletic freak with upside. Packers will need a 3rd pass rusher.

135. Bubba Bolden, S, Miami

Packers finally get their 3rd safety. High RAS guy. Lots of upside, still a bit inconsistent.

170. LaRon Stokes, IDL, Oklahoma

Similar to Alexandre. a DL to help with the pass rush.

206. Jammie Robinson, CB, Florida State

South Carolina transfer that has upside.

219. Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

Blocking TE with some receiving upside to replace Marcedes.

248. Zacch Pickens, IDL, South Carolina

Another DL with upside

Was The 2021 Draft Another All-In Move by The Packers?

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The 2021 draft seemed to throw a lot of knowledgeable Packers fans and bloggers for a loop. It seemed to deviate from the “typical” Packers draft. Many Packers bloggers cited previous draft statistics to help other fans identify potential Packers draft picks heading into the 2021 draft. For example, 22 of 25 plays that had a RAS score taken by Brian Gutekunst had a score of 8.0 or above.

These players tended to be somewhat raw with a lot of upside. These players were usually going to take a year or two to develop. The Packers were able to afford this because they usually drafted players a year before they were going to need that player to play an important role on offense or defense. Rashan Gary and Jordan Love are recent examples, further back guys like Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson. Players like David Bahktiari, Elgton Jenkins, and Corey Linsley were expected to sit out at least a year but were forced in early due to injuries.

Also, there were long-held thresholds the Packers held at certain positions. Whether that be a height minimum, weight minimum, certain positional experiences, or athleticism standards. hFor example, the front office never drafted receivers under 5’11. Randall Cobb is the only exception to that rule. Another similar one was at cornerback where since Ron Wolf they hadn’t drafted a cornerback under 5’10 ½ until of course Jaire Alexander who was 5’10 ¼. Outside of Corey Linsley, Caleb Schlauderaff, and Jake Hanson, every offensive lineman drafted by Ted or Gutekunst had tackle experience in college. But the interesting thing here is Gutekunst deviated from the Packers’ previous draft strategies in 2021. This is what is going to be delved into in this article and why. 

Pick #29:

First, let’s start with the Packers’ 1st pick. Eric Stokes from Georgia. With the selection of Stokes, he was not a deviation from the Packers’ usual MO. It is easy to see why. Stokes is 6’0 5/8th 194 with a RAS score of 9.37. Just from an athletic standpoint, he fits perfectly. He also went to a power five conference. Gutekunst seems to like to take players from those conferences with his first-round picks. Even more, Stokes played for a big program in Georgia that constantly is a good team and puts players in the NFL every year.

Another less talked about threshold that the front office seems to place on first-round picks is age. They do not take players in the first round older than 22 and prefer them to be 20 or 21. Stokes fit this as well. The only thing that stands out about Stokes was his agility testing. He tested poorly in the short shuttle and was very average in the 3 cone drill. The packers tend to prioritize these tests in all positions. They must have let it slide a little due to the rest of his testing being so good.

Stokes was the outlier in this group in that he fits the Packers’ usual draft pick. The rest of their picks fall out of their usual purview one way or another.

Pick #62:

Next would of course be Josh Myers from Ohio State. He had no athletic testing due to recovery from offseason surgery. But based on his film he was not an elite athlete. It is highly doubtful he would have scored at 8.0+ on the RAS scale. A lot of fans though were surprised by his selection. The consensus among most draft experts was that either Landon Dickerson from Alabama or Creed Humphrey from Oklahoma was the top center in the class. Dickerson went at pick 37 to the Eagles. But when the Packers pick came up and Humphrey was there people assumed if the Packers were going to take a center that they would take Humphrey. He fit their usual approach to the draft. The former Sooner scored an epic RAS of 10. He had a lot of upside to his game as well.

But the Packers surprised everyone and took Myers. People didn’t understand it. They felt the Packers screwed up in taking the “lower-rated” Myers. But the truth is there was a reason for this. Myers was a better fit for the Packers to come in and slide into the starting center spot. Firstly, he has a very high football IQ. Which gives him a pretty high floor. Also, he spent his career at Ohio State playing in a similar zone blocking scheme. So it would be a smoother transition to Green Bay’s system. Maybe his upside wasn’t as high as a Creed Humphrey, but that was not important to the packers right now. They were going to need him to hit the ground running.

Pick #85:

Now to their 3rd pick. Amari Rodgers from Clemson. He again did not fit the Packers’ thresholds. He was even shorter than Randall Cobb at 5/9 ½. His RAS score was even a low (for the Packers) 5.36. Another thing with Rodgers is he was not a receiver with much of an upside, which the Packers usually love. He mostly played out of the slot at Clemson. Like Myers, there was an exact role that they drafted him for. Of course, this was all before the Cobb trade. But the role that was planned for him was similar to Cobb. Play the slot, return some punts, and maybe get a few gadget plays here and there.

They knew his upside was limited. Rodgers’ size, athleticism, and short arms limit that. That is not why they drafted him. Rodgers will probably never be anything more than what he was drafted to be. While he can break some tackles due to his size and his savvy. He is not going to go out there and break 20 tackles and put up 900+ yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in a season. Rodgers may not even put up 800 yards in a season. But that’s not the role they will be asking him to fill, and they wanted him to be able to slide into that role as a rookie with minimal effort.

Pick #142:

With Green Bay’s 4th pick they took Royce Newman out of Ole Mississippi. Newman was taken to compete for a starting spot at guard and to offer tackle and guard depth if he couldn’t win a starting spot. Newman’s athletic testing did not scream Packer. His agility grades were kind of just OK. He did poorly on the 3 cone drill. Which has been said before the Packers value highly. His positional versatility did fit though. Newman is already 24 years old. The Packers usually don’t take guys that are that old. It usually speaks to them not having much of an upside. They have usually physically peaked and had minimal growth potential.

On film, he reminds you a bit of Mark Tauscher. In that, his technique isn’t perfect and he is not the greatest athlete, but he just somehow gets the job done. He does not look like the typical Packers offensive lineman who has the athleticism of a tackle in the body of a guard. He was just a two-year starter at Ole Miss so there is some upside there. The point is that he was drafted to see if he can compete for a starting job, if not though at least the Packers would have a decent depth lineman who could play guard or tackle.

Pick #173:

With their first pick in the 5th round, the Packers took defensive lineman TJ Slaton from Florida. Slaton is another departure from the Packers’ usual draft pick. First, he is 330. The Packers do not usually draft linemen that big. The last time they drafted one that big was BJ Raji in 2009. Slaton also right now is more of a run-stuffing nose tackle. They do not usually draft those types of guys. They either draft pass rusher types like Kingsley Keke or guys who can do both like Kenny Clark.

Slaton does have some upside in that he could develop his pass-rushing skills. But even if he doesn’t they at least have a guy who can come in and take 10-20 snaps a game during obvious run downs. Due to his subpar agility scores and his lack of playing agility his upside as a pass rusher is not high. They took him to fill that role because they have had trouble defending the run. So again they took another guy who has a high floor who can fill a specific role as a rookie.

Pick #178:

The second pick in the 5th was Shemar Jean-Charles a corner out of Appalachian State. Shemar again is another pick that didn’t fit the front office’s usual defensive back pick. First, let’s start with his size. He is 5’10 /8ths below their 5’10 ½ threshold. He also only weighs 184 pounds. The Packers like their corners bigger. They like them bigger so they can play physical with receivers late in the season when it gets cold in December and January. Jean-Charles did not test out well at his pro day. He scored a RAS of 4.27. The last time they drafted a corner with that low of a score was Quinten Rollins in 2015 who had a score of 4.71. Going back to 1999 they have not drafted a defensive back with a score below Rollins 4.71.

Going into even more detail is his agility scores were bad. Jean-Charles 3 cone score of 7.15 was the slowest out of any draft pick since Tyrone Culver in 2006. All that adds up to a player with minimal upside. Which again historically is not something the Packers do. Now he was drafted to fit a specific role. SJC was a very good special teams’ player at Appalachian State. The Packers needed help on special teams and that is why he was drafted. Watching him in preseason you can see his subpar athleticism in coverage. The Packers have switched him to the slot. At Appalachian State, he exclusively played on the outside so there is a little bit of a learning curve. Even still his upside is at best a decent nickel back in a few years. But for this season he will only play special teams outside of some injuries happening.

6th and 7th round picks:

When it comes to the 6th and 7th rounds though those picks are just the team taking the best available player on the team’s board. Even with that being said Isaiah McDuffie was drafted for a specific role. Similar to Shemar Jean-Charles. He was drafted for his ability to help out the underperforming special teams group. McDuffie is an undersized speedy linebacker. Going back to 1994 the Packers have not drafted a linebacker as light as him. McDuffie lacks size and strength and may never be able to be anything more than a sub-package linebacker and special teamer. But again he was drafted to fill that specific role, not the usual Packers MO of drafting a player with upside who could grow into something much more.

Pick #214:

With the Cole Van Lanen pick though. That pick was classic Packers. Van Lanen was a college left tackle who the Packers have moved to guard and right tackle. He had a good pro day. He only started a total of 19 games at Wisconsin so there is some untapped potential there he could develop into a starter down the line or he could end up as a career journeyman.

Pick #256:

With the Packers’ final pick Kylin Hill, he fit with this year’s drafts strategy. To get a guy who can fill a specific role this year. Hill was drafted to be the team’s 3rd down back. Hill is filling in the Jamaal Williams role in other words. He can carry it, he can play in the passing game, and he can pass block. He is a little more dynamic than Williams though.

Final Thoughts:

Out of 9 picks, 7 were drafted to fill a specific role this season and possibly beyond. Players who may not have the high athletic upside of the Packers’ usual drafts, but guys who the front office and coaches knew could come in right away as rookies and fill that role. The reason is they needed to find guys to fill those specific positions. Due to either a departed free agent (see: Corey Linsley, or Jamaal Williams), a weakness in a position group (Special Teams), or due to injury (Bahktiari being out and Jenkins sliding out to left tackle). This is another example of this team being all in for this season.

Final Packers 53 man roster prediction

I am writing this on Sunday August 29th. The final cut down date is Tuesday, August 31st. This will be my final prediction for the Packers 53 man roster. If someone gets cut or put on IR prior to Tuesday I will update it.

You can find my previous prediction here: https://atbnetwork.com/2021/08/07/green-bay-packers-53-man-roster-prediction/

Quarterbacks:(2)

Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love

I feel this is pretty self explanatory. Everyone understood this was going to be their quarterback group going into the season. Nothing in preseason has changed that.

Running back:(3)

Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Kylin Hill

I feel this group is kind of the same as the quarterbacks. Most knew this was going to be the group once word of how well Hill was doing in camp came out. The only real question was would Taylor or Williams push enough to either beat out Hill or force the Packers to keep four. That did not happen. I think Taylor has a good shot at the practice squad though.

Tight ends:(4)

Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Dominique Dafney

Similar to the quarterback group. This group has been set most of camp. None of the bubble guys did anything to push the top four guys. Also, Sternberger is suspended the first two games of the season. He has been pretty iffy this camp. The Packers could cut him when he comes off the suspension list.

Wide receivers:(6)

Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Malik Taylor

Through the off season the question was would the Packers keep five or six receivers? We all knew the top five were locks. But once camp started and some of the other guys started flashing the questions came. Most of camp it was a battle between Taylor and Funchess. Then after the first pre season game a lot of fans gave it to Funchess. I didn’t see the fit because he didn’t play special teams. Once Funchess was put on IR then release it was game over. Taylor had locked up the #6 spot. Begelton put up a fight at the end, but not enough to over take Taylor.

Offensive line:(10)

David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Lucas Patrick, Billy Turner, Jon Runyan, Ben Braden, Royce Newman, Yosh Nijman, Dennis Kelly

We know at least seven guys are locks. Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Myers, Patrick, Turner, Runyan and Newman are all locks for the roster. Newman looks like he has won one of the starting guard spots. The other one is between Patrick and Runyan. Patrick looks to have a slight lead on Runyan. I would not be surprised if Runyan did get a few snaps here and there during the early games before Bakhtiari comes back. Braden has shown versatility in playing both guard and right tackle so I think that gives him a spot. While he has had some hick ups Nijman has played well overall and he would probably be the #3 left tackle, but he has also gotten snaps on the right side. There is a chance they keep Kelly over him and keep Van Lanen for his versatility and upside.

Defensive line:(5)

Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Jack Heflin, TJ Slaton

Through most of the offseason and camp it was thought that the five were locked in with Clark, Lowry, Keke, Slaton, and Lancaster. But Lancaster has been out played by Heflin. Heflin is a similar type player, but he seems to be a touch better athlete. He can also play more outside. Lancaster was best as a back up nose. With Slaton being the back up nose now there was no need for Lancaster to play that spot. When he didn’t play at nose tackle he didn’t play as well. Heflin is probably the same player right now but three years younger and cheaper.

Edge:(5)

Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Chauncey Rivers, Tipa Galeai

Obviously the top three were locks. The fight was going to be for the #4 spot and #5 spot if they decided to keep one. There is a chance they keep a 5th if Z’s injury lingers into the season. I am keeping five just in case Z’s back flares up and Tipa can be a good special teams player. Rivers has come in a brought a spark as a rusher and played special teams as well. According to the outside linebacker coach special teams play was going to be important to choosing who gets the #4 spot. Garvin and Scott could both end up on the practice squad. Both showed flashes.

Linebackers:(4)

Krys Barnes, De’Vondre Campbell, Ty Summers, Oren Burks

The release of Kamal Martin took us all by surprise. It was looking like they would keep five inside linebackers with him. With him gone though and both Burks and Summers already being good special teams players. There doesn’t seem to be a need to keep a 5th just to do what they already do. Burks has shown some improvements in preseason from scrimmage. I don’t think he will ever be confused with Ray Lewis or anything like that but coming into camp he was looking like a cut candidate. Summers also showed some improvements as a leader and communicator.

Cornerbacks:(6)

Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, Eric Stokes, Shemar Jean-Charles, Kabion Ento

This is another group that was set for the most part entering camp. The top five were set outside of some sort of freak injury or something like that. The main battle was for the #6 corner spot. Ento has kind of won it by default. The only other competition he has had was Jackson who was shipped off for Yiadom, but Yiadom has not done any thing in camp or preseason to beat him out. Ento did struggle a little against the Bills. Yiadom got beat a number of times. I don’t see any other corners on the roster worth a practice squad spot.

Safties:(5)

Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Henry Black, Vernon Scott, Christian Uphoff

With this group the interesting battle was for the 5th and or possibly 6th spot. Which is very unusual keeping 6 safeties. Also it does not make sense keeping a 6th safety. The top three guys are locked in. Black played a lot in the dime packages and looks to be the #3 safety. Scott is injured but he has shown enough to keep him around. The main battle was between Uphoff and Gaines. Both had their moments. Gaines had a good game against the Texans, then Uphoff had a good game against the Jets. They both did not have good games against the Bills. So now it comes down to who fits what they need the best.

Uphoff is more of a unfinished product since he did not play in 2020 due to COVID. Uphoff is probably more of a strong safety while Gaines is more of a free and he can line up in the slot as well. Gaines issue however is a bad one. He has had problems tackling, and if you are playing mostly special teams…thats an issue. Uphoff for the most part has tackled well. Thats why he edges out Gaines.

Specialists:(3)

Mason Crosby, TBD, TBD

It was looking like it was going to be the same crew early on in camp. JK shanked that 21 punt and it just feels like his days in Green Bay are numbered. He is still too inconsistent for a guy going into his 4th season. The Packers punter is on someone else’s roster right now. As for the long snapper Bradley has also been inconsistent. Just the other day in practice he had three bad snaps. A long snapper can not have more than maybe one bad snap a season. As with JK the Packers long snapper is on another teams roster as well. Gutey may pick up one or the other on the waiver wire or even trade for one.

Green Bay Packers 53-man roster prediction

This is my first roster prediction a week into camp. You can find the Packers 90 man roster here:https://www.packers.com/team/players-roster/ I will put up a second one at the end of camp right before cut down date. Lets get to it!

Quarterbacks-(2)

Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love

Kurt Benkert has become a cult hero among Packers fans. We all wish they would keep it. I just don’t see it happening though. He is very much a practice squad candidate. Rodgers and Love are self explanatory. I don’t think I need to say much beyond that.

Running backs-(4)

Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Kylin Hill, Patrick Taylor

I went with four because I do not think Hill or Taylor would make it through waivers. Also with Sternberger being suspended the first couple games they could hang on to an extra player and then hope to sneak him onto the practice squad a couple weeks later. Jones an Dillon will be running backs #1 and #2. They will see the majority of carries. Jones does have an injury history so we will probably see the #3 back get some carries at some point.

Tight End/Hback-(4)

Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Dominique Dafney

With Sternberger being suspended the first two games this is a pretty easy call. Tonyan is the lead dog. He is a do it all tight end. Lewis is your blocker. Deguara and Dafney are your versatile Hbacks. Dafney has also shown some special teams prowess. Once Sternberger comes off the suspended list it will be interesting to see what the Packers decide to do.

Wide Receivers-(6)

Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Juwann Winfree

Before the Cobb trade I would have said the top five were probably locked in and they were not going to keep six. Now with Cobb and the camp that Winfree is having and his ability to play special teams I see them keeping him around for special teams duties and of course if there is an injury or two he could slide in and play some offense. I see them keeping him over EQ and Funchess exactly because of his ability to play special teams which is what the #6 receiver would have to be able to do. Since none of the top five receivers play special teams. Outside of kick and punt return with Rodgers and Cobb.

Offensive Line-(9)

David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Lucas Patrick, Billy Turner, Jon Runyan Jr, Dennis Kelly, Ben Braden, Royce Newman

What they do with Bakhtiari and the rest of the group will be interesting. Do they put him on PUP? and how many linemen do they keep? 8? 9? 10? I feel they will roll with Bakhtiari on the initial 53 man roster, then move him to the IR so he will miss the first three games of the season. With him on the IR for three weeks I wouldn’t be surprised if they resigned Yosh Nijman, or a Cole Van Lanen for those three weeks.

Jenkins has been great so far in camp at left tackle. Myers has taken every snap at center with the 1st team so far. He’s a lock right now for the starting center. There has been talk about Patrick getting cut or traded because he would save money on the cap. I can’t see it happening. With a rookie at center they need his versatility and veteran experience he can impart on Myers. Turner has that four position ability. His best position is right tackle though where I think he will spend the whole season. Runyan Jr will probably start the season as the left guard until Bakhtiari gets back. Kelly will be the Packers swing tackle. Braden and Newman will provide guard/tackle depth.

Defensive Line-(5)

Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Tyler Lancaster, TJ Slaton

I feel like this group is pretty much set. Clark is one of the better defensive linemen in the league. Keke should be the #2 guy next to him, but it will probably be Lowry with Keke being the #3 guy. Lancaster and Slaton can both play the nose. Slaton should allow Clark to get off the nose a little bit more and get some 1 on 1 match ups.

Edge defenders-(5)

Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Jonathan Garvin, Tipa Galeai

I feel the group was pretty set until Ramsey’s injury. Since none of the Packers top three edge rushers play special teams and last years 7th round pick Garvin played very minimal special teams the Packers need someone who can play special teams. Galeai is probably the best special teamer left after Ramsey’s injury. The Smith bros and Gary will take up the vast majority of snaps on the edge this season.

Linebacker-(4)

Krys Barnes, De’Vondre Campbell, Kamal Martin, Ty Summers

So far in camp it has been Barnes and Campbell as the top two. Martin has the talent to start, he just needs development. Summers has been a special teams ace and has shown some improvements on defense. Burks is around the same level of special teams player that Summers is, but Summers is better from scrimmage and is cheaper. McDuffie has missed all of camp so far on the NFI list. I feel he either gets better and gets in at the end of camp and ends up on the practice squad, or his injury lingers and he ends up on the IR.

Cornerbacks-(6)

Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Eric Stokes, Shemar Jean-Charles, Chandon Sullivan, Kabion Ento

Jaire is Jaire, not much needs to be said there. Same with King, he is who he is. He is still probably the 2nd best corner on the roster right now. Stokes has struggled in camp which was expected. He never played corner until he got to college and he was only a two year starter at that. So he will need time. Sullivan has been the Nickel all through out camp, outside of a few snaps Jean-Charles has taken. Sullivan has look good in camp so far. I do not see him relinquishing the nickel job. Jean-Charles should see most of his time on special teams. Ento has flashed this camp and the last two training camps as well. Hopefully he can stay healthy. Hollman and Samuels will be his main competition for the last spot.

Safties-(5)

Darnell Savage, Adrian Amos, Henry Black, Vernon Scott, Will Redmond

Savage and Amos should continue to be one of the better starting safeties in the league. Savages game really took off once they moved him closer to the line and occasionally played him in the slot. I expect that to continue. That leaves who will be the 3rd safety? When Savage is playing near the line or in the slot I expect it to be Redmond. He is the only back up capable of playing free safety. He also is a good special teams player. Although the Packers could slide Amos over to free and bring in either Black or Scott and put them at strong. So far in camp Black has been ahead of Scott. He has been the safety in their big nickel package.

Special Teams-(3)

JK Scott, Mason Crosby, Hunter Bradley

Not much to say here. The Packers cut Bradley’s competition, so he is a lock there. Preseason will bear out the punter job, but I just don’t see Winslow beating out Scott. JK will be on a short leash though. Crosby is Crosby. No way in hell Molson would be able to beat him out. Molson wasn’t even that good of a college kicker. The Packers will probably keep a punter on the practice squad though.

There you have it. My 53 man roster prediction. I think that leaves the Packers with a pretty talented and deep roster. There will be some guys that are cut that won’t make it through waivers.