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 2023 NFL Draft Sleepers: Defense

The offense has seen its fair share of sleeper picks in recent draft boards and mocks. What about the defensive side; who’s potentially got that “it” factor we’re not talking about?

I hope everyone enjoyed the first part of my early 2023 NFL draft sleepers list. Now for the defense. You can find more about these players and more in database that I help update here.

Don’t tell anyone!
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Defensive line:

Ruke Orhorhoro – Clemson

Ruke Orhorhoro is origionally from Nigeria. He played very little in 2019 and 2020, which he actually ended up redshirting for. He came into 2021 looking to just get time as a #3 DL, but due to injures ended up starting nine games in 2021 and played pretty well. The current Tiger was ok against the run and tackled well. He is a developing pass rusher as well. As the season went he got better as a pass rusher. Everyone knows Bresee and even Tyler Davis to a lesser extent, but Ruke could end up going a lot higher than people think if he comes out. He is a redshirt Junior. He could stay for his senior year and take over and be ‘the guy’ on the DL.

Jowon Briggs – Cincinnati

Briggs is another player that made that Cincinnati defense so good these past couple years. He is a little short at 6’1, but has good size at 315 and is a good athlete. He is a little bit of a projection in the NFL since Cincinnati uses him more as an end in their unique defense. 2021 was his best season overall. He played solid against the run and flashed some as a pass rusher with 23 pressures. If he can continue to develop he could definitely hear his name called early on day 3.

D’Anthony Jones – Houston

Jones is similar to Briggs in that Houston uses him as more of a end than a DL/tackle. He is 6’2 285 and has the build of a interior defensive lineman. So he is a little bit of a projection. He is even more athletic than Briggs. He is a very good pass rusher. Jones produced 34 pressures and 5.5 sacks essentially playing out of positions. He is a bit undersized so he will need to add some bulk. At the very least he should be able to contribute as a sub package pass rusher in the NFL.

Elijah Chatman – SMU

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Chatman is another undersized (6’1 290), but quick interior pass rusher. He is entering his third year as a starter at SMU. Even though he is undersized he is a very good run defender. He will make plays in the backfield, but seems to have plateau’d. He had 20 pressures in 2021 and just 2.5 sacks. His biggest issue has been finishing. If he can improve that and work on his tackling a little he should have a good shot at getting drafted.

Edge:

Shitta Sillah – Boston College

With six starts in 2021 he started to finally flash some of that potential he had. He has ideal size at 6’4 253 His first two play season were pretty mediocre. Sillah had just one sack but had 13 pressures in six starts. He is a real good run defender. If he can continue to get better he could hear his name on day three.

YaYa Diaby – Louisville

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Diaby is another guy who flashed some potential in 2020, then upped it in 2021. He is primed for a breakout in 2022. He only had 1.5 sacks last year but did have 22 pressures. The current Cardinal has ideal size at 6’4 255 and looks filled out. Also he has good arm length at 33 5/8ths” and big 10 1/2″ hands He does a good job of setting the edge and has even showed some ability to drop into coverage.

Yasir Abdullah – Louisville

Abdullah is Diaby’s teammate and actually produced more statistically. He showed some potential as a pass rusher in 2020 then really came on in 2021 he had 29 pressures and 10 sacks. His size holds back his potential in the NFL. He is 6’1 235 so he is undersized and looks like he will have to move to LB. He is very athletic and when Louisville dropped him in coverage he held up well showing he should be able to make the transition.

Rondell Bothroyd – Wake Forest

Bothroyd played some defensive line early on at Wake and despite his size he played ok. He had 30 pressures but only 1.5 sacks in 2019. The coaches finally moved him to edge in 2020. He has been a good run defender his whole career. Its really his pass rush that needed to come around and develop. He finally produced in 2021 with 37 pressures and 8 sacks, but his production was a bit inconsistent. He has great size at 6’4 260 with average arm length. If he can be a bit more consistent in 2022 he could go on day two.

Jeremy Lewis – East Carolina

Lewis is a former tight end. He spent his first two seasons there. He moved to edge in 2020 but didn’t play much. The former tight end started the last eight games of the season. In that short time he had 21 pressures and four sacks. His weakness so far has been the run game and disengaging with blockers. He is a bit undersized at 235 so bulking up might help him some. He is definitely a developmental project.

Devere Levelston – SMU

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Devere is another guy who didn’t play much in 2020, just eight games and less than 200 snaps. He produced all of five pressures, six tackles, but one sack. Come 2021 he came in and started every game and had a big year with 31 pressures, and 6.5 sacks. He showed that he has NFL talent. His main weakness right now is his play against the run. He will be a junior in 2022. If he has a big season he could come out.

Anthony Goodlow – Tulsa

Goodlow is on the bigger side for an edge rusher at 6’4 274 and his athleticism is at best average. He is smart and technically sound. He showed small improvements each season. It all culminated in a career year in 2021. While he didnt have big sack numbers with only six, he did have 43 pressures. He is also a very good run defender. He probably won’t be able to play in a 3-4 defense unless its as a 5-tech. Teams that like big strong defensive ends will like him.

Linebacker:

Tatum Bethune – FSU

Bethune goes 5’11 227 so he is obviously undersized. He transferred from UCF to FSU. 2021 was his second year as a starter. He really played well and showed that he had the talent to play in the NFL. He was all around a solid player. Good against the run, could blitz (17 pressures and 2 sacks), and was decent in coverage (2 INTs). He is a play maker. Him and Gainer could combine for a pretty dynamic duo this season.

Antonio Grier Jr. – USF

Grier is similar in size and athleticism to Bethune. While he is undersized he is well built. He plays inside linebacker for USF, but due to his size he will have to play weakside linebacker. The current Bull is not very good against the run, but being able to play on the weakside in the NFL will help him and will allow him to use his athleticism more. For a smaller backer he is a decent blitzer, and he also picked off two passes. He does need to clean up the missed tackles from 2021. He may never be anything more than a back up and special teamer, but he has a shot at getting drafted.

Darius Muasau – UCLA

Muasau is a transfer from Hawaii where he played really well the last two seasons. Collecting a combined 210 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 37 pressures, five forced fumbles, two interceptions (1 returned for a 75 yard TD), and five passes defensed. He is not huge, but he has the size that we are seeing with a lot of linebackers these days. Muasau is 6’1 235. He is a good but not elite athlete. The former Rainbow Warrior could be in line for an even bigger season in 2022 if he can pick up UCLA’s new defense quickly.

Cornerback:

Josh DeBerry – Boston College

DeBerry has decent size at 5’11, but a little under weight at around 180. He is a decent athlete. He has also shown improvement every season. The current Eagle had his best season in 2021 with two picks and two passes defensed. DeBerry has been a solid all around player who might not be exceptional at any one thing, but he can do a little of everything. He obviously needs to add some bulk/strength to his frame and if he can continue on his path he should be a solid mid round pick.

Jaylin Williams – Indiana

Williams has played a lot in his time at Indiana and has actually been a solid cover guy since he got there. Early on his issues were with run defense and tackling, but he improved his tackling each season and his run defense came around in 2020 and 2021. He is a little undersized at 5’10 180 and his arms are a little short at 29 3/4″. Williams might be destined to play the slot in the NFL. He did allow four touchdowns in 2021 so he will have to work on that.

Jermari Harris – Iowa

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After redshirting in 2019 he played just 32 snaps in 2020. In 2021 though he ended up starting six of of Iowa’s last seven games. He played well, a bit inconsistent but overall he played well for a guy who only had 32 snaps the previous season. He also surprisingly had four interceptions on the year and three pass break ups. Now a redshirt junior, Harris could come out if he has a big season and becomes more consistent and improves his play against the run.

Ronald Williams – Michigan State

Williams is an interesting story. He was a high school quarterback that had to go the JC route. He plays two seasons at Hutchinson (Kan.) and then transfers to Alabama. Williams plays just 27 snaps at Alabama in 2020. He didn’t show much in that short time. Then he transfers to Michigan State and ends up starting nine games out of 13. He had a couple bad games but overall was solid in coverage. One of his issues though was his tackling where he missed 10 tackles. He also lacks great athleticism. Williams does have long arms and a big wingspan. If he learns to use that and play with it he could have a shot at getting drafted.

Arquon Bush – Cincinnati

Bush has bided his time at Cincinnati being stuck behind Sauce Gardner and Kobe Bryant. He has played only slot in his time at Cincinnati. 2022 will be his first chance to show that he can play on the outside. He has ok size with good athleticism. The issue though is his arms are only 29 3/4″ long and even his wingspan is just 73″. He does have seven career interceptions which is pretty good for a nickel back. His play against the run and tackling could be improved. If he can prove that he can play outside that will go a long way into boosting his draft stock.

Malik Flemings – East Carolina

Flemings is very similar in size to his former teammate Ja’Quan McMillan who declared early for the draft but went undrafted. He is about 5’9 180. The big difference between the two is speed. Flemings is a good portion faster; but he does project to a similar role in the NFL as a slot corner. He is a very solid player all around. Due to his better athleticism he should hear his name called in 2023.

Safety:

Kaevon Merriweather – Iowa

Merriweather became a first time starter in 2020 after not playing much in 2018 and 2019. In that shortened season he showed some flashes, but didn’t produce a lot. Enter 2021 and he showed a lot of improvement against the run and as a tackler. He surprisingly has played well in coverage both seasons. The current Hawkeye has one interception and four pass break ups in that time. With Merriweather though he still is more of a strong safety/box safety type. He could play some free of course but he’s best near the line of scrimmage.

Kitan Oladapo – Oregon State

Oladapo did not play much at all until 2020 where he started one game. He didn’t show a lot, he was actually bad in coverage giving up three touchdowns in just six games. He came back in 2021 and ended up starting 12 of 13 games and showed big improvements in coverage. The current Beaver had one interception and seven pass break ups. Also he contributed 69 tackles and a sack. Oladapo played mostly strong safety but played a good amount at free and even took some snaps in the slot. Long term he is more of a strong safety. His run fits do need some work.

Juawan Treadwell – Liberty

Juawan is the brother of Laquan Treadwell. Although has a different body type. He goes about 5’11 200 and runs about a 4.6. He has played strong safety and slot at Liberty. Treadwell even started some games in 2020 at strong safety. It looks like he will be moving back into the starting lineup in 2022. He has shown he has versatility. While his career stats are not much to look at his play has been solid and has shown potential as a safety/slot in the NFL. It would be interesting to see Liberty put him at free and see what he can do.

Quindell Johnson – Memphis

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Johnson became a full time starter in 2020 after playing really well in a back up role in 2019. He has played free, strong, and even slot. although his interception numbers fell in 2021 he played even better in coverage. He played really well overall in 2021. If he could improve as a blitzer and cut down on the touchdowns given up in coverage (8 the last two seasons) he could go as high as day two.

Kendarin Ray – Tulsa

Ray had a semi breakout season in 2020. First he is 6’3 208 and runs a 4.55. He didn’t have any interceptions but did have six pass break ups and 63 tackles in a shortened season. He started off 2021 not playing up to his play from the previous season in coverage. Then he got hurt in his 6th game and didn’t play the rest of the season. Ray has talent and upside as a strong safety/slot defender. He just needs to get back to his 2020 play and stay healthy.

JL Skinner – Boise State

Skinner had some low key hype on him going into the 2022 draft. He flirted with entering and was close to it. Skinners first season as a starter was 2020 where he was ok, got burned a few times but also made some plays. Enter 2021 and he had a really good season. He was one of the more well rounded safety’s in college football last season. He had 92 tackles, two interceptions, four pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. Skinner played both free and strong. The current Bronco did show some inconsistencies in coverage from game to game. If he could fix that in 2022 he could be one of the top safties drafted. He is 6’4 210 and runs a sub 4.5. He could be a really good free safety at the NFL level.

Early Sleepers For The 2023 Draft: Offense

My early sleepers for the 2023 draft is finally here. These are guys who may not be known by most right now, but by draft time should be known by everyone-or at least I think they will if they continue on their path or step up in some way. This will focus mostly on “smaller school” guys. Its just the nature of the beast right now. Most people know players from the power 5 schools. There will be some juniors in the list, they are guys who I feel if they have a big year they could come out. First I will start with offense. You can see my other stuff here.


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Quarterback:

Tanner Mordecai – SMU

Mordecai originally signed with Oklahoma out of high school in 2018. 2021 was his first season at SMU where he won the starting spot. It was there that he became the engine that ran the talented SMU offense. The upside is not huge, but there is NFL talent there.

Holton Ahlers – East Carolina

Ahlers is going into his fifth year as a starter. He flashed a little as a true freshman, then made a good sized jump in 2019. The current Pirate seemed to level off after that. He really played well at the end of 2021 so if he shows improvement in 2022 he could be a day 3 pick.

Running back:

Ellis Merriwether – UMass

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Merriweather was a JUCO transfer. He also didn’t even win the #1 job out of camp. He started just nine games in 2021, yet he had 1,303 yards of total offense and six touchdowns. The current Minuteman also brings ideal size at 6’2, 225 pounds and is a very good receiver. Don’t be surprised to see his name move up boards quickly.

Lew Nichols III – CMU

Nichols is listed having prototypical size at 5’10 220. He looks on film closer to 210. 2021 was his first year as a starter after only playing about 200 snaps in 2020. He came out of nowhere to rush for over 1,800 yards and 16 TDs. He also contributed as a receiver with 40 catches with an 8.4 average yard per catch. Once he hits that hole he explodes and he is very quick. The current Chippewa is a redshirt Junior.

Wide Receiver:

Tyler Harrell – Louisville

6’0, 200 pound speedster who runs in the 4.3 range. He has easy speed and gets to top speed quick. He opted out of 2020 and broke out in 2021 with 18 catches for 523 yards and 6 TDs. Harrell averaged 29 yards a catch in 2021! Coaches will want to see him expand his route tree in 2022. He also has kick return experience.

Tre’Shaun Harrison – Oregon State

Harrison has decent size with 4.45 range speed. He transferred in from Florida State. The former Nole didn’t play much in 2020 but played a lot and even started a four games in 2021. He had a healthy 13.8 yards a catch average. Harrison has also shown to have some YAC ability. He does hold kick return experience. He could really break out in 2022.

Puka Nacua – BYU

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Nacua played two seasons at Washington before transferring to BYU in 2021. He came in and took over as a the #1 receiver right away and lead the team with 43 catches for 805 yards and 6 TDs. Nacua averaged almost 19 yards a catch and he even carried the ball 14 times. He has good size at 6’1 210 and runs around a 4.5. The former Huskie could have a big break out in 2022. Nacua is a redshirt junior.

CJ Daniels – Liberty

CJ Daniels was a three star recruit from Georgia that looks like he just got overlooked. After only playing a decent amount as a freshmen but only contributing 11 catches, he came in as a sophomore and really showed his potential with 37 catches for 629 yards and seven TDs in just six starts. He has good size at 6’2 200 with decent speed. A deep threat that showed some YAC ability. He could break out as a junior and declare.

Demario Douglas – Liberty

The same school as Daniels, but completely different player. He is a 5’8 170 pound slot receiver. He has good speed and agility. Douglas is also a dangerous punt returner. Obviously though he does need to pack on a little weight/strength. He is a redshirt junior.

Rashee Rice – SMU

Rashee Rice has recently gotten a little hype from Jim Nagy, but most still don’t know him. On a stacked offense last season Rice was the 2nd most productive player. He also played almost exclusively out of the slot in 2021 after playing mostly outside in 2020. His production was somewhat similar in both seasons. Expect him to move back outside for 2022 and be the #1 target and key guy on offense. He has the size to play inside and out (6’2 206), speed, and agility to contribute as a returner.

Keylon Stokes – Tulsa

Keylon Stokes is a bit of an older player being a 6th year senior. In 2019 and 2020 he showed potential and 2021 was supposed to be his breakout season but he was injured and missed most of the season. He is a 5’10 200 pound slot receiver who can return kicks and punts. Stokes even had 1,000 yards in 2019. He just needs to get healthy and show he’s back to his old self.

Michael Jefferson – Lousiana – LaFayette

Jefferson is a transfer from Alabama State where he spend three years and didn’t show much except 2019 where he had 767 yards and 12 TDs. He was looking like he was going to have a big year in 2021 but was injured and only played in six games. But he did put up 481 yards in those six games for a school that was more of a running team. He averaged 26 yards a catch. He showed some potential, he just needs to stay healthy. At 6’4 200 pounds and a sub 4.5 40 he has the talent.

Dallas Dixon – CMU

Dallas Dixon is another weapon from that Central Michigan offense. Another good sized receiver at 6’1 200 that runs a sub 4.5. He is a Junior that barely played as a freshman, but showed flashes. For 2021 he started almost every game and played almost 700 snaps. Dixon put up 700 yards on just 45 catches and 8 TDs. He seems on the cusp of a breakout season. He is a Junior.

Stefan Cobbs – Boise State

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Stefan Cobbs barely played or produced his first two seasons in Boise. He came into 2021 and ended up starting eight out of the nine games he played. He had 34 catches for 421 yards and 5 TDs. With Shakir and Evans off to the NFL he should be the #1 receiver for 2022. He has also shown to be a good blocker.

Tight end:

Alec Holler – UCF

Alec Holler is a former walk -on who became the starter after six games in 2021. He is undersized at 6’3 230. For his size he’s not a bad blocker, but overall he’s not that good. His biggest contributions are as a receiver. He was not targeted much in 2021, but produced when he was. His best chance as making the NFL is as an hback.

Leonard Taylor – Cincinnati

Leonard Taylor is the “other” tight end playing for Cincinnati. Everyone knows about Josh Whyle, but when Whyle was struggling through the 2021 season it was Taylor who produced. While he didn’t exactly set the world on fire; he had a solid season. 28 catches for 268 yards and four TDs. where he contributed the most was as a blocker. He was probably one of the better blocking tight ends from 2021. But he flashed that he could actually contribute some as a receiver. He could hear his name called in the 2023 draft.

Offensive line:

Maurice McIntyre – Duke

A 6’2 330 pound guard is not the type of player you would think he is. A big and strong run blocker. He has been better in pass protection most of his career. He showed improvements as a pass protector in 2021 after a poor 2020. 2022 will be his third year as a starter. He has played both left and right guard. If he could just make small improvements as a run blocker he could be a day 3 sleeper.

Chandler Zavala – NC State

Chandler Zavala is a sixth year senior that transferred from fairmont state in 2021. He was only supposed to have one season to play but they petitioned the NCAA for a 6th year and got it. He played in just five games in 2021 at guard before an injury ended his season. In those five games he was really good in both pass pro and as a run blocker. He has good size at 6’4 325. If he can stay healthy he has a shot at getting drafted.

Matthew Bedford – Indiana

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Matthew Bedford was the type of offensive lineman that got coaches fired. He had all kinds of potential, but was really struggling in his first two season as a pass blocker. He gave up 62 pressures and five sacks in his first two seasons. Bedford also started at LT in 2019, RT in 2020, and LG, RG, and RT in 2021. He seems to have found a home at guard, but even the one game he played RT he blocked well. So it seems the light finally went on. If he can continue his trajectory in 2022 he could end up going on day two. The current Hoosier has size, versatility, and athleticism going for him.

J.D. Duplain – Michigan State

Having 23 career starts at left guard on his belt JD Duplain definitely has experience on his side. He also showed improvement as a pass blocker and run blocker every year. Duplain only gave up eight pressures in 2021! His size is about average at 6’4 305, but he has solid athleticism. Zone teams should really like him.

Raiqwon O’Neal – UCLA

Raiqwon O’Neal was a two year starter for Rutgers at left tackle. He transferred to UCLA for his final year and is expected to play left tackle again. At Rutgers he showed slow improvements as a pass blocker every year. His final year he was pretty solid. His size is about average at 6’4 305, but has solid athleticism. Average length will probably force him inside at the next level like UCLAs last left tackle Sean Rhyan.

Clark Barrington – BYU

Clark Barrington is of the LDS church and did his two year mission so he is on the older side. He has been a really good blocker the last two seasons playing both left guard and right guard. He has 27 career starts entering 2022. Only allowing 18 pressures and 1 sack in the last two seasons. Decent size at 6’5 302 with 33 1/8th” arms.

Samuel Jackson – UCF

Samuel Jackson has played and started at almost every position except for center. Jackson has 31 starts to his name entering 2022. He started all of 2021 at right tackle. He also had starts at left tackle, right tackle, and one game at right guard in 2020. The current golden Knight has great size at 6’6 325 pounds. As a pass blocker he was pretty average in 2019 and 2020. he gave up 5 sacks and 25 pressures, but showed improvement in 2021. He has short arms (32 3/4″) so he probably ends up at guard.

Tylan Grable – UCF

Tylan Grable is a bit of an unknown. He transferred over from Jacksonville State for 2022 and is expected to start at left tackle. He has the size at 6’7, but is underweight at about 290. The former Gamecock has not been talked about much as impact transfers go. In two years as a starter he has only given up 15 pressures, but of course it could be due to the competition. 2022 will be a big limit us test for him to see how good he really is. He will obviously need to add bulk. He could get drafted high on potential.

Matthew Lee – UCF

Matthew Lee is one of the taller centers at 6’4 but only about 295. He is entering his third year as a starter. His first year was not great with 15 pressures allowed and 12 penalties. But he cleaned all that up in 2021 with just one penalty and seven pressures. Also he held up better in the run game. He is a good athlete that moves well. He can struggle with power. Lee will be a redshirt Junior so he could stay for his senior year.

Patrick Paul – Houston

Patrick Paul is another large offensive tackle in this class. He stands 6’7 315 and can move pretty well. His brother Chris was just drafted out of Tulsa to the Commanders in the 7th round. He started and played a total of five games between 2019 and 2020 due to injuries. Paul a fourth year Junior could declare if he has another season like he did in 2021 with just some minor cleaning up of penalties (8 in 2021).

Jacob Likes – Memphis

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Jacob Likes was a first year starter in 2021 and looked really good in pass protection. He only gave up 4 pressures on the year! He is undersized though at 6’2 280. The current Tiger needs another 10-20 pounds and his frame looks like it could hold it. For his size he is a good run blocker, mostly using leverage and athleticism to win. He is just a Junior so he could stay one more year, especially with how strong the center class is looking.

Marcus Bryant – SMU

Marcus Bryant is another big long athletic tackle in the AAC. He stands 6’8 314 pounds with decent athleticism. He still has time since 2021 was his first year as a starter and it shows. The current Mustang was really good in pass pro in 2021. Only giving up nine pressures. It will be interesting to see his development over this next season. SMU did lose a lot of their weapons so he may have to hold his blocks a little longer. Run blocking is a bit of a weakness for him, its mostly due to technique and his size. His knee bend needs to improve. Bryant looks to be a RT only prospect. He could come out as a Junior with the tackle class being down from last year.

Donovan Jennings – USF

Donovan Jennings brings the size to play any position at 6’5 327. He is a three year starter at left tackle, but did start two games at right guard. From an athletic stand point its doubtful he could play LT in the NFL though. His play has leveled out a bit since 2020, but his pass blocking has improved every season. Due to his size, athleticism and strength he is a better fit inside. Also he needs to cut down on the nine penalties he had last season. A team could draft him higher than most think if they think he can be really good guard.


Isaac Moore – Temple

Isaac Moore is an interesting story. He is originally from Sweden. He is a three year starter at left tackle. Moore obviously showed inconsistencies early in his career. He still shows some, but its a lot less. Again another tall and long tackle prospect from the AAC. 2021 was his best season. He even showed some real grit as a run blocker. The current Owl just needs to continue to iron out his game and he could see his named called earlier than people think.

Sincere Haynesworth – Tulane

Sincere Haynesworth is one of the better centers in this class. He is undersized at 6’1, but for his height he has long arms at 33″. He has 2 1/2 years of starting experience entering 2022. The current Green Wave played some right guard in 2019. Haynesworth came to Tulane really undersized and as recently as last season was playing under 300 pounds. He had his best season in 2021. He is just a real solid blocker all around. The type of guy that will come into the league and be a 10-year solid starter.

John Ojukwu – Boise State

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John Ojukwu is entering his 6th season at Boise State. He started 2018 and 2019 at RT and switched to LT in 2020. 2022 will be his 5th as a starter, so you could definitely say experience is a strength. He has good size at 6’6 312 and long arms at 35 3/8ths”. 2020 is where he started to really come around as a pass blocker. Run blocking has always been kind of a weakness of his. He is not a power player, he is more of a get in your way type of run blocker. He needs to improve against power rushers and staying low and anchoring. The current Bronco is also a very clean player with only five penalties in his career. His age will work against him but his experience should allow him to play early. He could go on day two.

Green Bay Packers: First 53 Man Roster Prediction

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My first 53 man roster predication of the year. This is post mini-camp, pre training camp. Something fans seem to forget when putting together a 53 man roster is that it NFL teams do not just pick the 53 best players. Since 1/4 of the players on a roster are going to be role players. They will need guys to play special teams, guys who can back up at multiple positions, and a balanced roster. So with my prediction I try to follow those rules. You can find the current roster here.

QB(2):

Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love

I would love for them to keep Kurt Benkert. I feel he has #2 quarterback potential, but it just doesn’t make sense in this day and age. I’m pretty sure they would love to have him back on the practice squad.

RB(3):

Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor

The top two are super easy. Jones and Dillon will see the lions share of snaps/carries. The battle will be for the #3/#4 back. With Kylin Hill coming of the ACL tear he will end up starting the season on the PUP and I feel Taylor offers the best of both worlds for the #3 spot. He can do a bit of everything and he still has some upside. Goodson and Baylor should have shots at being on the practice squad.

WR(6):

Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers

A lot of people want to keep Samori Toure and I get it, but right now I don’t see a spot on the roster for him. He struggles with press coverage and he is more of a slot receiver. The Packers already have two slot receivers. LaFleur rarely uses four receiver sets. Also with the lack of experience at wide receiver on the roster its expected they will lean on their running game and use their backs in the passing game. Toure can play special teams but so can Doubs, Lazard and Watson. So I see Toure spending a season on the practice squad getting stronger.

TE(4):

Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Tyler Davis, Dominique Daffney

This group was another easy group to figure out. Lewis is your blocker, Deguara is your hback, Davis is kind of the do it all guy, and Daffney is the hback/full back type guy. Robert Tonyan starts the year on the PUP. Out of the other two tight ends on the roster I think Wolf probably has the best shot at being back on the practice squad.

OL(10)

David Bakhtiari, Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Yosh Nijman, Sean Rhyan, Cole Van Lanen, Zach Tom, Jake Hanson, Rasheed Walker

The only debate with this group was whether to keep 9 or 10. Hanson and Van Lanen were the border line guys. With Jenkins likely starting the season on the PUP I think they go with 10 and probably Van Lanen gets cut. Every offensive lineman on this roster has positional versatility outside of Bakhtiari, Nijman and Walker. Walker could learn guard though.

Offense(25)

DL(5):

Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt, Jarran Reed

A number of people want to keep 6 and I get it, but there is no need. The Packers rarely run a three DL front. I don’t see the reason for keeping Jonathan Ford. He is a pure nose tackle and the Packers already have three guys on the roster capable of playing that position. He would just be a waste of a roster spot. They should easily be able to place him on the practice squad. Wyatt and Clark are the pass rushers. Reed and Lowry are kind of the do it all guys and Slaton is the developmental guy that can play some NT and provide a little pass rush.

Edge(5):

Rashawn Gary, Preston Smith, Kingsley Enagbare, Randy Ramsey, Jonathan Garvin

Gary, Smith, and Enagbare are all locks to make the roster. After them it comes down to what type of edge rushers do the Packers want as their #4/#5 guys. Historically it seems they like to keep at least one for special teams duties. That is why I kept Ramsey and Garvin because of the guys left he probably has the most potential.

LB(5):

De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker, Krys Barnes, Isaiah McDuffie, Ellis Brooks

Campbell and Walker will be the starters. Barnes is still good enough to see some time though. He has also shown he can play special teams and could see an increase in snaps there with a reduction of snaps from scrimmage. McDuffie is there purely for special teams. Brooks is a down the road developmental guy. He started just two years at Penn State, but also played a lot of special teams his first two years so he can contribute there while developing.

DB(10):

Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Rasul Douglas, Keisean Nixon, Shemar Jean-Charles, Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Vernon Scott, Tariq Carpenter, Raleigh Texada

I feel the top five corners are pretty much locked in at this point. Obviously Alexander, Stokes, and Douglas are your top thee. Nixon and Jean-Charles are both solid special teams players who look to be better slot corners than outside corners and the Packers lack a true slot in the top three guys. Nixon is the better corner at this point though and will see a decent amount of time in the slot with Jaire, Savage and Douglas also seeing time there. Texada is the young guy with upside who can pitch in on special teams

At safety, of course Amos and Savage are your starters. It seems Barry doesn’t use a lot of “big Nickel” or 3rd safety packages. Scott is probably the best safety on the roster when you look at the rest. He also has experience on special teams. Carpenter is a safety/linebacker hybrid who will probably see some time at both, but will spend most of his rookie season on special teams.

Defense: 24

ST(3):

Mason Crosby, Pat O’Donnell, Jack Coco

Crosby and O’Donnell are locks for obvious reasons. I went with Coco because Wirtel was terrible last year and I think they try to make a clean sweep outside of Crosby. There is the possibility that the long snapper isn’t even on the roster at this point.

Green Bay Packers Mock Draft: What if Aaron Rodgers was traded?

Aaron Rodgers is traded to the Denver Broncos in this Packers mock draft
Photo Credit: Broncos Wire

It’s time for a Green Bay Packers themed mock draft, folks. We all know about the rumors of Aaron Rodgers ending up in Denver now that Nathaniel Hackett got hired there and is possibly bringing Justin Outten as his offensive coordinator. So I did a mock draft to get an idea of what kind of players the Packers could get in the draft if they traded him to Denver.

I used the mock draft simulator at Rise N Draft Scouting, and since you can not trade players for draft picks with the draft simulators I took over as GM for both the Packers and the Broncos.

I think we can all agree that a package for him would start with at least a first and a second this season. The compensation in 2023 and beyond is unimportant for this exercise though. So let’s not worry about that for the moment. With the “trade” the Packers acquire picks #9 and #40 from the Broncos. This gives the Packers a total of 11 draft picks.

This mock is assuming the Packers go full ‘rip the band-aid off’ and lose Adams, both Smith brothers, Lewis, MVS, Lowry, Crosby, Cobb, Sullivan, Douglas, and Wirtel. All restricted free agents are back, plus Bojorquez and Campbell. Now to the picks.

Round 1: Pick 9 – David Ojabo – Edge – Michigan

We start this Packers mock draft with Michigan EDGE David Ojabo. With the Smiths gone, there of course is a gaping hole opposite Gary. Ojabo fills it perfectly. He is a freak athlete with immense upside and potential. He has little experience though, only having played football since his junior year of high school. I would suspect his development will take a similar arc to Gary.

Round 1: Pick 28 – Daxton Hill – S – Michigan

Ojabo and his teammate get to keep playing together. Hill has similar athleticism and upside as Darnell Savage had when he came out. He is super fast and explosive along with having experience playing in the slot. Unlike Savage, he is more of a pure free safety and is also a touch bigger. This selection would allow Savage to move into the “star” role, even potentially opening an option to be used interchangeably.

Round 2: Pick 40 – George Pickens – WR – Georgia

If not for his Achilles injury in the spring, we would probably be talking about Pickens as a top 20 pick. He is long, super athletic, and already a very good deep threat. It’s no exaggeration that this young man has #1 receiver potential. Even if he doesn’t reach his full potential, the Packers still have an MVS-type player on their roster.

Round 2: Pick 59 – Phidarian Mathis – DL – Alabama

Mathis gives Kenny Clark the help fans have been clamoring for over the last three seasons. A bit of a late bloomer, his first three seasons he was seen as mostly just a big, strong run stuffer. He has really improved his pass rush skills this season and could play nose to let Kenny go outside and one gap — or the other way around. He would make it a lot harder for teams to double Kenny and leave Mathis and the edge rushers all one-on-one.

Round 3: Pick 92 – Isaiah Likely – TE – Costal Carolina

Likely would be the most athletic tight end that the Packers have drafted since Jermichael Finley. He brings a similar skill set, but not as big. Likely would be the seam-splitting tight end that the Packers thought they were getting with Sternberger, but faster. He would create a great tag team with Tonyan.

Round 4: Pick 128 – Emeka Emezie – Wide Receiver -North Carolina State

Emezie is another great fit for what the Packers look for in their wide receivers. He is 6-foot-3, 212 with long arms, good speed, and good hands. Emezie plays a physical game, is a good blocker, and is great on contested catches and in the red zone. There’s still room for growth in his route running, but he has #2 receiver upside.

Round 4: Pick 137 – Bryan Cook – Safety – Cincinnati

The Packers #3 and #4 safeties have been poor these last two years. With Hill and Cook on board, this selection makes it a strength. Cook has versatility and can play both free, strong, and even some slot experience. Cook brings good size to the field. 2021 was his best season to day, especially in coverage. He picked off two passes, broke up seven, and did not allow a single touchdown.

Round 5: Pick 169 – Austin Allen – TE – Nebraska

Allen is a huge tight end; at 6-foot-8 260, lbs. People would think he is a big, lumbering tight end that is essentially an offensive tackle. In reality, he is actually a pretty solid athlete. He is a very good blocker though, and would be a great replacement for Marcedes Lewis. He has good hands and was underrated as a receiver since he plays at Nebraska, where throwing the ball is not a staple.

Round 7: Pick 224 – Tyler Vrabel – OT – Boston College

I tried targeting a tackle earlier, but the board just didn’t fall right. Here, the Packers nab the son of Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. As a standard of Boston College lineman, Vrabel brings experience at both left and right tackle. Physical and aggressive, he might be better off inside due to questions about his length and tendency to get a little top heavy. That said, he has good agility, which is something the Packers emphasize with their OL.

Round 7: Pick 245 – Bo Melton – Wide Receiver – Rutgers

Yes we triple dipped. With only Rodgers and Lazard back, the Packers will need a major infusion of talent. Melton has similar size to Cobb (5-foot-11, 194), but runs in the low 4.4s. He also brings explosiveness to the field as a potential big YAC player, but has average agility. He can play slot and was also used on jet sweeps, screens, and special teams.

Round 7: Pick 255 – Cal Adomitis – LS – Pittsburgh

Why not finish this Packers mock draft with a long snapper? He is universally regarded as the best long snapper in the draft class — probably the only one that deserves a late pick. If the Packers had a decent long snapper, they might’ve beat San Francisco.

In conclusion:

This mock draft would set the Packers up for the future. You get five or six players with starter potential and at least three with Pro Bowl potential. They are almost all highly athletic. This was kind of a traditional Gutekunst draft.