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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.