Packers Pre-Draft Depth Chart Projection

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With free agency essentially concluded and the draft still over a month away, Acme Packing Company takes a look at where the Packers' depth chart currently stands.

The 2014 NFL Draft opens in about five weeks. While the Packers likely plan on making another small move or two in free agency before then (re-signing Matt Flynn and John Kuhn being the top priorities), we can now piece together a reasonable approximation of what the team's depth chart looks like. (Update: Kuhn re-signed with the Packers on Thursday.)

The more challenging task is figuring out what alignment to use on defense. As Mike McCarthy mentioned shortly after the season, the Packers will still utilize their 3-4 base defense along with the sub and nickel packages within it. Additionally, the team plans to employ a variation of the 4-3 Under and its "Elephant" end now that Julius Peppers is in tow.

For our purposes here, we'll show three depth charts: one covering offense, and one for each defensive configuration.

Offense (24 total)

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien

Halfback: Eddie Lacy, James Starks, Johnathan Franklin, DuJuan Harris

Fullback: John Kuhn

X receiver: Jordy Nelson, Chris Harper

Z receiver: Jarrett Boykin, Chris Harper

Slot receiver: Randall Cobb, Myles White

Tight end: Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick, Ryan Taylor

Left tackle: David Bakhtiari, Derek Sherrod

Left guard: Josh Sitton, Lane Taylor

Center: J.C. Tretter, Don Barclay, T.J. Lang

Right guard: T.J. Lang, Don Barclay, Lane Taylor

Right tackle: Bryan Bulaga, Don Barclay, Derek Sherrod

The only real question marks on the Packers' offensive depth chart concern the wide receiver position and the offensive line. The Packers cross train their receivers well, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Nelson receive some time in the slot (as he did during Cobb's absence last season) when the situation calls for it. However, Jarrett Boykin is tailor made for James Jones' old "Z" or flanker position. The Packers expect to utilize Boykin's ability to grab quick passes and generate yards after the catch very often this upcoming season.

As for the offensive line, McCarthy's comments about the departed Evan Dietrich-Smith suggest that center is J.C. Tretter's job to lose. If he falters, the Packers would likely give Don Barclay an opportunity. It seems only if those two fail would McCarthy consider making a drastic move like shifting in right guard T.J. Lang.

The biggest offensive addition that's likely to come through the draft is another wide receiver. We've discussed options in the past few months, and now that Jones has officially departed for Oakland, adding a young wideout in the first three rounds seems extremely probable.

3-4 Defense (26 total)

Left end: Datone Jones, Josh Boyd

Nose tackle: B.J. Raji, Letroy Guion, Josh Boyd

Right end: Mike Daniels, Julius Peppers, Jerel Worthy

Left OLB: Nick Perry, Mike Neal, Julius Peppers, Andy Mulumba

Left ILB: A.J. Hawk, Sam Barrington

Right ILB: Brad Jones, Jamari Lattimore

Right OLB: Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Nate Palmer

Left cornerback: Tramon Williams, James Nixon, Jarrett Bush

Right cornerback: Sam Shields, Davon House

Slot corner: Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde

Free safety: Micah Hyde, Chris Banjo

Strong safety: Morgan Burnett, Sean Richardson

There are several questions on the defensive depth chart. The most prominent of these is safety. On multiple occasions since the end of the season, the Packers have discussed their intention to play Micah Hyde at safety this season. McCarthy expects Hyde to split time between safety and slot corner. That strategy jives with the notion that the team will select a safety in the upcoming draft. While Hyde struggled at safety during his brief stint there at Iowa, he could succeed there in a part-time role in certain situations.

Another question mark comes along the defensive line. Datone Jones, B.J. Raji, and Mike Daniels appear likely to start, but it's not certain where Letroy Guion and Josh Boyd line up. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that some scouts believe Guion's strength and size project to nose tackle. For now, that's where he sits on our depth chart. Boyd took some snaps at both end and nose last year, so it's fair to assume he'll do so again in 2014.

Certainly, the hardest player to fit into the 3-4 front is Julius Peppers. McCarthy already stated that he'll work with Winston Moss and the linebackers, but that's probably more due to getting Peppers used to playing from a two-point stance than anything else. Perhaps Peppers earns some snaps at left outside linebacker, but he'll spend most of his time closer to the line of scrimmage. At right end, Peppers and Clay Matthews can run stunts, something that McCarthy discussed at the NFL Owners meeting.

4-3 Under Defense (26 total)

3-tech: Datone Jones, Josh Boyd

Nose tackle: B.J. Raji, Letroy Guion, Josh Boyd

4/5-tech: Mike Daniels, Jerel Worthy

Elephant: Julius Peppers, Mike Neal, Nick Perry

Weakside linebacker: A.J. Hawk, Sam Barrington

Middle linebacker: Brad Jones, Jamari Lattimore

Strongside linebacker: Clay Matthews, Nick Perry Nate Palmer, Andy Mulumba

Left cornerback: Tramon Williams, James Nixon, Jarrett Bush

Right cornerback: Sam Shields, Davon House

Slot corner: Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde

Free safety: Micah Hyde, Chris Banjo

Strong safety: Morgan Burnett, Sean Richardson

This is the front where Julius Peppers expects to see the most action. While not the same as the end spot he played in Chicago, the elephant end position allows Peppers to play at the line of scrimmage where he's most comfortable. It also lines him up next to Mike Daniels, the Packers' best pass rushing defensive lineman a year ago. In theory, this would create consistent pressure opposite Clay Matthews, something the Packers have been unable to do since Cullen Jenkins left after the 2010 season.

Special Teams (3 total)

Place kicker: Mason Crosby

Punter: Tim Masthay

Long snapper: Brett Goode

It's the Ginger Wolverine's world, and we're just living in it.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Hook'em Headlines. His work has previously appeared on Beats Per Minute, Lombardi Ave, and College Hoops Net.

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