Packers 2014 Roster Predictions: Four Guards and Centers Make the 53

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The APC staff predicts that the Packers will retain four offensive linemen in 2014 who will primarily play guard or center.

To prepare for training camp, we will be breaking down every player on the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster in more detail, looking at contract terms and 2013 statistics, before we make our prediction for which players will make the 53-man roster at the end of training camp.

Some positions are easier to project than others. Such is the case with the Packers' interior offensive line. Every APC staffer had the same four guys making the squad. While not always the perfect indicator of success, it sure seems like the Packers have solidified this part of their offensive line.

Green Bay generally retains four interior offensive linemen as some of the tackles can usually shift inside in an emergency. We see this happening again in 2014.

Projected Starters: Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, and JC Tretter

Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang make up perhaps the best guard tandem in the league, so it goes without question that they'll begin 2014 as starters barring injury. Following an offseason of praise and a minicamp taking all the number one reps at center, J.C. Tretter appears ready to join them. While he's inexperienced, played between Sitton and Lang should help him through the growing pains.

Backup: Corey Linsley

While the Packers have repeatedly expressed faith in J.C. Tretter, they won't leave themselves without a "true" center should he falter. Corey Linsley showed enough in his two years as Ohio State's starting center to induce Green Bay to draft him. Given that he can also play guard in a pinch, he should earn the final interior lineman spot on the 53.

Released: Lane Taylor, Andrew Tiller, Garth Gerhart, and Jordan McCray

Lane Taylor may have spent all of last season on the Packers' 53, but that had more to do with Derek Sherrod beginning the year on the P.U.P. and Greg Van Roten landing on injured reserve before Sherrod's return. He faces an uphill battle with Corey Linsley and his fifth-round pick status. Andrew Tiller's massive size adds a dimension the rest of the offensive linemen lack, but he may struggle with the zone concepts the Packers still employ. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Garth Gerhart lacks the required mass to handle the power blocking the team began transitioning towards last year. While Jordan McCray seems to fit the build of the Packers' preferred offensive lineman, he'll probably need to contend for a spot on the practice squad in 2014.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as a contributor at various publications. His work has previously appeared on Hook’em Headlines, Beats Per Minute, and Lombardi Ave.
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