Packers 2014 Roster Predictions: Eight Defensive Linemen to Make the Team

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

As we finish off the first position on defense, we project the players who will make the team on the defensive line.

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.

If you've been keeping track, you've noted that we projected the Green Bay Packers to keep 24 offensive players based on our consensus roster predictions so far. Today we dive into the defense and find that we expect eight defensive linemen to make the roster for three positions.

Here's the breakdown.

Projected Starters: Mike Daniels, B.J. Raji, Datone Jones

Daniels has earned the opportunity to start with his stellar play a year ago, while the Packers are counting on a big rebound from B.J. Raji now that he has been promised a move back to nose tackle. The 5-technique position will have some competition, but we believe that a healthy and motivated Datone Jones will be able to lock down the starting job in training camp.

Projected Backups: Mike Neal, Khyri Thornton, Josh Boyd, Letroy Guion, Jerel Worthy

Neal just signed a new two-year deal to keep him in Green Bay, so he's not going anywhere and should be an excellent depth piece behind Jones and a key rusher on third downs. Thornton will have a spot on the team as a third-round pick and will likely be in the mix to back up Daniels. Boyd should make the team as a backup nose tackle, barring any major implosion in camp. Guion brings a veteran presence that the coaching staff will likely find valuable after the departures of Johnny Jolly and Ryan Pickett. The APC staff also thinks that Worthy's second-round draft status buys him one more year on the team, and we're betting that a clean bill of health will finally free him up to impress in training camp.

Projected to be Released: Carlos GrayMike Pennel, Luther Robinson

It's easy to take the chalk and project everybody except the undrafted rookies to make the team, but it just makes sense. If anybody's making an impact right away, it's probably Pennel, but he'll likely be best served on the practice squad for a year, where he could be promoted to the active roster in case of an injury.

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