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Packers Depth Chart: How will Green Bay line up against the Bears in week one?

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The Packers have an unofficial depth chart posted on their website, but APC puts together our own to reflect the personnel groups that the Packers use most often.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Following the team's cut-down to a 53-man active roster, the Green Bay Packers have updated their depth chart to reflect the slimmer regular season roster and the adjustments that have been made accordingly. Gone are the days of a 6-deep depth chart; instead, the reduction from 90 men leaves a more traditional two- or three-deep for the team to work with.

First up, we'll show you the unofficial depth chart that is posted on Packers.com, and then we'll give you what we think the depth chart will actually look like in reality.

Packers' Unofficial Depth Chart

Position Starter 2nd-String 3rd-String
Offense
QB Aaron Rodgers Scott Tolzien Brett Hundley
RB Eddie Lacy James Starks Alonzo Harris
FB John Kuhn Aaron Ripkowski
WR Davante Adams Jeff Janis
WR Randall Cobb Ty Montgomery
TE Richard Rodgers Andrew Quarless Kennard Backman
LT David Bakhtiari
LG Josh Sitton
C Corey Linsley JC Tretter
RG T.J. Lang Josh Walker
RT Bryan Bulaga Don Barclay
Defense
LDE Mike Pennel Bruce Gaston
NT B.J. Raji Mike Pennel
RDE Mike Daniels Josh Boyd
LOLB Clay Matthews Nick Perry Andy Mulumba
BLB Sam Barrington
MLB Nate Palmer Jake Ryan
ROLB Julius Peppers Mike Neal Jayrone Elliott
LCB Casey Hayward Damarious Randall Quinten Rollins
RCB Sam Shields Demetri Goodson LaDarius Gunter
SS Morgan Burnett Sean Richardson Chris Banjo
FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Micah Hyde
Special Teams
K Mason Crosby Tim Masthay
P Tim Masthay Mason Crosby
H Tim Masthay Randall Cobb
PR Micah Hyde Ty Montgomery Randall Cobb
KR Ty Montgomery Micah Hyde Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis
LS Brett Goode Don Barclay

Okay, so that's all well and good. However, how often do the Packers actually run a standard 2WR-2RB-1TE formation on offense, or the supposed "base" 3-4 defense? Mike McCarthy loves his Zebra personnel on offense (3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE) and Dom Capers has extensively used the 2-4-5 nickel formation, to the point where it's better to define that formation as the Packers' standard defense.

The other factor is that each player (save for Mike Pennel, for some reason) only appears on the offensive and defensive depth charts once. Instead, in our attempt below we'll try to look at who would be the "next man up" at each position separately, rather than trying to form a full "second unit."

As such, here are the depth charts I pulled together for those formations:

Zebra Offense

Position Starter 2nd-String 3rd-String
QB Aaron Rodgers Scott Tolzien Brett Hundley
RB Eddie Lacy James Starks John Kuhn, Alonzo Harris
WR Davante Adams Jeff Janis
SWR Randall Cobb Ty Montgomery
WR James Jones Ty Montgomery Jeff Janis
TE Richard Rodgers Andrew Quarless Kennard Backman
LT David Bakhtiari Bryan Bulaga Don Barclay, Josh Walker
LG Josh Sitton Lane Taylor Josh Walker
C Corey Linsley JC Tretter Don Barclay
RG T.J. Lang Lane Taylor Josh Walker
RT Bryan Bulaga Don Barclay Josh Walker

Given the Packers' use of personnel on offense, the three-wide alignment is where I went, as described above. Behind Lacy and Starks, I have Kuhn next up and ahead of Harris because of his blocking and receiving abilities. He is not likely to take many rushing attempts in this alignment (McCarthy will probably save those for short-yardage out of the I-formation), but Kuhn is certainly a tertiary candidate for work in Zebra, especially on passing downs.

The receivers are the next interesting grouping. With Cobb likely to still work from the slot a majority of the time, the big question is who will "start" out wide opposite Davante Adams. Based on his familiarity with Aaron Rodgers, we're betting that recent signee James Jones gets the nod for the plurality of the snaps. The Packers certainly have shown no hesitance to put rookie Ty Montgomery on the outside, but my gut tells me that he and Jones would split time out there, with just a slight edge to Jones in that snap count since Montgomery will fill in inside as well.

The offensive line is a bit of a challenge when deciding the next men up at each position, however. Still, based on their performances in camp, I think that Taylor would be likely to get the nod at either guard spot. Left tackle is really the biggest concern, though, as Don Barclay struggled mightily in Bakhtiari's place during the preseason. I remain steadfast in my opinion that the best move would be to shift Bulaga over to the left side if Bakhtiari were to miss time, then plugging in Barclay or Walker at right tackle. Whether that's how the coaching staff sees it is only for them to know, of course, and hopefully we will not find out what that contingency plan looks like.

Nickel Defense

Position Starter 2nd-String 3rd-String
LDT B.J. Raji Mike Pennel Bruce Gaston
RDT Mike Daniels Josh Boyd
LOLB Mike Neal Andy Mulumba Jayrone Elliott
LILB Clay Matthews Sam Barrington
RILB Sam Barrington Nate Palmer Jake Ryan
ROLB Julius Peppers Nick Perry Jayrone Elliott
LCB Casey Hayward Damarious Randall Quinten Rollins
Slot CB Micah Hyde Casey Hayward Quinten Rollins
RCB Sam Shields LaDarius Gunter Demetri Goodson
SS Morgan Burnett Sean Richardson Chris Banjo
FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Micah Hyde

The cornerback battle will be a fascinating one to watch. There are two schools of thought here - the first is that Hayward will stay on the outside in the nickel with Hyde manning the slot. Based on Joe Whitt's comments and what we've seen in camp, that seems the most likely scenario. The second option would be for Damarious Randall to take the left position with Hayward moving into the slot instead. In either case, I expect the primary dime defense to feature Hayward and Hyde in the two slot positions with Randall outside.

Of course, then there's the linebacker unit. While the Packers' depth chart still lists Matthews as an inside linebacker, the extent to which he has played inside in training camp suggests that he will remain there in the nickel. Now, the outside linebacker groups are flipped compared to the unofficial designations from a year ago, but Peppers has indeed taken numerous snaps on the right side this preseason, suggesting that their alignment on that chart is accurate.

On the inside, the Packers like to label their linebackers "mike" and "buck", but in large part those players remain on the left or right of the formation. That's what I've chosen to go with in this depth chart, though I admit that there is more nuance to the positions than that. Still, in the Eagles game, Clay Matthews' only preseason action, he lined up primarily at the left inside spot, with Barrington on the right. In the first two games, in which Matthews did not play, Barrington was in the left position, with Palmer on the right.

On the defensive line, Daniels is an easy projection as a starter, but who will play next to him is very much up in the air. For now, we think Raji gets the nod, but Pennel and others will be in the mix as well.

As it turns out, the starting lineup we have put together for the nickel defense is exactly the same as the one the Packers fielded to start the third preseason game against the Eagles. This was not a deliberate action, but it makes sense as the third game is when the starters tend to play the most snaps anyway.

Of course, all of this may be rendered meaningless when the team takes the field in Chicago on Sunday. But for now, we expect that the lineup you'll see for the first snaps at Soldier Field will look more like what you see in the latter half of this article than in the first table.