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2016 Packers roster predictions: Green Bay carries 3 tight ends in 2016

Acme Packing Company projects the Packers to retain three tight ends heading into 2016.

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

Acme Packing Company's 2016 preview continues with a look at the Green Bay Packers' 53-man roster. Today, the focus shifts to the tight ends, specifically which ones we expect to make the final cut.

On the roster

Starter: Jared Cook

A foot injury requiring surgery may have thrown a wrench into the Packers' offseason plans for Jared Cook, but he remains the odds-on favorite to secure the top spot at tight end. Cook's speed provides a dimension absent at the position since Jermichael Finley last graced a football field, and the team certainly hopes he can replicate some that magic with Aaron Rodgers throwing him passes.

Backups: Richard Rodgers, Justin Perillo

Even if Richard Rodgers ends up backing up Cook to begin the year, the third-year tight end should still have a sizeable role in the offense. His hands, the best on the team, make him an ideal red-zone target as well as a safety net on third down. Meanwhile, Justin Perillo should continue working as a blocker on offense and a contributor on special teams.

Missing the cut

Kennard Backman, Mitchell Henry, Casey Pierce

Kennard Backman and Mitchell Henry each intrigue the Packers, but neither possesses a trump-card trait at this point in their careers. Accordingly, though they should have highlight moments during the preseason, we project both missing the final cut. As for Casey Pierce, the competition at tight end appears too strong for him to battle his way onto the roster, though stranger things have happened.

Jason B. Hirschhorn is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and covers the NFL for Sports on Earth and SB Nation. He also serves as the senior writer and editor for Acme Packing Company, a Green Bay Packers blog.