Acme Packing Company's 2016 preview continues with a look at the Green Bay Packers' 53-man roster. Today, the focus shifts to the inside linebackers, specifically which ones we expect to make the final cut.
On the roster
Starters: Jake Ryan, Sam Barrington
While Blake Martinez generated serious discussion about winning the starting job next to Jake Ryan during minicamp, the staff still believes Sam Barrington ultimately wins out. That places the Packers' two most experienced full-time inside linebackers on the field together when the team lines up in its base defense. However, Ryan should end up playing more snaps when the team shifts to nickel and sub packages.
Backups: Blake Martinez, Joe Thomas, Carl Bradford
Martinez may not win the starting job at the outset of the season, but he could push his way in via a strong showing as the team's top coverage linebacker. That would necessarily reduce the utility of Joe Thomas, who could become more of a special teamer as a result. Carl Bradford didn't missed the cut on several ballots, though he received enough votes to hang around for another year.
Missing the cut
Whether because the voters questioned Beniquez Browns' NFL readiness or due to the logjam at inside linebacker, Brown missed the cut in APC's projections.