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2016 Packers roster predictions: Sam Barrington holds onto his starting job

Acme Packing Company projects five inside linebackers making the Packers' roster.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Chris Graythen/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 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

Beniquez Brown

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.

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.