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2016 Packers Roster Predictions: Shields and Randall Lead a Strong Cornerback Corps

Shields and Randall head up a strong defensive backfield that will feature one undrafted rookie according to our projections.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-Rookie Minicamp Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers ranked sixth in the league in passing defense last year. One of the biggest reasons for this was the addition and immediate impact of several key rookies. Over the offseason, the Packers lost Casey Hayward, who was a fine slot cover corner, but they return the rest of the corps intact.

On The Roster

Starters: Sam Shields and Damarious Randall

These are the clear starters. Randall saw significant time last year and started in nine games. Both have good size and great ball skills. This is a formidable set of cornerbacks for the Packers base defense. Both have also demonstrated return ability once they have gotten their hands on the ball.

Backups: Quinten Rollins, LaDarius Gunter and Josh Hawkins

Rollins and Gunter are returning to the roster spots they secured last year. Both were unanimous in their selections by the APC staff. Rollins will see a great amount of playing time as the Packers are well known for their love of the nickel defense. Gunter will be the next man up in most scenarios. Josh Hawkins was the more interesting selection. Hawkins was given some benefit of the doubt as a sure tackler. Recent cornerback additions show a certain love for cornerbacks who can be tough and make sure tackles, and Hawkins’ good ball skills make him appealing as well.

Suspended: Demitri Goodson

Assuming he finds a way to hang around, Goodson will miss the first four games on a suspension for PED use. The Packers will have to make a roster decision when his suspension ends.

Missing The Cut

Robertson Daniel, Makinton Dorleant, Randall Jette, Warren Gatewood

Daniel had trouble getting on a practice squad after being cut by the Raiders last year, but did manage to make it on the the Packers 53 man roster for the team’s final playoff game after Davante Adams was placed on IR. Jette is just too slow and Gatewood was just added in mid-July to get the roster to 90 players. Dorleant has the athleticism, but he needs to add some bulk and also needs to spend a year learning the speed of the NFL.