Acme Packing Company's ranking of the Green Bay Packers' 90-man offseason roster continues today. In this latest installment, we begin to see players with relatively clear paths towards a spot on the final roster or a priority selection for the practice squad.
For those just catching on, five APC writers ranked the players from No. 1 through No. 88, with the resulting list representing a composite ranking.
As usual, keep in mind that the list does not necessarily reflect how the staff expects to the final 53-man roster to look, but rather how each player ranks against one another at the present time. With five weeks of training camp and the preseason on the horizon, the order could and likely will shift later on.
With those disclaimers out of the way, we continue the countdown with players 60 through 51.
60. Mitchell Henry - TE
Owner of one of the better nicknames on the roster -- "The Noodler" for his bare-hands style of catfish fishing -- Mitchell Henry barely missed the final cut during the final cutdown last September. When the Packers attempted to stash him on their practice squad, he found a better opportunity on the Denver Broncos 53-man roster. Fortunately for Green Bay, Henry became available again six weeks later, finally arriving on the Packers practice squad and remaining there for the rest of 2015. Now, he gets his chance to battle Justin Perillo and Kennard Backman for the third and likely last roster spot among the tight ends.
59. Carl Bradford - ILB
Carl Bradford's potential and little else has kept him in Green Bay over the past two seasons. The Packers envisioned Bradford as a strongside edge rusher when they first selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. However, his ineffective play forced the team to pivot near the end of his first preseason, sliding him inside as an off-ball linebacker. Still only 23, Bradford's power and instincts need to finally manifest on the football field for him to earn a roster spot for a third year, a dicey proposition based on his track record to date.
58. Don Barclay - OL
A myriad of forces worked against Don Barclay last season, nearly leading to his exile from Green Bay. Only a year removed from an ACL tear heading into 2015, Barclay lacked the bend and shiftiness that allowed him to start 18 games over his first two seasons. Additionally, the coaching staff consistently played him out of position, lining him up at left tackle where opposing defenses could easily expose his speed and length limitations. That shouldn't happen again in 2016, though Barclay must now fend off established "sixth man" JC Tretter, the recently extended Lane Taylor, and a tandem of drafted offensive linemen for a reserve job. Injuries could simplify Barclay's path to a roster spot, but it still appears challenging.
57. Josh Walker - OL
Like Barclay, Josh Walker lined up in a number of spots for an injury depleted offensive line last year, his first with the Packers. Walker struggled when forced to protect the blindside, but performed reasonably well at guard. With more depth behind both tackle spots heading into 2016, Walker can focus on mastering the interior.
56. Matt Rotheram - OL
Signed as an undrafted free agent shortly after the 2015 NFL Draft, Matt Rotheram spent training camp and the preseason working between tackle and guard. The plan for him has shifted this year, with Rotheram taking a considerable amount of reps at center. He remains a project, but one offering considerable versatility and starting potential down the line.
55. Justin Perillo - TE
Justin Perillo makes few big plays and possesses only average size for a tight end. His value comes from what he offers that the other players at his position mostly cannot. Perillo blocks better than any other tight end on the Packers roster and has become a key piece of the special teams units. That doesn't guarantee him spot on the roster, but it provides a solid chance.
54. Kennard Backman - TE
Whether on offense or special teams, Kennard Backman appeared completely out of his depth throughout his rookie season. Green Bay simply couldn't play him without risking a bungled assignment or physical mistake, both of which occurred during his very limited exposure last year. Still, Backman possesses tremendous speed and potential as a receiver, and could become a difference maker once he sorts out the offense. With a full offseason under his belt, Year 2 could see him take the leap and become the player the Packers envisioned when they drafted him.
53. Joe Thomas - ILB
Picked up off the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad following Sam Barrington's season-ending foot injury, Joe Thomas immediately became the Packers' dime linebacker, primarily a coverage position. He performed well enough in that role to maintain it throughout the year, though the team had no realistic alternative. Now, with rookie Blake Martinez providing real competition, Thomas needs a strong showing to save his job.
52. Tim Masthay - P
In the most literal sense, Tim Masthay had a record-setting 2015 campaign. He broke a decades-old team mark for net punting average, beating Jerry Norton's 39.2-yard net by a full yard.
At the same time, Masthay ranked just 23rd in the league in preventing touchbacks and 31st in inside-the-20 rate.
Those numbers largely inform why the Packers brought in Peter Mortell to challenge for the punting job. Masthay still has the inside track, but a bad preseason showing or two could doom his chance of securing a seventh year in Green Bay.
51. Rick Lovato - LS
Long snapper had been an afterthought in Green Bay. Rob Davis locked down the position from 1997 through 2007, with Brett Good succeeding him in 2008. Goode seemed likely to continue long snapping for the Packers for the rest of his career until he tore an ACL against the Oakland Raiders late last year. The team quickly scrambled and signed Rick Lovato, who like his predecessors handled his business without concern or interruption of normal football activity. Goode could still return once his knee fully recovers, but at this time it seems Lovato has the job for the foreseeable future.