The Green Bay Packers are frequently one of the youngest teams in the NFL due to GM Ted Thompson’s draft-and-develop strategy. As such, there tends to be a great deal of roster turnover from one year to the next.
Even though the Packers have been a perennial playoff team — now making the postseason for an eighth straight season — there is still a large contingent of players who are on an active 53-man roster for the first time in the postseason.
Granted, the vast majority of those players are rookies; the team drafted seven players this spring and carries another large group of undrafted free agents on the 53-man roster as well. Still, there are three veterans making their first postseason appearances, and barring any roster moves this week, a total of 18 players will be on the roster for the first time in the playoffs.
There is also one player worthy of an honorable mention - he was on the active roster last season, but was a gameday inactive for both playoff games.
Here is the full list.
Draft Picks: DT Kenny Clark, OT Jason Spriggs, OLB Kyler Fackrell, ILB Blake Martinez, DE Dean Lowry, WR Trevor Davis, OT Kyle Murphy
Undrafted Free Agents: WR Geronimo Allison, S Kentrell Brice, QB Joe Callahan, CB Makinton Dorleant, S Marwin Evans, CB Josh Hawkins, FB Joe Kerridge
These fourteen players are all in their first years in the NFL, and therefore all are participating in the playoffs for the first time. None of these players were involved in the College Football Playoff in the FBS during their collegiate careers.
“First-Year Pros” (1)
DT Christian Ringo
Ringo was on the Packers’ practice squad for the entirety of last season, so despite being with the organization in 2015 during their two-game playoff run, he was not on the active roster.
P Jacob Schum, ILB Jordan Tripp, TE Jared Cook
Tripp’s first two years came with the Dolphins in 2014, who finished 8-8, and last year’s Jaguars, who went 5-11. Schum was with the 6-10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year.
Cook is of course the biggest name of this entire group. After spending seven years with the Titans and Rams, he finally is a member of a playoff team in Green Bay. Not only did Cook’s previous teams never make the playoffs — this is only his second season ever playing for a team that finished over .500. The only other such team was the 2011 Titans, who went 9-7 and lost out on the postseason due to a tiebreaker; they had lost head-to-head to the Cincinnati Bengals, who earned the 6th seed by virtue of that win.
Honorable Mention: QB Brett Hundley
Although Hundley was on the active 53-man roster for last year’s playoff games against Washington and Arizona, he was one of the team’s gameday inactives for both of those two games. He is not formally counted here since he was on the roster, but it bears mentioning anyway.
(Editor’s note: This article initially omitted punter Jacob Schum from the list and noted 17 players instead of 18. APC apologizes for the error.)