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2017 Packers 53-man roster prediction: Questions remain after preseason

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Who makes the squad? APC’s editors make their picks.

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

With the preseason finally behind us and the Green Bay Packers preparing to make their final cuts to reach a 53-man roster, it’s time for us to give our final predictions for what that roster will look like as of 4:00 PM Eastern Time on Saturday.

That roster will hardly be the final one, as there is a good chance that the Packers make some adjustments after other teams’ cuts come down; in fact, we discuss a few of those potential moves here.

Without further ado, here are the predictions from APC’s Evan “Tex” Western and Jason B. Hirschhorn.

Quarterbacks

Tex (2): Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley
Jason (2): Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley

Both Jason and I have stuck to our arguments for Taysom Hill over Joe Callahan as the QB3 throughout training camp, and the BYU product certainly played better in the preseason. However, neither of us see him doing enough to warrant a spot on the 53, and we instead think the team will try to get him on to the practice squad.

Running Backs

Tex (5): Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Devante Mays, Aaron Ripkowski
Jason (4): Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Aaron Ripkowski

The question here for us is mainly around numbers. Can the Packers afford to keep four tailbacks or two fullbacks? I see them holding on to an extra at one position, but not both, and my bet is that Mays has shown enough in camp to grab a spot.

Wide Receivers

Tex (6): Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis, DeAngelo Yancey
Jason (6): Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis, DeAngelo Yancey

Suspended: Geronimo Allison

We’re on the same page here. The Packers rarely cut a draft pick as a rookie unless they were taken in round seven, and that is what gets Yancey on the team. This year could be a different story, as McCaffrey has looked like the more productive player, but we’re talking about the seventh wideout on the team once Allison returns. I actually think McCaffrey could end up on the 53 a day or two after final cuts, because I think the team will make room by placing DL Montravius Adams on injured reserve. In that case, though, McCaffrey would still be the one released to make room for Allison in week two, barring any injuries at the position.

And no, Michael Clark is not making the 53.

Tight Ends

Tex (3): Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks, Richard Rodgers
Jason (3): Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks, Richard Rodgers

It has been the same since the start of camp, and there’s no reason to change this prediction now.

Offensive Line

Tex (8): David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Jahri Evans, Bryan Bulaga, Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy, Don Barclay
Jason (8): David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Jahri Evans, Bryan Bulaga, Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy, Don Barclay

With the struggles of the backup line, nobody has given the Packers a reason to keep them around besides the team’s draft investment. Barclay could feasibly return for week one to back up all three interior spots, and it’s certainly a possibility that the Packers look to other teams’ cuts for someone who could pitch in with a little extra depth on the line.

Defensive Line

Tex (6): Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Ricky Jean Francois, Montravius Adams, Christian Ringo
Jason (6): Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Ricky Jean Francois, Montravius Adams, Brian Price

I think there is a chance that the Packers will gamble on Ringo and Brian Price clearing waivers. That would allow them to put Adams on injured reserve and give the team the ability to make him a “designated for return” player and bring him back later on in the season. However, I think they instead gamble with McCaffrey at wide receiver, adding him back to the 53 in Adams’ place if he clears waivers. All told, we're split on who has had the better camp, but we each still kept six.

(Note: this article originally and mistakenly listed Ringo as the sixth pick for both Tex and Jason. This was an error and has since been rectified.)

Outside Linebackers

Tex (6): Nick Perry, Clay Matthews, Ahmad Brooks, Kyler Fackrell, Jayrone Elliott, Reggie Gilbert
Jason (6): Nick Perry, Clay Matthews, Ahmad Brooks, Kyler Fackrell, Jayrone Elliott, Vince Biegel

The one difference here is whether Biegel lands on the PUP list. With Brooks in the fold, the Packers won’t need to rush him back and I think they can instead hold on to Gilbert on the 53. Jason sees Biegel getting cleared sooner rather than later.

Inside Linebackers

Tex (3): Jake Ryan, Joe Thomas, Blake Martinez
Jason (4): Jake Ryan, Joe Thomas, Blake Martinez, Jordan Tripp

The Tripp injury is concerning to me, and considering that the team intends to use Morgan Burnett and Josh Jones in the Nitro package, they can get by just fine with three. If Tripp isn’t hurt too badly, he would still be a candidate for a major role on special teams.

Cornerbacks

Tex (6): Davon House, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, Kevin King, LaDarius Gunter, Josh Hawkins
Jason (6): Davon House, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, Kevin King, LaDarius Gunter, Josh Hawkins

Before Thursday’s game, I had Lenzy Pipkins in over Gunter, but I was not impressed with Pipkins’ play while Gunter had a pick and a sack (though admittedly, both were gifted to him by the Rams). Still, Gunter (and even Donatello Brown) made plays while Pipkins didn’t. That’s enough to get the sixth spot at this point.

Safeties

Tex (5): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Morgan Burnett, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice, Marwin Evans
Jason (5): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Morgan Burnett, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice, Marwin Evans

No surprises here. Brice and Evans have done more than enough this summer to show that they deserve to be on the roster for a second straight season.

Specialists

Tex (3): Mason Crosby, Brett Goode, Justin Vogel
Jason (3): Mason Crosby, Brett Goode, Justin Vogel

Vogel locked up the punting job with a very solid performance on Thursday night. Meanwhile, Goode won the long-snapping job earlier this week.