In light of the NFL announcing its Top 100 Players of 2018 and with the Green Bay Packers finalizing their spring roster, Acme Packing Company is back this week to break down the team’s 90-man roster, player-by-player. Once again, here is our 90-Man Roster Ranking, this time for 2018.
The rankings are a composite of individual rankings from several APC contributors. Today we’re looking at players 41-50 and cross the halfway point of the rankings. There are some starters and a few looking to make some noise and earn their spots on the roster.
50. Kyler Fackrell, OLB
Drafted in the third round of 2016, the Packers are hoping that Fackrell makes a larger jump this season than from his rookie season to last season. In 16 games last season, Fackrell managed to get 3 sacks and 28 tackles. Fellow OLB Reggie Gilbert is expected to push Fackrell for snaps behind starter Nick Perry. If Fackrell doesn’t improve, he may not make the 53-man roster.
49. Jermaine Whitehead, S
Even with the departure of S Morgan Burnett, the Packers’ safety group is still fairly crowded with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice and Marwin Evans. Whitehead has spent the majority of his two-year NFL career on and off the Packers practice squad. He was able to reach the field last season and register 11 tackles.
48. Josh Hawkins, CB
An undrafted free agent out of East Carolina, Hawkins saw significant playing time last season when injuries began to pile up on the Packers secondary. In 15 games, he defended 6 passes, recorded 37 combined tackles, and forced one fumble. With the Packers drafting two rookie corners in Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, they’re undergoing sweeping changes to the position group. Hawkins is speedy and despite his up-and-down season last year, he could continue to move up the cornerback depth chart.
T-46. Lenzy Pipkins, CB
Pipkins is in a similar place to Hawkins in that he’ll have to contend with the rookie corners as the Packers overhaul the secondary. Pipkins flashed in limited playing time last year and was a First-Team All-Name player. In limited playing time, he was able to display a strong tackling ability recording 5 tackles in a Week 17 start.
T-46. Marwin Evans, S
The final undrafted defensive back in this group of rankings is the young safety from Utah State. He played primarily special teams in 16 games with the Packers and recorded 24 tackles over the season. A home-state kid, this third-year safety from Milwaukee will be battling the other young safeties for playing time. Evans allows for great safety depth and has good size, but like the other secondary positions, there’s competition for a reason.
T-44. Lucas Patrick, G
Patrick made two starts last season and allowed two sacks. Without Jahri Evans being re-signed, someone has to push into the starting right guard role. Justin McCray will likely get first crack at it, but Patrick could push him if he has a strong camp. This will only be Patrick’s second season on the roster if he makes the cut and it should be worth keeping him around at least for depth on the 53-man roster.
T-44. Trevor Davis, WR
The Packers made a point of adding weapons this off-season by signing veteran tight end Jimmy Graham and drafting three rookie wideouts. Trevor Davis produces primarily as a return man on special teams, but the Packers could look to others (like rookie Jaire Alexander) to return punts. Davis hasn’t shown enough as a weapon on offense to warrant keeping him on the roster if his kick return production is replaceable. The receiver battle will be one to watch all off-season.
43. Aaron Ripkowski, FB
Despite the fullback position fading away across the league, Ripkowski is still one of the best at the position. John Kuhn’s understudy is primarily used as a run blocker and pass blocker and he’ll likely be used as an extra blocker quite frequently this season without a solid blocking TE option. Rip is a fan-favorite and you should expect to see him paving the way for Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams this coming season.
42. Cole Madison, OL
Drafted in the 5th round of this 2018 draft, Madison will be competing to add depth to the offensive line. Madison played right tackle in college, but he can also slide in and play either guard position. A healthy Bryan Bulaga is the ideal situation for Green Bay, but having more insurance behind him is necessary. At 6’5”, 308 pounds, Madison has good athleticism and versatility playing in a spread offense at Washington State. Madison will have to be willing to learn his position, since spread offensive linemen have had a steep learning curve at the NFL level.
41. Kyle Murphy, T
Murphy ended the season on IR with a broken foot, but like Madison, he’ll be Bulaga insurance. Murphy has good hands quick feet and the confidence of the coaching staff to start and protect Rodgers. Murphy started the season opener in place of Bulaga last season, and also started the next two games at left tackle while David Bakhtiari recovered from an injury. It was after then that Murphy went down with a broken foot so it’s hard to gauge what Murphy’s impact was. If he continues on an upward trajectory, he could be a permanent fixture starting on the offensive line.