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2019 Packers 90-man roster ranking, 90-86: Long-shot receivers and defensive backs vie for jobs

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Acme Packing Company begins its countdown of the Packers’ 90-man roster with players 90-86.

NCAA Football: DI Football Championship Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

With veteran free agency essentially concluded and the 2019 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, Acme Packing Company will once again rank and break down the Green Bay Packers’ 90-man roster.

These rankings represent a composite of the individual selections from several APC contributors. Today, we reveal players 90 through 86, a group comprised exclusively of undrafted free agents facing long odds of landing a spot on the Packers’ final roster or practice squad.

90: Nydair Rouse, CB

An undrafted prospect from West Chester University, Nydair Rouse had to battle his way onto the Packers’ 90-man roster as a tryout player. He apparently did enough during rookie minicamp to warrant a longer look. Rouse offers decent size for the cornerback position (5-foot-11, 188 pounds) and has experience playing in the box as an off-ball linebacker. Those traits profile as a potential contributor on special teams.

On paper, the Packers look fairly deep at corner, especially with Tramon Williams expected to shift back from safety. The numbers at the position limit Rouse’s opportunities for exposure, at least in the eyes of APC’s voters.

89: Larry Williams, OL

Unlike many of the other rookies ranked at the back of the roster, Larry Williams comes from a major college program. Williams appeared on track to become a multiyear starter for Oklahoma State before health issues intervened. A high-ankle sprain cost him the final eight games of 2016 and and an undisclosed injury ended his followup campaign on the eve of conference play. Williams finally enjoyed a healthy season in 2018, starting every game during the regular season before opting out of his team’s bowl game as he prepared for the draft.

As with Rouse, Williams faces a number crunch at his position. The Packers return four of their preferred starters and several top backups from a season ago, added multi-position blocker Billy Turner early in free agency, and selected Elgton Jenkins in the second round of the draft. Williams needs to climb quite far and avoid a repeat of his injury issues to have a fighting chance at a job with the team come September.

88: Darrius Shepherd, WR

Another tryout player that secured a contract, Darrius Shepherd stands out from his competition at his wide receiver. While the Packers list every other wideouts at 6-foot-1 or taller, Shepherd stands at just 5-foot-11. That comes as little surprise given general manager Brian Gutekunst’s preference for length at the position.

While height makes Shepherd an anomaly in Green Bay, it could work to his advantage if the Packers determine they need a more traditional slot receiver. He remains a long shot, however.

87: Kabion Ento, CB

As Kabion Ento adjusts to life in the NFL, he will also attempt to learn a new position. The 6-foot-1, 187-pound rookie played wide receiver during his time at Colorado, but his length and athleticism make him a more appealing prospect as a cornerback.

The Packers have invested time in time in undrafted receiver-to-corner converts before, striking gold with Sam Shields and employing Herb Waters for several years. Ento will need to quickly adapt to his new position while proving his receiver skill set can lead to takeaways.

86: Davis Koppenhaver, TE

Though far from a football power, Duke produced two NFL tight ends this year. Daniel Helm, the better athlete and more productive pass catcher, signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent. Meanwhile, the less physically gifted Davis Koppenhaver landed a deal with the Packers.

While Koppenhaver caught nearly half as many passes as his counterpart, he proved far mroe prolific in the red zone. In 2018, he hauled in seven touchdowns, among the highest marks of any tight end in college football. If Koppenhaver can showcase his nose for the end zone and establish himself as a blocker, perhaps Green Bay will give him a longer look than expected.