With veteran free agency essentially concluded and the 2019 NFL Draft in the rear-view 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 35 through 31, a group that is...kinda weird?
35. Oren Burks
Burks suffered a lost season in 2018. While he was active for 14 games, he was bothered by a shoulder injury for much of it, and he was completely ineffective. Burks is undersized for a linebacker, and while he is a superior athlete, that lack if size raises concerns about his durability.
He was a high draft pick, and he will certainly get his chances, and he flashed ability in the 2018 preseason, but it’s not a good sign that Burks was not able to play through injuries last season given the general nature of football. If he’s right, he can be a terror under Pettine, but he’s not off to a great start. That potential will have to show up soon, because potential is all he’s got.
34. Josh Jones
Where to even start with Josh Jones, who recently demanded a trade? Jones is another extremely athletic player with questionable football IQ and no natural position. Jones is stuck in that dime linebacker mold, and didn’t exactly stand out playing that or any other position. To add insult to injury, he had a bad habit of finding himself offsides on kickoffs.
Jones may want a trade, and he may get one, but he doesn’t have a ton of leverage outside of becoming a nuisance, and that’s a double-edged sword, as it makes one less marketable. Jones may get his wish, but he’s going to need to perform quickly if he’s going to stick, as troublemakers dealt away at bargain prices get far shorter leashes than 2nd round picks.
33. Jace Sternberger
In a top-heavy tight end draft, Sternberger represents the best of the rest. He’s not the specimen like Noah Fant or TJ Hockenson, but he’s a fair receiver and has some nice route-running chops.
He’s also, like all current Packer tight ends, an odd choice for Matt LaFleur’s offense. Sternberger can get pushed around on his blocking assignments, and when he’s in the game, his use is telegraphed. He’s young, and he can improve in this facet of the game, but if you’re looking for immediate impact from the rookie, check your expectations. He’ll likely spend the year behind Graham, Lewis, and Tonyan, and that fact in and of itself makes his selection in the 3rd round, somewhat curious.
T-31. Tyler Lancaster
The Northwestern product managed to work his way up from the practice squad into a perfectly passable member of the defensive line. Lancaster showed enough to make some of the depth on the team nervous, and received ample playing time as the defensive line cycled through injury replacements.
Lancaster is still a project, and there’s a no guarantee a player with his pedigree even makes the team, but once a guy like this this sticks once, he tends to stick for awhile.
31. Mason Crosby
Crosby will be 35 this season, and he’s seen a noticeable decline in his field goal percentage two straight years. He’s never had the strongest leg, and no one has benefited more from modern kickoff rules than Mason, who may be unrosterable without them. He’s probably approaching that level more quickly than people think.
Crosby is a free agent at season’s end and it’s an open question as to whether this will be his swan song. A popular locker room presence and friends with the right people, the expectation for Crosby is mediocrity. If he meets that, he can go out a Packer hero.