In 2019, the Green Bay Packers’ roster looks very different from how it appeared at the end of the 2018 season. A large group of free agents, draft picks, and undrafted rookies will come to training camp to challenge for roster spots and a role on the team’s regular season 53-man roster. Over two weeks, Acme Packing Company will break down the roster position-by-position and reveal our compiled predictions for the 53-man roster.
With one specialist job up for grabs this summer, Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga can focus primarily on figuring out the players who will line up on his coverage and return units. However, there is a significant competition set to kick off on Thursday, as Mason Crosby and Sam Ficken will go head-to-head over the next month.
Here are APC’s predictions for which specialists will make the Packers’ 53-man roster at the end of camp.
Starters: Mason Crosby (K), JK Scott (P), Hunter Bradley (LS)
Scott and Bradley are working unopposed for their respective jobs this year, so the predictions at punter and long snapper were unanimous.
As for the kicking job, APC simply can’t shake the feeling that Crosby wins the job and plays out the final year of his contract in Green Bay. There is potential for a change this year, and Ficken represents the first true competition that Crosby has seen since fending off Georgio Tavecchio in 2013’s training camp.
Although a few writers — three to be exact — predicted a change at kicker with Ficken winning the job, seven stuck with Crosby for 2019
Released: Sam Ficken (K)
As mentioned above, APC just doesn’t quite have enough faith in Ficken to predict him beating Crosby for the job. Perhaps it’s his 5-for-8 mark on field goals in his NFL career or his 72 percent hit rate in college. Perhaps it’s the comfort of sticking with the incumbent.
Or perhaps it’s the fact that the last time Crosby had training camp competition, he responded with the best season of his career, going 33-for-37 on field goals and a perfect 42-for-42 on PATs.
Whatever the reason, Ficken still has a tough challenge ahead of him, and APC as a whole can’t quite find the gumption to pick him to win the job.