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 the next two weeks, Acme Packing Company will break down the roster position-by-position and reveal our compiled predictions for the 53-man roster.
One year ago, the Packers seemingly dedicated themselves to not losing a promising young quarterback on waivers after final cuts. Although Mike McCarthy and Brian Gutekunst said that it did not affect their thought process in 2018, the loss of Taysom Hill to the Saints in 2017 seemed to weigh on them as they kept Tim Boyle on the 53 all year long following some impressive moments in training camp.
Enter Matt LaFleur and an almost-entirely new coaching staff, which will bring fresh sets of eyes and new perspectives to the Packers’ roster. This year, APC bets that the team keeps just two signal-callers on the 53 to start the year, which was a unanimous prediction by our ten contributing writers who participated in our annual roster predictions.
Here’s how we see the quarterback room breaking down once final cuts come out on August 31st.
Starter: Aaron Rodgers
There’s nothing worth saying here. Moving on.
Backup: DeShone Kizer
For nine of APC’s ten contributors, Kizer was the pick as the backup quarterback, with Tim Boyle getting a single vote. Kizer’s size and mobility still make him an intriguing player, and his connection with LaFleur could help him earn some extra points. His ceiling is higher than either of the other two quarterbacks, to be sure; that has earned him more opportunities in the past, and we believe he will end up being the best option of the three at the end of August.
Released: Tim Boyle, Manny Wilkins
While Kizer was the pick for nine out of ten contributors, there was one unanimous decision: the Packers will not and cannot keep more than two quarterbacks on the roster. Thus, Boyle and Wilkins get chopped.
Mike McCarthy seemed to love Boyle’s arm, leading to him sticking around last year. With no personal investment in him, we’re betting that Matt LaFleur does not keep him for a second season. Wilkins seems like a perfect practice squad candidate though, as he could use some time to bulk up and learn the NFL game before being groomed as a potential backup in future years.