The Green Bay Packers, like every other team in the NFL at this point in the offseason, have 90 players on their roster. Those 90 men have varying backgrounds, experience levels, and natural skillsets, but they can be defined into various strata of player.
Each year following the player acquisition phase of the offseason, Acme Packing Company conducts a ranking of the 90-man roster, based purely on the caliber of the players with no attention paid to positional value or value to the team. It’s an attempt to identify who the best players are on the roster regardless of position, and this year six of our contributors submitted rankings, which we have compiled into our master list.
Over the next week-plus, we will reveal the rankings ten at a time. Today we continue those rankings with spots 70-61.
#60: QB Tim Boyle
Highest ranking: 55
Lowest ranking: 89
When the Packers drafted Jordan Love, reporters could barely contain themselves over the prospect of interviewing Aaron Rodgers over some new competition. The man they should have been talking to was Boyle, the incumbent backup who likely saw his time with the Packers come to an end with the selection. The UConn product was always a project, and his appeal is based almost entirely on his enormous arm strength, but he hasn’t developed any of the finer skills of quarterbacking, and his limited opportunities in game action have exposed hims as the inaccurate, slow-read player he is.
Boyle is among the worst backups in the league, and unless his skills behind the clipboard greatly exceed his talent under center, there is no reason to keep him as a 3rd quarterback in this day and age. It’s unlikely he’ll catch on anywhere else.
#T-58: C/G Cole Madison
Highest Ranking: 51
Lowest Ranking: 66
Madison has run the gauntlet in terms of off-field trials. After the Packers used their 5th-round selection on him in 2018, he missed his entire rookie season with mental health issues. He returned for the 2019 season, but he was never active for any game and suffered a torn ACL in November, ending his season.
At this point, Madison is as close to a complete unknown as you can get. The pecking order on the Packer line has been relatively set in stone for years, and 2020 promises to be the first season in awhile where an unheralded player can move up in the rankings. There is opportunity here for Madison if he can pull it together, but there is plenty of competition as well.
#T-58 EDGE Jonathan Garvin
Highest Ranking: 54
Lowest Ranking: 66
If you like athletic but undersized late-round defensive ends, Garvin is your man. The 7th rounder out of Miami put up an impressive sophomore season in 2018 before losing out on some playing time to Greg Rousseau and his 15 sacks as a Junior. With his opportunities limited he decided to test the draft, but he fell all the way to the 7th, and the Packers.
Most 7th rounders have obvious flaws in their game, or their athletic profile, but with Garvin it really is just size, and a move to outside linebacker will make him a bigger player at that position. On a per play basis he was still very good as a Junior, and while his sack totals were never gaudy, he was constantly in the backfield and recorded a significant number of hits and pressures. He’s even halfway decent in pass coverage, and makes good use of his speed and agility in all aspects of defensive play. Late picks are usually more raw than Garvin, and all things considered, he actually has some polish to his game. He’s a fair bet to make the team, and don’t be too surprised if he ends up as a real contributor.
Jonathan Garvin is a DE prospect in the 2020 draft class out of Miami.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 9, 2020
He posted a great #RAS with good size, good speed, elite explosiveness, at the DE position.https://t.co/oG3l2TX3tD pic.twitter.com/ri2gGQmDh8
#57: S Vernon Scott
Highest Rank: 50
Lowest Rank - 72
While Garvin is your 7th round athlete, Vernon Scott is your scout’s project. Scott didn’t start until his senior season at TCU, and basically served time as a special teams gunner before that. He didn’t run at the combine and he didn’t have a pro day, meaning some scout saw something on tape that they liked.
Scott strikes me mostly as a try-hard guy with a solid work ethic who plays a decent safety, is a decent tackler, and can maybe take over in the slot in an emergency. With Amos and Savage entrenched as starters and the return of Raven Greene, along with a bevy of hybrid safety/slot corners, Scott has an uphill battle in front of him.
#56 TE Evan Baylis
Highest Ranking - 44
Lowest Ranking - 67
The Packers 4th tight end is strictly a blocker, but given Matt LaFleur’s propensity to use multiple TE sets, Baylis may still have a role. Never a special athlete, he lacks the speed, agility, and explosion to be anything other than a gimmick threat along the lines of how the team used Marcedes Lewis, and given that Lewis’ career is winding down, that role is Baylis’ key to continued employment.
That said, his blocking isn’t great, merely better than Tonyan and Sternberger, and while the tight end position is currently poor league-wide, you can find guys like Evan Baylis anywhere. He’s useful on special teams and he knows the system, but a step up from Sternberger will see him relegated there.
#55 OT Yosh Nijman
Highest Ranking - 48
Lowest Ranking - 62
There’s a good case to be made that Nijman is the best athlete on the Packers. It may sound crazy to praise a backups backup at tackle who spent most of 2019 on the practice squad with this label, however at the combine, Nijman put up elite numbers across the board except in the 3-cone, where he suffered a slip:
Issuing a correction, I had the broad wrong for Yosh Nijman, so here's the updated card.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 4, 2019
I also received his vert, which kept his score right where it was in elite range for #RAS. He reportedly improved his cone time significantly as well. pic.twitter.com/ouliSVLrVV
His pro-day RAS score, where he did not slip, was a perfect 10, and the best RAS in @Mathbomb’s database at the position. All Pro Day caveats apply, of course.
Nijman played much of his college career on the right side, though he did spent some time at left tackle and it’s pretty clear he is versatile enough to line up at either tackle spot. The knock on Nijman is twofold: He wasn’t on the field that much for Virginia Tech due to injuries, and as a result, his technique still needs work. As they say, you can’t coach speed, but you can coach almost everything else, and if the Packers can develop the kid, they’ll have an absolute steal.
#54 DE/DT Montravius Adams
Highest Ranking - 38
Lowest Ranking - 80
Adams enters the final year of his rookie contract enveloped in red flags. While he still occasionally flashes, that’s all he does, and all he has done his entire career. He’s a decent enough run-stuffer, but this is the NFL, and who cares? His motor is inconsistent and he’s not disruptive enough inside or out to matter. He’s in some ways a relic of a different, and worse era, as you will find two of his closest Mockdraftable comps to be Justin Harrell, and Khyri Thornton. Ted really had a type.
Adams also finds himself in trouble for a marijuana possession (among other minor) charge in Georgia. It’s the kind of small misdemeanor that would be overlooked in a second for a better player. With a player like Adams, it’s usually a sign of the end.
#53 LS Hunter Bradley
Highest Ranking - 40
Lowest Ranking - 59
Hunter Bradley is a fine long snapper. He snaps the ball fine, with velocity, and generally where it is supposed to be. Mason Crosby has had two of his better seasons, including his best one, with Bradley throwing it back, and once you have a guy you can trust at the position, you should hold onto him until he dies.
#52 C Jake Hanson
Highest Ranking - 47
Lowest Ranking - 58
The Packers 6th rounder out of Oregon, Hanson was a 4-year starter, twice earning second-team all conference honors. He didn’t test well at the combine outside of a truly impressive bench press, but he’s got a nasty streak, and Packer fans will surely give him the “workmanlike” and “lunchpail” labels in short order.
Hanson’s greatest skill has been simply staying on the field, and that, plus a little attitude, is occasionally enough as an NFL center.
#51 G Alex Light
Highest Ranking: 42
Lowest Ranking: 61
Light is a strange prospect across the board. Originally acquired as a UDFA out of Richmond in 2018, Light was outstanding in his explosion tests, but wretched in everything else. This is also exactly how he plays, occasionally staying with, and overpowering good defenders, but more often than not, just failing to get into the correct position, or just not quite recovering.
It’s also worth noting that in late 2018 Light was suspended one game for running afoul of the substance abuse policy. Light is fine as a backup, but he’s likely to be pushed in camp by the Packer’s late round selections on the line. He’s fine, and still relatively young, but at this point it’s pretty clear what they have in Light, and it’s not that hard to do better.