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.
Today we continue our countdown with players ranked 50th through 41st.
#50: CB Stanford Samuels III
Highest ranking: 37
Lowest ranking: 56
The highest-ranked undrafted rookie on this list is Samuels, a tough corner with good numbers in the ACC over the past three seasons. Samuels fell to undrafted status in large part because of a poor 40-yard dash at the 2020 Combine, a 4.65-second time he blamed on dead legs from a medical stress test in Indy. Before that time, however, he was seen as a possible fringe top-100 pick who likely would have gone off the board early on day three.
Instead, Samuels’ slip is the Packers’ gain, as they grabbed a player who has a chance to prove the doubters — and his time — wrong. In addition, Samuels has both versatility (playing free safety in 2018) and scheme fit from Florida State’s press-man defense working in his favor.
#49: CB Josh Jackson
Highest ranking: 33
Lowest ranking: 69
While Samuels played in a press scheme in college, Jackson was in Iowa’s zone-heavy defense, and still has yet to find a way onto the field with consistency heading into his third year with the Packers. Once viewed as a tremendous value as a second-round pick, Jackson played just 103 defensive snaps a year ago, instead being used primarily as a special teamer. And when he was on the field, it wasn’t pretty — he allowed completions on six of seven targets for 63 yards and a touchdown, good for a passer rating allowed of 143.7.
Now in make-or-break time in year three, Jackson must find a way to show that he can play man coverage and make an impact in training camp, or he could be on his way out, either via cut or trade.
#48: P JK Scott
Highest ranking: 33
Lowest ranking: 72
Another third-year player, Scott was a fifth-round draft pick out of Alabama in 2018. The tall, lanky punter had an acceptable rookie year that season, but struggled with his placement and directional punting. His 44.7 gross average belied a 39.3-yard net average. 2019 saw him improve in some areas, hitting ten more punts inside the 20-yard line. Although his gross average dropped to 44.0, his net improved to 39.9.
Scott also has had a pair of special teams coordinators who messed with his fundamentals. When asked to simply bomb away in college, Scott did just that. Hopefully Shawn Mennenga will stop trying to change Scott’s mechanics in their second year together so he can show off the leg that crushed a 48-yard average as a college freshman.
#47: LB Kamal Martin
Highest ranking: 40
Lowest ranking: 51
The Packers think they got a steal in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by selecting Martin, an instinctive linebacker from Minnesota. Martin suffered a knee injury late in 2019 that cost him five games, but he was highly productive when on the field; Martin picked off two passes and forced a pair of fumbles in eight games. He was unable to test at the 2020 NFL Combine, but should be fully healthy for training camp.
A former high school quarterback, Martin almost played that position at Eastern Michigan before earning a scholarship offer from Minnesota at linebacker. He also has some experience playing on the edge, suggesting a bit of pass-rush ability from the inside linebacker spot. He should compete for a special teams spot immediately with the possibility of playing on defense in a rotational capacity in year one.
#46: WR Reggie Begelton
Highest ranking: 30
Lowest ranking: 57
After walking on at Lamar University in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, Begelton became the college’s top receiver in history. He eventually caught on with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders, where he posted a tremendous 2019 season. Begelton was rightfully named a CFL All-Star after posting 1,444 yards and ten touchdowns on 102 receptions.
Though he does not possess exceptional size or speed, Begelton is still a good if not great athlete, and his mental acumen has earned strong praise from Matt LaFleur. The head coach said that Begelton has been regularly posting the highest scores among the wideout group in the team’s quizzes about the playbook this offseason. Begelton could be a candidate to earn snaps, particularly in the slot, if he makes the 53 this fall.
#45: CB Ka’Dar Hollman
Highest ranking: 26
Lowest ranking: 69
A sixth-round draft pick in 2019, Hollman was only active for four games as a rookie and played jut 33 snaps, all on special teams. However, an exceptional Pro Day workout and a tenacious press-man attitude should put him in the running for a rotational job at cornerback as a second-year pro.
Between his 4.38-second 40, 38.5-inch vertical, and 6.81-second cone drill, Hollman has all the movement traits you could look for in a cornerback. Now it’s time for him to take the next step and show that he deserves playing time.
T-#43: LB Curtis Bolton
Highest ranking: 35
Lowest ranking: 64
T-#43: LB Ty Summers
Highest ranking: 39
Lowest ranking: 46
It’s somehow fitting that these two inside linebackers are tied for the same spot at 43. In 2019, Summers was a seventh-round draft pick while Bolton was one of the crown jewels of the undrafted free agent class. Both impressed in the preseason last year after Oren Burks’ injury, but disappeared on defense in the regular season, though for different reasons. Summers became a special teams-only player once week one arrived, while Bolton landed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL in the Packers’ costly preseason game in Winnipeg.
In 2020, both players hope to carve out a role for themselves on defense. Bolton’s game appears to be more suited to playing the Will linebacker spot often occupied by a safety in the Packers’ defense, given his coverage acumen, likely leaving Summers as a primary backup to Christian Kirksey. However, both will be in a tight battle for reps and a primary reserve role in camp.
#42: DT Treyvon Hester
Highest ranking: 31
Lowest ranking: 54
A late addition to the roster in May, Hester enters his fourth NFL season after bouncing around to a different team in each of his first three. Originally a seventh-round draft pick of the Raiders in 2017, he played in 14 games that year, starting one, while lining up on 33% of the Raiders’ snaps. 2018 saw him in Philadelphia, where he earned an overall grade of 89.7 from Pro Football Focus and landed on the site’s list of second-year standouts.
But in 2019, Hester was on the move again, being released at final cuts and landing with Washington. He again played a reserve role and suited up for 15 games, but rarely saw the field with just 132 defensive snaps. Now with the Packers, Hester has a chance to compete for a reserve role behind the likes of Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry.
#41: OL Jon Runyan, Jr.
Highest ranking: 36
Lowest ranking: 58
The first of the Packers’ three offensive linemen drafted in the sixth round of the 2020 draft, Runyan comes with a strong pedigree — being the son of a ten-year NFL starter — and arguably the best resume of the three. As Michigan’s left tackle for the past few years, he held up well against the likes of #2 overall pick Chase Young.
Runyan has the best athletic profile of the three sixth-rounders as well, In Green Bay, Runyan will likely move inside to guard or center, but projects as a high-ceiling protector who may be able to move into a starting spot down the line. Don’t be surprised if he trains a bit at right tackle as well and earns a chance to be the team’s swing backup ahead of Alex Light in 2020.