Minicamp gave us the first look at this new Green Bay Packers roster, despite the fact that practices were in shorts and shirts. Useful information can come from minicamp, like noticing who is rotating in with the first team, who is playing special teams, or which player steps in for an injured or absent player. With the new context of what we have learned over minicamp, we’re going to try our best to project the Packers’ final roster as it appears to be trending today.
Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love
If we’re under the assumption that Aaron Rodgers’ former teammate James Jones is correct that Rodgers will be back for training camp, there’s no reason, outside of injury, for the Packers to split the in-season reps in their quarterback room more than just between Rodgers and Love.
Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Kylin Hill
When asked about his running back room post-practice, Packers running backs coach Ben Sirmans made it clear that competition between three backs, Kylin Hill, Patrick Taylor and Dexter Williams, will decide who is going to be this team’s RB3. At this point, I’m willing to give Hill the nod based on the fact that he is a rookie draft pick, but expect this to be one of the tightest-contested battles for a roster spot throughout the summer.
Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Devin Funchess, Amari Rodgers, Equanimeaous St. Brown, Malik Taylor
It may be tough for the Packers to actually roster seven wide receivers in Week 1, but it’s tough to envision them cutting a single one of these receivers at this point. For example, Equanimeaous St. Brown saw playoff touches last season and has the speed to replace Tyler Ervin on jet sweeps when the team needs lateral speed. Without ESB or Malik Taylor, who is starting as a punt gunner on special teams currently, the Packers wouldn’t have 4.4 speed at the position, should Marquez Valdes-Scantling miss time. Speed: It’s a motivator.
Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Dominique Dafney, [Jace Sternberger]
The recent suspension of Jace Sternberger, a former third-round pick who will not count against the Packers’ roster until Week 3 of the regular season, opens an extra spot on Green Bay’s 53 for the first two weeks of the season. Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis and Josiah Deguara are virtual locks to make the roster but don’t be surprised if Dominique Dafney, as close to a true fullback as the Packers have under contract, also sneaks in at the back end of the roster.
David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Lucas Patrick, Billy Turner, Ben Braden, Royce Newman, Jon Runyan
With left tackle David Bakhtiari still rehabbing a knee injury and Elgton Jenkins in COVID protocol, the Packers rotated in Ben Braden (left and right tackle), Royce Newman (left guard, right guard and right tackle) and Jon Runyan (left guard) with the first-team offense in minicamp. With the likes of Cole Van Lanen, Yoshua Nijman, Simon Stepanik and Jake Hanson presumably on the outside looking in, this is one of the deepest positions in Packers camp currently. Do not be surprised if Green Bay is able to turn a player slated to be released into a draft pick as cutdown days approach.
Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Tyler Lancaster, Tedarrell Slaton
While the offensive line is extremely deep in Green Bay, the defensive line might be their thinnest room in the building. Currently, the only players listed at 300 pounds are Kenny Clark, Tyler Lancaster, rookie draft pick Tedarrell Slaton and undrafted rookie Jack Heflin. The defensive line could be the next position where the Packers add a late veteran presence this offseason unless a low-investment player like Heflin shows promise in the preseason.
Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Jonathan Garvin
When Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith missed practice due to COVID protocol, Rashan Gary (no surprise) and Jonathan Garvin were starting outside linebackers for the first-team defense. Garvin, a 2020 seventh-rounder who saw action in eight games as a rookie and recorded just four tackles, may not be who the Packers want to start if they sustain two injuries at the position in-season. Like the defensive line, the outside linebacker room is a little light and could be a position where Green Bay adds competition this summer.
Kyrs Barnes, Kamal Martin, De’Vondre Campbell, Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Randy Ramsey
While Kyrs Barnes, Kamal Martin and the newly-signed De’Vondre Campbell seem to be competing for two starting inside linebacker spots, it’s worth noting that Oren Burks, Ty Summers and Randy Ramsey were three of four players on the Packers roster who played over 200 snaps of special teams last season, more than kicker Mason Crosby or punter JK Scott. For rookie sixth-round pick Isaiah McDuffie to make the final roster, he’s going to have to show that he can contribute on special teams at a high enough clip to keep Burks, Summers, and/or Ramsey off of the field.
Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Eric Stokes, Chandon Sullivan, Ka’dar Hollman, Josh Jackson, Kabion Ento
In the secondary, Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, rookie first-rounder Eric Stokes and Chandon Sullivan, who is still rotating in and out of the lineup as a slotback, are virtual locks to make the team. Ka’Dar Hollman ranked seventh among Packers in special teams snaps last season, the third-most among defensive backs, and first-most among cornerbacks. Josh Jackson played roughly a third of the team’s defensive snaps last year and has recorded 15 starts over three seasons. Kabion Ento, who is seeing first-team punt gunner reps, rounds out the cornerback group.
Darnell Savage, Adrian Amos, Will Redmond, Vernon Scott
On paper, Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos are the starting safeties in Green Bay. With that being said, both Savage and Will Redmond saw nickelback snaps with the first-team defense in minicamp, opening a path for three safety starters, depending on how the defense wants to gameplan offensive matchups. Redmond and Vernon Scott also contribute heavily on special teams, where they ranked third and fifth, respectively, in snaps last season.
Kicker Mason Crosby, punter JK Scott and long snapper Hunter Bradley
While minicamp provided some clarity on the construction of this year’s Packers roster, there are still plenty of questions to be answered. Who is going to win the RB3 battle and make the team? Can the Packers really roster seven receivers? Will they add depth on the defensive line and at outside linebacker? Can Day 3 rookies Shemar Jean-Charles, Cole Van Lanen, Isaiah McDuffie and Kylin Hill make up ground to stick on Green Bay’s final roster?
We have a long summer ahead of us, but at least we know which questions to ask now.