Everyone and their mother has a 53-man roster projection up right now. I don’t really blame them, either, because of this odd dead period between the end of the preseason and the start of cuts. According to Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, the team is not expected to begin waiving players until deadline day, meaning that we’re still over 24 hours from an ounce of news trickling out.
What fills that void? 53-man roster projections, baby. In total, I found nine Packers roster projections — shamelessly, including my own — that I’m going to share with you today. In an effort to boil down these articles into clearer, cleaner predictions, it’s worth noting that all nine of these projections had 46 players in common. That’s right, we’re all just arguing about the final seven spots on the team. Many of these players will eventually be healthy scratches for the Packers, who are only allowed to dress down 47 members of their active roster on game days.
Below are the 46 players that are consensus picks to be “roster locks” heading into Tuesday’s cutdown deadline:
- QB: Jordan Love and Sean Clifford (2)
- RB: Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon (2)
- WR: Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed, Malik Heath and Dontayvion Wicks (5)
- TE/FB: Luke Musgrave, Josiah Deguara and Tucker Kraft (3)
- OL: David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan Jr., Zach Tom, Rasheed Walker, Yosh Nijman, Sean Rhyan and Caleb Jones (9)
- DL: Kenny Clark, Devonte Wyatt, T.J. Slaton, Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks (5)
- OLB: Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Kingsley Enagbare, Lukas Van Ness and Justin Hollins (5)
- ILB: De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker and Eric Wilson (3)
- CB: Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, Keisean Nixon and Carrington Valentine (4)
- SAF: Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford, Jonathan Owens, Anthony Johnson Jr. and Dallin Leavitt (5)
- K: Anders Carlson (1)
- P: Pat O’Donnell (1)
- LS: Matt Orzech (1)
Here are the players that vary, the non-consensus selections who were projected to make the active roster on at least one of the nine articles. They are listed below, in order of how many final rosters they were included in out of the nine that were observed:
- 8: WR Samori Toure, OLB Brenton Cox Jr. and ILB Isaiah McDuffie
- 5: WR Grant DuBose, DL Jonathan Ford, ILB Tariq Carpenter, CB Corey Ballentine and SAF Tarvarius Moore
- 4: RB Patrick Taylor
- 3: TE Austin Allen and OL Royce Newman
- 2: CB Innis Gaines
- 1: FB Henry Pearson and ILB Arron Mosby
Let’s take a look at each of these roster predictions, in order of the furthest from the consensus to the closest to the consensus. We’ll weight these projections by attributing a number to each of the seven non-consensus players who were selected. For example, receiver Samori Toure would be worth eight points, while fullback Henry Pearson would only be worth one.
Consensus Score: 34 of 44
This was by far the most unique prediction out of the bunch. No one else had inside linebacker Isaiah McDuffie, who started for the team in the last two preseason games of the summer as De’Vondre Campbell’s injury replacement, getting cut. Robin Adams was also the only writer who had outside linebacker Arron Mosby, a special teams-only player, making the team. If he’s right, he deserves some applause for sticking his neck out there.
Consensus Score: 35 of 44
Hey, that’s me. My prediction comes second to last on this list, mostly for two choices. The first is excluding outside linebacker Brenton Cox Jr., who made everyone else’s roster. I just can’t see the team keeping a sixth outside linebacker who doesn’t contribute significantly on special teams. The second is having fullback Henry Pearson make the team. Pearson was all over special teams in Week 2 of the preseason, but then injured himself during action. Depending on his health, I could end up with some egg on my face.
Consensus Score: 36 of 44
Jacob Westendorf was the only writer who excluded receiver Samori Toure from his ballot, which docked him in the consensus rankings. The two surprises that he included on his team were tight end Austin Allen and slot cornerback Innis Gaines, who got in over cornerback Corey Ballentine and safety Tarvarius Moore.
Consensus Score(s): 41 of 44
All three of these predictions are tied for fourth by our weighted consensus score.
Zach Kruse, Paul Bretl and Evan Winter all have receiver Samori Toure, outside linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. and inside linebacker Isaiah McDuffie making the team, the three top vote earners who weren’t unanimously picked to be on the 53-man roster.
Kruse ended up keeping receiver Grant DuBose, cornerback Corey Ballentine, running back Patrick Taylor and offensive lineman Royce Newman. Bretl kept DuBose, defensive lineman Jonathan Ford, safety Tarvarius Moore and cornerback Innis Gaines. Winter kept Taylor, Moore, inside linebacker Tariq Carpenter and tight end Austin Allen. These predictions aren’t total chalk, but it’s hard to call them spicy, either.
Consensus Score: 42 of 44
Zachary Jacobson only went off chalk to pick offensive lineman Royce Newman to make the team over inside linebacker Tariq Carpenter or cornerback Corey Ballentine, who each received five votes to make the 53-man roster to Newman’s three.
Consensus Score: 43 of 44
Freddie Boston almost took the title here, with the most off-chalk selection of his being running back Patrick Taylor making the final roster over receiver Grant DuBose and safety Tarvarius Moore. Taylor received one fewer vote than DuBose or Moore, which ended up being the difference between the most and second-most chalk selections that we found.
Consensus Score: 44 of 44
Our winner here is Matt Schneidman, the only writer who selected seven players who were picked to make the team in at least five of these projections. Receiver Samori Toure, outside linebacker Brenton Cox Jr., inside linebacker Isaiah McDuffie, receiver Grant DuBose, inside linebacker Tariq Carpenter, cornerback Corey Ballentine and safety Tarvarius Moore rounded out the bottom of his roster. The odd man out was defensive lineman Jonathan Ford, who like Carpenter, Ballentine and Moore, was predicted to make the team in five of the nine projections.
This has happened to the best of us.