Now that the Green Bay Packers have wrapped up the 2017 NFL Draft and rookie minicamp, the team has finalized its 90-man roster heading into the start of OTAs. The Acme Packing Company writing staff has ranked the players in terms of the players’ overall talent levels and likelihoods to make an impact in Green Bay. We will present the single compiled ranking set to you over the next several days.
Today, we continue with APC’s 90-man roster ranking of the Green Bay Packers with the players numbered 40 through 31.
40 - OT/OG Kyle Murphy
In his NFL.com scouting report, Murphy’s professional comparison is Ty Sambrailo, which is turning out to be quite apt. A 2015 second round pick by the Denver Broncos, Sambrailo made his NFL debut as a left tackle before switching to guard in his sophomore season. Murphy, beset by the same weak play strength and short arms as Sambrailo, is following a similar career trajectory and figures to factor into the right guard picture at some point this season.
39 - OLB Jayrone Elliott
A solid special teams contributor and perpetual pass rushing tease for the life of his Green Bay career, it’s time to fish or cut bait for Elliott. Penciled in as part of the second line of pass rushers, Elliott will have ample opportunity to demonstrate his reliability as a pass rusher. Barring a big push from an undrafted free agent, Elliott is probably assured a roster spot if only due to his special teams acumen. But if he can’t contribute on a larger level than that, he’s probably near the end of his tenure.
38 - DL Montravius Adams
Probably the biggest question mark among the Packers’ defensive line group, Adams will certainly have opportunities to contribute in 2016. Letroy Guion has a foot out the door and Ricky Jean Francois has made a career out of being solid if unspectacular, so it would seem Adams has a chance to get on the field early if he can consistently harness his excellent overall athleticism. But even that athletic ability comes with an element of deja vu: his closest athletic comparisons are Justin Harrell and Khyri Thornton, both tremendous busts in Green Bay.
37 - WR Geronimo Allison
One of the better feel good stories of 2016, Allison grew from undrafted free agent to playoff contributor. Now entering his second season, he finds himself set up for the second all-out roster brawl of his career. He’ll be facing a competition for a roster spot with 2017 draft picks DeAngelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre along with 2016 draft pick Trevor Davis and perennial roster bubble resident Jeff Janis.
36 - QB Brett Hundley
Hundley only ranks 36th on this list because nobody hopes he actually plays in 2017. In reality, he’s probably the Packers’ most important insurance policy. Should something happen to Aaron Rodgers, Hundley will be called upon to do nothing less than save the season. A good showing from Hundley in the preseason could have the Packers lining up trade suitors leading up to the 2018 draft.
35 - DL Letroy Guion
Guion’s early season suspension could actually be a blessing as far as his future NFL employment. He won’t count against the Packers’ roster while he’s away from the team, allowing them to delay a decision on keeping him around. Since the Packers haven’t cut him by now, it stands to reason that they’re probably willing to let him work through the preseason, serve his suspension, and then decide when he’s back whether he’s an upgrade over anyone on the roster at that time.
34 - CB Ladarius Gunter
Saying Gunter was thrown into the fire in 2016 is probably too merciful of a metaphor. Falling into the fire would be a quicker end than what Gunter endured, being slow-roasted over the course of half a season by increasingly stiffer competition. His torture ended with Julio Jones’ cleat mark square in the middle of his chest as the All-World receiver sprinted away for a touchdown. Gunter should benefit from a reduced role in 2017, allowing him to blanket lower-end receivers with his great length and press coverage.
33 - ILB Joe Thomas
Just a few seasons ago, having the relative size and speed of a safety was a knock on Thomas, who found himself unable to get on the field in Green Bay. But last season, Thomas was perhaps Green Bay’s best inside linebacker, using his coverage abilities and athleticism to secure more playing time. Throwing Josh Jones into the mix clouds his future, but Thomas should be counted upon for more contributions this season.
32 - RB Jamaal Williams
Williams’ status as the first running back drafted by the Packers probably puts him as the de facto top backup to Ty Montgomery, but it’s only May. Williams will have to show he’s more than his measurables to find his way to the field in 2017, and his rugged running style could give him a chance to do that. The Packers don’t really have another back quite like Williams, and that could be his ticket to playing time.
31 - CB Quinten Rollins
One of the three victims of the Great Cornerback Regression of 2016, Rollins very much looked the part of a former basketball player learning to become a defensive back. He’s shown the ability to be a solid cover corner at times, but to say he’s been wildly inconsistent is a tremendous understatement. If the Packers are focusing on becoming more athletic in the secondary, the relatively slow-footed Rollins needs to be at the top of his game to earn more playing time this season.