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Packers 2015 Depth Chart 8/9: Linebackers in flux early in training camp

The first depth chart of the year features some surprises on defense, but it is also limited by the fact that it describes only a single formation.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

With the team's first preseason game of 2015 quickly approaching, the Green Bay Packers have announced their first unofficial depth chart. The Packers travel to Massachusetts this week to play the defending Super Bowl champs, the New England Patriots, on Thursday evening.

Here is a look at the depth chart provided by the team in their weekly Dope Sheet, which features some slight surprises on the defensive side of the ball.


Position Starter 2nd-String Backups (in order)
WR Jordy Nelson Davante Adams Jeff Janis, Adrian Coxson, Jimmie Hunt
LT David Bakhtiari Jeremy Vujnovich Vince Kowalski
LG Josh Sitton Lane Taylor
C Corey Linsley JC Tretter
RG T.J. Lang Josh Walker Matt Rotheram
RT Bryan Bulaga Don Barclay Fabbians Ebbele
TE Richard Rodgers Andrew Quarless Justin Perillo, Kennard Backman, Mitchell Henry
WR Randall Cobb Ty Montgomery Myles White, Jared Abbrederis, Javess Blue
QB Aaron Rodgers Scott Tolzien Matt Blanchard, Brett Hundley
RB Eddie Lacy James Starks Rajion Neal, Alonzo Harris, John Crockett
FB John Kuhn Aaron Ripkowski

There are few surprises on the offensive side of the ball. Though Barclay is listed as the backup at right tackle, he likely would be a primary option at both guard positions if there were to be an injury there. Perhaps the biggest surprise is Richard Rodgers being listed as the starter ahead of Quarless, though even that is minor. After all, Rodgers was tabbed as the starter early last season as well before splitting time with Quarless later on.

At wideout, it should come as no surprise based on his good performance in camp that Ty Montgomery has cracked the two-deep. With Janis and White listed at different spots, it is tough to get a read on where those two stand relative to each other. Finally, the backup quarterback order clearly reflects the quality of play of Blanchard and Hundley at this point in camp. We still expect Hundley to stick on the roster as the third quarterback come September, however.


Position Starter 2nd-String Backups (in order)
LDE Letroy Guion Datone Jones Khyri Thornton
NT B.J. Raji Mike Pennel Bruce Gaston, Lavon Hooks
RDE Mike Daniels Josh Boyd Christian Ringo
LOLB Clay Matthews Nick Perry Jayrone Elliott, Adrian Hubbard, James Vaughters
BLB Sam Barrington Carl Bradford Josh Francis, Tavarus Dantzler
MLB Nate Palmer Jake Ryan Joe Thomas
ROLB Julius Peppers Mike Neal Andy Mulumba, Jermauria Rasco
LCB Casey Hayward Damarious Randall Quinten Rollins, Kyle Sebetic
RCB Sam Shields Demetri Goodson Tay Glover-Wright, LaDarius Gunter
SS Morgan Burnett Sean Richardson Chris Banjo
FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Micah Hyde Jean Fanor

Here are where some of the surprises come into play. Matthews is listed not only as an outside linebacker, but as the left outside linebacker, a position which he has not played primarily since 2011. Meanwhile, Julius Peppers, who played mainly on the left side last year, is on the right now. With Matthews outside, that leaves Nate Palmer as the starter at middle linebacker next to Sam Barrington.

Also of some interest is the fact that rookie LaDarius Gunter is fourth on the depth chart at corner, despite earning some first-team reps in sub packages.

With all that said, this depth chart illustrates the challenges of defining a traditional 3-4 depth chart for a team that uses so many sub packages. The Packers so often use their nickel package with an extra defensive back coming on the field, and instead of Randall or Goodson, that has typically been Micah Hyde in the slot. Similarly, with Matthews' expected role being all over the field, pigeonholing him into that left outside linebacker spot is far too limiting. We at Acme Packing Company expected Matthews to be listed as an inside linebacker prior to camp, which at this point seems premature; however, all reports out of camp still indicate that he will be playing inside extensively when he returns to the field from his knee issues.

Special Teams

Position Starter 2nd-String Backups
K Mason Crosby Tim Masthay Cody Mandell
P Tim Masthay Cody Mandell
H Tim Masthay Cody Mandell Randall Cobb
PR Micah Hyde Ty Montgomery Randall Cobb
KR Ty Montgomery Micah Hyde Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis

There are no surprises here either, if you have been following along with practice. Hyde as the primary punt returner and Montgomery taking kicks is consistent with what we have seen in camp so far.

What do you think about the depth chart as currently defined?