Free agency has been on the creep, the draft is over, unregistered rookies have been signed, and the roster is set to a maximum of 90 players – although that can change quickly, as we’ve seen over the past few days with the Green Bay Packers signed with Kobe Jones and Eli Wolf While Chris Blair was released.
So, with the roster now fairly stable, I thought this would be as timely as any to take a stand by taking a look at this team of Green Bay Packers, with of course offering my thoughts along the way.
Midfield: Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, Kurt Pinkert, Danny Ettling
Unlike this time last year, we know what a middle room would look like. It will be Rodgers and Love – which obviously means I don’t see love being traded this season. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s off-limits in any way – I don’t think Green Bay is going to get the show they’re looking for.
Running Back: Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Keelen Hill, Patrick Taylor, Tyler Goodson, PJ Baylor
Jones and Dillon would make up one, if not the best, back-to-back duo in football; However, after these two, the packers will have some decisions to make. If Kylin Hill is ready to go into week one I would consider him the number one RB3 leader, and it would also be interesting to see if Green Bay decides to include three or four runs.
I love the Taylor fit for this offense because it’s specifically designed – pun intended – for Matt Lafleur’s system, but UDFA Tyler Goodson will be a name to watch this summer.
Wide Receiver: Randall Cobb, Danny Davis, Rico Gaford, Amary Rodgers, Malik Taylor, Samori Torey, Sammy Watkins, Joan Winfrey, Romeo Dobbs, Allen Lazard, Christian Watson
Have the Packers done enough in this off-season receiving position? Ultimately, we’ll have to wait to find out, but in an effort to answer the question, there will be a need to rely more on the LaFleur system to plan open players, and Green Bay will need Rodgers to play like a back-to-back MVP who can raise this group. The game of defense and running should also play larger roles. With that caveat, yes, I think the Packers could win the playoff games with this group.
Before the draft, LaFleur mentioned that this offense needed more speed and playability, which they certainly added with Watson, Dobbs and Torey. The big question now is, who is going to be the guy who can pick up seven yards at three and six?
There are rumors that the Packers have reported interest in free agents Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, and Jarvis Landry, but I remain skeptical. For starters, it would take one of those players to sign a fairly friendly deal with the squad given the Packers cap, and when it comes to roster space, it’s not like there’s a lot of space as I think of Watkins (like as long as he’s healthy), Cobb, Lazard, Watson, Rodgers and Doubs locks – although they might definitely decide to keep seven receivers instead of the usual six.
I’ll also point out that Jones has missed 13 games in the past two seasons and may be out of Green Bay’s price range. We don’t know when Beckham will return, and this is his second injury in the AFC Champions League since 2020. Meanwhile, Landry’s skill set is somewhat similar to those of Cobb and Rodgers. These are just a few more reasons why I’m still skeptical, but Gutey has definitely thrown us some lonely balls over the past couple of years too.
Tight end: Dominic Daphne, Tyler Davis, Josiah DeGuara, Marsdis Lewis, Alize Mack, Robert Tonian, Elie Wolff
Eight tight ends seem like quite a few heading into training camp, and this is another situation where some tough decisions have to be made. When Tonian is available, Green Bay will have to choose between keeping four or five limbs tight. Tonian, Deguara and Luis will be on the team, while Daphne could become a key player on special teams under Rich Bisachia, and Guti has just praised Davis for following the draft.
Forwards: David Bakhtiari, Jammer Johnson, Caleb Jones, Josh Nijman, Rashid Walker, Royce Newman, Sean Ryan, Cole Van Lanen, Elgton Jenkins, George Moore, Zach Tom, John Runyan, Josh Myers, Cole Schneider, Michel Minnette, Jake Hanson
The competition along the offensive line started this summer with a few cracks with the additions of Ryan and Tom – both of whom could compete with Nijmann in the right tackle as well as in both guard positions, with Tom also able to play a midfield.
If the Jenkins starts the season on the PUP roster, the only place along the offensive line I’ll make in Week 1 is Bakhtiari on the left tackle with Runyan and Myers. Otherwise, I imagine LaFleur will be moving players around this summer and let the competition unfold as he tries to find the best group of five to put on the field.
Home Defense Line: Akial Byers, Kenny Clarke, Jonathan Ford, Jack Heflin, Dean Lowry, Guati Pototao, Garan Reid, TJ Slaton, Devonte White.
This has to be one of the more straight forward positions on the list, with a defensive line spinning out of Clark, Slaton, White, Lowry and Reed. The only real question is, do the Packers keep five or six Homeland Defense guys?
And yes, I realize the Packers could save $5.9 million by cutting Lowry after June 1, but I don’t expect that to happen.
Edge rusher: Kingsley Enagbare, Tipa Galeai, Jonathan Garvin, Rashan Gary, La’Darius Hamilton, Chauncey Manac, Kobe Jones, Randy Ramsey, Preston Smith
Speaking with reporters earlier this season, OLB coach Jason Rebrovich said he wants a steady rotation of four players each week — not to mention that Green Bay could end up putting five riders on edge over 53 players. Well, we know who two of these spots belong to, but the other 2-3 are pretty much ready to grab.
Bringing a veteran arrogant could still be on Gutekunst’s unofficial to-do list.
Full-back: Chris Barnes, Successor Bryce, Ellis Brooks, DeVonder Campbell, Isaiah McDuffy, Ty Summers, Kwai Walker, Ray Welburn, and Tariq Carpenter.
With the addition of Walker, we’ll see more two-line linebackers from the Packers, which will allow them to better hide what they’re doing defensively. When Barnes was on the field, it was fairly obvious that they were playing the run more, and with Black as the third safety, they were playing the pass. But now, it will be difficult for the opponents of crimes to decipher what is happening with Campbell-Walker’s diverse skill sets.
After these two, if the Packers choose to keep five players as they did in 2021, Barnes, McDuffy and Carpenter could all play key roles on special teams. And despite Carpenter’s inclusion as a safety, after the draft, LaFleur stated he would spend his time in the quarterback.
Cornerbacks: Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, Eric Stokes, Cabion Ento, Shemar Jean-Charles, Keisean Nixon, Raleigh Texada, Kiondre Thomas
As far as Alexander, Douglas and Stokes can be, there are just as many question marks on the depth chart behind them. The rest of the back corner room brings very little NFL experience, and another question I have is, Who will play in the hole when Alexander is on the border? Again, there is very little experience with this list.
While Alexander might finish the season with the most quick snapshots, it’s not like he’s going to spend all of his time there either – in fact he’s going to move with the opponent’s highest receiver. And if you want another UDFA name to watch this summer, Texada is another player that will be on my radar.
Besides rusher, this is another situation that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Packers still adding to in the free agency.
Safety: Adrian Amos, Shawn Davis, Ines Gaines, Vernon Scott, Trey Sterling, and Darnell Savage
Safety is similar to the Cornerback in that the depth scheme behind the Amos and Savage is completely inexperienced. In fact, if you sum up the NFL footage of Davis, Gaines, Scott and Sterling, it would total 90 — and they all belong to Scott. So this is another set of sites with a few rosters points available, although, as I’ve already indicated, with the addition of Walker as the linebacker, I expect we see three safety zones on the field a lot less.
Specialists: Pat O’Donnell, Mason Crosby, Stephen Wertell, Dominic Eberle, JJ Molson
O’Donnell has signed a two-year deal, so he’ll be on the list, and from the votes, he should be a promotion over Corey Bojorquez as the carrier. I’d like to see some competition in the long-snapper game, but that may not be the case with only Wirtel on the list. Finally, I expect there will be some level of competition this summer at Kicker, but Crosby will win.
It’s also important to note that when Bisaccia met the reporters, he would have mentioned that he was expecting to enter a training camp with only two kickers – so there might be a cut before that, which would also open up a place on the roster as well.