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Zach's Pre-Training Camp 53-Man Roster Prediction

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Zach's Pre-Training Camp 53-Man Roster Prediction

Everyone else seems to be doing it, so why not?

The Packers kick off training camp Thursday morning, but they won't be suiting up in pads until Saturday, according to MIke McCarthy in his Wednesday morning pre-camp presser.

All of the players who will be present at Ray Nitschke Field for the first practice won't be all who is present in early September when the Packers trim down their roster to 53 of their best players. Right now, they're stacked with talent and after having to make some difficult cuts myself, I have my very, very early 53-man roster prediction.

OFFENSE: 25

Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley

Joe Callahan was one of these tough cuts, however, the Packers are confident in Hundley and might have just the smallest amount of confidence in the guy ahead of him engineering the Packers' offense. Maybe just a little. Maybe.

Running backs: Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Aaron Ripkowski

The two rookies the Packers drafted in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively are going to provide some diversity in the backfield. Their reps aren't exactly set in stone, however, with Montgomery's injury resume, they may just enter the season carrying four traditional running backs with Devante Mays latching on to the roster. Ripkowski is also a bull of a runner capable of getting a handful of carries. This is going to be one of the prime positions to watch in camp.

Wide receivers: Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Trevor Davis, Malachi Dupre, DeAngelo Yancey

Everything behind the starting trio is a question mark. Remember, the Packers won't have Geronimo Allison for the first game of the season due to his suspension, so he won't count towards the 53-man roster. They won't need to make a decision on his status until the middle of September, but he's more than likely a penciled-in addition to the roster. Yancey may be swapped to the practice squad in exchange for Allison. And, yes, no Jeff Janis.

Tight ends: Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks, Richard Rodgers

If there's going to be a surprise cut, it would be Rodgers. Especially if his roster spot can help bolster a position that is unfortunately decimated by injuries by the end of the preseason. If the Packers have enough confidence in the duo of Bennett and Kendricks, which they seem to, that could be a move to watch.

Offensive tackles: David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga, Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy

The underrated Bakhtiari and Bulaga may just be one of the top tackle tandems in the league. Spriggs isn't bad depth to have behind the two, either. Murphy played both left and right tackle during his college days at Stanford, giving the Packers a little more of a safety net in a dire situation.

Offensive guards: Lane Taylor, Jahri Evans, Don Barclay, Kofi Amichia, Lucas Patrick

The Packers just might role with five guards after losing T.J. Lang this offseason. Coaches and players have spoken highly of Patrick, giving him a little more of a chance to cling on as opposed to Thomas Evans or Geoff Gray. Despite popular opinion, Barclay's versatility and ability to play all five offensive line positions can't be understated.

Center: Corey Linsley

Same familiar face we've seen over the last few years, except this time he's without J.C. Tretter waiting in the wing or taking the reigns. Barclay is capable of playing center, so if he's needed, he's there. Linsley was expected to start training camp on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, but there hasn't been any word yet on his status.

 

DEFENSE: 25

Defensive ends: Dean Lowry, Christian Ringo

Lowry and Ringo are ends in the 3-4 scheme, giving them their own separate category. Ringo is also capable of playing more along the interior of the defensive line. It's tough to see the Packers parting ways with him, but with eight accrued games in one season under his belt, he'd be eligible for the practice squad. 

Defensive tackles: Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Ricky Jean Francois, Montravius Adams

The troubled Letroy Guion will miss the first four games of the regular season due to another suspension, leaving the Packers somewhat thin along the defensive line. However, on paper, this group isn't too bad. Especially when they're led by Daniels, the notorious wrecking ball of the Packers' defense. Expect Clark to also make a jump in his second season.

Outside linebackers: Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Kyler Fackrell, Jayrone Elliott, Vince Biegel

Matthews was hampered by an AC joint sprain late last season. When he and Perry are healthy, they both make each other perform much, much better, and just like the defensive line, they'll be a major key to the Packers' pass rush. Elliott and Fackrell form an efficient duo in sub-packages, and the Packers have declared Biegel will begin camp on the PUP list. But he should be a good chess piece to have during the season.

Inside linebackers: Jake Ryan, Blake Martinez, Joe Thomas

Thomas is still a very good dime linebacker for the Packers, and with Ryan and Martinez, Winston Moss' group seems to be set for a big season as a unit. The Packers will also be able to deploy Morgan Burnett, Josh Jones or even Kentrell Brice into the box as linebackers. Burnett is the strong candidate for that, though, being the team's leader or runner-up in total tackles in five out of the last six seasons.

Cornerbacks: Davon House, Damarious Randall, LaDarius Gunter, Kevin King, Quinten Rollins, Herb Waters, Josh Hawkins

Demetri Goodson's status is up in the air as it stands, but he's more than likely to begin training camp on the PUP list. Having him would be a plus considering Janis wouldn't be there, and Goodson is one of the team's best special teams players. I expect the Packers to go into the season with House and Gunter on the perimeter with Randall in the slot, giving him free range to roam much like a safety. King will more than likely rotate into the lineup sometime during the season, but I don't think the Packers will go into week one starting a rookie cornerback against Doug Baldwin and co.

Safeties: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Morgan Burnett, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice

My personal favorite positional group on this team. Clinton-Dix and Burnett form one of the top safety tandems in the league and Jones was my favorite pick from the draft. The versatility of Jones' skill set makes him one of the top players to watch through camp. Throw in the hard-hitting Brice, and you have four safeties who can play anywhere on the field. Expect Burnett in the box, in the slot, sticking to his natural safety position, you name it. Burnett's versatility is what will give Jones and Brice extended snaps both on the back-end and as hybrid linebackers. This is going to be a fun group to watch in 2017. The possibilities are endless.

SPECIAL TEAMS: 3

Kicker: Mason Crosby

The only constant of the Packers' special teams unit. Crosby has become one of the best kickers in the game, which is even more of a tall tale after his dismal 2012 season. McCarthy stuck with him, he delivered, now he's among some of the best.

Punter: Justin Vogel

With Jacob Schum out of the picture, being the Packers' starting punter is his job to lose. Only a matter of time before stopwatches are timing his distance and hang-time in camp.

Long-snapper: Derek Hart

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Packers brought back former long-snapper Brett Goode. Outside of Crosby, this is the most up-in-the-air the Packers have been on special teams in quite some time.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (51) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

Seems like a decent 53 man roster but if it were to play out this way I'll be pretty concerned about ST at least until week 10, maybe longer.

New long snapper, punter, holder, gunners, and Ron Zook as the coach. UGH!

I get moving on from Janis but Trevor Davis better be much better than last season. I know Davis looked good this year in mini camps and OTA's but until pads come on I can't really put much stock in how he looked shorts. Dupree and Yancy are the wild cards here. I have a feeling Dupree will be one of the best "Draft Steals" in a long time. Yancy I'm not so sure about.

Janis is one of the best gunners in the NFL when he's not playing with a huge club on his hand. They better have some gunners ready by week one when punting to Tyler Lockett and then to whom ever is returning punts in Atlanta.

YAHOO!!!! Football is here!!!

PackEyedOptimist's picture

Of all that I've seen, this is the published roster prediction that I agree with most, but still:
I haven't been impressed by Ringo at all, so I'd rather have Price or an addition at a different position.
I'd love to see Gilbert be good enough to earn a roster spot, I just don't think he will.
I don't see Yancey and Dupre both making the 53; one will go to the PS. I also think Max McCaffrey has as good a shot as either at the 53.
I think Hawkins OR Waters is more likely, not both.
I'll be amazed if Callahan isn't on the 53.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

When Allison/Guion return, some players are going to have to be moved and Waters, Hawkins, Ringo and Yancey are the most susceptible for that.

Also with Gilbert, I completely forgot about Biegel since he's starting on the PUP, so I swapped them both out. Gilbert is a good practice squad add.

dobber's picture

I think Allison likely comes back from suspension and claims a roster spot, but if the DL is healthy and playing well, I wouldn't be surprised if Guion gets his walking papers after week 4.

zekester's picture

Yea!...As good as offseason that it seems the Pack had there are still a lot of BIG ????? marks on this team...as long as Jordy and Aaron Rodgers stay healthy this offense will rock n roll and put up close to 30 points per game ..Defense has a lot to prove after being shredded cheddar cheese against the pass at the end of the year...Like the additions in free agency and the draft to shore up the D but we have given Dandy Dom Capers new toys to play with for years now and always seem to get broken and useless,,hoping this year will pay dividends and we become slightly better than average so Rodgers doesn't have to put on a superhero cape every week to bail out the defense..Besides Mason Crosby everything about our special teams is shakyand roster spots will be won or lost in this area ..That said I see Da Pack at around a 11 and 5 record with lots of fun games to watch with a chance to win it all with some luck and improvement!

Lphill's picture

I would have liked to see the Packers bring in a veteran inside linebacker for depth I think there were a few guys available , don't know if there is anymore.

stillcrazee's picture

Surprised Vince Biegel didn't even get a mention at linebacker. If he is going to be PUP, or IR'ed it would have been nice to at least mention the first pick of the 4th round. He won't be cut, and he can't be stashed on the practice squad. I just know I would rather have Biegel as an OLB than Reggie Gilbert.
Don't see keeping 7 CB's, just doesn't happen. Agree that either Waters or Hawkins is on practice squad. I would also be surprised if Gunter is the # 2 corner. His ability to play as well as he does with his physical limitations is remarkable, but I don't think he has the physical abilities to match up against starting WR's in the league. Love him as 3rd or 4th corner, though. Hopefully Kevin King has the ability to start at CB from day 1. Would really go a long way to solving our CB problems.

RCPackerFan's picture

Overall I like it.
Just my thoughts regarding this.

I am wondering if they will keep 10 OL. I could see them keeping 5 RB's also. So possibly they will keep 9 OL and 5 RB's. The other RB would be Mays IMO.

Instead of Reggie Gilbert I wonder if the extra OLB they keep is Johnathan Calvin.

I'm still curious about what is going to happen at Punter and LS.

All I know is camp starts TODAY!!! So excited!

dobber's picture

Yeah, there are 11 OL on this roster, and I'll be surprised if they keep that many. I like Gray as a sleeper. By all accounts, he's got tremendous ability but hasn't seen the quality of competition. Still, I think 11 is too many.

I don't think Waters AND Hawkins make this team. With Brice and Jones (expectedly), there should be some flexibility at S to help cover minor injury issues. I'll be honest: with as little confidence as they showed in Hawkins in coverage last season, I don't think he's got much more than a prayer.

The WR position is the one to watch in my mind. RB will be interesting, but it's a side-show with #12 under center. With the flexibility granted by two (and potentially 3) good pass-catching TE, they might cut WR way back, or let guys like Davis, Janis and Allison go in favor of developmental talents. If Hundley and Callahan play poorly, it might really hamper the evaluation of the WR room.

I just don't see Janis not making the team, and it's not because I hold a torch for his potential as a WR. He's not the kind of downfield WR you'd expect a guy with his measurables to be. It's turning out his niche is short-crossers and sweeps, much like a small jitterbug, WR. So it's not that he can't be productive. They need him on ST, and they've had a track record of holding onto guys for that. Goodson's not going to be ready: Janis is going to make the 53.

pooch's picture

No Vince Biegel ???

Handsback's picture

I think Biegel will make the roster unless he's PUP/IR. Also doubt Ringo makes it verses Price. Murphy/Patrick/Barclay I don't see all three making the roster.
So substitute Biegel for Hawkins....Price for Ringo......Take out Patrick and add Mays/Stanbach.....Take out Thomas at ILB and add Janis.
I think there will be a lot of surprises this TC.

holmesmd's picture

No way Thomas doesn't make the 53!

holmesmd's picture

No way Thomas doesn't make the 53!

holmesmd's picture

No way Thomas doesn't make the 53!

holmesmd's picture

No way Thomas doesn't make the 53!

holmesmd's picture

No way Thomas doesn't make the 53!

Zachary Jacobson's picture

My fault about Biegel, everyone. Him starting camp on the PUP kind of threw me off and I added Gilbert in his place. Gilbert is likely an obvious practice squad add, but Biegel will definitely be on this team come September.

RCPackerFan's picture

i went with the assumption you were having him start the season on the PUP list.
No worries.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

Gotcha. McCarthy says he'll be back in a couple weeks, so hopefully he's cleared by week one. We know how they are with injuries.

Since '61's picture

I agree with most of this roster except for Gunther starting at CB. There have been plenty of rookie corners who have started in the NFL and if King has a better preseason than Gunther he should be the starter. We should pick up another ILB. The current group is not very good and what happens if we have an injury or two. Where is Beigel BTW? Chuck Goodson, Guion, and Gunther. Thanks, Since '61

Zachary Jacobson's picture

Kept ILB the way it is because of the packages involving Burnett/Brice/Jones playing ILB, so they should be nice and athletic there.

The Packers opened practice today with Gunter/House on the perimeter and Randall in the slot, so far, I still think that's what they'll go into the season with. They really feel like Gunter stepped up in the face of adversity last season and earned a starting spot.

Also, forgot Biegel, swapped him out for Gilbert. My fault on that. He's starting camp on the PUP.

Tundraboy's picture

We could do far worse (and we have) than starting King from the get go. And it's not unprecedented, he is our number one pick after all.

Tundraboy's picture

Same for Gilbert being on the 53.

Tundraboy's picture

Deleted

Tundraboy's picture

Deleted again. Sorry, App issues.

dobber's picture

I think Gunter was always destined to play S and not CB. He's got a short memory, plays hard...just don't see him not making the 53. I really think Burnett leaves after the season and that frees things up for the Packers to juggle their CB/S assignments: Gunter might be a beneficiary of that.

Finwiz's picture

I don't think Gunter makes the team. He was that bad last year, and clearly they know this.

Finwiz's picture

You can chuck all three of those guys and never, ever miss them.

Since '61's picture

Exactly Fin. Chucking Gunther immediately improves the defense. Thanks, Since '61

Finwiz's picture

Dup

Gman1976's picture

I think this is a pretty good lineup, but would add 4 comments: (1) Janis will make the team. He is too good on special teams to let him go. (2) Callahan will make the team if the Packers are going to let the 2nd string QB go next year and if they don't stash the 4th stringer on the practice squad. He has shown the Packers enough moxie to be at least a backup. (3) King will start. If he doesn't start, our speed on the corners with Gunter and House will be a huge liability. If King doesn't start, I fear that our defense will be our Achilles' heal once again. (4) Beigel will make the team. He is too high of a draft pick to let him go, but I don't think he will add much to the defense due to his injury (I sure hope I am wrong on this, but don't think so.).

cheesehead1's picture

IMO, as others have said, we need a veteran ILB for insurance. Not sure who is available.

cheesehead1's picture

IMO, as others have said, we need a veteran ILB for insurance. Not sure who is available.

Finwiz's picture

You are a completely clueless if you actually think they will start Gunter at CB to begin this season. If he HAS to start, the defense is in BIG, BIG trouble right out of the gate. I'd say he'll be lucky just to make the team. Too slow, and god awful last year, one of the biggest problems on defense doesn't deserve to be starting.

Finwiz's picture

Mike Clemens reporting GUNTER was burned twice by both Devonte and Allison in practice today, where Rodgers hit Devonte for 60 yards and overthrew Allison. In both cases GUNTER was burned badly and not close to either receiver. He said the "LACK OF SPEED WAS CLEARLY EVIDENT". Sorry, I can't stand Ladarious Gunter, and if we have to enter the season with this guy at CB, we are in big big trouble. Opposing QB's will find him every week. If you get SMOKED by both Devonte and Allison, you don't have enough speed to play CB, because neither of those guys are burners. And you know their tendencies having practiced against them ALL last year. You just aren't good enough Gunter - pack your bags.

dobber's picture

I think it wouldn't make a lot of sense to trot out a 2nd round pick who has virtually no practice reps with the team with the 1s. Showing that King will need to earn his place.

No reason to get too hung up on Gunter starting the first PS practice with the 1s.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Well, other than that Gunter is clearly the first outside CB off the bench in case of injury, assuming he isn't the starter in the first place, Dobber.

donnyanderson44's picture

Other than cutting Janis our prize gunner on special teams the head scratcher pick was predicting Gunther as a starting corner. I'd rather see a healthy Rollins or Randall instead but the King kid will probably get the nod day one.

donnyanderson44's picture

Other than cutting Janis our prize gunner on special teams the head scratcher pick was predicting Gunther as a starting corner. I'd rather see a healthy Rollins or Randall instead but the King kid will probably get the nod day one.

lou's picture

In reference to Gunter starting opposite House you have to factor that with House on the other corner they would have the ability to provide help for Gunter in certain situations which was not the case last year without a veteran opposite Gunter, he was on an island every single week. Related to this statement is the fact as mentioned above how much better Perry and Mathews performed when both were healthy with the reverse effect that teams could not assign help to one or the other. Provided they both stay healthy and our two 2nd year D-Lineman provide more inside rush that pair may be able to be successful as starting corners. Lastly the projected ability of Jones to be the hybrid LB/Safety on third downs also reduces the corners responsibilities.

RCPackerFan's picture

Not only was Gunter on an Island, he was on an Island against the likes of Odell Beckham JR, Dez Bryant and Julio Jones. 3 of the best WR's in the league. Not an easy task for any CB.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

That's a point I've made as well. With one competent CB in House, DC can provide help to the other CB. (Mind, it is a little harder if we are going to play single high safety, but Dix can still be shaded.) It is similar to the OL: having two OTs who can't pass block is completely different than having one excellent OT and one who is a turnstile. You can help the turnstile in many ways, with a TE or RB, rollouts, etc. RC is correct too: Gunter was not just out on an island, but too often he was dealing with an elite WR while out on that island.

Finwiz's picture

Excuses, excuses. You can't cover up that level of incompetence and physical ability.

RCPackerFan's picture

I really wonder how different our defense would have looked if Shields didn't get hurt.
Like you said having 1 good CB can change the way the defense plays. It really makes a difference.

dobber's picture

"I really wonder how different our defense would have looked if Shields didn't get hurt."

^^THIS^^^

stockholder's picture

RBs = Fumble and your gone. Give up Janis? Not Happening. The WRs will be Nelson, RANDALL COBB, Drop Adams,Janis, Davis, Dupree. TEs and OL Ok. DE's Lowry Clarke, Price. DT Daniels, Adams Guion Francois, Ringo gets cut. LBs good. Dbs Hawkins gets cut. Safety - Good. etc.

Finwiz's picture

#Packers rookie Kevin King got first rep in 2-minute drill as perimeter corner across Davon House. That didn't take long.

Thank God they are seeing the light after the Gunter debacle on day ONE. They didn't take a CB with their 1st pick to have him sit behind Gunter that's for sure.

Finwiz's picture

#Packers CB LaDarius Gunter having rough start to camp. Struggled yesterday, just gave up TD from Brett Hundley to Trevor Davis in 2 minute.

Shocking I say - shocking!

lou's picture

Watching one 7 on 7 drill does not qualify anyone as a potential NFL scouting prospect.

dobber's picture

We all tend to see what we want to see...

If you watch the updates today, Gunter apparently played well. Nobody will talk about it.

Finwiz's picture

Yeah, when they moved him to the 2nd team and he's playing against the low round picks and FA's, I'm sure he did look better. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.

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