Zach's 53-man Roster Prediction

After being asked via Twitter and following in the footsteps of my colleagues, Ross and Michelle, I'll be forming my own speculation as to what the final 53-man roster will look like for the Packers.

At the moment, the team's roster sits at 88 players, still with two spots to possibly be filled in. By August 30th, however, those 88 players (or potentially more, depending if moves are made or not) will have to be trimmed to 75. This week's upcoming preseason game in San Francisco won't tell very much as far as performance goes — but it'll tell enough for the Packers to rightfully justify the 13 (or more) player cuts.

Days later on September 3rd, all rosters will be reduced to the final standstill at 53 players. The Packers will have their 53 best players ready to go for the 2016 campaign. This is my shot at predicting who that roster will include.

 

Quarterbacks

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Brett Hundley

This was an obvious one. Don't expect the most-talented quarterback the NFL may have ever seen to lose his job any time soon. As far as his protege goes in Hundley, his roster spot is all but locked up.

Running backs

  1. Eddie Lacy
  2. James Starks
  3. John Crockett

Brandon Burks has been too impressive thus far to not include on the final roster, but unfortunately, I didn't include him in the final roster. He'll be a fine practice squad addition in case things go awry at the running back position again. Starks and Crockett provide the team with nice depth.

Fullback(s)

  1. Aaron Ripkowski

He's a battering ram and pretty soon, his name is also what you'll be hearing the fans at Lambeau Field bellow out instead of "KUUUUHNNNN!" Sad, isn't it? But all good things must come to an end. Luckily for the Packers, Ripkowski is another good thing in their future.

Wide Receivers

  1. Jordy Nelson
  2. Randall Cobb/Davante Adams
  3. Davante Adams/Randall Cobb
  4. Ty Montgomery
  5. Jared Abbrederis
  6. Trevor Davis
  7. Jeff Janis

I was once a firm believer that the Packers' roster going into opening week would include only six receivers. Due to recent events and a certain hand injury to the best player to ever put on a Packers uniform, my stance has changed. Especially coming off of 2015 that, like the running back situation, required maintenance over the off-season. The Packers need the depth in the receiving corps to prevent the fiasco Nelson's injury left the offense in over a year ago. As for Davis being swapped ahead of Janis... Well, that's obvious. Janis won't be playing by week one. Duh. SIDE NOTE: No, the list isn't implying that Adams will be ranked ahead of Cobb. Both are separated by the slashes for the sake of acknowledging Cobb's prime role as a slot receiver.

Tight Ends

  1. Jared Cook
  2. Richard Rodgers
  3. Justin Perillo

Right now, Cook isn't exactly deemed as the starter, despite the clamoring over his skill set. Rodgers hasn't done anything to lose his job and Cook hasn't done anything to earn it. He'll have a shot on Friday to showcase his connection with QB1 and possibly bump himself up ahead of Rodgers, which, by week one, I feel like he'd have done so already. Perillo also made the cut over Kennard Backman, who just can't seem to provide consistency at his position. Also, because, well, Perillo catches everything within 500 feet of him. 

Tackles

  1. David Bakhtiari          1. Bryan Bulaga
  2. Jason Spriggs

Spriggs could just be the eventual replacement for Bakhtiari. While he has shown promise in his one-on-ones in camp and his preseason snaps, he's far from being crowned as the starting left tackle. For now. Kyle Murphy, the team's sixth-round draft choice in 2016, will find his way onto the practice squad where he'll continue to develop. 

Guards

  1. Josh Sitton          1. T.J. Lang
  2. Lane Taylor         2. Don Barclay

No changes up front with arguably the best guard tandem in professional football. However, Barclay no longer backs up Bulaga at right tackle. Instead, Packers' offensive line coach James Campen has begun plugging in Barclay into all five positions along the front lines. If you had asked me a couple of months ago where I thought Barclay would be come September, I would've said "jobless". His newfound sense of versatility, however, almost ensures him a spot on the team. It also means the Packers don't necessarily need to keep four tackles on the roster, given Barclay's ability to play his natural spot.

Centers

  1. J.C. Tretter
  2. Corey Linsley

With Linsley still battling injury, Tretter's door has once again been swung open and he'll head into the season as the starting center for the first time since 2014.

Total offensive player count: 25

 

Defensive Ends

  1. Letroy Guion
  2. Dean Lowry
  3. Datone Jones (Hybrid DE/OLB)
  4. Mike Pennel

The defensive line is a sloppy position for the Packers going in to 2016. Due to Pennel's four-game suspension to kick off the season and the inexperience of Lowry, Guion could be forced to swap his nose tackle duties to defensive end as a primary run-stopper. But don't count Lowry out — he's been turning some heads lately. 

Nose Tackles

  1. Kenny Clark
  2. Brian Price

With Guion's absence at the nose, expect Clark, the first-round pick, to fill the void. Clark is initially listed as a defensive tackle, but played at the nose during his time at UCLA. He's been coined as a player who can get on the field right away, and given the circumstances, that's a plus for the Packers.

Defensive Tackles

  1. Mike Daniels
  2. Dean Lowry

The versatility bonus added into the six defensive linemen that the Packers will presumably keep on their roster is vital. Guion can play the edge or he can clog up the running lanes in the middle, hence his swap from the nose to the 5-technique position. Lowry should also have no problem using his 6'6", 296-pound frame as a relief for Daniels and instead of playing as a 5-technique as listed above, can play just outside the opposing guard at the 3-technique.

Outside Linebackers

  1. Julius Peppers          1. Clay Matthews
  2. Nick Perry                   2. Jayrone Elliott
  3. Datone Jones            3. Kyler Fackrell

Expect no changes with the starters on the edges, despite what some "Al Jazeera America" report says. Perry looks to continue his upward trend in the team's front seven and fend off the injury bug. Meanwhile, Jones fits into his new role as the elephant linebacker and Jayrone Elliott will aim to build off of his strong start to 2015. A strong start that was slowed down due to a nagging quad injury that hampered Elliott for the remainder of the season.

Inside Linebackers

  1. Sam Barrington          1. Jake Ryan
  2. Blake Martinez            2. Carl Bradford

Chance we'll see Bradford sneak his way onto the roster? Bet on it. From the final roster to the practice squad and to the final roster again, Bradford's learning curve may have finally taken form during his switch from outside to inside linebacker, and it's beginning to show in recent preseason games and practices. Joe Thomas was utilized well for his dime coverage ability, something defensive coordinator Dom Capers seemed to like. However, with Martinez drafted to mostly defend the pass aside from his pass-rushing duties, he may be just the replacement the Packers need for Thomas. Better yet, possibly an upgrade.

Cornerbacks

  1. Sam Shields
  2. Quinten Rollins/Damarious Randall
  3. Damarious Randall/Quinten Rollins
  4. Ladarius Gunter

There's a chance we see the Packers enter the season with just four cornerbacks on their roster. Unless Gunter is drastically out-performed by an undrafted free agent such as Josh Hawkins, Makinton Dorleant or Robertson Daniel, he'll be on the team. Keep in mind that although it isn't preferred, but Micah Hyde came into the league as a cornerback before making the transition to safety for the Packers and cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. His role typically includes covering tight ends in the slot, due to being somewhat undersized and slower compared to the average outside corner. The Packers have also begun experimenting with Randall in the slot as opposed to the role Rollins mostly faced last season. Rollins, being the more physical of the two, would cover the sideline man for a majority of his snaps.

Free Safeties

  1. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
  2. Chris Banjo
  3. Kentrell Brice

Banjo's importance on special teams is unmatched and his coverage abilities continue to reach new heights as his career progresses. Meanwhile, the undrafted safety in Brice has shown flashes of brilliance in the Packers' first two preseason games. His style and tackling mastery is almost guaranteed to earn him a spot on the team's roster. The Packers recently carried five safeties — there's no reason why they can't do it again.

Strong Safeties

  1. Morgan Burnett
  2. Micah Hyde

The duo of Clinton-Dix and Burnett is quietly becoming one of the more lethal safety tandems in the league. There's no change there but enhancement. Hyde's versatility is something that has earned him a lot — and I mean a lot — of value with the team. He'll return punts, play nickel, dime, cover the slot — you name it. He's embraced his 'utility role' as some would call it, and so have the coaches.

Total defensive player count: 25

 

Kicker

  1. Mason Crosby

No, it's not Chris Jackie. It's not Ryan Longwell either. It's definitely not Dave Rayner. It's Mason ******* Crosby, arguably one of the best kickers in football. Those asterisks are exactly what you think they are.

Punter(s?)

  1. Tim Masthay

I never thought I'd live to see the day where a punting competition is one of the more interesting parts of a Packers' training camp regimen. The shootout between Masthay and native Peter Mortell will eventually culminate and when it does, the veteran will find his way at the lone top of the depth chart, much to the chagrin of Cheeseheads everywhere.

Long-snapper

  1. Rick Lovato

Ah, yes. Lovato fills in the shoes that were once worn by the likes of Rob Davis and Brett Goode. Long-snapping duties are no joke. A botched snap and things can go haywire. Luckily, Lovato's good enough to fend off the long-snapping competition the team brought aboard in recent weeks. 

Total special teams player count: 3

 

DISCLAIMER: Just because players are listed twice above, DOES NOT mean they are counted twice towards the total count. They're listed twice because they can play both spots, due to the above list being created in the form of a depth chart prediction as well as a final roster prediction.

 

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (79)

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Michalske's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:14 am

WIth Pennel's suspension he does not count against the 53.

Also, you counted datone Jones twice. Yes he will play two positions, but he still is just one guy taking up one roster spot.

So you have two more slots to fill. :-)

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:32 am

And Dean Lowry was counted twice

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:44 am

They were listed twice. Not counted twice. If you didn't notice, I also made a depth chart out of the 53. Hence why Lowry's listed twice and why Jones is listed twice.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 08:08 am

Sorry, I meant Listed twice. I counted and you had it right.

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

August 25, 2016 at 08:43 am

No worries, that was mostly for Michalske.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 08:45 am

BTW, love the disclaimer. lol

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

August 25, 2016 at 08:52 am

Hahahaha, thanks! That was a late addition.

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Michalske's picture

August 26, 2016 at 07:32 am

And Michalske is getting his eyes checked, so he can see your lists and numbers better. Sorry for the flap.

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DukeDivine's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:56 am

Hawkins and Allison/Joe Thomas

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Michalske's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:17 am

2nd comment on DBs.

The team can't really go into the season with just four CB. All of those guys are needed on the active roster every game, because you need 7 guys who can cover on 3rd and long late in the game.

Yes, they use Hyde in the dime (that gets you to 7, with the starting safeties and 4 corners you list), but there still needs to be a backup who can cover.

So I think Hawkins makes it, because I wouldn't trust Banjo or Brice in that role. I like Brice, especially the way he tackles, but we don't yet know if he can cover.

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HankScorpio's picture

August 25, 2016 at 08:43 pm

I agree that 5 CBs is as close to a roster min. requirement as it gets in the NFL. It's a pass happy league. You need to have 3 (or 4) ready to play every single weekend. Unless the Packers decide their 5th best guy really stinks, they'll keep 5. As evidence for this point of view, I offer Demetri Goodson's presence on the roster last year.

It seems more likely to me that the 5th Saf is competing more with the deeper depth at OL, DL, TE, etc than he is competing with the 5th CB for a roster spot.

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gr7070's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:22 am

There is no way in hell Murphy gets cut. Not with what he did Last game.

Using slashes and listing WRs and DBs twice, especially immediately after each other, is dumb and serves no purpose whatsoever.

Yes we realize Datone is playing a much talked about hybrid, but much like the slot guys no reason to show him twice. Show him under one position and if you must add an asterisk or parenthesis with explanation.

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NickPerry's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:36 am

Totally agree! Murphy played well last week and there's no way he won't make the 53. I'd take Murphy over Barclay 8 days a week. Can we please just rid ourselves of Barclay once and for all, especially if it means keeping a tackle who had the 7th highest grade of any tackle in this years Draft. He had the 14th highest pass blocking grade and 7th highest run blocking grade.
Sorry guys, I'm just tied of watching Barclay's man playing in the backfield blowing up plays.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/draft-top-10-impact-sleeper-picks-from-...

https://www.profootballfocus.com/draft-3-offensive-line-sleeper-prospect...

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:48 am

I think the only thing that is going to save Barclay's job is the injury to Linsley. Unless Linsley comes off the Pup list, I think they keep Barclay as a backup Center.

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NickPerry's picture

August 26, 2016 at 06:07 am

That's a good point but then i'd imagine Barclay is gone the moment Lindsey comes back. I just don't understand how anyone can justify Barclay being a Packer this year. Sure he can play anywhere, but he plays anywhere exactly the same. Like CRAP!

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 26, 2016 at 06:44 am

That is kind of what I'm thinking. That he will keep the seat warm until Linsley comes back.

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:47 am

It's DUMB? Are you that offended over the way I mapped this out? I listed them twice because I also made a depth chart out of this instead of just listing off the 53 players. Just because I listed certain players twice doesn't mean I doubled them towards the overall player count.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:13 am

gr7070 makes some cogent arguments, and I often agree with him, but he has sharp elbows. Civility is not his strong suit, Zach.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 25, 2016 at 09:24 am

You beat me to the Murphy piece.

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croatpackfan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:27 am

Interesting observation...
Mostly agree with you. At this point of preseason we all may pick very similar roster - one ot two changes. I think this Friday late game will give a lot of answers how we see Packers roster for this season!

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

August 25, 2016 at 08:02 am

That's the fun part, everyone feels differently about it. It's all just a prediction.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:31 am

For the most part I agree with you.

A few thoughts based on your prediction.

RB - the main battle is for the #3 RB position. The final 2 games will determine the winner between Crockett and Burks. I think Crockett has the edge, but Burks is right behind him.

TE - Like RB the competition is for the #3 TE spot. Backman has made strides in year 2. Does he overtake Perillo for the #3 spot?
Also if they put Janis on IR do they keep 4 TE's?

WR - The question for me is with Janis. Do they keep Janis and just deactivate him the first few weeks? Or do they IR him? I think that will determine if they keep 7 WR's or not. As much as Allison has looked good, I think he will go the PS.

OL - Linsley looks like he will possibly start the season on the PUP. I think they keep Murphy on the 53.

DL - They have 4 locks to make the 53. With Pennel's suspension who else do they keep?

LB - Has become probably one of the better position battles. Do they keep 11? I think they end up keeping 11. 6 OLB's, 5 ILB's. I think Thomas makes the 53.

DB - 4 CB's seems light but for in games they have Hyde that can fill in. I'm assuming they will keep at least 2 CB's on the PS if they need to bring one up. Brice has earned a roster spot.

P - Could the decision be made after this game? I could see them wanting to figure out who the punter is during this cut down so they can save that extra roster spot for another position battle.

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TommyG's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:36 am

Only one backup QB? Never again will that happen.

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HarlanHuckleby's picture

August 25, 2016 at 09:22 am

Either of the two other QBs they have in camp right now will be perfectly safe on the practice squad.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:14 am

Not only will they be safe on the PS, neither has any business playing a game that counts at this stage of their development.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:16 am

Sorry, double post. Deleted, but it was a strong move by Bubba, left rear paw hit the enter button squarely, and KEYSTROKE!

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RobinsonDavis's picture

August 25, 2016 at 06:48 pm

Bubba for Bull-rusher!

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WKUPackFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:53 pm

Keeping 3 QBs on the 53 is a serious waste of a roster spot. Two on the 53, one developmental on the practice squad is the perfect situation.

Perhaps the Dolphins will be dumb enough to cut Brandon Doughty.

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MarkinMadison's picture

August 25, 2016 at 08:12 am

Linsley could be on IR. If not Tretter is a better utility man than Barclay by a mile. Murphy has shown something, and shouldn't be exposed on the practice squad. If T is Barclay's natural position then he has just been damned with faint praise. He cannot be put at T again. My hunch is Barlcay out, Murphy in, unless Linsley is on IR. Then Barclay eeks onto the roster until Linsley returns.

Not sold on Clark as a starter yet, nor on Price making the team. DL is a mess right now. They should be calling Raji daily. Then again, I doubt that he has seen the weight room in six months, so check the waiver wire.

Interested to see if Martinez is out there at ILB calling plays with the 1s on Friday.

Agree that 4 CBs is too risky.

Hard to see going into the season with 2 QBs when one of them has a recurring ankle problem. That said, not sure that any other QB on the roster right now is worth carrying on the 53. Check that waiver wire.

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Bohj's picture

August 25, 2016 at 03:15 pm

With 4 OL in final contract year, I don't mind the way center is shaping up with Tretter and Linsley. Why? Because Tretter is going to prove he is starting material while Linsley recovers. Linsley is the starter going forward and allows us to let Tretter go in free agency next year. He is versatile and good....but perhaps he is worth more in a compensatory pick that will be tradeable!!!!! So definitely PUP Linsley. He reaggrivated/further injured himself by coming back too soon in camp. I don't want to see that happen again.

Barclay gets a horrible rap for last year. We seem to forget he lost an entire season with a horrible injury. He definitely wasn't ready for game speed last year. He was only thrust in because every starter on the line was injured. I just hope he backs up guard.... Not tackle. He's better suited there. Spriggs and Murphy look more like Tackle material. I like our Oline depth way more this year.

No one is sold on Clark as a starter. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of options there.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2016 at 06:26 pm

This complex regarding comp picks is getting out of hand. Letting Tretter or any legitimate starting quality player walk in FA, even if it is the correct decision vis-a-vis the salary cap or talent in the pipeline, almost always is a net loss, and our team is likely to be worse. Even if Tretter gets starter's money at OC, that probably translates to a 4th, more likely a 5th round pick. If I were a GM, I wouldn't like my odds of using that 4th/5th rounder to replace him. The comp pick system has worked well for GB mostly because TT doesn't let quality starters leave. Hayward, House, Tramon, etc., all had something wrong with them and were either no longer quality starters or had never proven themselves to be one in the first place.

3rd: RR (Jennings); 4th: Martinez, Lowry (House, Tramon), Sitton, Daniels, House, McMillan; 5th: Boyd, Abbrederis, Moll, Newhouse; 6th: Backman, Ringo; 7th: Clark Harris, Tollefson, Wells, Curtin, Ford, Josue, Rubin,
Datko, BJ Coleman. 22 players.

TT has done well with his comp picks, which I think makes some fans think Comp Picks are worth more than they are. 2005 to 2014: TT has had 9 3rd rd. picks: I'd rate 3 as good, 2 as fair (I inc. RR as fair - since that is the house opinion - I don't agree tho). H'e had 15 4th rd picks: 5 good picks, 2 fair. TT's had 16 5th rounders: 2 good 4 fair (i deem Newhouse and Quarless as fair). TT's had 15 6th rounders: 4 good, 3 fair. He's had 17 7th rounders: 1 good, 4 fair.

72 picks: 15 good, 16 fair. 43%. Very subjective, I know.

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Bearmeat's picture

August 25, 2016 at 09:08 am

Going into training camp I was worried about the front 7 but the LB's (both ILB and OLB) have played well. I'm not as worried about them.

I am terrified of the DL. Right now, we've got Daniels and a bag of balls (albeit a bag of balls with potential). I fear this could be another one of TT's patented "let the kids grow up" gambles that backfires. Just like FS, ILB, OLB, RB in the past.... hope I'm wrong.

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croatpackfan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 09:22 am

If you'll feel easier: You are wrong! ;-)

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DrealynWilliams's picture

August 25, 2016 at 01:08 pm

I'm the total opposite @Bear.

I'm worried about the OLBs. I like what we have in Daniels, Guion and Pennell (when he's right) + the flashes I've seen from Clark and Lowry. The majority of the pressures we've seen so far have come from the middle. I see we have 4 total sacks so far (Fackrell, Jones, Ringo and Gilbert). 2 outside and 2 inside. At this point, we're hoping Matthews and Peppers' play will be great.

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lucky953's picture

August 26, 2016 at 12:21 am

I can't imagine making it to the championship with the current DL. It's too thin and they're bound to lose someone to injury, at least temporarily. TT is going to find an experienced DL from waivers or off the street a few games in. No question in my mind about that-- just like he picked up Howard Green from the Jets in 2010. Green made the hit on Big Ben that led to Nick Collins INT/TD.

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Michalske's picture

August 26, 2016 at 07:54 am

Guion is the starting NT, and is not just a 'bag of balls'-- remember Guion signed a multi-year contract while all they offered Raji was another 1-year 'prove it' deal.

Clark and Lowry both rotate in as subs. For a 'run stopping' front they can use two of the Elephants until Pennell comes back, maybe with Clay and Elliott both at OLB and only 1 ILB (Clay's prior experience inside will let Capers disguise this front a little).

The roster question is whether Price or Ringo wins the 5th spot. I don't see them keeping 6 pure DL with how good and versatile the various LBs have been.

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L's picture

August 26, 2016 at 10:30 am

My current 53-man prediction:

QB: Hundley needs to demonstrate health to ensure a 3rd QB isn't rostered. I think it's obvious that Callahan is the leading candidate to be added to the Practice Squad.

- Rodgers
- Hundley

RB: Burks is showing well enough during preseason action that he's keeping pressure on Crockett, but I think Crockett will be the #3 guy and Burks ends up being a possible PS addition.

- Lacy (HB)
- Starks (HB)
- Crockett (HB)
- Ripkowski (FB)

WR: As of now I think the team elects to keep Janis on the 53 with the intent of making him active either for week 3 or after week 3 (in order to be a key ST's gunner) while attempting to get T.Davis and G.Allison onto their Practice Squad; though, Janis to the IR is a real possibility if the team feels good about its' gunners on special teams. There are obvious arguments to be made for Davis making the 53 such as him being a 5th Round Draft Pick, a potential Kickoff Returner, the questions surrounding the progress of Janis' hand injury as well as his roster status (will he get IR'd?), and the risk of losing him to another team, but as of now I believe the team takes the risk in trying to get him onto their practice squad so he can spend the season developing and bulking up for next year; however, if Janis is IR'd then he's probably a lock to make the 53.

- Nelson (X, Z)
- Cobb (Z)
- Adams (X, Y)
- Montgomery (Z, Y)
- Abbrederis (Z, Y, X)
- Janis (X, Y) - likely to be inactive first couple or so games

TE: Backman is still a pretty big bubble guy IMO who's fighting with several other bubble guys for a chance of making the 53 man roster. I assume special teams will be critical in the determination, but I currently see the Packers electing to go with the other players while attempting to get Backman onto their Practice Squad since he still has eligibility.

- Cook
- Rodgers
- Perillo

OL: Linsley's injury on top of the contract status of a number of O-linemen really helps make this group somewhat hard to figure out. I think the Packers elect to place Linsley on the Regular Season PUP list, but what I'm really wondering is if they elect to keep Steuck on the 53-man roster (or maybe the practice squad) because of uncertainty regarding Barclay and maybe Taylor in handling the back-up Center position; though, I suppose they could decide to slide Lang over to Center temporarily if need be. The battle between Taylor, Walker, and Barclay for perhaps 2 spots as I'm assuming the team will want to keep 9 O-linemen is very interesting, but maybe they chance keeping only 8 or play it safer with 10; for now I'm taking a wild guess that Barclay and Taylor are who they select to make it 9.

- Bulaga (OT - RT)
- Bakhtiari (OT - LT)
- Lang (OG - RG)
- Sitton (OG - LG)
- Tretter (C, G, T)
- Spriggs (OT)
- Murphy (OG, OT)
- Barclay (OG, OT, C)
- Taylor (OG, C)
*Linsley (C, OG) - Regular Season PUP

DL: I list Jones here because he'll still be part of the rotation on the line on top of playing Elephant End at OLB. Pennel will miss the first 4 games and when he returns the team will have a decision to make as to who to take off the 53-man roster for him. I'm thinking Price has shown enough that the team will likely add him to the Practice Squad to give him a year to add needed strength -- I don't think the team would consider him over Ringo at this point for the 53-man roster, but maybe I'm wrong because of Clark's back soreness which could leave the team feeling thin at NT until Pennel returns and I'm not sure Ringo has lined up at Nose.

- Guion (NT, DT)
- Clark (DT, NT, DE)
- Daniels (DT, DE)
- Ringo (DE, DT)
- Lowry (DE)
- Jones (EE, DE)
*Pennel (DT, NT) - 4-game ban

LB: I think most of the big 53-man roster questions will come at Linebacker. R.Gilbert is probably someone the team is looking at for the practice squad. There's a heck of a battle going on between McCray and Elliot for earning an OLB spot on the 53-man roster and while I believe both could make it, I think it's more likely that only one is kept which I think will be L.McCray despite the team's more favorable control over Elliot's future contract. A similar situation is occurring at ILB between J.Thomas and C.Bradford, but perhaps the battle is even bigger and includes Ryan too because of missed time. As of right now I think Bradford has shown enough during preseason action to give him a real chance at making the 53; though, Bradford is the only ILB of those with a real chance at making the 53 who still has practice squad eligibility, so perhaps that factors unfavorably for him. I've also been wondering if Ryan's injury during training camp has caused his 53-man security to dwindle given the good performances of the others; for now I say Ryan makes the cut, but maybe the team elects to place him on IR (despite his recent return) so that they can keep both Bradford and Thomas on the 53-man while hanging onto Ryan and opening a spot for someone else (aka T.Davis, a #3 QB, Elliot, Backman, an extra DL or an extra DB)? I guess the real question might just be how much value does Ryan, Thomas, and Bradford bring on special teams or in other words have any of them made themselves integral there? Something worth keeping in mind is the fact that C.Matthews' versatility in being able to play inside some and Burnett being expected to play some Hybrid ILB may afford the coaches some extra roster flexibility at the ILB position if they feel they need to add depth elsewhere. I assume that Matthews and Peppers will not face any penalties from the league and if they did they'd simply appeal them.

- Peppers (EE, OLB - Jack or Sam)
- Perry (EE, OLB - Jack or Sam)
- McCray (OLB - Jack or Sam)
- Fackrell (OLB - Sam or Jack)
- Matthews (OLB - Jack or Sam, ILB - Mike)
- Barrington (ILB - Mike)
- Martinez (ILB - Will or Mike)
- Ryan (ILB - Will or Mike) - Would they IR him?
- Thomas (ILB - Will or Mike)
- Bradford (ILB - Mike)

DB: This is the spot on the team where I think not only one, but potentially two undrafted free agents could and probably will make the 53-man roster. I think there's a very interesting battle going on between Gunter, Hawkins, Daniel, Dorleant, and maybe even Jette for two potential Cornerback spots. Gunter should be in pretty good position to be considered a near lock as long as he doesn't continue making any more major special teams blunders and of the remaining guys I've been fairly impressed by Hawkins during his preseason action which is why I'm currently listing him, but Daniel is right on his heals. At Safety undrafted rookie free agent Brice has made his presence known to the point that I think the Packers will be forced to put him on their 53 if they don't want to risk another team acquiring his services. Hyde's versatility grants the team with some added roster flexibility here. The team won't have to worry about making a decision on Goodson until after he serves his 4-game ban, but I suspect it'll end with him getting cut as long as no CB injuries are sustained *knock on wood* while he serves his suspension.

- Shields (CB)
- Randall (CB, Slot)
- Rollins (CB, Slot)
- Gunter (CB, Slot)
- Hawkins (CB, Slot)
- Hyde (Slot, SS, FS, CB)
- Clinton-Dix (FS)
- Burnett (SS)
- Banjo (SS, FS)
- Brice (FS, SS)
*Goodson (CB, Slot) - 4-game ban.

K:

- Crobsy

P: Quite the battle continues here, but I think Masthay remains the starter this year. What's the chances Mortell is kept on the PS? I say little to none.

- Masthay

LS: lack of healthy competition leaves Lovato as the guy it seems. I wonder if the team will take a closer look at Goode when they feel he's further along in his ACL rehab?

- Lovato

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croatpackfan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:51 am

Beckmann do not poses eligibility for PS. Because he was whole season on active roster last year!

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L's picture

August 25, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Incorrect; he does have eligibility.

Backman's NFL career to date includes playing in seven regular season contests as a rookie and seeing time primarily on special teams (only 11 snaps on offense). He did dress for an additional regular season game which made him active for eight total games, but he didn't take the field. He was inactive for the other eight regular season games (aka healthy scratch). He did appear in one postseason game in which he registered a tackle on special teams.

A player has eligibility for the Practice Squad if he does not have an accrued season of NFL experience; an accrued season is gained by being on the active roster for at least six games. Therefore, Backman wouldn't qualify for this year's practice squad under that particular criteria; however, a player who has one accrued season can still be practice squad eligible if they were on the 45-man active gameday roster for less than nine regular season games and Backman was only on it for eight regular season games, so he does have practice squad eligibility for this year under that particular criteria.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:25 pm

We are very similar, Lovato, except I have Davis over Janis and Price over Ringo and perhaps 4 TEs vs. Thomas or Bradford (this last one I keep flipping )

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 10:13 am

I agree about Thomas.

I still really like the idea of pairing Thomas and Martinez in the Nickel. That adds a lot of speed to the ILB. A lot more speed then what we have had in a while at ILB.

Martinez should be our 3 down ILB we have been waiting for.
Barrington is a very good run down defender. I would prefer to see him in the base, and then bring Thomas in the Nickel and or Dime.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

August 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Yea, I must admit, the new Joe Thomas has been looking good (and RC knows how much I don't like him,lol). It's going to be a fight for that last ILB spot.

I don't remember if I mentioned this in a live chat or in a comment section somewhere, but if the coaches want that 4th ILB to offer more -- Bradford might be that guy.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 01:22 pm

Lol, we have went a round or two before about Thomas. I have always been higher on him then most.

If it is truly a fight for the 4th and only ILB spot, you have to factor in other things too. Like special teams. Which player is a better special teams player. Thomas has been one of the best special teams players. I haven't watched Bradford on special teams but ultimately that could be what decides it.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

August 25, 2016 at 02:20 pm

True.

I hope it comes down to the wire. It will bring out the best from both players and I like what I'm seeing so far.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2016 at 06:35 pm

I thought it was the wrong decision to cut Thomas last year (I'd have put Backman on PS to make room - I knew he'd be wasted space), and I was happy to get Thomas back. But this is a new season. I think he has improved. But, I think Martinez, Bradford, heck, maybe even Fackrell, makes Thomas' seat awfully hot. Tough call. I think I need to watch two more games to decide.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 26, 2016 at 06:46 am

That is a great point Cow.
We have learned in the past you can't rely on 1 player to be able to do something. Martinez has been really good in coverage. But you can't rely solely on him.

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stockholder's picture

August 26, 2016 at 10:29 am

Cow, I would cut thomas. No mistake. This is such an easy pre-season schedule, the guys on a bubble look good. Ryan beat out Bradford because he was not consistent enough. Barrington may take time. The packers will give him that. And hopefully Ryan can get well. I SEE Ryan and Martinez. My feeling is McCray may be moved there too. The elephants are going to be in better than 50 % of the time. Mathews will be moved around even to the middle. So that leaves little playing time for Thomas and Bradford. Stay with the best, Ryan, Martinez, and Barrington. With Peppers,Jones and Perry will be fine. Fackrell Mathews, McCray , are certain to me. Elliott needs to step up. Right now I see 10 guys . With Thomas or Bradford you're pushing to 11 or 12. That's to many.

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L's picture

August 26, 2016 at 10:36 am

Good points regarding Thomas.

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Handsback's picture

August 25, 2016 at 10:20 am

Good job Zach. I think the Pack will go with only 2 tailbacks, Lacy and Starks. Crockett add nothing to special teams and would only play maybe 2 plays every game. This was noted in Packer Notes and made me think that they had a great point in going with 2 tailbacks.

OLine, I don't see Taylor making it. Murphy, Barclay, and even Walker can play multiple positions. With Linsley likely on PUP, they will need another guy who can play center, so Barclay seems a cinch.

Janis will be on IR for the 4 weeks and then will return. Geronimo goes on the PS and the rest looks like they match with what your saying.

I have to think Joe Thomas makes it and Ryan goes on IR. (That is a hunch.) Hawkins and Brice make it as well, but Elliot and Goodson are gone.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2016 at 10:37 am

1. It is much more dangerous to try to get Murphy on the PS than Davis. Someone will put in a waiver on Murphy. I think Murphy will develop into starter for a fair amount of teams at RT later this season.

2. If Linsley starts on the PUP, then Barclay makes the roster (or a waiver wire pick-up or gasp, trade) = +1 Roster spot. If Linsley recovers, cut Barclay and open up a roster spot. +1 Roster Spot.

3. Consider putting Davis on the PS. Have to see how he plays before deciding. +2 Roster spots.

4. Consider putting Janis on the IR. This is primarily a medical decision for me. If he can play by week 3 or so, carry him on the 53.

5. Keep McCray over Elliott.

6. Hawkins makes the club. Easily. -1 Roster spot.

7. Consider keeping just Cook and RR. We played with essentially 1 TE for a lot of last year - it is why RR accumulated some stats (also because the WRs were bad).

8. My guess is that Dorleant and Daniel probably make it to the PS. Not so sure about Evans.

9. I did not like the double listing. Difficult for me to keep track of numbers given the small screen I use. Guion is only a 5 Technique if there is a dearth of talent there. Hyde is only a CB if there is a dearth of talent. Dorleant can line up at NT on paper, but I don't think he will fare well there. I don't think Hyde would fare too much better at outside CB (okay, some hyperbole there). The defensive line is a mess. We have a bunch of DTs and a rookie 5 tech. Better hope Clark and Lowry develop, and fast, and Pennel manages to avoid random testing while he is away from Packerland.

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L's picture

August 25, 2016 at 10:44 am

"Dorleant can line up at NT on paper, but I don't think he will fare well there."

I think you meant to say Price, not Dorleant.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:27 am

No, I meant Dorleant, but I could have used Trevor Davis just as well. I am told if it is done well, I should not need a sarcasm font.

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L's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:48 am

I see. I certainly missed the sarcasm given everything around it didn't really seem to indicate you would inject sarcasm.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2016 at 06:44 pm

No prob, L. Mea culpa: if the sarcasm is done well, it's obvious. Like in if I have to explain the joke to everyone, it wasn't a good joke.

I think Zach suggested that guys who can only actually only play 1, or possibly 3, technique could play 5 technique - well, they can line up that way, but they're going to be bad at it. Hyde isn't really that versatile on D, but he adds rock solid PR ability.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

August 25, 2016 at 12:25 pm

I agree on point number 5. He just might have more to work with (pass rush potential) than what Elliot offers. So far, I haven't seen anything from Elliot (and he's usually a standout during the preseason).

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 01:19 pm

My question with Elliott is, are they using him differently then how they have used him in previous preseasons? Are they turning him loose or trying to contain him?

And is the difference that he is facing the teams 1st and 2nd teams offensive lines whereas McCray has been facing the teams 3rd and 4th teams OL's?

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DrealynWilliams's picture

August 25, 2016 at 02:35 pm

If he gets praise for beating backups (previous preseasons) he has to get criticized for losing against starters (current preseason). How else would he earn snaps? We all came into this season expecting Elliot to earn more snaps.

Also, I don't think McCray is outplaying Elliot, but he is showing more pass rush potential with his burst off the snap, use of hands and surprise bullrush. Elliot is better at run support though (much more consistent). They both were playing the same line against the Browns and Elliot played the backups later on against the Raiders. Elliot just looks slow.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 26, 2016 at 06:51 am

I get that. The only thing I'm really questioning is if they are using him differently. He doesn't seem to be firing off the ball like he has in the past, which makes me wonder if they are having him do something different. Or if he has lost a step. I am not sure.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

August 26, 2016 at 01:08 pm

I don't know either. But I doubt the coaches would ask for 1-dimensional player though. He's no bigger than Nick Perry and Datone Jones and those guys still have burst. We'll see how early (or late) he plays this game against the 49ers. With the Browns, it was Elliot early and McCray late. Against the Raiders it was both early and Elliot late. I thought that was interesting.

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CJ Bauckham's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:00 am

QB) Rodgers, Hundley
FB) Ripkowski
RB) Lacy, Starks, Crockett
TE) Cook, Rodgers, Perillo
WR) Nelson, Cobb, Abbrederis, Adams, Monty, Davis, Janis
OL) Bakh, Sitton, Linsley, Lang, Bulaga, Tretter, Spriggs, Taylor, Murphy

DL) Daniels, Pennel, Clark, Guion, Lowry, Ringo
ILB) Barrington, Ryan, Martinez, Bradford
OLB) Matthew, Peppers, Perry, Elliot, D. Jones, Fackrell
CB) Shields, Randall, Rollins, Hyde, Gunter
S) Clinton-Dix, Burnett, Banjo, Brice

ST) Masthay, Crosby, Lovato

PS) Hawkins/Dorleant, Price, Burks, Allison, Evans

Brice/Hawkins/Dorleant, Ringo/Price, McCray/Elliot, Crockett/Burks, Thomas/Bradford, and the two punters all seem fairly interchangeable to me at the moment... so I will definitely continue to watch them closely in these last two preseason games.

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WKUPackFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 08:13 pm

Mr. CowR., really been enjoying your kinder, gentler version. Seriously. However, for old times sake put your best sarcastic thinking cap on (can't believe I'm asking for that) and tell me in what world keeping Barclay is justified. Don is probably a great person, but he's pretty much the second coming of Marshall Newhouse on the field. When Lang is able to play C in an emergency, it's just hard to consider cutting a promising player for someone who is liable to get AR or Lacy killed.

By the way, Newhouse was beaten several times in the Giants last preseason game. McAdoo is probably ready to strangle Jerry Reese.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 26, 2016 at 06:53 am

I agree with that to Cow. I don't like it when they move guys around and it weakens 2 positions versus 1.

Just think of back to last year when they moved Sitton to LT. All that did was made our left side very weak.

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CJ Bauckham's picture

August 26, 2016 at 07:16 am

I'm fine exchanging Taylor for Barclay; neither does much for me anyway.

And I agree on Thomas, I'd give him Pennel's spot during his suspension

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stockholder's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:41 am

I think Barclay makes it. Linsey is down with a tear. Who backs up tretter? They tried Lang before. And Barclay is getting reps at center. He makes the roster. Also I agree with Zach that Davis makes it. And I'll say they'll get Allison on the roster some how. Abbey and Janis are hanging by a thread now. And it should be Adams instead. This goes down to the wire.

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croatpackfan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 11:55 am

Corey does not need surgery. That means his torn is just parcial. He can be ready after bye. Question is will he heal to that time...

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Bohj's picture

August 25, 2016 at 03:25 pm

I say....Linsley heals. But after he heals, Tretter does nothing to lose the starting spot. The Pack play Tretter and ride him at Center for the entire season barring injury. We let him go in FA and pick up a high compensatory pick for his starting caliber performance wherever he goes....and then we combine compensatory picks to trade up in the draft and fill some gaps for 2017. Meanwhile.....we have a fresh Linsley next year for starter again.

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L's picture

August 25, 2016 at 05:23 pm

I think they handle it differently. I get what you're saying, but I think they will take an approach like the one I lay out below.

First, they'll probably let the season play itself out and see who stays healthy and performs well before making any big decisions. If the starters remains healthy and perform well then I think they... offer Bakhtiari a fair 3 year deal in line with the so-called "above-average" Tackle market (up to him to decide to sign it or test free agency), offer Lang a good 3 year deal in line with the "top" guards (I think they'll be pretty intent on bringing him back), offer Tretter a fair multi-year deal in line with an average starting interior line given that he'd be coming off only 1 year of proven capability (though, he might be the one candidate who they could get to sign an extension mid-season if they like how he's performing because he could realize that the team might play Linsley at center once he's healthy and ready to go which would move him into a back-up role and lessen his market value for free agency), and let Sitton walk in order to test his market value in Free Agency (if he's not getting the interest or offers he expects and Lang's asking for an unreasonable amount then begin talking to Sitton about a reasonable 1 or 2 year deal).

The idea would be to have locked up a solid line for the next 2-3 years while maintaining affordable quality back-ups throughout those years who might even be able to supplant the starter. In three years (if injuries or performance haven't already altered or re-settled the lineup) the team will face decisions to make at Tackle between paying Spriggs, Murphy, Bulaga, or Bakhtiari. My guess is the team would be planning to pay and start Spriggs at LT and maybe Murphy at RT if they developed as expected; though, perhaps Murphy is able to step into a starting position at Guard earlier and Bakhtiari is then considered for a shift to RT (not something he'd be too happy about I'm sure). At Guard the team should hope to get 3 more quality years from the veteran leader Lang (but maybe instead it's just 1 or 2 years from Sitton in that role) while finding out if Linsley is versatile enough to be a quality starting Guard or if Tretter would need to shift to Guard while playing Linsley at Center; though, other linemen (Murphy or someone else) could end up competing for the opportunity to take a starting Guard position while keeping Tretter at Center. If Linsley can't provide quality Guard play along with being able to play Center then perhaps the team should simply elect to draft another lineman in the next year or two with the intentions of replacing Linsley as a potential starter or backup after his contract expires given the Packers have a tendency to prefer linemen who can provide some versatility when they find themselves as a potential backup or in times when injuries require some line shifting.

Hopefully, between cap increases and the loss of Peppers contract the team can afford to carry Bulaga, Bakhtiari, Lang, and Tretter's contracts on the O-line for the next 3 years while also factoring in other potential contract raises for key team members.

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al bundy's picture

August 25, 2016 at 07:03 pm

You dont know that. Linzey ia probably done for thenyear, hey maybe foreber who knowa with thia team

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mrtundra's picture

August 25, 2016 at 12:23 pm

I think Kyle Murphy will make the roster. He had a better game than Spriggs did against Oakland. Bulaga seems to always get injured. Murphy will be a good replacement at RT.

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sonomaca's picture

August 25, 2016 at 02:25 pm

No way they can cut a 6th round offensive lineman who has played well. Will be snapped up by another team for sure.

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L's picture

August 25, 2016 at 01:12 pm

I think the first round of cut players to reach 75 will be:

Jamel Johnson
Ed Williams
Herb Waters
Casey Pierce
Jacob Flores
Lucas Patrick
Demetris Anderson
Beniquez Brown
Derrick Mathews
Warren Gatewood
Jermaine Whitehead
Alstevis Squirewell
Randall Jette

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2016 at 01:16 pm

I can see that.
I do wonder if they will cut one of the punters on this first cut down. Try to save the extra roster spot for a position player.

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L's picture

August 25, 2016 at 02:50 pm

I don't see why they would. I think they like the fact that Mortell is pushing Masthay and vise versa; plus, they probably want to get as much time with Mortell as possible to see if he can start improving his hang times. I think they like Mortell, but won't trust him to be their punter this year.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 26, 2016 at 06:57 am

Personally I wouldn't. I am just wondering if that maybe a minor surprise among the first round of cuts.
I heard that being brought up on a radio show I listen to. That they are going to want to figure it out this week to save a space for the positions.

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L's picture

August 26, 2016 at 10:53 am

Well, let me ask you this... who of the guys I listed above do you think is more critical of being kept around on the 75 player roster over Mortell?

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4thand1's picture

August 25, 2016 at 05:56 pm

My prediction.........................there will be 53 players on the roster.

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al bundy's picture

August 25, 2016 at 06:58 pm

ThIs team seriously is missing skill players on both sides of the ball. I see an 8-8 team player wise. Lets hope I'm wrong. Datone jones an outside lb. Lacy running? Jordy not having played in a year. These are our count on guys?

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L's picture

August 26, 2016 at 10:50 am

Outside of injuries which would obviously cause roster issues the only thing that really concerns me is the depth on the D-line and its' ability against good running teams. I think Pennel's return to the lineup and rotation will be very important.

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EJ's picture

August 26, 2016 at 07:12 am

It just wouldn't be a Cheesehead TV article without the obligatory Janis slight.

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