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

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

In case you missed my pre-training camp 53-man roster prediction back in July, then good for you. The events that have unfolded over the last four weeks have completely altered my thinking process in who goes where on the Packers' roster.

There are so many tough decisions in trying to piece together the 53 best players the Packers have to offer, and the possibility of anyone successfully doing so probably equates to your odds of winning the lottery.

Okay, maybe it's not that unlikely. But, still.

This is my second and final attempt at predicting who will be suiting up for the Green Bay Packers on the September 10th season opener.


QB (2): Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley

Despite what Taysom Hill has shown, the Packers don't need to keep three quarterbacks on the active roster. One of those spots can be used at a true position of weakness. On the other hand, if Hill ends up on the practice squad, he may very well be scooped up by another team.

RB (4): Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Aaron Ripkowski.

One of the Packers' three rookie running backs will end up as an exclusive practice squad member, and despite Devante Mays' strong running on limited carries, it's not enough to reserve him a spot on the 53. However, that's not to say he won't be activated during the season if the situation calls for it.

WR (6): Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis, DeAngelo Yancey

Yancey makes it. Dupre doesn't. Simple. Yance's shown some impressive ability on certain plays, but he's also left much to be desired. Still, he has the advantage over his fellow rookie wideout. Geronimo Allison isn't going anywhere either, he's just not on the list because he's suspended for the first week of the season and won't count towards the roster. He'll be back, and the Packers will roll with seven.

TE (3): Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks, Richard Rodgers

Not much to see here. Some people see Rodgers being one of the Packers' surprise cuts and I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge how absurd that is.

OL (9): David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Jahri Evans, Bryan Bulaga. | Jason Spriggs, Lucas Patrick, Don Barclay, Kyle Murphy.

The Packers need all the depth they can get on the offensive line, especially given how poor the second-teamers looked in the last two games of the preseason. Spriggs, for example, has been struggling with his own demons. The Packers need to right the ship and "shore up" the offensive line with as much stability as possible, especially against a locked-and-loaded Seattle front seven come week one.

DL (6): Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Ricky Jean Francois, Montravius Adams, Christian Ringo

I didn't think this group was anything special back in May. I'm still not particularly sold on the depth there in case a reserve needs to step in, but the starting group is as solid as can be. Expect a big jump in year two from Kenny Clark. Third-round pick Montravius Adams could very well be destined for injured reserve.

OLB: (5) Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Ahmad Brooks, Jayrone Elliott, Kyler Fackrell

Reggie Gilbert deserves very much to make this team. It can easily be argued that he's been a superior performer to Fackrell, whose tape is less than ideal, but you can only have so much competition at one spot. Vince Biegel joins fellow draft pick Adams on the PUP list to begin the season and, again, won't count towards the 53 until he's activated.

ILB (4): Jake Ryan, Blake Martinez, Joe Thomas, Jordan Tripp

The top three aren't going anywhere, but Tripp may very well cling on for his special teams ability. Kind of a forgotten man in the roster chaos that has been the last couple weeks.

CB (6): Davon House, Kevin King, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, LaDarius Gunter, Josh Hawkins.

Hawkins, like Tripp, has the upside of special teams working in his favor. Not to mention, he's had a quiet, yet, efficient preseason. He'll round out the six-deep group of cornerbacks for the Packers this year: a position that'll have many eyes trained upon them after the Packers finished 31st in pass defense a season ago.

S (5): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Morgan Burnett, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice, Marwin Evans.

Like I, and many others have been saying all offseason: this is the deepest position group on the Packers' roster. Jones is going to play a variety of roles on defense and a mixture of packages whereas Evans is hoping to carry his strong, strong preseason into regular season play. Just buckle up, this group is going to be something special to watch.

Special teams (3): Mason Crosby, Justin Vogel, Brett Goode.

Welcome home, Brett Goode.


One note: Joe Kerridge and Brian Price were hard cuts for me. The Packers seem to like what Kerridge could potentially bring to special teams and Price helped bolster the Packers' run defense in the preseason. However, these 53 players should be who the Packers roll with on opening day. Or at least something close to this barring anything surprising.

Also, if he isn't released, cornerback Demetri Goodson is a candidate to begin the season on the PUP list.

The Packers, and the rest of the league, must have their rosters trimmed down to the 53-man maximum by Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.


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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (33) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

paxbak's picture

I don't see Ahmad Brooks on the list. It looks like you are going to have to make another cut. Tripp would be the obvious to me.

I would have liked to see McCaffrey make it. Hopefully he'll make it to the Practice Squad.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

He's there.

sheppercheeser's picture

I SO want to see McCaffrey make the cut, but don't hold out much hope. The guy runs crisp routes and brings energy, whether he's catching a pass or on Special Teams duty. I'm very concerned that he won't last long on the packers Practice Squad before being sniped by another team.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

McCaffrey will never see the Practice Squad.

Release him, and he's gone.

packerbackerjim's picture

Hard to believe Belichek would not add him to that roster!

HankScorpio's picture

I agree that they will keep 2 QBs. I'm good with either Callahan or Hill on the PS as the 3rd QB. At least one will make it through, perhaps both.

GBPDAN1's picture

I was hoping for a year 2 jump from Fackrell. So far it's hard for me to see that he's NFL caliber. Gilbert looks better as he transitions from college DL. He's still learning the position and looks to get better

Zachary Jacobson's picture

If it were up to me, I'd keep Gilbert around. But Fackrell played more special teams snaps than any of their linebackers last year. His role there and the hope that he could be something more as a traditional OLBer is what will keep his roster spot in the bag.

lou's picture

Best post I have seen yet, no one in Packer history as a player had as many changes as BRADFORD. A comparison on the coaching staff to Bradford would be Slocum.

Since '61's picture

I like including Tripp on the final 53. We need additional depth at ILB.
I would add Brooks to the 53 and move Fackrell to the PS. He did not show me anything during the preseason that he is ready to contribute. I think you missed that we need a spot for Brooks.
I would also swap McCaffery for Yancey at WR. Yancey to the PS.
Also swap D. Brown for Gunter. Brown has more upside than Gunter going forward.
Justin McCray to the PS. I would rather keep Price on the 53 as part of the DL rotation. We can promote an OL from the PS if the need arises.
Kerridge could go to the PS as well.
Thanks, Since '61

The TKstinator's picture

Dear Since '611,

There is no "h" in "Gunter".

PS I am good naturedly poking the piranha here.

croatpackfan's picture

Since 61 hates Gunter on enormous scale (1-10 he hates him 10000). He can not see the guy and I'm not surprised if he is spelling his name wrong on purpose...
Thank God, we are not making decisions for Packers...
To make it clear, I do not push for the guy, but I do not like Jeff Janis. And that would not be reason for me to cut the guy, because he is "stupid" to be WR, but he is excellent ST player, I can say ST leader and team needs him at that place.
I know that Since will argue that LaDarius is slow. Well Mycah Hyde is slow, too. So what. LaDarius has football intelligence and did a lot of good things for Packers last season. He had marvelous last 2 preseason games.
I can understand when you do not like someone, but to be ignorant to obvious is really strange for otherwise person with excellent football knowledge (like Since 61 has) .
Thank you!

Since '61's picture

Croat - There are basically 2 reasons why I believe that Gunter should not be on the Packers final 53.
1. He repeatedly hurt the team last season and it was obvious to me that he could not cover quality NFL starting receivers. Yes, Gunter played hard but he was overmatched. What are the good things that he did for the Packers last season? BTW, I don't give out participation awards for showing up and playing hard, that is important but results are what matter.
2. During this preseason I believe that we watched two CBs who have more upside over the long term than Gunter has, specifically Pipkins and Brown. At first I thought Pipkins was the better choice but by the last preseason game I preferred Donatello Brown.

Mycah Hyde was a bit slow but he made plays for the Packers to the point where he was overpaid in free agency.
To be clear, I don't hate anyone including Gunter. Neither Gunter or football are important enough for me to be hateful over. I just believe that the Packers have better options to go into the 2017 season.

If I'm wrong about Gunter so be it and that much the better for the Packers if I am wrong. For all I know Gunter will make the game winning interception in this year's Super Bowl and I can enjoy eating crow while celebrating the Packers 14th championship and 5th SB victory. But we're no where close to that today.

It's not a matter of who I like or dislike it's a matter of who gives the Packers a better chance to win. As of now I would keep Brown over Gunter. I don't expect everyone on this blog to agree with me and I'm fine with the fact that you prefer Gunter. That doesn't make you "ignorant to the obvious" does it?

Finally, I agree with you that, "Thank God we are not making decisions for the Packers", or at least that I'm not making the decisions. You on the other hand always know the best decisions and who are the best players for the Packers. Therefore I defer to you in this matter.
Thanks, Since '61

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I'd keep Gunter over Brown, whom I believe we can safely stash on the Practice Squad, but this answer by Since '61 is one of the finest I've seen here.

Since '61's picture

Thanks ALP. You make a good point about stashing Brown on the PS. But we should stash Pipkins on the PS as well. Since '61

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

I say stash them both.

My biggest disagreement with the article is keeping Yancey over McCaffrey.

Since '61's picture

TK - good point and thank you for letting me know. The street that I grew up on was Gunther Avenue so I guess my hands automatically typed out my old address.
However if I was a fish I would prefer to be a Dolphin or maybe a crustacean, probably a lobster, a little scary at first but ultimately enjoyed as part of a fine meal.
Thanks, Since '61

The TKstinator's picture

Well played, señor.

Since '61's picture

Thanks TK. Since '61

RobinsonDavis's picture

Like it Zachary! I have some Minor changes but mostly because I think TT and company will use the PUP on Biegel and Goodson, and the IR on Adams and perhaps Tripp .

*I have McCaffrey over Yancy only because he provides impact today if called upon and ST acumen. Regardless, both will likely not dress right away, so you maybe right.

*Gilbert takes Adams roster spot as they need depth at OLB. McCray for Lucas Patrick who is added to PS. McCray only because he is healthy, but also goes to PS when Packers sign a free agent Lineman.

*Like you, I have Ringo over Price due to Ringo causing a couple of turnovers in preseason. But Price may have the upside due to his youth. Ringo is one of the "good guys" of football though....rooting for him!! Regardless, Price for Tripp if Tripp cannot play.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree on Tripp, assuming GB thinks he'll be able to play in game one. Otherwise, waive/injured.

I think Max ought to make the 53. He looks like the 5th best WR, and can back up at PR if Davis muffs a few more. I am far less sure that Max will make the 53. Yancey and Dupre looked very ordinary. Nothing wrong with them, but I can't see the difference between them and Kevin Dorsey. i agree on no Gilbert. Mays might deserve a spot on the 53, but I'd put him on the PS because I think we can do that safely. Actually, I wouldn't blame him if he accepted a PS offer from another team.

I think all the cuts will be submitted as close to the deadline as possible, especially the 10 guys they want on the PS.

Tundraboy's picture

Rooting for Gilbert and Mayes.

croatpackfan's picture

I think, Zach, you might nailed this time. I do not agree on every player with you, but I think your choices are more realistic than my "wishes"...

Bearmeat's picture

Get rid of Patrick and Yancey. Add Price and Gilbert.

Hill, Gray, Clark, Kerridge, Mays, Patrick, Yancey, Dupre to the Practice Squad.

Since '61's picture

I like it Bearmeat. Although Patrick can backup at Center but we can promote him from the PS if that becomes necessary. Thanks, Since '61

Zachary Jacobson's picture

What '61 said. If Patrick is healthy for week one, he brings some much-needed versatility to the OL. I think they could use it given how poorly the reserves looked in the last two preseason games.

PatrickGB's picture

I like Patrick. I wanted to buy his jersey just to have one with my name on it. But with his injury, I doubt he makes even the practice squad. Max has proved his worth over the drafted WR rookies.

Bedrock's picture

My brother's name is Patrick and my name is Lucas. Gotta say I like him too.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

Here's the interesting move I propose: Cut Jean Francois and keep Price, Ringo, and M Adams. It may be that Francois is "clearly better" than the other three in the eyes of the coaches, but as far as I could see, he was "slightly better" but is almost 10 years older.

No Jordan Tripp. With Jones and other safeties playing ILB, three is PLENTY. I'm already keeping a bunch of good ST guys.

I absolutely keep McCaffery over Yancey, and I doubt anyone steals Yancey from the PS. I also put D Mays on the PS for similar reasons, and while watching him at practice, I saw him drop 4 out of 5 passes and whiff on several pass blocks. I think he and Michael Clark need a year on the PS and will be on the 53 next year.

I put Patrick on the PS, leaving OL potentially really thin, with the assumption that Barclay will be able to play in the opener. I also keep Amichia and Gray on the PS, so there's the depth, and in a pinch, Bennett and Rodgers or someone else could probably step in (terribly...).

I put Taysom Hill on the 53 AND Callahan on the PS. I believe they are both NFL quality QBs, and are too valuable to risk/throw away. I will be SHOCKED if Hundley is on the Packers next year.

I also keep D Brown over Gunter. It's easy to make the mistake of thinking of Gunter as some sort of "veteran," but he was a rookie just last year. Brown has looked good all the way back to OTAs. He plays like a faster Micah Hyde in my opinion--he just seems to have "football smarts."

We'll see who the Packers choose!

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Strong list, though I'd keep McCaffrey over Yancey, Gilbert over Fackrell, and Price over Joe Thomas (we have 2 safeties playing ILB).

Zachary Jacobson's picture

A general theme I'm seeing here is that McCaffrey deserves to be on the roster more than the two rookie WRs, which is understandable. That could very much happen, because I don't know how long McCaffrey would last on the practice squad.

When it comes down to it, Yancey has the edge as a draft pick, and he's made a few plays here and there in the preseason. I'm torn here, honestly. It's a good problem to have.

Also on Fackrell: He played 282 snaps on special teams last year, which was second on the team behind Kentrell Brice (297). If his value doesn't rest within him being a linebacker, which it clearly doesn't at the moment, he brings the Packers another efficient body to special teams, and we all know how much they value that.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

I like Yancey, but like several of this year's rookies (M Clark, D Mays, K Amichia, etc.), he really seems to need another year of PS. McCaffery is ready NOW, and has sort of a Jordy/Cobb blend of skills.

I loved Fackrell as a draft pick last year, but I saw him as a pass-coverage guy who could effectively blitz. Now Burnett and Jones have that role, and are better at it. I didn't think Fackrell would be a great pass-rusher, so he's sort of miscast in that role. As much as I loved the pick last year, I'd be completely good with cutting him. Hopefully he could find a role on a different team.

Bedrock's picture

If our base defense is really more of a 2-4 nickel, why are we keeping 6 DL? My thinking is the 6th DL offers less to the team in special teams compared to another LB. With a few of our DL able to play both DT/DE, I don't see the need for a 6th.

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