Packers Depth Chart: Offensive Backfield

With just a short month between now and training camp, the Packers depth chart is still jam packed with talent. And with all that talent comes some players who need some of the spotlight to get fans excited about them. And now, with the second edition of this breakdown, we hit the offensive backfield.

For this series, which will finish by training camp starts, we will look at each and every player on the roster, breaking down their strengths, weaknesses, their role, and their best and worst case scenarios.  I will also project their role. Let’s dive into the depths of the Packers pool of talent.

Previous posts: Full Roster

Quarterbacks


#27 EDDIE LACY, RB

5’11” 234 lbs. Age 26 (4th season)

Drafted in the 2nd Round (61st Overall) in 2013 from Alabama

Strengths: Lacy is a true power runner in the mold of Marshawn Lynch or a poor man’s Earl Campbell, capable of running over any defender and usually leaving a trail of would-be tacklers in his wake. And in his first two season he could combine his power with great agility and good enough speed to break big runs. He is also a very good receiver out of the backfield though he needs help with his route running.

Share
Share

Despite Inexperience, Packers’ Secondary Primed to Succeed

When the Green Bay Packers’ offense struggled in 2015, it was the defense that stepped up to help guide the team to another strong season, even if it did not end in a fifth straight division title.

A big reason for the defensive unit’s overall improvement was the play in the secondary. Just five years ago, the Packers’ pass defense ranked dead last in the NFL. Last year, led by a group of young playmakers, Green Bay rose to the sixth-best defensive backfield in the league.

Despite the relative youth of the secondary, the Packers’ unit has the potential to rank among the best in the league in 2016 by most defensive measures. Cornerbacks Sam Shields, Damarious Randall, and Quinten Rollins and safeties Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will serve as the anchors of a talented group of playmaking defenders.

The Packers elected to go with a younger group in the secondary after allowing Tramon Williams and Davon House to depart in free agency last year. That left Shields, still only 28 years of age, as the oldest and most experienced man in the backfield. Burnett, like Shields, will be entering his seventh year in the league, but the other three core members all have racked up less than three years of experience.

Green Bay selected Randall and Rollins with its first two picks in the 2015 draft, and they both exceeded expectations during their rookie seasons. The duo combined for five interceptions (including one pick-six apiece) and 20 passes defended. Both are due to have expanded workloads this season, especially with the departure of Casey Hayward.

Share
Share

A Way, Way Too Early Roster and Depth Chart Prediction

The first day of the Green Bay Packers’ training camp is still over a month away. That means that predicting the final 53-man roster and depth chart is, frankly, pretty stupid. But it’s the time of the year when we have little to do but speculate. So, just for fun, let’s take a stab at it now. Back-ups will be in parentheses. Non-starting role players will be italicized. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Quarterbacks:

Aaron Rodgers (Brett Hundley)

Running Backs:

Eddie Lacy (James Starks, John Crockett)

Fullback:

Aaron Ripkowski

Tight Ends:

Jared Cook (Richard Rodgers, Kennard Backman)

Offensive Line:

David Bakhtiari, Josh Sitton, Corey Linsley, TJ Lang, Bryan Bulaga (JC Tretter, Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy, Lane Taylor, Don Barclay)

Wide Receivers:

Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb (Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis)

Defensive Line:

Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Letroy Guion (Dean Lowry, Christian Ringo)

*Mike Pennel does not count against the roster for the first four games of the season due to suspension. I suspect that Ringo will be waived to make room for Pennel when he returns).

Outside Linebackers:

Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers (Nick Perry, Datone Jones, Jayrone Elliott, Kyler Fackrell, Lerentee McCray)

Inside Linebackers:

Sam Barrington, Jake Ryan (Blake Martinez – Dime ILB replacing Ryan, Joe Thomas)

Cornerbacks: 

Sam Shields, Damarious Randall (Quinten Rollins, Micah Hyde, Ladarius Gunter)

Share
Share

Packers Depth Chart: Quarterbacks

Just over a week ago, we went through my personal projections for the Packers Opening Week 53 man roster. Now it’s time to break it down. And we start with the most important position on the field: quarterback.

For this series, which will finish by training camp starts, we will look at each and every player on the roster, breaking down their strengths, weaknesses, their role, and their best and worst case scenarios.  I will also project their role. Let’s dive into the depths of the Packers pool of talent.

#12 AARON RODGERS

6’2” 225 lbs. Age 32 (12th Year)

Drafted in the 1st Round (24th Overall) in 2005 from California

Strengths: To put it succinctly, everything. Rodgers it the best pure quarterback the league has seen in many years. Able to throw on the run and from a standstill in the pocket, there is no better passer in both. He has a cannon for an arm and a beautiful, accurate deep ball that rarely gets picked off. Already the most efficient quarterback in NFL history, Rodgers is a master of ball placement, making unbelievable sideline passes look easy.

Weaknesses: If there is any weakness to his game, it’s his patience and willingness to take sacks and heavy hits. A touch customer in the pocket, Rodgers is less willing to throw the ball away and would rather buy time with his feet, risking a major hit.

Underrated attribute: Leaving his feet on throws outside the pocket to avoid leg injuries.

Share
Share

Brett Hundley’s Trade Value

The Green Bay Packers come into the season with a promising young backup Quarterback, but would a good preseason be enough for them to get significant trade value for Brett Hundley? After falling to the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Hundley had a very solid rookie camp and preseason. Whether that was a product of playing against 3rd and 4th string competition, or the beginning of a legitimate starting NFL Quarterback career, will be tested this offseason.

The Packers will need Hundley to develop because of Aaron Rodgers health concerns over the last three seasons. For a team with Super Bowl ambitions, having a capable backup QB in place is a must. If Hundley performs well in the preseason it may get Quarterback-needy teams interested. Mike McCarthy will give Hundley at least one start during the preseason. With the Packers playing 5 practice games this year, he should see at least 12 quarters of action.

Any reps he gets in the regular season are a bonus, and are additional chances to prove his worth to potential suitors (Hopefully due to the Packers blowing out their opponent and not an injury). Matt Flynn turned two solid games against the Lions and Patriots, and one great game against the Lions into a huge free agent contract from the Seahawks. NFL teams are desperate to acquire a franchise signal caller, and don’t typically follow a conservative approach in acquiring one.

Share
Share

PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Lucky Seven?

Keeping seven wide receivers is almost unheard of, but the Green Bay Packers certainly could make a case for it this upcoming season.  All seven receivers that seem to be in contention for the roster are Ted Thompson draft picks, and the one with the worst draft pedigree just might be the most talented.  This conversation of course eliminates talented undrafted receivers Geronimo Allison and Ed Williams (from a season ago).

One of the things I want to make clear is that doing this is certainly going to require one thing: keeping three total running backs.  That would make the battle for the final roster spot in the non-tight-end skill positions John Crockett vs. Aaron Ripkowski.  Crockett is a very talented back and showed as much against the Lions, but Ripkowski is seen as the heir apparent to John Kuhn, and the Packers look to still use at least one fullback.

The reason that this idea could work, and how the idea of seven wide receivers is even feasible, is because of two players: Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery.  Both Montgomery and Cobb have the versatility and ability to affect the game as “third down backs”.  Both players can play running back in the no huddle and both run exceptional routes from out of the backfield.  It’s certainly possible that they could sneak Crockett back on to the practice squad and plan on using him in 2017, with Eddie Lacy and James Starks both playing on expiring contracts.

Share
Share

Projecting the Roles of Packers’ Rookies: Rounds 4-7

The Green Bay Packers are one of the most effective teams in the league when it comes to drafting players who can have an impact in their rookie season.

As discussed last week, the Packers are expecting and hoping for significant impacts from each of their first three draft selections: Kenny Clark, Jason Spriggs, and Kyler Fackrell. Their draft status makes it likely that they will be given opportunities to excel early on in the 2016 season.

However, it is much harder to determine what the roles of the Packers’ third day selections will be. Players selected after the fourth round have a harder time making the final roster and contributing during their first year in the league, but that does not mean that these rookies cannot develop into role players for Green Bay.

The Packers had four picks on day three of the 2016 draft, including two in the fourth round, one in the fifth, and one in the sixth. Despite being lower picks, Green Bay has reason to be excited for its incoming class. What roles can Blake Martinez, Dean Lowry, Trevor Davis and Kyle Murphy have on the 2016 team?

Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford (Round 4, Pick 131)

Share
Share