With the fourth and final preseason game in the books, the Green Bay Packers will get their final look at their roster before having to cut it down to 53 players by Saturday afternoon. PackersTalk’s Ross Uglem posted his final projection here. Here is my own attempt at a projection of who the Packers will keep going into the regular season.
Quaterbacks (3): Aaron Rodgers, DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle
Kizer has shown flashes of NFL talent, and the Packers clearly think that he had the better upside over Hundley after trading Hundley to Seattle. Keeping three quarterbacks will make the roster tighter in other spots, but the Packers like what they see in Boyle and don’t want to lose him the way that they lost Taysom Hill last offseason.
Running Backs (3): Jamaal Williams, Ty Montgomery, Joel Bouagnon (replaced by Aaron Jones)
It is too bad that we haven’t seen more from Devante Mays. While he has missed most of the preseason, Bouagnon has shown that he can provide something off of the bench. Williams and Montgomery are locks. Bouagnon will be waived to make room for Aaron Jones after his two week suspension.
Fullback (1): Aaron Ripkowski
Joe Kerridge has added some special teams depth but he hasn’t done enough to unseat Ripkowski nor to warrant the Packers keeping two full backs.
Receivers (7): Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, Jake Kumerow, J’mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Trevor Davis
A lot has been made about this position group. I think that the Packers will keep seven. The top three are locks. I also think that two of the three rookie draft picks will make the team. Valdes-Scantling has flashed a vertical game which the Packers sorely need, and Moore is rough but has the ability to create separation and get open (like a lite version of Davante Adams). Green Bay will not risk losing them on waivers.
While Trevor Davis has shown little as a receiver in his two seasons with the Packers, he has excelled as a special teams returner. The Packers have given other players a shot at returning kicks and punts (Montgomery, Valdes-Scantling, etc.) but without good results. Meanwhile, Jake Kumerow has gotten the best of every expectation thrown at him as a receiver this preseason and has outplayed Equanimeous St. Brown, who I think will be the odd man out. The Packers will attempt to bring St. Brown back onto the practice squad (as they did with DeAngelo Yancey last year) and will probably be able to do so.
Tight Ends (3): Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan
Robert Tonyan has made a few plays throughout the preseason. Leading up to the fourth preseason game, I wasn’t sure that it was enough to unseat veteran Lance Kendricks. However, after snagging 4 catches against the Chiefs, including a TD, he’s established himself as a true competitor to Kendricks. “Big Bob” is younger and has the higher upside.
Offensive Line (9): David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Justin McCray, Bryan Bulaga, Kyle Murphy, Jason Spriggs, Adam Pankey, Lucas Patrick
Murphy and Spriggs have looked downright bad this preseason but the Packers don’t have anyone with which to replace them. Meanwhile, Patrick and Pankey have looked competent as backups for the interior of the line. Pankey actually has some experience at tackle in the Green Bay offense. The Packers love that kind of versatiltity.
Defensive Line (5): Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Muhammad Wilkerson, Dean Lowry, Montravious Adams
This is an exciting group. There is a big drop off on the roster from Adams to James Looney, who probably will not warrant a roster spot as a sixth defensive lineman.
Inside Linebackers (4): Blake Martinez, Oren Burks, Antonio Morrison, Ahmad Thomas
This was an easier position group to call before the Packers shipped Lenzy Pipkins to Indianapolis for Antonio Morrison. They obviously like what they see in him. With so little time to lose a roster spot, we can assume that he will make the final cut.
That means that either Ahmad Thomas or Greer Martini will get the boot. Martini has surprised as a tryout player but Thomas has made more impressive plays as a cover linebacker, just recently drawing the praise of Pettine. Thomas is a versatile piece that can play as a cover backer/safety hybrid. Martini has impressed, and I am sure that the Packers hope to keep him on the practice squad, but he is the odd man out.
Outside Linebackers (6): Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Reggie Gilbert, Kyler Fackrell, Vince Biegel, Kendall Donnerson
I am calling this according to what I think the Packers will do, not what I would do. As Aaron Nagler tweeted, I don’t understand why Green Bay will keep Fackrell but they will. Just accept it. Mike Pettine already mentioned Fackrell being in the top four at the position.
Kendall Donnerson has a ton of raw talent. If I were Brian Gutekunst, I would keep him over Fackrell (and perhaps even Biegel) rather than subjecting him to waivers. Setting aside the unwavering devotion to Fackrell, I think that Green Bay will also make room for Donnerson.
Corner Backs (5): Tramon Williams, Kevin King, Jaire Alexander, Joshua Jackson, Davon House
Keeping a 6th OLB will make things tight elsewhere. The idea of keeping only five corner backs may seem risky, but no one else has stood out as warranting a roster spot. The Packers can roll the dice with these five and stash someone like Josh Hawkins or Herb Waters on the practice squad. It is hard to imagine that they would make another team’s roster, and the Packers can call them up if there’s an injury.
Safeties (4): Haha Clinton-Dix, Kentrell Brice, Josh Jones, Raven Greene
Jermaine Whitehead would provide some ability to help out at corner, but the Packers don’t need to keep five safeties. Raven Greene has had the better preseason.
Special Teams (3): Mason Crosby, JK Scott, Zach Triner
Green Bay spent a 7th round pick on Hunter Bradley at long snapper but Triner has been more consistent in camp.——————
Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.