The Green Bay Packers cut their roster down to 53 players on Saturday, per NFL mandate. The Packers will continue to make changes throughout the season but the initial 53 is always full of surprises. Amid a pandemic, roster construction in 2020 was no different. For example, Green Bay moved on from “touchdown Jesus” Jake Kumerow and did not add him to their practice squad. Kumerow grew into a fan favorite the last couple of years, but nevertheless, the 28-year-old receiver will have to look elsewhere. Here are three other moves that stood out when the Packers released their final roster:
Malik Taylor Made the Team:
During a year of steep competition at wide receiver, Green Bay caught everyone by surprise when they held onto Taylor. An undrafted free agent from Ferris State, Taylor beat out Kumerow, Darrius Shepherd, Malik Turner, and Reggie Begelton for the final receiver spot. He was a member of the team’s practice squad for all of 2019 after failing to make the team last summer. In a year without preseason, Taylor did enough in practice to catch the attention of GM Brian Gutekunst.
“Malik had an outstanding camp, an explosive athlete that has a lot in front of him,” said Gutekunst. “He really built off what he did last year. We’re excited to see where he can go.”
Tim Williams Gets Cut
The Packers signed Williams last October after he was released by the Baltimore Ravens. A third-round draft pick in 2017, Williams never settled into much of a role in Baltimore. Things were looking up this summer in Green Bay after Williams was a consistent performer in practice. However, he did not make the final roster and was not signed to the practice squad. Williams could always end up returning in some capacity, but the fact that he isn’t at least a member of the Packers practice squad is kind of surprising.
Questions at Offensive Tackle
In an offseason that Green Bay failed to retain Bryan Bulaga, concern for the team’s tackle position still isn’t settled a week before the season. Rick Wagner is expected to be Bulaga’s replacement, but their depth evokes a lot of uncertainty. In a pinch, they could turn to Elgton Jenkins who played some tackle at Texas A&M, however, that would take him away from guard where he blossomed as a rookie. Besides Jenkins, there’s also Lucas Patrick, Billy Turner, Lane Taylor, or Nijman who could step in, but none of these guys offer much comfort when it comes to protecting Aaron Rodgers on the edge.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.