Yesterday the Packers made roster cuts to get to their initial 53-man roster. Some things about the roster, like keeping two quarterbacks weren’t a surprise. Others, like cutting preseason standout Sean Davis was surprising. Over the past 24 hours, Brian Gutekunst and his team have been undoubtedly combing over each teams’ cuts looking for players that can improve the team and diamonds in the rough. There are a few recently released players that the Packers must strongly consider adding to the roster.
Anthony Harris and Tony Jefferson II
It was a shock to see Anthony Harris cut by Philadelphia. This became possible only because earlier in the day the Eagles traded for now former Saint Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Only a couple years removed from being Minnesota’s franchised player, Harris is an all around safety that would immediately bring quality depth to the safety room and walk in the door as presumptive 3rd safety. With the Packers looking to be multiple, he could be a perfect fit. The only question is if he is willing and able to play on special teams.
If the aforementioned Harris isn’t an option, former Raven Tony Jefferson II is another quality safety that just became available. He is also an experienced starting safety who was replaced by a younger up and coming player in rookie Kyle Hamilton. The key difference between Harris and Jefferson is that Jefferson has extensive special teams experience. He would be the perfect addition to a team like the Packers.
Even after cutdowns, there are questions at Tight End for Green Bay. To hedge against injuries and inexperience, OJ Howard is a great piece to add to the mix. Recently cut from the Buffalo Bills, Howard is especially needed early on as Robert Tonyan returns from last season’s ACL injury. Even if Tonyan is ready to play week 1, he likely won’t be able to play 60-70 snaps. This is where Howard can come in and supplement as an additional experienced receiving threat.
While he has not lived up to expectations as a first round pick, he can be a quality role player with a coach in Matt LaFleur that knows how to use Tight Ends.
Beyond edge starters Preston Smith and Rashan Gary is inexperience and potential, a terrifying combination for a team that has championship ideas. Devon Kennard would be the Packers 2022 version of Whitney Mercilus; a veteran edge rusher that knows how to get the job done. While he doesn’t have quite the robust resume Mercilus did, he has been an effective pass rusher in this league. He’s exactly what the Packers need to round out their room, spelling Gary and Smith so they can be as effective as possible deep into games.
In this instance, a veteran who has been there before is exactly what the doctor ordered to further juice up what should be a ferocious pass rush.
For each of these players, while they wouldn’t be starters in Green Bay, they would be immediate contributors. They would help round out a roster that should be competing throughout the season and well into January in 2022.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.