The preseason has come and gone for the 2018 Green Bay Packers. We now get to move on to the more exciting regular season, but not before I attempt to predict the 53 man roster one last time. Keep in mind, I’ve always approached these predictions as “what would the Packers do” and not “what I would do”. Don’t read too much into how the players are ordered either, I based that more upon their roster status than their place on the depth chart. Lets take a look…
3- Aaron Rodgers, DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle
News broke Wednesday of the Packers trading Brett Hundley to the Seahawks for a 6th round pick. I had speculated that this may happen, but i wasn’t sure if the organization was confident enough in Kizer as a backup. They certainly got more draft capital than I anticipated in that trade, and that makes the trade for Kizer look a little better.
Reports later surfaced from ESPN Wisconsin that the Packers were keeping Tim Boyle on the 53 man roster. I have them keeping 3 quarterbacks based on that. There was reported interest in Boyle from other teams. While I trust the source, I think it is possible that Kizer is the only backup QB on the roster. Taysom Hill or another quarterback could possibly steal a roster spot from Boyle. Hill is likely to be cut from the Saints roster. After the Chiefs game, I cannot see the team being overly confident at backup quarterback.
3- Jamaal Williams, Ty Montgomery, Aaron Ripkowski
Suspended: Aaron Jones (2 games)
I have the Packers keeping 3 backs. Williams looks to have improved on a decent showing last season. He is your starter and a lock to make the roster. I’d be very surprised if Ty Montgomery is cut, but he has major durability concerns. The fullback seems to have disappeared from the offense, it wouldn’t shock me if this was the year the Packers went without one. Aaron Jones figures to come back Week 3 as the Packers most talented running back.
Devante Mays could make this roster, but he hasn’t been healthy all preseason. I don’t see him making it. I think the Packers try to slide by with 2 backs and Ripkowski for the first two weeks of the season. I would not rule out a possible waiver wire pickup for a running back cut by another team, especially if said back can return kicks or punts.
4- Jimmy Graham, Mercedes Lewis, Lance Kendricks, Robert Tonyan
This is a deep position, and it really needs to be, with the way the Packers will use Jimmy Graham. Lewis is a lock, he provides a big impact as a blocker. The guy can simply move defensive linemen. Kendrick’s could maybe be cut because of his cap number in favor of Robert Tonyan. Personally I would keep Kendrick’s as insurance against injuries to Graham or Lewis. Tonyan has been consistent throughout the preseason, and that earns him a spot on my 53.
7- Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, Jake Kumerow
The top 3 Wideouts are locks. Moore, Valdes-Scantling, & St. Brown have flashed too much potential to cut in my opinion. Moore looks to have improved some poor performances this preseason. He has looked outstanding prior to the ball hitting his hands. Jake Kumerow has played well enough to be considered WR4 on this roster, but he has missed time this preseason. I still have Kumerow making it, but I could see the Packers keeping Trevor Davis instead. Davis did some decent things on special teams, but nothing overly spectacular. Yancey seems destine for the practice squad for the second strait year.
8- David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Lindsley, Justin McCray, Bryan Bulaga, Lucas Patrick, Jason Spriggs, Byron Bell
All five starters are clear locks. Lucas Patrick and Jason Spriggs have been declared the top backups at their respective positions. With Patrick having cross trained at center, I have Dillon Day missing the cut. Day seemed to have a bit of a rough night against the Chiefs. We do not know the extent of Murphy’s injury, I will speculate that the Packers place him on IR as they have done in the past with plenty of guys. He could return from IR later in the season. I have Byron Bell making the roster purely because of Murphy’s injury and his contract’s signing bonus.
IR: Kyle Murphy
Reserve/Did not report: Cole Madison
5- Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, Mo Wilkerson, Montravius Adams, Dean Lowry
This group figures to be the best on the roster. This is also the group easiest to project. All five of these guys are locks, or at least close to it. The top three guys should make big impacts, and they hope to get some bench impact from Adams and Lowry. James Looney has a chance to make it, I do not see it coming. He could use a year on the practice squad.
6- Nick Perry, Clay Matthews, Reggie Gilbert, Kyler Fackrell, Vince Biegel, Kendall Donnerson
The top three players at this position look pretty stout. Reggie Gilbert had as good of a preseason as anybody. After that there isn’t much depth at outside backer. Kyler Fackrell seems to have outplayed Vince Biegel in camp. I do not think they are quite ready to cut Biegel loose just yet. Donnerson has really impressed me from what I’ve seen, he is a monster potential who has a lot to contribute on special teams.
4- Blake Martinez, Oren Burks, Antonio Morrison, Ahmad Thomas
Antonio Morrison was a late addition to this group via trade this week. He is purely a run stopper and offers little in coverage. We saw how well he can tackle against the Chiefs. I think he is a good bet to make it, and that causes Ahmad Thomas to edge out Greer Martini. Now that Morrison is on the roster, Thomas makes more sense as more of a cover guy. Martini is a priority practice squad guy.
6- Kevin King, Tramon Williams, Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, Davon House, Josh Hawkins
Cornerback has really gone from a weakness to somewhat of a strength for the Packers. They seem to be 5 deep at corner. Jaire Alexander looks good, and Josh Jackson looks even better. Jackson is currently Pro Football Focus’s top graded cornerback for the preseason.
I think the emergence of Jackson and Alexander could cost Davon House a roster spot, but the Packers may have learned their lesson when it comes to cornerback depth. I could see Tramon Williams playing some safety, he did not rule it out in an interview last week. With Pipkins traded this week, the last spot will probably come down to Josh Hawkins, Herb Waters, and Quinten Rollins. Rollins has been running with the third team a lot, he looks lost out there at corner. I give Hawkins a slight bump over Waters for the final spot.
4- HHCD, Kentrell Brice, Josh Jones, Raven Greene
There is a lot of question marks here outside of Haha Clinton-Dix. Brice will almost certainly start against the Bears. Josh Jones has been pretty quiet all preseason. The last two spots are kind of a toss-up. Raven Greene has played well this preseason and is a rookie unlike Marwin Evans and Jermaine Whitehead. Whitehead had a really poor game against Kansas City, which prompted me to leave him off the 53.
Specialists – 3
K- Mason Crosby
P- JK Scott
LS- Zach Triner
Mason Crosby is a lock. JK Scott finally showed up in a game against KC with 208 yards on 4 punts. Hopefully he can build on that performance going into the regular season. I have Zach Triner making the roster over Hunter Bradley. Triner has been more reliable, plain and simple.
Any thoughts on final cut downs to the 53 man roster? Let us know in the comments section or tweet at us @PTTF_Podcast or at me directly @TrackOnPack. Be sure to check out the ads for our new sponsor Sioux City Jerky. I cannot recommend their product enough, it really puts the big jerky corporations to shame. Thanks for reading and as always, Go Pack Go!