Roster Prediction 3.0 - Ladarius Gunter Survives
The 2017 preseason is in the books, and sometime between now and Saturday at 4:00 p.m. eastern time, the roster will stand at 53 players.
Who those players will be has by and large already been determined, and even after Thursday night’s game, it’s hard to see any major changes to our previous opinions on the roster.
Here’s our best guess at the final 53 man roster.
Quarterbacks (2): Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley
As impressive as Taysom Hill has been, a third quarterback on the 53 man roster is still an extravagant luxury, and if the season gets to the point that a third quarterback is necessary, does it really matter who it is?
Backs (4): Ty Montgomery, Aaron Ripkowski, Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams
Devante Mays and Joe Kerridge don’t make this easy, but the Packers keep just four backs in our projection. Mays and Kerridge could end up on the practice squad, though it wouldn’t be a terrible shock to see them make the 53 either. It just wouldn’t be our first choice.
Tight Ends (3): Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks, Richard Rodgers
The only hiccup in this position group throughout the entirety of training camp was Richard Rodgers’ finger injury, and even that didn’t upset our prediction here. The Packers will probably keep a young tight end prospect on the practice squad.
Wide Receivers (6): Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis, DeAngelo Yancey (Geronimo Allison)
Malachi Dupre’s concussion essentially knocked him out of the roster competition, so this group really comes down to Max McCaffrey versus DeAngelo Yancey. Based purely on production, McCaffrey should probably get the nod, but the Packers are loath to drop draft picks and Yancey has more intriguing measurables, despite McCaffrey’s speed. Yancey gets the nod with a tough decision coming after Allison’s suspension ends.
Offensive Line (9): David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Jahri Evans, Bryan Bulaga, Jason Spriggs, Kyle Murphy, Don Barclay, Player to Be Named Later
I think the Packers will keep nine offensive linemen on their final 53 man roster, but I don’t think the ninth lineman is on the roster right now. As much as I like Geoff Gray’s physical attributes, Justin McCray’s tenacity, and Lucas Patrick’s ability to actually play center, I don’t think any of them alleviated enough question marks to justify a spot. Ted Thompson is going to be an active participant in the great offensive line garage sale of 2017.
Defensive Line (6): Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Ricky Jean Francois, Montravius Adams, Brian Price
The Packers might start with six linemen, but they may not stay there. Six linemen may only stay around until aDams is fully healthy again. In the meantime, Brian Price beats out Christian Ringo for the final spot in this group.
Outside Linebacker (6): Nick Perry, Clay Matthews, Ahmad Brooks, Kyler Fackrell, Jayrone Elliott, Reggie Gilbert, (Vince Biegel)
Reggie Gilbert makes this group by the skin of his teeth, thanks in part to Jordan Tripp’s concussion. He gets almost half a season to prove he belongs on the roster, and then Vince Biegel returns from the PUP list. Act fast, Reggie.
Inside Linebacker (3): Joe Thomas, Jake Ryan, Blake Martinez
The most anachronistic position on the roster remains unchanged from last year. No surprises here.
Cornerback (6): Davon House, Quinten Rollins, Damarious Randall, Kevin King, Josh Hawkins, Ladarius Gunter
A late rally from Ladarius Gunter saves his roster spot (but only just) and Josh Hawkins holds off a horde undrafted free agent challengers, some of whom will surely end up on the practice squad.
Safety (5): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Morgan Burnett, Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice, Marwin Evans
This might be the deepest position group on the roster. Clinton-Dix and Burnett are one of the best starting tandems around and Ted Thompson unearthed two absolute gems in Brice and Evans last year, both of whom have had excellent training camps.
Specialists (3): Mason Crosby, Justin Vogel, Brett Goode
Vogel locked up his job with a solid performance on Thursday. Goode locked up his job by signing his contract a couple weeks ago. Crosby locked up his job by arriving for training camp on time with a functioning right leg.