The Packers have finalized their 53-man roster by the deadline on Tuesday. Now there will undoubtedly be some changes in the coming days.
However, here is how the Packer’s current 53-man roster looks as of right now:
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) August 29, 2023
There were some very surprising decisions regarding the roster this year.
Here are the takeaways from the Packer’s current 53-man roster:
Analyzing The Packers Current 53-Man Roster Following Cuts
Three UDFAs Made the Team
The Packers had three UDFAs make the team this year. Those players were Emmanuel Wilson, Malik Heath, and Brenton Cox. All three have been making plays in both training camp and the preseason. It just shows how the Packers can find diamonds in the ruff.
The most shocking one of the three was, of course, Emmanuel Wilson, as Patrick Taylor was expected to have an edge over him. However, Wilson did enough to win the third running back spot behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion. Heath and Cox were not much of a surprise as they made a ton of plays and would not be kept off the roster. Good for all of these three rookie UDFAs to make the team this year.
Royce Newman Is Still on the Team
Very surprising that Royce Newman made the team despite having a very terrible preseason. It was pretty clear he was the weak link on the offensive line. He was struggling in pass protection and had way too many holding penalties. Yet, he was one of the 11 offensive linemen kept on the Packer’s 53-man roster. It is most likely that he will not the top backup at guard if any injury occurs, as the Packers have much better options than Newman. It is mind-boggling, but it seems that Royce Newman will still be a Packer this year.
Two Of The Packers’ Draft Picks Did Not Make The Team
The Packers, especially Brian Gutekunst, love to keep rookie draft picks on the team. However, that changed when two players from this year’s draft unfortunately did not make the team. Those players were Lew Nichols and Grant Dubose, as they were waived from the team this year.
Nichols was injured for training camp and preseason and did not show what he could do. Grant Dubose was injured and missed a good amount of time, and did not have enough time to impress the Packers coaching staff. Simply put, if both players were healthy, they could have made the team.
The Packers Kept Five Inside Linebackers
The Packers did something interesting as they kept five inside linebackers on the team. It was not completely a shock as the whole inside linebacker group played very well in the preseason. Isaiah McDuffie has been very good filling in for De’Vondre Campbell due to injury and played well in the two preseason games with the starters.
Eric Wilson was very good and is a key player on special teams, making him a lock to make the team. Tariq Carpenter was a surprising one, as he just transitioned to the position this offseason. He showed a lot of flashes in all three preseason games this year and played fairly well. He adds more depth to the Packers’ inside linebacker group. What was once a weakness is now a strength for the Packers and probably the deepest they have ever been at that position.
The Edge Group Is LOADED
The Packers made sure to revamp their edge room this year, and now they look very deep at that position. They have Rashan Gary, who may be back in Week 1. He is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. They also have Preston Smith, who has had back-to-back solid seasons. Also, Justin Hollins, who signed with the Packers late last year and performed well, will be the top backup behind Gary and Smith.
Kingsley Enagbare showed this year in the preseason that he is ready to take a second-year jump this season. Rookie first-round pick Lukas Van Ness is a raw prospect who will take time to develop but will be a very solid rotational piece this year. In addition, rookie UDFA Brenton Cox might be a hidden gem for the Packers, as he has the potential to be a very good player. This could potentially end up being one of the best pass rush groups in the NFL this season.
The Cornerback Room Is Light On Depth
One of the biggest strengths for the Packers this year is the cornerback position. They have a lot of talent, but they surprisingly kept only four players. Those players are Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, Kisean Nixion, and rookie Carrington Valentine.
There is not a lot of depth at cornerback right now, especially with Eric Stokes being on the PUP, meaning he will miss the first four games of the season. Players like Corey Ballentine, Innis Gaines, and Shemar-Jean Charles, who would be solid depth players, were waived today. It’s a little surprising, but the Packers are going into Week 1 with only four corners currently on the roster.