The Green Bay Packers have wrapped up organized team activities (OTA’s) for the summer. Next up is mandatory mini camp and then training camp. Now that we know a little bit more about the players and who is making impressions on the coaches, it is time to update the 53-man roster prediction. When OTA’s started, I came out with the first roster prediction of the preseason. Let’s see how things have changed since then.
Green Bay Packers Post OTA’s 53-Man Roster Prediction
A quick note: it is important to remember that Matt LaFleur and his coaching staff do not have the final say in what players make the final 53-man roster. That decision is up to Brian Gutekunst and the front office. It stands to reason, then, that there will be some players who make the team because they were drafted by the Packers, even though others may have a slight edge over them.
Quarterbacks (3): Jordan Love, Sean Clifford, & Danny Etling
Changes from the initial prediction: Adding Etling
Reasoning: The NFL made a new rule that allows teams to carry a third quarterback on their roster without giving up a spot on the 53-man roster. If they can take three without penalty, why not?
Running Backs (2): Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon
Changes from the initial prediction: No third running back
Reasoning: Using the tight ends and gadget type wide receivers will cause the Packers to carry just two running backs to start the season, like they did last year.
Wide Receiver (7): Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, Bo Melton, Jeff Cotton
Changes from the initial prediction: Taking seven wide receivers instead of six; Grant Dubose does not make the team.
Reasoning: Both Bo Melton and Jeff Cotton played well in OTA’s. Dubose, on the other hand, did not play at all. He is nursing an undisclosed injury. As a seventh round pick, he cannot afford to miss important snaps like these, and I think they will cost him.
As for the number of wide receivers, Melton brings an intriguing skillset as a possible motion player that can keep defenses off balance. Cotton has been around the NFL for four years and could be the wide receiver room’s veteran leader.
Tight End (4): Tucker Kraft, Luke Musgrave, Josiah Deguara, Tyler Davis
Changes from the initial prediction: None
Offensive Line (9): David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Zach Tom, Jon Runyan Jr., Yosh Nijman, Josh Myers, Rasheed Walker, Royce Newman, Caleb Jones
Changes from the initial prediction: Newman makes the team over Sean Rhyan
Reasoning: Rhyan is experimenting with playing guard and center instead of tackle. While he is a third round pick from last season, he did not play well enough to get more than one snap in 2022 and then got suspended for performance enhancing drugs. If he can’t establish himself as an above average guard or center, the Packers may just move on.
Defensive Line (6): Kenny Clark, TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt, Karl Brooks, Colby Woodson, Chris Slayton
Changes from the initial prediction: Take six in stead of seven; Jonathan Ford is the odd man out.
Reasoning: Taking seven wide receivers means that one position was going to lose a player. That is the defensive line and Ford is the one losing his spot. He likely would not play often enough anyway and does not bring special teams dominance that would make Rich Bisaccia fight for him. Green Bay can stash him away on the practice squad instead.
Edge Rusher (5): Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Lukas Van Ness, Justin Hollins, Kingsley Enagbare
Changes from the initial prediction: None, but I feel more confident about it.
Reasoning: Rashan Gary is reportedly recovering nicely from his torn ACL and is on track to play in Week One.
Linebacker (4): De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker, Isaiah McDuffie, Tariq Carpenter
Changes from the initial prediction: Tariq Carpenter makes it over Eric Wilson
Reasoning: Carpenter is a Gutekunst draft pick, so that gives him an edge. As a former safety, he also brings positional versatility, which everyone on the staff likes.
Cornerback (5): Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, Keisean Nixon, Shemar Jean-Charles, Carrington Valentine
Changes from the initial prediction: Shemar Jean-Charles (SJC) makes it over Eric Stokes.
Reasoning: Eric Stokes is still recovering from his gruesome injury last season. I do not think he will be ready for Week One.
Safety (6): Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford, Jonathan Owens, Anthony Johnson, Innis Gaines, Tarvarius Moore
Changes from the initial prediction: Taking six instead of seven, Dallin Leavitt loses his spot.
Reasoning: How many special teams safeties can you have?
Specialists (3): Anders Carlson, Pat O’Donnell, Matt Orzech
Changes from the initial prediction: None