The Green Bay Packers play their final preseason game on Thursday. For many players, this will be their last chance to make the initial 53-man roster. While some players are locks for the roster, others have already been cut. As it stands, the Packers have 80 players on their roster. They will need to trim that down to 53 by 3:00 PM CST on August 30. With less than a week until the deadline, there are three underdogs who have a longshot to make the roster, but I’d love to see on the team.
1. Juwann Winfree- Wide Receiver
The fact of the matter is that the Green Bay Packers have never taken more than six wide receivers on the 53-man roster since Matt LaFleur took over as head coach. Currently, the Packers have Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Christian Watson, and Romeo Doubs as their top six wide receivers.
That being said, Juwann Winfree has played very well in both practice and preseason games during training camp. So well, in fact, that https://wisportsheroics.com/the-athletic-accuses-packers-of-betraying-aaron-rodgers/Aaron Rodgers has made sure to mention his play on more than one occasion. In the two preseason games, Winfree has totaled six receptions for 68 yards.
Jordan Love connects with Juwann Winfree for a first down 💪pic.twitter.com/kzig0upGXi
— Packers Nation (@PackersNationCP) August 20, 2022
If the Packers keep seven wide receivers, Winfree is an easy choice for the seventh spot. However, considering LaFleur has never kept seven, it makes Winfree an underdog to make the roster.
2. Kobe Jones- Edge
The Green Bay Packers are set at the edge, at least when it comes to starters. Rashan Gary and Preston Smith were among the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL last season. Additionally, Kingsley Enagbare was drafted in the fifth round and is a shoe-in to make the 53-man roster.
After that, though, there is a competition for the fourth (and possibly fifth) edge rusher position. According to ESPN’s depth chart, Kobe Jones is listed last on the edge. He is currently behind Jonathan Garvin, Tipa Galeai, and LaDarius Hamilton.
The fact of the matter is, though, that Jones has had much better performances in preseason games than any edge rusher on the roster. Against the San Francisco 49ers, he registered five tackles, including a sack. In the game against the Saints, he did not record a tackle, but was influential on the defense in ways that did not show up on the stat sheet.
Awesome job from Kobe Jones (OLB at the top of the screen) vs counter. Spills the 1st puller, forcing the run to bounce, then helps string the play out to force a TFL. pic.twitter.com/5FmOMF4mOV
— Sam Holman (@Sam_DHolman) August 20, 2022
Kobe Jones was originally signed as the 90th man on the Packers’ roster. He has come from a near after-thought to a finalist for the 53-man roster. It would be great to see him complete the journey!
3. Micah Abernathy- Safety
The Green Bay Packers are also set at starting safety with Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos. However, the safety position has been one that I have written about before as being on lacking depth. Vernon Scott was recently released and Rasul Douglas has been playing the position in practice.
Two weeks ago, the Packers signed Micah Abernathy to give them some depth in practice. However, he has also shown out in the defensive snaps he has been given. Against the Saints, he registered four tackles, a tackle for loss, a pass defended, and an interception.
— NFL (@NFL) August 20, 2022
Formerly of the XFL and USFL, Abernathy has never made a 53-man roster in the NFL. Given how short of a time he has been with the team, he is truly a longshot. The final preseason game will be huge for him.