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Green Bay Packers Initial 53-Man Roster Breakdown

Gutekunst has reshaped the roster in his own image with several surprising moves. Here is a breakdown of the Packers initial 53-man roster.
Packers initial 53-man roster

This is not your average NFL roster. As with the theme of the off-season, the Green Bay Packers will look very different in 2018. General manager Brian Gutekunst has truly put his stamp on this team as he continued to ship away many of his predecessor’s draft picks. Ted Thompson built this team from within, holding on to under-performing draft picks while rarely bringing in players from outside the organization. Gutekunst has reshaped the roster in his own image with several surprising moves. Here is a breakdown of the Packers initial 53-man roster.

Green Bay Packers Initial 53-Man Roster

Offense (26)

Quarterbacks (3):

There were several intriguing decisions made here on offense. Gutekunst hinted that he would keep three quarterbacks on the roster even after trading former backup Brett Hundley to the Seattle Seahawks, but it was still somewhat surprising that Boyle made the squad. He was a prime practice squad candidate after disappointing in the preseason finale. After losing Taysom Hill to the New Orleans Saints last year, Gutekunst didn’t want to risk losing a developmental prospect at the game’s most important position.

Running Backs (2):


The biggest question mark definitely comes in the backfield. Gutekunst elected to cut fullback Aaron Ripkowski and carry just two halfbacks until Jones returns from a two-week suspension to start the year. The fullback position has been a staple of Mike McCarthy‘s offenses but Gutekunst understands the evolution of today’s game. Don’t be surprised if Ripkowski or Joe Kerridge return at some point during the season.

Wide Receivers (8):

Gutekunst was quite fond of his pass-catchers as he kept eight receivers in addition to a surplus of tight ends. Guty kept all three of his draftees as well as training camp hero Jake Kumerow. There was some talk that the general manager would look to trade Davis before the cut deadline but nothing came to fruition. The third-year receiver is lucky that no one stepped up as a capable return man while he was injured during the first few weeks of camp.

Tight Ends (4):

This is the deepest and most talented group of tight ends during the McCarthy era. Tonyan showed enough as an athletic receiving tight end to warrant a roster spot over keeping a fullback. Look for Lewis to pose as an in-line blocker on plays that would have called for Ripkowski in the past.

Offensive Line (9):

Rodgers should be happy with his deep and versatile group of receivers. He might be a bit concerned with the offensive line depth, though. The second unit struggled all preseason and, when Spriggs is the primary man off the bench, you can’t be too confident. Light was probably the most surprising name to make the roster as an inexperienced undrafted rookie that went under the radar throughout camp.

Defense (24)

Defensive Line (5):

This was the easiest position group to predict and there were no surprises. Rookie sixth-rounder James Looney could have made the cut but these five players should still provide enough juice to become a strong rotation on the interior.

Inside Linebackers (4):

This has got to be the weakest group on the initial 53, especially considering Burks will probably miss some time with a shoulder injury. Morrison, recently acquired from the Indianapolis Colts, will most likely line up next to Martinez week one against the Chicago Bears. The real surprise is converted defensive end James Crawford. He shouldn’t be much more than a special teams player but it’s still surprising Gutekunst didn’t go with Greer Martini or Ahmad Thomas who had been playing significant snaps all preseason.

Outside Linebackers (4):

The Packers should still be searching for more productive edge rushers after cutting second-year pro Vince Biegel and rookie Kendall Donnerson. Matthews and Perry are a strong duo when healthy and Gilbert has really impressed this preseason. Although a fine special teams player, hopefully Fackrell won’t see significant snaps on defense.

Cornerbacks (6):

Waters is the only real surprise here. Many thought the Packers would only carry five cornerbacks but injuries have ravaged this group in recent years. Waters signed with the Packers as an undrafted wide receiver in 2016. He has stuck with the team after converting to corner and should fill Demetri Goodson‘s role on special teams. This group has a great mix of versatility, youth, and experience. For the first time in years, the Packers have strong depth at the cornerback position.

Safeties (5):

There has been a lot of talk about how disappointing the safeties have been so far this preseason, yet Gutekunst chose to keep five on the roster. Whitehead and Greene have shown flashes but will need to be more consistent to earn playing time in the regular season. Brice is a strong example of why undrafted free agents should target Green Bay as a destination after the draft. He, Whitehead, and Greene are all undrafted safeties that made the initial roster this year.

Specialists (3):

There aren’t many surprises here. Crosby will continue building on his resume as the Packers all-time leading scorer. Rookie 5th-round pick JK Scott has impressed throughout training camp and shown that he can be a strong punter in this league. There were reports that UDFA Zach Triner had been more consistent throughout camp, but Gutekunst went with his draft pick and kept Bradley. It finally seems that the Packers have moved on from longtime stalwart Brett Goode at the long snapper position.

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