Finding topics in regards to the NFL in June is never an easy task. The NFL does a very good job of keeping relevant year-round, but this time of year is a tough one. But it’s never too early to talk about who will be and won’t be on the opening day 53-man roster. In this article, the discussion will be around predicting the Green Bay Packers 53-man roster for the opening week.
Green Bay Packers 53 Man Roster Prediction 1.0
A lot can change between now and the start of the season for general manager Brian Gutekunst when it comes to setting the Green Bay Packers 53-man roster. One of the biggest components is training camp injuries. Along with that, Gutekunst could bring in a veteran free agent. He did that last season with De’Vondre Campbell and it turned out to be a great pick-up.
Predicting injuries is impossible and trying to figure out what Gutekunst might or might not do is also difficult to predict. So, for predicting the Green Bay Packers 53 man roster, injuries and personnel transactions weren’t figured into it. Here is LWOPF’s early prediction for the 2022 Green Bay Packers 53-man roster.
Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love (2)
Nothing Earth-shattering here. Aaron Rodgers is still the heart and soul of the Packers. They will go as far as Rodgers can take them. With Rodgers new contract, many have speculated that Jordan Love might not be the quarterback of the future. Even if that is the case, he will be Rodgers’ primary backup for 2022.
Running Backs: Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, and Patrick Taylor (3)
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon will be a massive part of the Green Bay Packers offense in 2022. Both have unique skills and work perfectly with each other.
It wasn’t long ago that the battle for the number three spot was highlighted. The Packers rushing attack will be very important for the offense this season. If Jones or Dillon goes down, they will need someone to step in without missing a beat.
There are some strong candidates vying for the spot. But Patrick Taylor should come out as the winner. His experience and size give him an up on the other candidates.
Wide Reciever: Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Amari Rodgers, and Juwann Winfree (7)
The wide receiver position is one of the weakest on the Green Bay Packers roster. Yeah, we get it, the Packers were 7-0 when Davante Adams was injured. But losing the best wide receiver in the NFL is a big blow. His departure will hamper the Green Bay Packers offensive production.
Now, with that said, it doesn’t mean the Packers are doomed. It just means they need to change their offensive identity. It also means they need someone to step up. That is why it seems right to have seven wide receivers on the Green Bay Packers 53-man roster. It gives Matt LaFleur more selections to choose from.
The last spot came down to Juwann Winfree and rookie Samori Toure. Winfree got the last spot, but Toure, if they can get him through waivers, will be a great addition to the Packers practice squad.
Tight End: Robert Tonyan (PUP), Marcedes Lewis, Tyler Davis, Josiah Deguara, and Dominique Dafney (4)
Robert Tonyan will start out the season on the PUP list while still recovering from his 2021 season-ending injury. With him on the PUP, that will allow Dominique Dafney to make the Green Bay Packers 53-man roster.
Dafney will have to show his value while Tonyan is out to keep his spot. Luckily, with the Packers putting a new emphasis on special teams, Dafney will have a chance to display his worth.
Offensive Line: David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins (PUP), Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Yosh Nijman, Royce Newman, Sean Rhyan, Zach Tom, and Rasheed Walker (8)
It will be very interesting to see what develops at offensive tackle for the Packers to start out the season. Elgton Jenkins most likely will start off the season on the PUP list. He will still be recovering from the season-ending knee injury he suffered in 2021. David Bakhtiari’s return continues to be a mystery. Some recent comments from LaFleur, make it sound like Bakhtiari’s return for week one isn’t a given. This could mean that Yosh Nijman and one of their rookie offensive tackles could be the starters for week one unless Gutekunst makes a move.
It appears that the last spot will come down to Rasheed Walker and Cole Van Lanen. Walker seems to have more upside, which gives him a notch up on winning the last job. If Van Lanen loses out, he would be a prime candidate for the Packers practice squad.
Defensive Line: Dean Lowry, Kenny Clark, Jarran Reed, TJ Slaton, and Devonte Wyatt (5)
Green Bay Packers fans should be delighted to see the depth on the defensive line for this season. The newfound depth means that Packers fans won’t see Tyler Lancaster on this list for 2022.
Considered one of the weakest headed into 2021, the defensive line is now one of the deepest. Free-agent pick-up Jarran Reed and first-round pick Devonte Wyatt are the two biggest reasons this position is now deep with talent.
Inside Linebacker: De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker, Khrys Barnes, Isaiah McDuffie, and Caliph Brice (5)
The Packers head into 2022 with three quality inside linebackers with De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker, and Khrys Barnes. If Walker turns out to be the player they expect, Barnes will be a very solid backup to him and Campbell.
Isaiah McDuffie and Caliph Brice, an undrafted free agent, will help on special teams. Both players are developmental prospects but should be core special teams players.
Outside Linebacker: Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Randy Ramsey, Jonathan Garvin, and Kingsley Enagbare (5)
One of the biggest questions heading into 2022 will be who will backup Rashan Gary and Preston Smith. The most likely candidate will be Jonathan Garvin. Garvin has the most potential as a pass rusher and he has some experience in Joe Barry’s defense. Garvin should hold that position for 2022 until the Packers can develop Kingsley Enagbare.
Randy Ramsey, who missed last season because of an injury, can play both outside and inside linebacker. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he thrives on special teams playing under new coordinator Rich Bisaccia.
Cornerbacks: Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokely, Rasul Douglas, Keisean Nixon, Shemar Jean-Charles, and Kabion Ento (6)
Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokley, and Rasul Douglas should make up one of the best trio of cornerbacks on an NFL roster. On paper, Alexander should thrive playing the star position in Barry’s defense. Many will be watching to see if Douglas can duplicate what he did for the Packers in 2021.
Keisean Nixon came over from the Las Vegas Raiders, where he played under Bisaccia. He will be more of a contributor on special teams than he will on the Green Bay Packers defense. Shemar Jean-Charles is a former Packers draft pick and is only in his second season. The Packers have spent a lot of time developing Kabion Ento, a former wide receiver. He has spent a lot of time on the Packers practice squad and understands the Packers defense.
Safeties: Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage Jr., Tariq Carpenter, Shawn Davis, and Tre Sterling (5)
There isn’t a lot of proven depth behind starters Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage Jr.. Shawn Davis was a late-season pick-up in 2021 and it looks like he will be the top backup. That should make Packers fans a little anxious.
Tariq Carpenter will split time at safety and inside linebacker. Similar to Nixon, his primary job will be to be a contributor on special teams. Tre Sterling, in this projection, is one of three undrafted free agents in this Green Bay Packers 53-man roster projection.
Special Teams: Mason Crosby (K), Pat O’Donnell (P), and Jack Coco (LS) (3)
Mason Crosby had an up and down season in 2021. However, Crosby has displayed during his career that he can be clutch, even in the winter elements. It is highly likely that this will be his last season in Green Bay because of his age and his contract.
Pat O’Donnell gives the Packers a veteran presence at punter and holder. His numbers weren’t overly impressive during his career with the Chicago Bears. However, he is consistent, something the Packers have been missing at punter.
Jack Coco is listed as the Packers starting long snapper on this list. But honestly, the only reason he is listed on this list was that last year’s long snapper, Steven Wirtel, was so bad. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Gutekunst picks up a long snapper in training camp.