General manager Ted Thompson doesn’t have to cut his roster to 53 for another few weeks, and a lot can and almost certainly will happen between now and then. But if he had to make his decisions today, here’s the way things might look:
QUARTERBACKS (2) – AARON RODGERS and BRETT HUNDLEY
Both Joe Callahan and undrafted rookie Taysom Hill have done some positive things, but neither needs to be on the 53. Stick one on the practice squad – preferably the much more talented Hill – and then pray to God you don’t see him again until the OTAs in May.
RUNNING BACKS (5) – TY MONTGOMERY, JAMAAL WILLIAMS, AARON JONES, AARON RIPKOWSKI and JOE KERRIDGE
Kerridge has had a good training camp, and while keeping two fullbacks might seem unnecessary, he’s also a stud on special teams. Mays could easily overtake Jones, but for now I’ll go with the higher draft pick.
TIGHT ENDS (3) – MARTELLUS BENNETT, LANCE KENDRICKS and RICHARD RODGERS
Coach Mike McCarthy loves his tight ends, but neither Aaron Peck nor newcomer Emmanuel Byrd has done enough to date to earn a roster spot. Beau Sandland had a shot before hurting a knee and going on IR.
WIDE RECEIVERS (7) – JORDY NELSON, DAVANTE ADAMS, RANDALL COBB, TREVOR DAVIS, JEFF JANIS, DEANGELO YANCEY and MAX MCCAFFREY
Geronimo Allison would likely take McCaffrey’s spot after he returns from suspension in week 2. I like Malachi Dupre better than fellow rookie Yancey, but his recent concussion could be a way to stash him on IR for the season. Intriguing but raw MIchael Clark is the type of prospect the practice squad was made for.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9) DAVID BAKHTIARI, BRYAN BULAGA, COREY LINSLEY, JAHRI EVANS, LANE TAYLOR, DON BARCLAY, JASON SPRIGGS, LUCAS PATRICK and KYLE MURPHY
Thompson could decide to keep only eight if Barclay’s foot injury forces him to the IR. Journeyman Justin McCray is having a pretty solid camp and could bump the less experienced Patrick. It’s too soon to count out rookies Kofi Amichia and Geoff Gray, but right now they seem destined for spots on the practice squad.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (5) MIKE DANIELS, KENNY CLARK, DEAN LOWRY, RICKY JEAN FRANCOIS and CHRISTIAN RINGO
Assuming rookie Montravius Adams begins the season on IR, the battle for a spot on the 53 figures to come down to Ringo and Brian Price. It’s too close to call right now, but Ringo is a former draft pick and he also provides a little more pass rush. Undrafted rookie Izaah Lunsford is a long shot, but he’s flashed at times.
LINEBACKERS (8) CLAY MATTHEWS, NICK PERRY, JAKE RYAN, JOE THOMAS, KYLER FACKRELL, JAYRONE ELLIOTT, BLAKE MARTINEZ and JORDAN TRIPP
It’s getting very close to the point where keeping rookie Vince Biegel on the PUP list makes more sense than activating him. Having as many inside linebackers as outside linebackers on the 53 bothers me, but Tripp is simply a better and more useful player than either Reggie Gilbert or undrafted rookie Johnathan Calvin.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (11) DAVON HOUSE, KEVIN KING, HA HA CLINTON-DIX, MORGAN BURNETT, JOSH JONES, KENTRELL BRICE, DAMARIOUS RANDALL, QUINTEN ROLLINS, LADARIUS GUNTER, LENZY PIPKINS and MARWIN EVANS
You could also make an argument for keeping Josh Hawkins, but 12 seems unlikely. Pipkins gets the nod right now, but that could change. Gunter is at least in danger of going from atop the depth chart to off the 53.
SPECIALISTS (3) MASON CROSBY, JUSTIN VOGEL and BRETT GOODE
It’s too soon for Vogel to get comfortable, but so far so good. The Packers didn’t bring Goode back to cut him.
(NOTE – Robert Tahan, who has attended five practices so far this summer, contributed to this post)