Roster Decisions Loom for Packers

Here are some key position battles to watch heading into the final preseason game against Buffalo. 

Each year, it always feels like there are about 50 roster locks as the preseason wraps up, and then the Packers are left to decide between a handful of players for the final few spots. As Green Bay cuts down to 80 players this afternoon, there are still plenty of questions regarding where extra players will be stashed and if the team will value veteran depth or promising young talent. Today, we’re going to look at a few roster battles that could take shape over this final week of camp. 

Jack Heflin vs Tyler Lancaster

Tyler Lancaster hasn’t gotten much work this preseason, as he played 10 snaps on defense against the Texans and then was inactive for the Jets game. Part of that could be due to an elbow injury that’s popped up on the injury report, but another part of that could be that the Packers want to see what they have in undrafted free agent Jack Heflin out of Iowa. Heflin played 43% of defensive snaps against Houston and 63% of defensive snaps against the Jets. With Green Bay drafting T.J. Slaton this year, the room was already crowded. Now that Heflin has shown promise along the defensive line, the Packers may consider moving on from Lancaster and saving just over $1 million in cap space. Every little bit will count as Green Bay works to extend (expensive) stars Davante Adams and Jaire Alexander. 

Jon Runyan Jr. vs Lucas Patrick 

This isn’t necessarily a roster battle to the fullest extent because Runyan and Patrick may both make the final 53-man roster. However, it is interesting that Runyan has gotten so many looks at center in the last few weeks. With rookie Josh Myers being the team’s only true center, Lucas Patrick had carved out a nice role for himself given his versatility at either guard spot and at center. If the Packers are thinking of potentially moving on from Patrick (a move that would save almost $2 million against the cap), it makes sense for them to try a younger option in Runyan. While Elgton Jenkins also has the ability to play center in a pinch, it sounds like he’ll be the team’s left tackle to start the season, so the Packers will need depth along the interior of the offensive line just in case. Runyan hasn’t looked comfortable at center and he’s had some miscues during the preseason, so Patrick could stick on the roster solely given the fact that no one else is really able to fill in at center in an emergency. 

Tipa Galeai vs Chauncey Rivers 

If Za’Darius Smith is unable to start the season with a lingering back injury, the Packers will need added depth behind Preston Smith and Rashan Gary. It sounds like Jonathan Garvin is still the leader in the clubhouse for the fourth edge rusher spot, but Green Bay may end up keeping five as added insurance. Last year, Randy Ramsey was the fifth edge rusher on the roster. Now that he’s gone on season-ending injured reserve, Tipa Galeai and Chauncey Rivers seem to have the best shot at that fifth spot. Galeai has gotten some looks with the starting defense in camp, and outside linebackers coach Mike Smith has had some high praise for him, saying if he could just add 10 pounds to his frame and start contributing on special teams, he’d be “a damn good player.” Rivers, most recently with the Baltimore Ravens, has also turned heads during the preseason. He took some snaps with the first-team defense against the Jets in joint practice, and he’s shown flashes in each preseason game. Whoever doesn’t crack the 53 is virtually a lock for the practice squad if they don’t get claimed off waivers. 

Devin Funchess vs Malik Taylor 

Funchess has impressed all training camp and looked like a man amongst boys during the first preseason game against the Texans. He’s currently nursing a hamstring injury and was kept out of the Jets preseason game, where Malik Taylor used the Jets game to continue building on his strong camp. It’s entirely possible the Packers keep seven receivers, but after only keeping five to start the 2020 season, it feels more likely that either Funchess or Taylor will snag a sixth and final receiver spot. Taylor was a roster surprise last season, but nothing would be surprising if he made the roster this year. He also is a contributor on special teams, something we haven’t seen a ton of from Funchess. Still, Funchess is only 27 years old and would provide the Packers with another big-bodied red zone target. As we wrap the final week of camp, this might be the closest battle left to decide. 

Defensive Backs vs Defensive Backs

This category is too broad to narrow down specific players, so we’re going with the all-encompassing DBs vs DBs. For the cornerbacks, defensive coordinator Joe Barry will need to decide whether Kevin King or Eric Stokes will get the start opposite Jaire Alexander Week 1 in New Orleans. Now on the flip side, it looks like Kabion Ento and new addition Isaac Yiadom will be battling for what’s likely a sixth and final roster spot. Could the Packers keep seven cornerbacks? Absolutely. Green Bay traded away both Josh Jackson and Ka’Dar Hollman this week, giving them fresh starts elsewhere. For Yiadom, the challenge will be getting up to speed on defense, as he’s been a key contributor on special teams for the bulk of his career. Ento was another surprise addition to the 53-man roster last season before ending up on injured reserve. He’s shown flashes in camp and has worked his way up the depth chart, but the addition of Yiadom via trade seems to be his greatest challenge on his way to another roster spot this season. 

In the safety room, only two (maybe three) positions have been solidified at this point. Behind stars Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage, second-year player Vernon Scott seems to have the most secure position in the room. That leaves veteran Will Redmond (who can’t stay healthy this camp), Innis Gaines, Henry Black, and undrafted rookie Christian Uphoff battling for what will only be one or two more spots. Remond could be the odd man out at this point solely because he can’t get on the field, whereas both Gaines and Black have impressed during camp. Uphoff might have the longest shot when it comes to cracking the 53, but he’s performed well on special teams and, with that unit needing as much help as it does, that could be his key to a roster spot.

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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17 points

Comments (62)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
ImaPayne's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Other then size I dont know anything about UpHoff's speed and agility. He's a big guy can can cover the bigger receivers going deep but not if he lacks speed.
King should be gone, he is always hurt and always hurts the team on or off the field. Shocked he wasnt traded or cut in the off season based on the playoff fiasco, one he created with crap play.
All I know is one of two peope on the D better step up of it wil be a long season watching Rodgers sitting on the bench while other teams march down the field via the run and the pass

-7 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:23 pm

I agree with your assessment Maggie!

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Listening to the coaches, it seems like Garvin is the next man up. Galeai’s route may be as the cover OLB, where he flashed in the last game. If there is a head in battle it’s Rivers v Garvin.

I’m not sure it’s either or for Lancaster or Heflin. If we want the best run stuffer that’s Lancaster, hands down. Heflin isn’t bad against the run and offers a little more in the disruptive front. I’d be happier with both.

I think it’s now Runyon behind Patrick and Newman. Braden will make it for versatility anyway. I don’t see us cutting Funchess or Taylor, though if I had to, Taylor may make the PS. Personally I think we keep both and only 2 TEs and 2 H-Backs (Daffney for STs).

ILB looks a mess behind the starters. Can Harris, Wilford or McDuffie improve on Burks? Sommers has been a damp squib all camp too.

At D back it’s really only the last CB potentially and possibly whether SJC is on the roster or PS. Then it’s a fight to see which of Gaines, Black and Scott can cover. We need one to and Redmond looks to be unable to take the field.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

August 24, 2021 at 02:05 pm

Heflin vs Lowry would make more sense with Heflin's quick step off the line.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 02:54 pm

I know, but Dobber keeps crushing that dream by reminding me it’s 3 million in dead money to trade Lowry.

5 points
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flackcatcher's picture

August 25, 2021 at 11:12 am

Traditionally the front office has brought in guys they liked for tryouts or look see's after the final cut. I would not at all be surprised if they brought in ILB types after the final cut. All in all, this roster is pretty set, has been since the draft. My guess is there are only 6-8 roster spots open, and those are mostly in the back in. But only Gute knows for sure.

1 points
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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:39 pm

One of the most interesting and competitive off-seasons I can remember in some time. Will be interesting to see who survives the cuts and also who can clear waivers and make it to the practice squad..QB is another interesting position to watch. I don't see the room to keep a third QB on the 53, butI'm sure they'd like to get KB to the practice squad.

7 points
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Lphill's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:40 pm

Cut JK Scott he’s God awful the Packers are better off going for it on 4 th down .

-16 points
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packer132's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:57 pm

Give it up on JK Scott already. We are tired of your daily post about him. How about looking for something positive to say?

9 points
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egbertsouse's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:25 pm

You mean like, JK Scott is positively god-awful?

6 points
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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

August 24, 2021 at 06:23 pm

If there is someone better I’m all for it. Who do you suggest they sign?

2 points
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splitpea1's picture

August 24, 2021 at 07:45 pm

The guy the Cardinals released to make room for Winslow: Tyler Newsome. Supposedly he had a good preseason. Is he better? I don't know, but he might be worth a look. There's a nice story behind him, too, coming back from personal injuries.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2021 at 11:50 am

Cardinals seemingly didn’t think so and he was a depth punter there anyway, as is Winslow

2 points
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splitpea1's picture

August 25, 2021 at 02:41 pm

I think all we're going to get is depth unless we want to start scouring the globe. Or post an ad on LinkedIn--should result in an interesting array of candidates, LOL!

1 points
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splitpea1's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:41 pm

One of the more interesting decisions for me will be Ento vs. Yiadom. I would think Ento would have the edge because of familiarity, but who knows? Coach Gray has been working with Yiadom translating Bronco language to Packer language, but I'm sure it's a lot to absorb in such a short time.

4 points
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nostradanus's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Thanks Maggie

Heflin vs Lancaster - Tyler Lancaster has been a good (not great) Packer, he has been available and a snap eater, depending on his injury, he makes it and Heflin goes to the PS. The salary cap savings are tempting but keeping a proven veteran on the cheap is the way to go.

Runyan vs Patrick - Patrick is a tough as nails grinder who always gives his all and can back up at 3 positions, my best guess is he still starts. Who knows? Maybe they restructure him and add 2 years to his contract. He loves the Packers, does all the right things and is great in the locker room. They both stay but Patrick starts game 1.

Tipa vs Chauncey - Tipa has great upside and is more of an athlete than Chauncey however; Coach Smith saying he needs to put on 10 pounds threw some shade at Tipa saying, dude why didn't you lift them damn weights like I told you to do in the off-season! Tipa is just too damn light to hold up for a full season should someone (like Z) go down for several games! Chauncey Rivers holds the edge well, is built to withstand the pounding and is a tough mofo! Don't forget about Delonte Scott y'all, he is a big dude with tools! My bet is Chauncey Rivers is your #5 and Garvin your #4. Tipa & Scott to the PS.

Funchess vs Taylor - This is a tough one! Funchess looked like T.O. in that first pre-season game! But he doesn't play special teams. Taylor has caught almost everything and is a good special teams player. I still say injuries sort this thing out but right now, Taylor is your #6 and Funchess #7. They may keep 7 for the first two games, then readjust when Sternberger comes back.

DB's vs DB's - This one is going down to the wire and again injuries are going to be a major factor. Redmond is injured again, but is versatile, experienced and plays a lot of special teams. Scott is also injured after a good start to camp & pre-season. Black has looked excellent and is a lock, Gaines has played well on both special teams and in games. The Packers must like Yiadom, he does play special teams and has a good pedigree being drafted in round #3. My guess is they try to stash Gaines & Uphoff on the PS and depending on his injury, may put Redmond on IR and bring him back around at some point during the season.

ND

8 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:45 pm

A few other roster spots to consider.

QB - Do they keep 2 or 3? Rodgers and Love are 1 and 2. Do they keep Benkert?

TE - We know Lewis, Deguara, Tonyan are all locks. Sternberger will be suspended 2 games (if they decide to keep him). How many more do they keep? Do they keep more then 3 or 4? Dafney who has experience and provides another HB/TE type of role, likely would be the 4th they would keep.

3 points
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dobber's picture

August 24, 2021 at 01:20 pm

"Coach Smith saying he needs to put on 10 pounds threw some shade at Tipa saying, dude why didn't you lift them damn weights like I told you to do in the off-season! "

Some people have a hard time putting on (and keeping on) weight.

...I can't relate.

7 points
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nostradanus's picture

August 24, 2021 at 03:16 pm

Me neither Dobber 😂

3 points
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Oppy's picture

August 24, 2021 at 01:42 pm

There is no reason to keep 3 QBs on an active roster unless the third QB is a "Qb in waiting" to become the eventual starter.

Benkert is a practice squad QB. If another team poaches him, you sign another QB off the street to replace him.

I don't understand people's infatuation with Benkert. He is what he is, and that's not a player you make a roster spot for when you have Rodgers and Love.

7 points
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PatrickGB's picture

August 24, 2021 at 02:34 pm

I understand why they might keep three. IF Rodgers is really gone next year then it makes sense to have next year’s backup at QB already on the roster.

-1 points
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Oppy's picture

August 24, 2021 at 03:06 pm

If this is truly Rodgers' last year (which I think it is), this is the last chance at a Lombardi with Rodgers.. Why waste a valuable roster spot on a practice squad QB? That doesn't make sense.

Good lord, Benkert is not a irreplaceable talent at QB.

Maybe this is that famous "Packers fans over-valuing" Nagler always talks about.

8 points
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Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 02:56 pm

We could resign Boyle if rumor is correct.

1 points
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Oppy's picture

August 24, 2021 at 03:12 pm

Is Boyle a cut risk in Detroit? I haven't heard that.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2021 at 11:52 am

Dobber has suggested so.

0 points
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croatpackfan's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:03 pm

If Detroit cut Tim Boyle, why should Packers sign him? F***ing Detroit!!!!!

1 points
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croatpackfan's picture

August 25, 2021 at 01:32 am

double

0 points
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fordguy's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:01 pm

Was it a "infatuation" when they kept Boyle just a few years ago on the active roster as a third?

1 points
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Oppy's picture

August 25, 2021 at 10:34 pm

Not "Infatuation", but "Insurance."

Boyle was a very controversial roster spot in 2018. I believe the Packers kept Boyle because they already feared Deshone Kizer was a total dumpster fire and they literally had nobody else.

You may recall the Packers got Kizer in a 'something-for-nothing' trade with the Browns to move locker room disturbance Damarius Randall, who the Packers were going to cut outright anyways. Deshone was making inexcusable decisions resulting in picks during training camp that showed up in preseason games as well.

Boyle found a roster spot because Kizer was turning out to be a bust and they literally had nobody else with ANY time in MM's system. They could not afford to risk exposing Boyle due to circumstance.

2 points
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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:48 pm

Good analysis as always Maggie.

As excited as I am to see Stokes I doubt he’s a starter on Day 1. I think King starts and they ease Stokes in. There’s gotta be a learning curve, right?

I’m shocked that they let Winslow go and only have J.K. Scott left. I’ve got to believe they’re going to be watched for other punters being cut before the season begins. At least I hope so.

I know it will be difficult, but I hope they can keep both Malik Taylor and Funchess. I realize Funchess getting hurt again is a red flag, but both have certainly shown something good.

Can’t wait for this season. Go Pack, GO!

6 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

August 24, 2021 at 01:14 pm

* Lancaster's apex is only as a decent depth/bench player - whereas Heflin shows starter potential. Decision - keep Heflin and save salary space.

* Methinks Runyan was penciled-in as Patrick's replacement. However his lack of aptitude at center - where Patrick performs OK - may have saved Patrick's job. Decision - retain Patrick (for now).

* While Galeai may flash as a better pass rusher - Rivers may be better as an all-around OLB. Decision - Rivers as the 5th OLB - Galeai to the PS and buffet table.

* Being an utmost year for the Packers - I think that the FO and coaches would prefer Funchess's proven experience. However he hurt now - so they may put him on IR - have Taylor start the regular season - then after a game or two - re-activate Funchess and move Taylor to the PS (which, at that time, may make him more difficult to be claimed).

* Redmond is King 2.0 - generally unavailable and generally inconsistent. There is the high probability that he will be cut - leaving Scott, Gaines and Black as the back-up DBs. At this stage, Uphoff is a step below the others as a DB but perhaps the best of the lot at STs. It's a numbers game at the moment of decision but I think he'll first be assigned to the PS.

4 points
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croatpackfan's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:15 pm

If they put Fuenchess on IR now, he will be lost for the season. You know that, don't you?

Do not worry about Redmond. He is on IR, sorce packers.com.

3 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:24 pm

Thanks for the clarification. PUP would be the better choice - although the player would have to sit 6 weeks at the start of the regular season- which if the Funchess injury is a hamstring - it might be necessary.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 06:34 pm

A player can not go on the PUP list if they have practiced during camp. Our only PUP list player is Bakh.

4 points
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Matt Gonzales's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:09 pm

Re: Funchess - if you IR him before final cutdowns he is out for the year unless he can work out an injury settlement and get waived injured. The only way he can get put on reserve is if you carry him first to the 53.

My guess is GB will bring 7 WRs into the regular season and then decide what they want to do after week 2 since they'll have 2 extra roster spots assuming Bahk stays on the PUP list, and Sternberger will start the year on reserve/suspended.

3 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:29 pm

Yes I could have researched the actual details better. My point was that I could see the Packers trying to retain both Funchess and Taylor - utilizing the myriad of rules that govern these cases. I like your scenario as a possibility.

1 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

August 25, 2021 at 04:26 pm

Think I'll buy a lottery ticket - Funchess placed on IR today.

1 points
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stockholder's picture

August 24, 2021 at 01:57 pm

I believe the packers are moving on from players too fast. Last years gems, are this years spoils? MLF can't keep showing players the door. And expect better. The team made the playoffs! With that in mind. Why are LanCaster, Runyan and Patrick, even on the bubble? They never screwed up. If theres regression. How can it effect over 1/2 the team? I get: "A boss is like a diaper, if their not on your ass their full of shit." But--- Pushing guys is one thing. Breaking their spirit another. Wasn't the idea to find the missing pieces, and go from there? Seriously; MLF and Gute had all last year to evaluate a guy. "All- in"; isn't STARTING from SCRATCH. And this isn't the underwear olympics. The offense is the same as last year. The defense only needed a couple of players. Throwing experience down the toilet isn't All-in.

-6 points
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fastmoving's picture

August 25, 2021 at 04:27 am

Your "stuff", if someone can call it that way, gets more miserable by the day. Thanx god for Ben and Jerrys....

-2 points
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JohnnyLogan's picture

August 24, 2021 at 02:44 pm

Far and away the most important battle is at CB, but I don't like either result. The problem isn't at DB, our safeties are plenty good, it's at the corner opposite Jaire and it's being downplayed far too much.

King is bad and can't stay with speed receivers and Stokes is fast but can't play the ball. He's not ready to start based on what we've seen so far. Everyone hopes that Stokes takes the job soon but there's no guarantee he'll even be average by the playoffs, and there's almost nothing behind them.

My hope is that Gute brings in an experienced corner after the cuts, someone better than King. Otherwise, this defense is no better than last year with a major weak link that will be easily exploited in the playoffs.

Z has a bad back. Gary is a no-show so far. Preston coming off a bad year. The pass rush may not be improved. At ILB we signed a guy but not a difference-maker. This D doesn't look like it's taken a step forward.

So back to CB. If King can't play better than he has and Stokes doesn't show some dramatic improvement soon, it's same script, same result.

-9 points
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jhtobias's picture

August 24, 2021 at 09:32 pm

What.. Stokes hasn't even played a game yet ? Why are you worrying about the playoffs according to you we would be lucky to win 2 to 3 games this year.

2 points
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JohnnyLogan's picture

August 25, 2021 at 01:18 pm

According to me we would be lucky to win 2 or 3 games? How’’d you come up with that nonsense? What I said and still say , at the moment I don’t have much faith in either King or Stokes. We know what King is. Do you know better? And Stokes has been beaten like a drum all training camp according to most reports. We’ll still win a dozen games because our offense is the best in football. But if we don’t develop a CB opposite Jaire how will you feel going into the playoffs? And yes I’m talking playoffs because that’s all that really matters. Now come back with some more hyperbole.

1 points
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CoachDino's picture

August 24, 2021 at 03:31 pm

Good stuff Maggie and posters.

I like the approach of combining safeties and CBs for analysis/evaluation.... I say this because of the interchangeable matter this defense wants to have in order to disguise the D better. A big one for me is Savage playing the Nickel. Chandon isn't bad, Shamar isn't ready and other than Jaire there is no one else. So if Savage plays more Nickel than what Safety best fills in for the skill set needed? I'm not sure, I like all the safeties they have many for different reasons. Its hard to evaluate against 2,3,4th string players in preseason but if its any indication I move on from Redmond. He just isn't good enough to overcome his injury status and lack of potential to be more. Black, Scott Ingnes all seems to have more to offer. I like Uphoff as he's huge, a special teams beast, big play pedigree with my hope being his injury on pro day and slow 40 scared away others and he will be a steal. Kinda like a Hill at RB going in the 7th. Such tough calls, it will be interesting to see how things pan out.

I like Ento but don't want to over react with preseason play against 2,3,4th tier guys. So I'm unsure about how good he is. How's he stood up against AR/DA?

Stokes is very encouraging but make no mistake, he will get burned, be called for PI and look the fool at times. He is a Rookie, there is no getting around it, its what happens to all rookies even the best. I'm cool with whatever the packers decide on who to start.

1 points
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croatpackfan's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:11 pm

Ten players who are not any more on Packers roster:

WR DeAndre Thompkins*
TE Daniel Crawford
TE Isaac Nauta*
OL Jon Dietzen
G Zack Johnson
DL Josh Avery
LB Kamal Martin
CB Dominique Martin
DB Stanford Samuels
P Ryan Winslow

*means player is on RESERVE/INJURED LIST

EDIT: S Will Redmond is placed on IR. Season ended for him.

3 points
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CoachDino's picture

August 24, 2021 at 03:56 pm

I see now why Runyan got snaps at center, it was to see if they could let Patrick go and make Runyan the Back-up Guard/Center. Runyan looked terrible. I just haven't seen anything good from Runyan including last year. He seems to belong but at the lowest levels. Braden looks so much better and can play RT. I wouldn't be surprised if Runyan is cut, don't expect it but between Royce, Patrick, Braden, Jenkins he seems a distant 5th and has the least versatility. Plus Turners best position, IMO is RG so that makes him 6th.

What has kelly done? I liked the signing but there's a reason he was available. Between injury and a slow start I wonder where he stands.

Can Yosh play RT. He graded out well against the jets

I've been a JK Scott advocate and have griped about how many kickers are inconsistent. I finally found a decent statistical analysis of punters. PFF has him as the#2 but even I think thats questionable.

He has some very strong attributes along with some weaknesses.
Strengths - Hangtime - one of the best which makes him one of the least returnable Punters. Good at inside 20.
Weaknesses - Consistency at getting the max value. He is in the avg bell curve but on the lower end - Distance isn't a weakness but its not a strength.

Conclusion: Article points to knowing what the team wants. Some want distance, some hang-time, some directional - is he executing the game plan? Never heard that question asked. So if you want what his strengths are he is a good punter, if you are looking for attributes outside his strengths he is not a bad punter but at the bottom rung of avg.

The one thing that I would add is his holding and how critical that is, maybe even more so than his punting to a point. IDK, how the Packers view it but this conclusion from the info gathered might explain why we fans, my self included as I jump from my chair at a shank, can't understand why they keep him and GB seems to be very happy with him.

Pure speculation on my part with just some limited quantitative data and an "expert" punt evaluator who works for a Denver Paper.

Thoughts?

4 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 25, 2021 at 02:59 am

Scott has good hang time, though that also is somewhat inconsistent. He is terrible as a directional punter, meaning the punt returner has a two-way go on his returns. That puts pressure on punt coverage teams. A little bit of chicken vs. the egg when evaluating coverage units. Thus, good hang time is offset by poor directional punting since the coverage team doesn't get the benefit of the sideline as an extra defender.

Scott is pretty decent as a pooch punter in a statistical sense, but again lacks directional capability. That means his pooch punts have to be downed. Inside the twenty is really too broad of a category. To stress an offense the ball has to be within the 5, 10, perhaps the 12 yard line at the most. The QB has to be standing in or near the goal line to put some risk into a first down pass play. Some long-developing plays are eliminated from the playbook when the offense is pinned deep. Not sure where an end-around get risky, for example.

Another issue is Scott should have a lot of punts inside the 20 given the nature of the Packers' offense. Sure, GB has 3 and outs, but the offense normally picks up at least a couple of first downs.

The final issue is two-fold. Scott rarely is a field-tipper. When GB punts from its own 15, he does not change the field position battle often enough. The other issue is not how often Scott shanks a punt so much as when he does it. Too often his shanks result in very short fields for the opponents.

Scott's get-off time seems okay and he seems to adjust adequately to errant snaps. I don't think he is great at either but these may not be big factors to begin with as long as he falls within reasonable parameters.

He is a low end starting punter in the NFL, regardless of his stats. Scott has fine hands as a holder, and GB has a lousy long snapper (see today's practice roundup).

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2021 at 11:58 am

Would not be shocked if we pick up a LS at cut down. I’d like to see Galeai in action (emergency LS) this weekend.

3 points
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frankthefork's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:05 pm

Great job Maggie. To save cap room or to try to stash talent on the PS...this is always a tough task. I take talent first, game experience second and availability third. Sternberger, Lancaster, Redmond, Patrick, Summers, Esb., and D Kelly could all be trade baits now; they will certainly be picked up if cut IMO. I think you can take a chance that Uphoff, Gaines, M.Taylor, SJC, D. Scott, Mc Duffie, Wilborn, Winfree, Begelton, Harris all clear waivers and get to the GBP PS.
New guys for 2021- Myers, Stokes, Rodgers, Hill, Slayton, Newman, Van Lanen, Nijman, Garvin, Black, Ento, Rivers, V.Scott, Heflin, Funchess, Braden, Cobb and Benkert; should all be on the final 53 IMO. NFL needs to go to 55 IMO. I see 18 New faces making this team-So who gets on the IR and PUP list to make room? GPG

4 points
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croatpackfan's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:08 pm

I believe Gutekunst said that there are quite some calls for trade for WR from various teams. Who knows what will happen...

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:20 pm

I guess I’m not understanding the “either/or” aspect of the defensive line. We play two or three on every play and we’ll probably end up averaging around 2.3 per play. This means about 150 snaps per game for defensive linemen.

Clark is maybe good for 45-50 of those. 20 or so will go to Gary. But that still leaves quite a few snaps. Slaton and Lancaster are first down and short yardage guys. Keke is mostly a pass defender. Lowry and Heflin a play both, inside and outside.

Even if you only keep 5 DL on the 53 (and I think you should keep six), we can still put Heflin on the PS until somebody gets hurt or he’s clearly better. There’s no need to chuck anybody. This is a stronger and deeper defensive line group than people realize, IMO. We’ve got some vets and some yutes, some run pluggers and some pressure guys. I wouldn’t chuck any of them if I was trying to get to the Super Bowl.

6 points
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croatpackfan's picture

August 25, 2021 at 01:42 am

But you have only 53 places to fill. And that is the problem. Maybe if we can put 10-12 DL guys on the roster we will be in good position to win SB? ~~~~~~

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

August 25, 2021 at 07:21 am

53.

25 offense, 25 defense, 3 special teams.
10 DBs, 6 DL, 4 OLB, 4 ILB.

Still have room for one more.

1 points
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croatpackfan's picture

August 25, 2021 at 03:11 pm

And how many DL you want to see playing ST?

1 points
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jhtobias's picture

August 24, 2021 at 07:47 pm

O-line has some intense competition except for 2 undrafted guys and Jake Hansen those three will be cut.. But not sure who else you let go especially since Yoshi has really showed a lot of good things and men his size don't grow on trees.

I can't imagine more than receivers especially with the ability of this tight end and running back group to catch and run routes

D line is tough but except for Clark and until Keke shows he is consistent and can stay healthy is really not a strong group . Lowery Lancaster Heflin are who they are and slaton is a wildcard. This really is not a strenght but a weakness until proven otherwise. no way to sugarcoat this.

Give Barnes and Campbell a chance they seem like than can be average which is good enough with the secondary we have

1 points
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UGDR's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:52 pm

Great read, Maggie! I look forward to watching all shake out on the path to another Lombardi!

2 points
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Horrible4's picture

August 25, 2021 at 03:29 am

Man I hope we don't get stuck with Malik Taylor, has the lowest upside out of Eq. St Brown, Funchess and Juwann Winfree. Really disappointed we haven't gotten to see Juwann Winfree and may not get to see him, seemed like he was having a strong camp. I understand some people are going to come at me for dissing on Malik Taylor, and it's not that he's a bad player, he's just "a guy". One preseason game where he caught 4 passes isn't going to sell me on anything, it doesn't erase the times he's been non-existant from games for the vast majority of his time in Green Bay. I suppose you could argue the same with St. Brown and Juwann Winfree and you'd have a valid point, but to say there should be a competition between Taylor and Funchess isn't really a discussion. Funchess is far and away a better player and it would be a mistake to give Malik Taylor what is probably the final roster spot for receiver.

1 points
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blacke00's picture

August 25, 2021 at 08:17 am

Wrong! Taylor is the better long term bet than Funchess. He(Funchess) is already injured and has a history of being injured. Ditto with Cobb. Taylor will not make the PS.
Sternberger, I think is history....move on.
Runyon wasn't that bad last year. I like versatility but think trying him at center may have disrupted his development at guard. Maybe they did tried him at right tackle and he failed that, but I don't understand how a guy who played tackle in College wouldn't at least be a possible backup candidate at that position.

2 points
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Matt Gonzales's picture

August 25, 2021 at 10:42 am

It's a damn shame Winfree didn't get a chance to show what he could do in game action. His camp reports were absolutely glowing.

The Taylor and Funchess thing is tough for me. I think Funchess, healthy, offers more upside from an offensive standpoint, and it seems like he really worked hard last year when he was opted out to refine his skills catching the ball, which was sometimes a struggle for him (sound familiar?). His biggest knock is availability - his career has been mired with injuries.

Taylor has shown to be a strong possession receiver and in PS has had a knack at finding soft spots in coverage and making tough grabs. Those are big positives. He may not have as much upside as Funchess, but he is cheaper and also plays ST.

Funchess would likely be battling Lazard and/or Sternberger/Tonyan/Deguara for snaps as a big possession receiver. Taylor would likely be battling MVS, Cobb, Rodgers, and the RBs.

My gut says Taylor, but I really think it could go either way.

3 points
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saltandpeppers's picture

August 25, 2021 at 11:56 am

"Funchess is far and away a better player and it would be a mistake to give Malik Taylor what is probably the final roster spot for receiver." This times a thousand! I like Taylor, but cutting Funch would be a huge mistake.

-2 points
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Horrible4's picture

August 25, 2021 at 03:11 pm

Well I suppose that answers the Funchess vs. Taylor debacle with Funchess landing on IR and being done for the season. Rough outing.

2 points
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Matt Gonzales's picture

August 25, 2021 at 04:26 pm

You have to wonder what the timeline is for the injury. Technically he still has the ability to be released with an injury settlement, but that makes him a FA that would be available to any team, and the Packers wouldn't be able to touch him for 3 weeks after the start of the season. There is still a slim, but very unlikely, chance that he could get released, and then when healthy resign. Only way that works, though, is if his injury is significant enough that he wouldn't be able to pass a physical during that 3 week period where he could sign with another team.

Hate to say it but after sitting out last year and missing most of the prior year, this is probably the end of the line for Funchess.

1 points
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Horrible4's picture

August 26, 2021 at 01:32 am

I agree, as much upside as I see in him, it just doesn't help if you're not available. Everyone has their priorities so it makes sense why he chose to opt out, but that was his choice and it hurt him. You have to figure being here in Green Bay was a good/last chance for him to establish himself in the league after his injury in Carolina and he chose to opt out and put all his chips on a 2021 season and it backfired in an injury.

Again, a rough outing for a guy that showed all the promise in the world. I believe he might get another shot somewhere with a team next year, but I don't see the Packers going for a vet option next year in what will probably be a retooling period for the Packers. Hoping he finds somewhere to play for a couple years and be productive because he has a lot of talent.

1 points
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