The Green Bay Packers open training camp on July 25 at Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Here’s a 53-man roster projection:
QUARTERBACK (3): Aaron Rodgers, DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle
Neither Kizer nor Boyle stood out during the offseason practices, but perhaps that’s because they’re still learning new coach Matt LaFleur’s offense. For Kizer, it’s his third system in his three NFL seasons. Boyle’s arm strength earned him a spot on the roster last year. Now he needs to take his game to another level.
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RUNNING BACK (3): Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, Dexter Williams
LaFleur’s offense is tailor-made for Jones, who can excel in the outside zone scheme and as a receiver. If he can stay healthy, he can finally be the lead back with Jamaal Williams as the No. 2. The rookie Dexter Williams was one of just two skill-position players whom GM Brian Gutekunst took in the draft, so look for him to stick.
FULLBACK (1): Danny Vitale
The muscle-packed Vitale got a ton of reps in the offseason practices, a clear indication that LaFleur plans to use a fullback.
WIDE RECEIVER (7): Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, Jake Kumerow, Trevor Davis, J’Mon Moore
Look for Allison to move into the slot role with MVS as the second starter on the outside. Moore struggled with his hands in the offseason practices, and his spot is tenuous, especially if the Packers keep Davis for his kick-return ability. Moore, the 2018 fourth-round pick, needs a strong camp and preseason.
TIGHT END (4): Jimmy Graham, Robert Tonyan, Jace Sternberger, Marcedes Lewis
Expect Tonyan’s offseason work with 49ers All-Pro tight end George Kittle to pay off. He could be the No. 2 tight end in the passing game. If Sternberger can pick up the offense a little faster than he has shown, perhaps they could move on from Lewis, though his blocking ability plus the $500,000 signing bonus he received likely secured his roster spot.
Big seasons from Geronimo Allison, left, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling would go a long way for the Packers’ new offense this season. Charlie Riedel/AP Photo
OFFENSIVE LINE (9): David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Billy Turner, Bryan Bulaga, Elgton Jenkins, Lucas Patrick, Justin McCray, Jason Spriggs
Perhaps Alex Light could unseat Spriggs as a backup tackle. Cole Madison, who returned after sitting out the entire 2018 season, probably could use a year on the practice squad.
DEFENSIVE LINE (5): Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Montravius Adams, Kingsley Keke, Tyler Lancaster
Lancaster played well at the end of last season and for now makes the team after the release of veteran Mike Daniels on Wednesday.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER (5): Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith, Rashan Gary, Kyler Fackrell, Reggie Gilbert
That Fackrell, last season’s team sack leader (10.5), might be the fourth-best edge-rushing option this year speaks to the overhaul at this position, with the two Smiths replacing Clay Matthews and Nick Perry.
INSIDE LINEBACKER (3): Blake Martinez, Oren Burks, James Crawford
Special-teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga needs a guy such as Crawford on his units. Rookie Ty Summers would be the next option if the Packers keep four.
CORNERBACK (6): Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Tramon Williams, Josh Jackson, Ka’dar Hollman, Tony Brown
The Packers want to see King and Alexander as their outside corners, which would allow Williams and Jackson to play inside, but King needs to prove that he can stay healthy after finishing his first two seasons on injured reserve.
SAFETY (4): Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage Jr., Raven Greene, Natrell Jamerson
One way or another, it’s hard to imagine Josh Jones ending up on the team after his offseason tactics to try to get traded or released, and Jamerson’s versatility (he can play both cornerback and safety) could make it easier for the team to part ways with the talented but mercurial Jones.
SPECIALIST (3): Mason Crosby, JK Scott, Hunter Bradley
Crosby faces legitimate competition from Sam Ficken, who would be a cheaper kicking option at $495,000 than Crosby at $3.6 million.