Packers’ 53-Man Roster Projection: Does Reggie Begelton Make the Cut?

Packers Roster Projection 1.0

Getty Members of the Green Bay Packers stretch during Green Bay Packers Training Camp at Lambeau Field on August 20, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Cut week has finally arrived.

The Green Bay Packers wrapped up their 12th and final training camp practice on Saturday with a live scrimmage at Lambeau Field and will now spend the rest of their lead-up to the 2020 season preparing for their Week 1 matchup at the Minnesota Vikings. But before kickoff, the Packers must also decide which 27 players will not be joining them on their initial 53-man roster with the mandatory cutdown deadline set for 3 p.m. CT this Saturday.

Here’s a projection of how the Packers’ active roster could look to begin 2020:

Quarterbacks (3): Aaron Rodgers, Tim Boyle, Jordan Love

Rodgers looked crisp and in command of the offense during his 18th NFL training camp, not that his starting role was ever in any sort of doubt for 2020. There was some curiosity about whether Love would surprise during his first camp and seize the primary backup spot, but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed his progression when it wiped out all on-field offseason workouts. Boyle has also been consistently good all throughout camp, clearly defining the QB hierarchy.

Running Backs (4): Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Jamaal Williams, Tyler Ervin

The Packers added more power to their rushing stable when they acquired Dillon with their second-round pick in 2020, but Jones is still the top guy after a breakout season last year and something to prove with free agency looming next March. As the team’s return specialist, Ervin is also a lock for the roster with the potential to contribute as both a rusher and receiver. The biggest question is how Williams — also set to become a free agent in 2021 — will now fit into the equation with the room stacked.

Tight Ends (4): Jace Sternberger, Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara

Sternberger has been considered the top option for replacing Jimmy Graham as the starter and would seem to still have the advantage, but the 2019 third-round pick has been quieter than hoped in his second training camp after spending the first several practices on the COVID-19 reserve list. Matt LaFleur made it clear midway through camp that Tonyan was very much still in the running to be TE1, so don’t be surprised if the top two fluctuate.

Wide Receivers (6): Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, Jake Kumerow, Reggie Begelton

The Packers’ receiving room is far more certain at the front end, even though the depth chart could shuffle throughout the first few games of the season. Lazard, MVS and St. Brown became much stronger looks for the roster when Devin Funchess opted out, and things are still looking good for Kumerow with his in-system knowledge working to his benefit. The back spots are where things get tricky, as Begelton — and maybe even Kumerow — could be swapped for others like Darrius Shepherd or ex-Seahawk Malik Turner.

Offensive linemen (9): David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Corey Linsley, Billy Turner, Lane Taylor, Rick Wagner, Lucas Patrick, Alex Light, Jon Runyan

Seven spots would appear to be absolute. Bakhtiari, Jenkins and Linsley are all established, while the three-way competition on the right side between Turner, Taylor and Wagner can only yield a valuable backup lineman for the Packers. Then there’s Lucas Patrick, who signed a contract extension last season and is also in line for a meaningful depth role. The final two spots come down to an experience option at swing tackle (Light) and their best performing rookie (Runyan) through training camp.

Defensive linemen (5): Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke,  Tyler Lancaster, Montravius Adams

The Packers have demonstrated their confidence in Lowry, Keke and Lancaster to get the job done around Clark, their star, for the 2020 season, but there are still questions about the fifth lineman in their rotation. Adams, a 2017 third-round pick, would appear to be on his last straw with the Packers after a miserable 2019 season, an offseason arrest and an injury earlier this month that has left him sidelined ever since. His saving grace would seem to be that Trevyon Hester — the team’s lone free-agent signing at the position — also did not participate in the final stretch of practices. Better to trust the player you know.

Outside Linebackers (4): Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith, Rashan Gary, Jonathan Garvin

Fans were disappointed with Gary’s rookie season after the Packers’ top draft pick took a backseat role to the newcomer Smith Bros., but the 2019 first-rounder has looked fierce and purposeful throughout his second camp. The Packers want to feature him more heavily in their rotation with the Smiths in 2020 and have even teased putting all three of them on the field at the same, which makes for a frightening pass rush alongside Clark at nose tackle. The fourth spot seemed up for grabs until Garvin, a 2020 seventh-round pick, began to distinguish himself from the pack toward the end of camp.

Inside Linebackers (4): Christian Kirksey, Kamal Martin, Oren Burks, Ty Summers

While nothing can be certain until the games begin, Kirksey is starting to look like a real steal for the Packers as the new quarterback of their defense. Burks came back in excellent shape for his third NFL season after a pectoral injury derailed him in 2019, but Martin, a fifth-round rookie, seems to have outperformed him through their 12 training camp practices. Constant competition between them and Summers, a special teams asset, can only be healthy for the Packers when it comes to improving the middle of their defense.

Cornerbacks (6): Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, Josh Jackson, Stanford Samuels, Ka’dar Hollman

There are no questions about the Packers’ top three cornerbacks in 2020, but the rest of the position group could stack any which way. Jackson, a 2018 second-round pick, saw his role sharply decline last season and struggled quite a bit in the Packers’ live scrimmage while an undrafted rookie, Samuels, has continued to shine. Keeping six corners not only gives the Packers an experienced safety net but also allows them to keep developing talent at a position that could lose King to free agency next offseason.

Safeties (5): Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage Jr., Raven Greene, Vernon Scott, Will Redmond

Amos and Savage are two peas in a pod for the Packers. Nothing new about that. Greene will presumably return to his dime linebacker role for the defense, but the Packers have also added a second choice in Scott, a 2020 seventh-round pick who has impressed in camp. They could potentially do without Redmond if they feel confident in Greene and Scott as backups, but keeping him around retains system experience and depth for the secondary.

Specialists (3): Mason Crosby, JK Scott, Hunter Bradley

No position group is clearer cut than the specialists. The Packers made Crosby their first re-signed free agent of the offseason, and the veteran kicker looked as strong as ever throughout camp — with the exception of one errant practice. There is room for improvement for both Scott and Bradley, but nothing has suggested the Packers won’t give them the space to do so.

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