Who makes the Green Bay Packers' 2014 defensive roster?

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Defensive Linemen

Jun 17, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji (90) gets ready for the team

 

* – denotes starter(s)

Roster-Makers:

Mike Daniels*
B.J. Raji*
Datone Jones
Josh Boyd
Khyri Thornton

Left Out:

Jerel Worthy
Letroy Guion
Carlos Gray
Mike Pennel
Luther Robinson

Daniels had a pretty decent season last year (6.5 sacks) and has used that improvement to help himself become a more vocal leader for the team. He has spent the offseason doing a lot of talking about the need to bring more of a physical presence to the defensive side of the ball, which I believe he can do and will help inspire his teammates to follow suit.

Yes, Raji struggled last year and didn’t produce anywhere near where Green Bay needs him to. But the coaches have stated that they do plan to keep him in more of a nose-tackle-type role, which he excelled in earlier in his career. He has been making some plays in camp as well, which hopefully is an indicator of more good things to come.

Jones wasn’t able to make a strong impact last year despite plenty of hype from coaches. But coaches never give up on first-rounders easily, and he will be given plenty of chances to prove himself. On of the players who benefited from Jones’ failures last year was Boyd, who stepped in toward the end of the season and made some impact of his own. He’ll be expected to continue providing energy and depth in the rotation. And of course there’s Thornton, who the staff though highly of in the draft this year and will also be looked at to bring energy as a part of that rotation.

Worthy, on the other hand, hasn’t been able to make an impact in his career because of lackluster play and (mostly) injuries, the latter of which are yet again hampering him; his time may have run out. Guion also is struggling with injuries right now and probably won’t have enough time to recover and earn a spot now. Gray, Pennel, and Robinson all have the appearance of camp bodies and will almost certainly lose out to the higher qualified candidates here.

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