Who makes the Green Bay Packers’ 2014 defensive roster?

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Jun 17, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker

Clay Matthews

(52) talks to linebacker

Julius Peppers

(56) during the team


* – denotes starter(s)


Clay Matthews*
Julius Peppers*
A.J. Hawk*
Brad Jones*
Nick Perry
Mike Neal
Jamari Lattimore
Nate Palmer
Carl Bradford
Adrian Hubbard
Joe Thomas

Left Out:

Sam Barrington
Andy Mulumba
Jake Doughty
Korey Jones
Jayrone Elliot

There is a question as to exactly how to list players like Peppers, Perry and Neal; they are expected to be hybrid-types, spending time as both LBs and DEs in the “elephant” position. I’ve listed players here as starters, but that is basically just a nominal thing in this case because of that distinction.

Where there isn’t a question is with Matthews. He’ll rightfully be expected to be the main pass-rush force once again, with players like Peppers/Neal/Perry to help provide other rush options from all around him. I expect Hawk to continue his unspectacular-yet-steady work at ILB on most downs, with Jones and probably Lattimore getting plenty of time next to him.

Bradford was a fourth-rounder picked for his pass-rush skills, so expect him to be used with that in mind. Palmer has been seeing the field plenty during camp so he’d be a good bet for depth. The Packers do always seem to find a few capable undrafted rookies who can make an impact every year, and the combination of Hubbard and Thomas can be yet another success in that area. Thomas, in particular, was making plays last practice, so he may be showcasing his talents at the perfect time to push his way onto the final cuts.

When it comes to those left out, Barrington would seem to be a surprise, but I think that the aforementioned Thomas and Hubbard have done and will continue to do enough for the coaching staff to pick their relative upside over Barrington’s. Mulumba spent time on the team last year, but I haven’t seen any indication that he is getting more consideration than those other players and that will ultimately leave him without a roster spot.

Doughty/Jones/Elliot look to be more quick outs once the cuts start.