Packers 53-man roster predictions after first week of training camp

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 28: Jamaal Williams
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 28: Jamaal Williams /
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Linebackers (9)

Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Vince Biegel, Reggie Gilbert, Kyler Fackrell, Chris Odom, Blake Martinez, Oren Burks, Greer Martini

The Packers have a strong group of starters at each linebacker position, but the depth is a concern.

That is especially true following Jake Ryan’s season-ending knee injury. Ryan was in contention to start in the base defense alongside last year’s breakout player Blake Martinez. That role could now belong to rookie Oren Burks, although he is a different type of player to Ryan.

At outside linebacker, the Packers will be relying on the talented duo of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. It’s key that the two stay healthy this year; they have never completed a full 16-game season together.

With Ryan out, it’s also possible defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will use Matthews at inside linebacker occasionally. Second-year Vince Biegel could also spend some time inside.

Green Bay will be hoping Biegel makes a second-year jump. After an injury-hit rookie season, can last year’s fourth-round pick become a regular contributor to the pass rush?

It’s going to be interesting to see how Mike Pettine plans to use his linebackers. It’s also possible that Gutekunst will look to sign a veteran free agent who can play a similar role to Ryan.

The Packers can’t afford many more injuries at linebacker.