Which Green Bay Packers players could still be on the roster five years from now?
As training camp nears, NFL fans and analysts will begin to obsess over the construction of their teams’ opening 53-man rosters.
But rosters in the NFL turn over rapidly on a season-to-season basis.
- Aaron Rodgers
- David Bakhtiari
- Lane Taylor
- Bryan Bulaga (on injured reserve in 2013)
- Mike Daniels
- Tramon Williams
- Davon House
- Mason Crosby
- Randall Cobb
- Clay Matthews
- Nick Perry
Shockingly enough, only 13 players were actually on the Packers’ preliminary roster in both 2015 and 2018. That very high turnover is due mostly to a failed 2015 draft class, though (and the temporary departures of Davon House and Tramon Williams).
The point is that of the 53 names on the press release that the Packers send out on the afternoon of August 31, the vast majority will be out of the league or on different teams within just a few years.
But who will remain?
Based on past results, we can project that there are about seven to 15 players on the current roster who will also make the preliminary roster in 2024. Here’s my best guess as to who these players will be, taking into account age, contract, injury history, scheme fit, positional value, and of course, talent.
- Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers will be 40 when the 2024 season rolls around. He’ll play in Green Bay for as long as he wants to, but the 2024 season is a question mark until he begins taking less hits and staying healthier. Overall, though, he’s as good a bet as anyone else on the team.
- Kenny Clark: Clark is the Packers’ best defensive player right now, and he’s still just 23. He should be signing a big extension in the near future, and that deal should carry him near or through the 2024 season.
- Jaire Alexander: Alexander displayed the best footwork, athleticism, and pure cover ability of any Packers corner in recent memory last season. Provided he can stay healthy, there’s reason to believe he can be one of the best corners in the league by the time 2024 rolls around.
- Rashan Gary: Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith will be in their 30s by the time 2024 rolls around. Gary is the long-term future of the edge rusher position in Green Bay. It would be devastating if the Packers spent their highest draft pick in a decade on a player who didn’t make it to a second contract.
- Darnell Savage: Just as with Gary, Savage will have every opportunity to reach a second deal. I predict that he’ll do just that.
- Marques Valdes-Scantling: Valdes-Scantling’s rookie season was incredibly promising, especially for a fifth-round player. His gifts are unique in the Packers’ receiver room, he improved throughout the year, and he’s received plenty of praise from Aaron Rodgers. That should be enough to earn a second contract.
- Davante Adams: This is a tough one, as we’ve seen promising young receivers such as Greg Jennings and Randall Cobb leave Green Bay before their age 30 season. But Adams’ catch point dominance and route-running savvy shouldn’t dwindle significantly with age.
- David Bakhtiari: Bakhtiari will turn 33 early in the 2024 season, but his supreme talent and technique should enable him to age with grace. He’s missed just four starts over six seasons thus far. A third contract for Bakhtiari will be invaluable to the development of the Packers’ next quarterback.
- Elgton Jenkins: Jenkins is the Packers’ highest-drafted offensive player since Derek Sherrod. Barring a horrific injury similar to Sherrod’s, expect him to be a well-compensated starter at either center or guard in 2024.
I feel comfortable predicting that the above players will in fact be on the 2024 roster. After them, I think these next players also have a very good chance:
- Aaron Jones: Jones is talented, young, and relatively cheap. But he’s also battled some injuries, and running back careers can unpredictably stall.
- Jace Sternberger: The Packers certainly hope that Sternberger is their tight end of the future. But, as a rookie, he still has plenty of room to grow before we pencil him in for a 2024 roster spot.
- Equanimeous St. Brown: St. Brown is still just 22 years old after a rookie season where he flashed plenty of times. He’s not yet firmly entrenched on the depth chart, but it shouldn’t surprise you if he becomes a reliable and occasionally explosive long-term Packer receiver.
- Corey Linsley: Linsley will be 33 when the 2024 season kicks off. He’s dependable, affordable, and very good. But his position isn’t highly valued, and the Packers might prefer to move Jenkins to center eventually anyway.
- Kevin King: If King stays healthy, he could be on this team well past 2024. If not, he may not make it past 2020.
- Others with a solid chance (not a comprehensive list): Josh Jackson, JK Scott, Oren Burks, Tony Brown, DeShone Kizer, Adrian Amos, Blake Martinez, Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith
Who was overlooked, and who doesn’t deserve to be on this list? Let us know your thoughts, and enjoy the start of training camp this week!