Packers: Three potential surprise cuts ahead of 2020 season

Green Bay Packers, Jamaal Williams (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Jamaal Williams (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Green Bay Packers, Oren Burks
Green Bay Packers, Oren Burks (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

3. Oren Burks

Not often in recent years have the Packers spent an early-round pick on an inside linebacker. Oren Burks was a rare exception back in 2018, Brian Gutekunst’s first draft as general manager. Burks was selected in the third round of that year’s draft with the hope he’d develop into a starter.

Burks has been unlucky with a couple of injuries in his first couple of seasons, but he also hasn’t been able to get on the field as often as the Packers would’ve hoped when they drafted him with the 88th overall pick.

In his rookie season, Burks started four games and played in 14, making 24 tackles. According to Pro Football Reference, he played on just 12 percent of the defensive snaps. But that went in the wrong direction last season, with Burks only on the field for six percent of the snaps. His special teams role did increase slightly, but the fact he wasn’t used often on defense is a concern.

Blake Martinez and B.J. Goodson played far more snaps than Burks at inside linebacker, and neither player was re-signed in free agency.

Burks needs to stay healthy and put together a strong preseason. The lack of investment at inside linebacker could help Burks earn a roster spot, but that’s no guarantee.