Packers 53-man roster predictions ahead of training camp 2020

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith
Green Bay Packers, Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Linebackers (8) – 43/53

Za’Darius Smith (EDGE), Preston Smith (EDGE), Rashan Gary (EDGE), Tim Williams (EDGE), Jonathan Garvin (EDGE), Christian Kirksey (ILB), Curtis Bolton (ILB), Kamal Martin (ILB)

There will be some interesting training camp battles at linebacker.

Let’s first look at what we do know. Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith will be the starters at outside linebacker, with free-agent signing Christian Kirksey the number one inside linebacker. That’s a strong starting trio.

Second-year Rashan Gary will enter the season as the third edge rusher and he will take on a lot of Kyler Fackrell’s snaps from 2019. Gary will have an increased role but there will be competition for the fourth outside linebacker spot.

Rookie Jonathan Garvin and Tim Williams will be competing for a place on the 53-man roster, but I actually have both linebackers earning a spot. They will compete for snaps on defense during the season, but I have the Packers opting for depth at edge rusher.

There’s also a lot of uncertainty at inside linebacker behind Kirksey.

Can Oren Burks — who only played five percent of the Packers’ defensive snaps in 2019, according to Pro Football Reference — earn a roster spot? I’ve gone with 2019 preseason star Curtis Bolton, who is returning from a torn ACL. Bolton was in the mix for significant playing time at inside linebacker last season before getting injured. Rookie Kamal Martin also makes the roster just ahead of Ty Summers.

Summers’ special teams work could earn him a spot on the 53-man roster, but I have him just missing out and a candidate for the practice squad.