Packers 2021 roster preview: Will Oren Burks make the roster?

Green Bay Packers, Oren Burks (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Oren Burks (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers have added two inside linebackers to the roster this offseason, signing De’Vondre Campbell earlier this month after drafting Isaiah McDuffie in the sixth round.

Where does this leave Oren Burks?

Burks was a third-round pick in 2018 but has played mostly on special teams. Will he make the Packers’ 53-man roster this season?

2020 stats

Burks was active for all 16 of the Packers’ regular-season games, making 21 tackles and forcing two fumbles.

2020 review

For the third straight year, Burks was a backup on defense and didn’t get on the field all too often on this side of the ball. He had zero starts for the second season running. According to Pro Football Reference, Burks played on just 96 defensive snaps, which works out as nine percent of the team’s total. That’s slightly up on last season, but not nearly enough for a third-round pick.

Burks has become an important player on special teams, however, as he played a career-high 78 percent of the Packers’ ST snaps in 2020.

Will he make the roster?

There’s even more competition for a spot on the roster this year with the Packers signing veteran inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and drafting Isaiah McDuffie. Perhaps a change of defensive coordinator will give Burks a fresh start on defense, but he will need to be a lot better on this side of the ball to get more snaps.

At the time of writing in June, it’s hard to predict whether Burks will make the roster.

What to expect in 2021

Is Burks’ special teams work enough to earn a spot on the 53-man roster? At inside linebacker, he’ll be competing with Campbell, McDuffie, Krys Barnes, Kamal Martin, and Ty Summers.

It’s hard to imagine Campbell, Barnes, and Martin not making the roster, and Summers has also bene an important special teams player for the Packers. McDuffie was a draft pick this year.

If Burks puts together an impressive training camp and preseason, he’ll have a good chance of making the roster. But the former third-round pick will face competition.