Three takeaways from Packers’ first unofficial depth chart

Ahead of the Green Bay Packers‘ preseason opener this weekend, the team has released its first unofficial depth chart.

The key there is the word “unofficial”. This is just a rough guide of how the Packers see the players fitting on the depth chart currently.

But it does gives us some indication about who is performing well at training camp so far, and who needs to step up in the preseason. Here are some takeaways from the unofficial depth chart.

Rashan Gary still a backup at edge rusher

This is one that likely doesn’t mean all that much. Preston Smith is listed as a starter at outside linebacker next to Za’Darius Smith, with third-year Rashan Gary on the second team.

However, Gary is going to have a significant role in Joe Barry’s defense no matter where he is on the depth chart. There will likely be plenty of situations where all three are on the field together.

Preston Smith has predicted a big year for the Packers’ young star pass rusher, and it will be of no surprise if Gary enjoys a breakout season in 2021.

Take this with a grain of salt.

Starting offensive line

Again, not a whole lot we can take from this as David Bakhtiari is listed as a starter at left tackle. That’s all well and good for when Bakhtiari is back from injury, but if he misses any time, there will be plenty of reshuffling.

The current starting five on the line has Bakhtiari at left tackle, Elgton Jenkins at left guard, rookie Josh Myers at center, Lucas Patrick at right guard, and Billy Turner at right tackle. That’s perhaps an indication of how the Packers see their starting five when everyone is healthy.

But take Bakhtiari out and Jenkins would be the likely choice to shift over to left tackle, which would leave the left guard spot open.

On the depth chart, Yosh Nijman and Dennis Kelly are listed as the backup tackles, Jon Runyan Jr. and Ben Braden the backup guards, and Jake Hanson the backup center.

Work to do for Kamal Martin

Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com wrote at the end of July that second-year inside linebacker Kamal Martin “appears to have slipped a notch on the depth chart”, and that looks to be correct.

Martin is currently listed as part of the third team at inside linebacker, with De’Vondre Campbell, Krys Barnes, Ty Summers, and Oren Burks all ahead of him.

The fact Martin has been spending some time at outside linebacker at camp can be viewed a couple of ways. Either the Packers see him as a player with the versatility to play at both spots, or he’s struggling at inside linebacker so they are trying something different.

It’s still hard to see Martin not making the roster based on the potential he has shown over the past year, but with so much competition at inside linebacker, he’s far from a roster lock. Martin could do with a good showing in the preseason opener.