Packers: Predicting which players make 53-man roster on offense
By Dillon Graff
Tight end (4)
In: Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Jace Sternberger (after suspension)
Out: Dominique Dafney, Bronson Kaufusi, Isaac Nauta, Daniel Crawford
Right now, the Packers have three tight ends on the roster that are locks to make the team (Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara). Tonyan is entering a contract year, and is someone who will be heavily involved this season.
Lewis is going to be an unofficial sixth lineman/move tackle in the Packers offense, continuing to do the dirty work that makes this offense click. The return of Deguara is one that fans should be truly excited about, because this regime hand-picked him to play the Kyle Juszczyk role. He’s going to be heavily utilized and be a valuable chess piece for this offense.
The fourth tight end spot is where the water gets a little muddy. Former third-round pick Jace Sternberger has failed to meet expectations and has even gotten himself a suspension that he has to serve at the beginning of the year. I might be in the minority, but I think the draft pedigree is going to be his saving grace this season.
Tight ends typically take longer to develop and he has the athletic traits you just can’t teach. The coaching staff might be ready to move on, but this is one I think hits a little too close to home for Brian Gutekunst. I think the GM gives him one last chance, due to the fact he would assuredly be claimed on waivers by someone willing to gamble on his upside.
Dominique Dafney proved to be a useful/versatile player for the Packers last season. I still think he makes the initial 53 due to Sternberger not counting until his suspension has been served. His ability to be multiple is what makes him unique and valuable in an offense like Green Bay’s.
The return of Deguara makes his skill-set a little less necessary, but he’s a player the team is going to want to retain in some capacity. If they can roster him initially and then find a way to stash him on the practice squad after Sternberger’s return, that would be quite the luxury for the Packers.