Packers 53-man roster 2021: Breaking down every position

Green Bay Packers, Henry Black (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Henry Black (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Position-by-position breakdown of the Packers’ initial 53-man roster.

With the preseason complete and preparations well underway for the Green Bay Packers‘ regular-season opener against the New Orleans Saints, the team has now trimmed the roster down to 53 players. Well, they’ve actually only kept 52 with a new punter on the way.

What did we learn from the Packers’ initial 53? What were the biggest surprises?

Let’s run through the 53-man roster position by position and look at what it means moving forward.

Quarterbacks (2): Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love

This comes as no surprise. The Packers decided to cut third-string Kurt Benkert. It will now be interesting to see whether he clears waivers and can be signed back to the practice squad.

Running backs (3): Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, Kylin Hill

Again, no surprises here. Kylin Hill looked set in stone as the RB3 weeks ago, it was just a question of if the Packers would keep a fourth running back. The answer is no. We could see a couple return on the practice squad later this week.

Wide receivers (6): Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Malik Taylor

The top five were all roster locks. If they were to keep six receivers, Malik Taylor looked to have pulled ahead after impressing in the preseason. Taylor makes the 53 again this year.

Tight ends (4): Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Dominique Dafney

Dominique Dafney deservedly secures the final spot at tight end. A good start to the season and he could keep his place on the roster ahead of Jace Sternberger after his suspension.

Offensive linemen (9): Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner, Lucas Patrick, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Jon Runyan, Yosh Nijman, Dennis Kelly, Jake Hanson

The top story here is no David Bakhtiari. He begins the season on the PUP list, meaning he will miss at least six games.

A big surprise is that Jake Hanson has made the 53-man roster. Hanson will presumably be the backup center, but he made two big mistakes in the final preseason game. Ben Braden was a surprise cut, and few would’ve predicted Hanson would make the 53 ahead of Cole Van Lanen.

Defensive linemen (6): Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Tyler Lancaster, TJ Slaton, Jack Heflin

It’s great to see Jack Heflin make the 53. He absolutely deserves that after a strong summer. It’s also not surprising to see the Packers begin with six defensive linemen.

Inside linebackers (5): De’Vondre Campbell, Krys Barnes, Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Isaiah McDuffie

The Packers made the right call here. De’Vondre Campbell and Krys Barnes are the starters. Oren Burks and Ty Summers are key special teams players. Both Burks and Isaiah McDuffie played well in the preseason.

Outside linebackers (5): Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Jonathan Garvin, Chauncey Rivers

A question this summer was who would be the fourth outside linebacker. The Packers have decided to keep five. Chauncey Rivers is deserving of a spot on the 53 as he’s played well. Keeping five is potentially a sign the Packers don’t expect Za’Darius Smith to play the season opener, but only time will tell. We’ll see.

Cornerbacks (6): Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Eric Stokes, Chandon Sullivan, Shemar Jean-Charles, Isaac Yiadom

Kabion Ento looked set to make the 53 after a good summer, but he really struggled in the final preseason game. The final spot goes to Isaac Yiadom. Green Bay traded for Yiadom earlier this month in the deal that saw Josh Jackson go back to the New York Giants.

Safeties (4): Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Henry Black, Vernon Scott

Only keeping four safeties is a slight surprise, but the Packers got the top four spot on. Henry Black has impressed during the preseason and deservedly makes the 53.

Specialists (2): Mason Crosby, Hunter Bradley

The JK Scott era is over. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Packers are trading for Los Angeles Rams punter Corey Bojorquez. They’ve released Scott as a result. Once the trade becomes official, Bojorquez will take the 53rd spot on the roster. The Packers are currently at 52.