The Green Bay Packers were nothing if not consistent on Tuesday when they trimmed their initial roster from 90 all the way down to the mandatory 53. And that consistency all revolved around the youth movement that is undeniable in Green Bay.
There were several vital positions where the Packers faced tough decisions–an outcome of the solid drafting and depth built by their front office in recent years. Those key positions ultimately helped shape the roster, including these five key position battles and their winners.
The Green Bay Packers saw several position battles shape their decisions about who to keep on their initial 53-man roster.
Running Back 3
This battle morphed several times from Organized Team Activities through the preseason finale. It was once a fight between Patrick Taylor and Tyler Goodson, but an injury to Goodson eliminated him from contention.
Taylor was then projected to be the favorite, considering how the Packers’ coaching staff publicly shared they were looking for a pass-blocker and special teams contributor from their third running back. However, Emanuel Wilson ran away with the job (excuse the pun) and showed potential the Packers couldn’t deny, especially considering their running back situation gets a lot murkier after this season.
Defensive Lineman 6
A lot of analysts thought there was no way Green Bay would keep six defensive linemen, but here we are with Jonathan Ford making the initial roster behind Kenny Clark, TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt, Karl Brooks and Colby Wooden. Ford only plays nose tackle, where he eats up blockers, but he provides Green Bay with depth at an unproven position.
Outside Linebacker 6
I thought the battle would be between Ford and Brenton Cox Jr., with Green Bay only keeping one of those guys in their front seven. However, the Packers liked both of them enough to keep them around on the roster. Cox showed continuous growth during the preseason and a motor that is undeniable. He’s not likely to see a lot of playing time unless someone ahead of him sufferers an injury, but he could develop into a nice rotational player in the future.
The Packers had several quality candidates for their fifth cornerback (most notably Corey Ballentine), but opted not to keep any of them. Rolling the dice with only four corners to begin the season is risky, but if Eric Stokes can return from the PUP in Week 5 it would be a considerable boost. Signing Ballentine to the practice squad would help alleviate some of those depth concerns during the first four weeks when the Packers play an easy schedule against the Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions (without Jameson Williams).
I predicted the Packers would make a surprise cut at safety by the time Tuesday was all said and done, and, sure enough, Tarvarius Moore was the odd man out (he was technically put on injured reserve). That left rookie seventh-rounder Anthony Johnson on the roster and the only safety under contract in 2024 and beyond.