Following league-wide roster cuts on Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers were awarded tight end Ben Sims and safety Zayne Anderson off waivers on Wednesday. This means that there will also be two roster cuts to follow.
The Packers had Sims in for a pre-draft visit this offseason. Sims went undrafted out of Baylor and spent training camp with the Minnesota Vikings. There, the 6’5” – 250 pound Sims, caught three of five passes for 53 yards with 80 percent of his total snaps coming lined up in-line. At Baylor, Sims caught 74 of his 105 targets, according to PFF, at 10.2 yards per catch with 366 special teams snaps. But of importance to the Packers, he had 984 career run-blocking snaps.
Following the draft, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote this in his pre-draft report about Sims:
"“Tight end with average size and talent as a run blocker but the tools to get a little better in that area. Baylor frequently used Sims as a wingback who was asked to base block, lead block and get into space on outside zone. As a pass-catcher, he lacks separation talent and is going to get what is given to him by the defense. Sims’ average traits mean he will likely need to be in a favorable situation to make a roster.”"
In Tyler Davis’ absence, what the Packers are missing at the tight end position is that traditional Y-tight end role, who will primarily line up in-line and largely handle blocking responsibilities. There, of course, is still going to be a learning curve for Sims as a blocker, as there is for any rookie tight end, but his past experience will hopefully help shrink it to a degree.
Anderson, the other addition for the Packers, stands 6’2” and weighs 202 pounds, and went undrafted in 2021 out of BYU. He has spent time with Kansas City and most recently Buffalo. Anderson has just one career regular season snap. This preseason with Buffalo, he made four of his five tackle attempts and allowed one reception for 30 yards on two targets. Anderson lined up both as a free safety and down in the box, while playing 24 special teams snaps, where he made three tackles.
While it’s somewhat easy to see Sims’ fit on this roster, it’s difficult to see where Anderson fits in, unless he is in Green Bay to only contribute on special teams, which very well could be the case. However, the Packers already have Dallin Leavitt doing that at the safety position.
With the Packers roster already at max capacity of 53 players, two corresponding cuts will have to be made to make room for Sims and Anders. Some players to watch include Royce Newman, who had a rough training camp. Jonathan Owens at the safety position is another name to watch – considering that Anderson is also a safety – after struggling in coverage as is Tariq Carpenter, who at times, appeared to be the sixth linebacker on defense behind undrafted rookie Jimmy Phillips.
Position groups where the Packers went heavy include edge rusher, interior defensive lineman, and linebacker.