Analyzing Packers’ complete 69-player roster to start 2021

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The Green Bay Packers have a complete roster to start the 2021 season: 53 active players, and 16 more on the practice squad, for a total of 69 players.

Here’s a closer look at the full roster, position-by-position:

Quarterback (3)

(AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Active (2): Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love Practice squad (1): Kurt Benkert This is the ideal configuration at the game's most important position, at least for one year. The Packers have the NFL's reigning MVP and a promising first-round pick leading the way on the roster, and an experienced No. 3 to develop on the practice squad. Matt LaFleur kept Rodgers out of harm's way during the preseason while getting Love and Benkert valuable reps.

Running back (4)

Dan Powers-USA TODAY NETWORK

Active (3): Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon, Kylin Hill Practice squad (1): Patrick Taylor This might be one of the deepest and most talented running back groups in football. Jones, the starter, is a dynamic runner with great value as a receiver in the passing game. Dillon, a second-round pick entering Year 2, is built like a sledgehammer and could handle 150 touches. Hill, the promising rookie, looked terrific this summer and has enough talent and versatility to contribute right away. Taylor, a big back at 6-2 and 217 pounds, provides a safe emergency option on the practice squad.

Wide receiver (9)

Credit: Dan Powers-USA TODAY NETWORK

Active (6): Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Malik Taylor, Amari Rodgers Practice squad (3): Equanimeous St. Brown, Juwann Winfree, Chris Blair The top eight here are all capable of contributing in an NFL passing game. Adams is the superstar, but the Packers have done a terrific job of building up specific complementary pieces behind him, creating a deep group on the perimeter and in the slot. This might be the most talent Aaron Rodgers has had at wide receiver in a half-decade or more.

Tight end (5)

Green Bay Packers' Robert Tonyan (85) and Marcedes Lewis (89) participate in organized team activities Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.

Active (4): Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan, Josiah Deguara, Dominique Dafney Practice squad (1): Bronson Kaufusi All four tight ends could play a role on offense. Lewis is the inline blocker, Tonyan is the top receiving threat, and both Deguara and Dafney can play just about anywhere. Kaufusi opened eyes as a run-blocker during the preseason. Who knows if Jace Sternberger, who is starting the season on the suspended list, will be on the team come Week 3.

Offensive line (12)

Green Bay Packers' Royce Newman and Josh Myers warm up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Active (9): Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner, Lucas Patrick, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Dennis Kelly, Jon Runyan, Yosh Nijman, Jake Hanson Practice squad (3): Ben Braden, Cole Van Lanen, Jacob Capra David Bakhtiari will miss at least six games while on the PUP list, but the Packers were able to keep their top 11 offensive linemen behind him. The depth and versatility of the group will be its calling card. Expect some early growing pains, but once everyone is available, the Packers offensive line should be good again.

Defensive line (8)

Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

Active (6): Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, Kingsley Keke, TJ Slaton, Jack Heflin Practice squad (2): Willington Previlon, Anderson Abdullah Adding Slaton and Heflin provides some beef against the run, even if they are only rotational players. Keke is the player to watch in this group. He could be an impact interior rusher. Abdullah is worth monitoring on the practice squad. Like Keke, he's big and can rush the quarterback.

Outside linebacker (6)

Green Bay Packers linebacker Jonathan Garvin (53) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug 21. 2021, between the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Active (5): Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Jonathan Garvin, Chauncey Rivers Practice squad (1): Tipa Galeai The Packers kept five on the active roster, likely as a safeguard against Za'Darius Smith's back injury. It's possible Garvin will be playing important snaps early in the year. Galeai is a terrific athlete and could be valuable as a call-up player for the special teams.

Inside linebacker (6)

Dan Powers-USA TODAY NETWORK

Active (5): De'Vondre Campbell, Krys Barnes, Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Isaiah McDuffie Practice squad (1): Ray Wilborn Who knows if this group will be improved. The Packers like Campbell, and Barnes should be better in Year 2, but there are no guarantees. McDuffie's development is worth watching; he looked explosive in the preseason finale. And Wilborn might be the best coverage linebacker on the team. The final four must provide the foundation for improvement on special teams.

Cornerback (7)

Cornerbacks Eric Stokes (21) and Shemar Jean-Charles are shown during the first day of Green Bay Packers rookie minicamp Friday, May 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wis.

Active (6): Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, Eric Stokes, Isaac Yiadom, Shemar Jean-Charles Practice squad (1): Kabion Ento The Packers kept their top seven players at cornerback. Yiadom should be the No. 5 and will be active on most gamedays for special teams, while Jean-Charles and Ento need more time to develop. King, Sullivan and Stokes will determine if this is a good group or an elite one.

Safety (5)

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Active (4): Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Henry Black, Vernon Scott Practice squad (1): Innis Gaines Not keeping Christian Uphoff was a minor surprise, but he really struggled in the preseason finale. Gaines was reckless but he flew around and made plays all summer. He could be a Week 1 call-up if Scott is still nursing a hamstring injury. Black, the expected No. 3 safety, has a big role awaiting him.

Specialists (4)

Green Bay Packers' kicker Mason Crosby (2) and kicker JJ Molson (35) during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Active (3): Mason Crosby, Corey Bojorquez, Hunter Bradley Practice squad (1): JJ Molson The trade for Bojorquez meant the end of the JK Scott era. He could be a big upgrade. For better or worse, the Packers are committed to Bradley as the long snapper. Ironically, it was Scott who saved wild snaps from Bradley on numerous occasions over the last few years. Molson kicked well all summer and is a valuable backup to Crosby, who turns 37 this month.

Full roster

(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

QB (3): Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, Kurt Benkert RB (4): Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon, Kylin Hill, Patrick Taylor WR (9): Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Malik Taylor, Equanimeous St. Brown, Juwann Winfree, Chris Blair TE (5): Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan, Josiah Deguara, Dominique Dafney, Bronson Kaufusi OL (12): Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, Lucas Patrick, Dennis Kelly, Jon Runyan, Yosh Nijman, Jake Hanson, Ben Braden, Cole Van Lanen, Jacob Capra DL (8): Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, Kingsley Keke, TJ Slaton, Jack Heflin, Willington Previlon, Anderson Abdullah OLB (6): Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Jonathan Garvin, Chauncey Rivers, Tipa Galeai ILB (6): De'Vondre Campbell, Krys Barnes, Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Isaiah McDuffie, Ray Wilborn CB (7): Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, Eric Stokes, Issac Yiadom, Shemar-Jean Charles, Kabion Ento S (5): Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Henry Black, Vernon Scott, Innis Gaines K (2): Mason Crosby, JJ Molson P (1): Corey Bojorquez LS (1): Hunter Bradley

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