Breaking down Packers roster following 2023 draft, UDFA signings

The Green Bay Packers added 25 new players to the roster during the 2023 draft and college free agency: 13 draft picks and 12 undrafted free agent signings.

The roster is now up to 88 players, allowing room for a veteran signing or two or even a signing of a rookie tryout player or two in the coming weeks and months before training camp.

How does the Packers roster look following the biggest roster-building event of the offseason?

Here’s a breakdown, position by position, following the 2023 draft and undrafted free agent signings:

Quarterback (3)

On the roster: Jordan Love, Danny Etling, Sean Clifford

Drafted: Clifford

Breakdown: Clifford, a fifth-round pick, will get a chance to compete with Etling for the backup job, at least initially. The Packers are expecting to get a look at the young quarterbacks before making a decision on whether or not to add a veteran to the mix. Experience would help but also cost cap dollars. In Clifford, the Packers see a super intelligent quarterback who started almost 50 games in the Big Ten. Can he be a Matt Flynn type for Love? The Packers signed Love to an extension through 2024.

Running back (5)

On the roster: Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon, Patrick Taylor, Tyler Goodson, Lew Nichols III

Drafted: Nichols 
Signed: None

Breakdown: The Packers didn’t take a running back until the seventh round, possibly signaling the team’s confidence in keeping both Jones and Dillon past 2023 and into 2024. Can Nichols beat out Taylor, a do everything player, and Goodson, who is smaller but more explosive?

Wide receiver (10)

On the roster: Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, Bo Melton, Jeff Cotton, Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, Grant DuBose, Malik Heath, Deuce Watts

Drafted: Reed, Wicks, DuBose
Heath, Watts

Breakdown: The Packers now have seven 2022 or 2023 draft picks on the roster at receiver. The invesment over the last week was heavy with three picks and two signings but required given the lack of depth entering the draft. There’s still room for a veteran here, but the Packers might want to go young and let the competition sort itself out during camp. The battles betweewn Toure, Melton, Wicks and DuBose for 53-man roster spots will be intense this summer.

Tight end (8)

On the roster: Josiah Deguara, Tyler Davis, Austin Allen, Nick Guggemos, Luke Musgrave, Tucker Kraft, Camren McDonald, Henry Pearson

Drafted: Musgrave, Kraft
McDonald, Pearson

Breakdown: Another position where a big investment was required. The Packers are adding two Day 2 picks and two UDFAs to the mix (although the Packers are listing Pearson as a fullback). Deguara, Davis, Musgrave and Kraft look like roster locks, but can one of the others push for a roster spot? McDonald was in Green Bay for a pre-draft visit. It’s unclear if Marcedes Lewis (unsigned free agent) will return.

Offensive line (15)

On the roster: David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Yosh Nijman, Zach Tom, Royce Newman, Jake Hanson, Sean Rhyan, Rasheed Walker, Luke Tenuta, Caleb Jones, Jean Delance, Kadeem Telfort, Chuck Filiaga

Drafted: None
Telfort, Filiaga

Breakdown: Having 13 offensive linemen under contract entering the draft allowed the Packers to bypass on the position group altogether, a rare occurence in Green Bay. The only additions were the two undrafted free agents. The Packers clearly feel good about the team’s depth in the short- and long-term. Figuring out the best configuration of five starters will be a camp priority. Keep an eye on Rhyan, who needs to bounce back after a disappointing rookie season, and the young tackles (Walker, Tenuta, Jones) who are entering Year 2.

Defensive line (8)

On the roster: Kenny Clark, TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt, Jonathan Ford, Chris Slayton, Colby Wooden, Karl Brooks, Jason Lewan

Drafted: Wooden, Brooks

Breakdown: The Packers built some depth behind the big three, but it’s fair to wonder if two Day 3 picks and an undrafted free agent is enough or if the team is actively looking for veteran help. Can Wooden and Brooks contribute right away? First-round pick Lukas Van Ness will play some inside. This position group remains a work in progress.

Edge rusher (9)

On the roster: Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Kingsley Enagbare, Justin Hollins, Jonathan Garvin, Ladarius Hamilton, Lukas Van Ness, Brenton Cox Jr., Keshawn Banks

Drafted: Van Ness
Cox, Banks

Breakdown: In Van Ness, the Packers will attempt to recreate the smashing success that was Rashan Gary. Both are big, physical, athletic rushers from the Big Ten. Van Ness should get a similar developmental pathway as Gary in 2019, although Gary’s injury and Van Ness’ ability to play inside should give him a chance at more playing time. Cox is also talented. Garvin, Hamilton and even Hollins will need a big summer to make it.

Linebacker (6)

On the roster: De’Vondre Campbell, Quay Walker, Eric Wilson, Isaiah McDuffie, Tariq Carpenter, Jimmy Phelps Jr.

Drafted: None
Phelps Jr.

Breakdown: The Packers return their top four linebackers from last season, and Carpenter is expecting to move to linebacker. Campbell, Walker, Wilson, McDuffie and Carpenter could easily be the top five on the roster come Week 1. Phelps’ best chance to stick is probably on the practice squad.

Cornerback (10)

On the roster: Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, Eric Stokes, Keisean Nixon, Shemar Jean-Charles, Corey Ballentine, Kiondre Thomas, Benjie Franklin, Tyrell Ford, Carrington Valentine

Drafted: Valentine

Breakdown: Like offensive line, cornerback is another premium spot where the Packers felt good about their current situation and depth to mostly bypass the position, although Valentine, a seventh-rounder, should get a chance to win a roster spot behind the top four options. Jean-Charles and Ballentine are guys the Packers like on special teams.

Safety (9)

On the roster: Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford, Dallin Leavitt, Tarvarius Moore, Innis Gaines, James Wiggins, Anthony Johnson Jr., Benny Sapp, Christian Morgan

Drafted: Johnson Jr.
Sapp, Morgan

Breakdown: Will the Packers eventually re-sign Adrian Amos? It’s on the table after not taking a safety until the seventh round. Savage and Ford both return as players who started last season, and Moore has some starting experience, but another veteran here wouldn’t hurt. Amos was a captain last season and could bounce back after a poor year. Or Johnson could emerge as a legitimate rookie starter.

Specialists (5)

On the roster: Pat O’Donnell, Jack Coco, Matt Orzech, Parker White, Anders Carlson

Drafted: Carlson

Breakdown: Punter and long snapper are set, and now kicker has competition. White and Carlson are two SEC kickers who lack NFL experience. Given the fact Carlson was a draft pick, he’ll go into training camp as the slight favorite. The Packers also didn’t close the door on Mason Crosby returning, which might only happen now if the two young kickers struggle.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire