Packers 53-man roster prediction entering second preseason game

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The Green Bay Packers have hosted one preseason game and two joint practices during training camp, providing a strong basis for evaluating the status of the team’s roster and guessing how the top 53 players might shake out in a few weeks.

The Packers will play the New York Jets on Saturday night.

Before the Packers play their second of three preseason games, here’s our attempt to whittle the roster down from 85 players to 53:

Roster prediction

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

OFFENSE (25) QB (2): Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love RB (3): Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon, Kylin Hill WR (6): Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Malik Taylor TE (4): Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan, Josiah Deguara, Dominique Dafney OL (10):David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan, Dennis Kelly, Lucas Patrick, Ben Braden, Royce Newman, Cole Van Lanen DEFENSE (25) DL (5): Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Tyler Lancaster, TJ Slaton OLB (4): Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Chauncey Rivers ILB (5): Krys Barnes, De'Vondre Campbell, Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Kamal Martin CB (6): Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, Eric Stokes, Shemar Jean-Charles, Kabion Ento S (5): Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Henry Black, Vernon Scott, Innis Gaines SPECIALISTS (3) K: Mason Crosby P: JK Scott LS: Hunter Bradley

Quarterback (2)

Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY NETWORK

Keep: Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love Cut: Kurt Benkert, Jake Dolegala Maybe the Packers keep Benkert if he's solid in extended playing time against the Jets, especially with Love now nursing an injury. If Love is healthy, two quarterbacks on the roster and one on the practice squad is probably the ideal setup.

Running back (3)

Green Bay Packers running back Kylin Hill (32) runs for a touchdown during their preseason game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Houston Texans beat the Green Bay Packers 26-7.

Keep: Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon, Kylin Hill Cut: Dexter Williams, Patrick Taylor Hill looks like he's nearing lock status. It's still possible Taylor could make a run and earn a spot as the fourth running back, especially if he can help on special teams. Jones and Dillon have both been dinged up during camp. Williams looks like a long shot.

Wide receiver (6)

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Keep: Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Malik Taylor Cut: Equanimeous St. Brown, Juwann Winfree, Reggie Begelton, Chris Blair Trade: Devin Funchess Funchess can still play. He's made that clear over the last two weeks. The Packers have a logjam at receiver, but maybe a receiver-needy team will be willing to send a Day 3 pick to Green Bay to get him before cutdowns. It would solve the problem. Taylor gets the sixth spot again because he's by far the most complete receiver left, at least in terms of athleticism, run blocking and special teams ability. He was excellent against the Texans.

Tight end (4)

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Dominique Dafney (49) is shown during the second day of organized team activities Tuesday, May 25, 2021 in Green Bay, Wis.

Keep: Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan, Josiah Deguara, Dominique Dafney Cut: Bronson Kaufusi, Daniel Crawford Suspended: Jace Sternberger Rodgers might like Kaufusi but he's a converted defensive end who just turned 30 in July. Maybe he'll stick on the practice squad. The rest of this is pretty straightforward. The big decision comes in Week 3 when Sternberger comes off the suspended list.

Offensive line (10)

Green Bay Packers center Josh Myers (71) participates in organized team activities with the offensive line Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.

Keep: David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan, Dennis Kelly, Lucas Patrick, Ben Braden, Royce Newman, Cole Van Lanen Cut: Yosh Nijman, Jake Hanson, Jacob Capra, Coy Cronk The Packers could go in so many different ways here. A disappointing preseason opener complicated the evaluation, especially for the second unit. Of course, the status of Bakhtiari, who is on the PUP list (knee), makes a big difference. He could be activated if the Packers think he'll be ready to play within the first six weeks. It wouldn't be surprising if one of Kelly, Patrick or Braden didn't make the roster. Patrick, who was demoted this week in practice, played poorly against Houston.

Defensive line (5)

Dan Powers-USA TODAY NETWORK

Keep: Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Tyler Lancaster, TJ Slaton Cut: Willington Previlon, Jack Heflin, Josh Avery, Carlo Kemp There was a temptation to add a sixth lineman, especially considering Clark and Keke have missed time during camp. Keeping the top five and retaining both Previlon and Heflin on the practice squad could make this a strong group.

Outside linebacker (4)

Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (52) warms up during a joint training camp practice with the Houston Texans at Ray Nitchske Field Tuesday, August 6, 2019, in Ashwaubenon, Wis.

Keep: Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, Chauncey Rivers Cut: Jonathan Garvin, Tipa Galeai, Delontae Scott A bit of a surprise here, but Rivers keeps making plays, and he looked tough in the opener. Garvin and Galeai haven't separated. Another big performance from Rivers against the Jets could make him the favorite to be the No. 4. The Packers claimed him from the Ravens earlier this month.

Inside linebacker (5)

Dan Powers-USA TODAY NETWORK

Keep: Krys Barnes, De'Vondre Campbell, Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Kamal Martin Cut: Isaiah McDuffie, Ray Wilborn, De'Jon Harris Is Martin a lock? It's hard to say at this point. He's a third-team linebacker. The guess is that the Packers aren't ready to give up on him just yet. Burks and Summers are key special teamers. Wilborn looked good in the second half and on special teams in the preseason opener, so don't rule him out just yet.

Cornerback (6)

(AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Keep: Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Chandon Sullivan, Eric Stokes, Shemar Jean-Charles, Kabion Ento Cut: Isaac Yiadom, Ka'dar Hollman, Dominique Martin The Packers swapped Josh Jackson for Yiadom, but he's on his third team in four years and is now trying to play catchup at a difficult position. There's no guaranteeing he's any better than Ento, who has flashed all camp and could be an asset on special teams.

Safety (5)

Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Cut: Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Henry Black, Vernon Scott, Innis Gaines Keep: Will Redmond, Christian Uphoff Black, Scott and Gaines have been healthy all camp, and all three can play. The Packers need an upgrade at nickel safety over Redmond, who has only recently returned to camp. Go with the young guys. Redmond would probably be available later on if the experiment fails.

Specialists (3)

Dan Powers-USA TODAY NETWORK

Keep: Mason Crosby, JK Scott, Hunter Bradley Cut: JJ Molson Scott and Bradley fought off their roster challengers. Crosby is a lock. The incumbents return.

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