Packers roster 2021: Upgrades or downgrades for every position group on offense

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Football isn’t a game of stagnation. Most coaches will say they’re getting better or getting worse, but they’re rarely staying the same.

How did the Green Bay Packers do this offseason?

To help preview the Packers roster leading into training camp, we’ll first look at the offensive position groups to determine if they’ve improved or regressed since Matt LaFleur’s team finished up their 2020 season in late January:

Quarterback

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur works with quarterbacks Jordan Love (10), Jake Dolegala (18), Kurt Benkert (7) and Blake Bortles (9) during minicamp practice Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.

Additions: Blake Bortles, Kurt Benkert, Jake Dolegala Departures: Tim Boyle Who knows with this group. Boyle was the backup for two straight seasons, but in theory, Jordan Love should be a massive upgrade – at least in terms of pure talent – as the No. 2 quarterback, and Bortles, Benkert and Dolegala provide experienced options if the Packers need a No. 3. Of course, this all rides on NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers returning, a big unknown at this point. This position group will either be improved entering 2021, or massively worse. No. 12 holds all the cards here. Verdict: TBD

Running back/fullback

Green Bay Packers running back Kylin Hill (32) is shown during a mandatory minicamp Tuesday, June 8, 2021 in Green Bay, Wis.

Additions: Kylin Hill Departures: Jamaal Williams, Tyler Ervin, Mike Weber Losing Williams, the do-it-all No. 2 running back, is a blow for the offense, even if A.J. Dillon is ready to take over the role behind Aaron Jones. Williams could run, catch and block and was a source of energy and optimism in the locker room. Ervin was effective as a gadget player but too often injured. Hill, a seventh-round pick, is talented and versatile and could eventually be an ideal replacement for Williams. Verdict: Downgrade

Wide receiver

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Amari Rodgers participates in organized team activities Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.

Additions: Amari Rodgers, Devin Funchess, DeAndre Thompkins, Chris Blair, Bailey Gaither Departures: Tavon Austin Austin played a handful of snaps as the gadget receiver on offense to end 2020, but Rodgers – the Packers' third-round pick – is a perfect fit for the role and should be an upgrade in the slot. He could be an instant impact rookie. Funchess returns after opting out of the 2020 season and could provide an experienced, physical option at receiver. Every other major contributor from this position group is back for 2021. Verdict: Upgrade

Tight end

Green Bay Packers tight end Bronson Kaufusi (45) participates in organized team activities Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.

Additions: Bronson Kaufusi Departures: John Lovett Swapping Kaufusi for Lovett isn't necessarily an upgrade, but the Packers will get back 2020 third-round pick Josiah Deguara, who could be exactly what the offense needs at H-back. The team had big plans for him before his season-ending injury last year. Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan are back on one-year deals, Dominique Dafney is an intriguing player entering Year 2, and 2019 third-round pick Jace Sternberger will get another shot at finding a role. This is a strong position for the Packers. Internal improvement should provide the upgrade. Verdict: Upgrade

Offensive tackle

Offensive lineman Royce Newman (70) is shown during the first day of Green Bay Packers rookie minicamp Friday, May 14, 2021 in Green Bay, Wis.

Additions: Royce Newman, Cole Van Lanen Departures: Rick Wagner, Jared Veldheer It'll be hard to replace two experienced and quality veterans with Day 3 draft picks and expect to get better. The Packers like Newman, a fourth-round pick, and he could factor into competitions at guard and tackle, but Wagner played his role exceedingly well as the veteran swing tackle in 2020. The team's depth at offensive tackle is much, much younger and inexperienced going into 2021. Verdict: Downgrade

Interior offensive line

Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

Additions: Josh Myers, Jacob Capra, Coy Cronk, Jon Dietzen Departures: Corey Linsley, Lane Taylor Like offensive tackle, it'll hard for the Packers to replace solid veterans with draft picks and get better on the interior of the offensive line. Myers, a second-round pick, is the obvious replacement for Linsley, who was a first-team All-Pro in 2020. The rookie will have to be excellent as a first-year player to mitigate the loss of such a terrific veteran center. The Packers have terrific young depth at guard, but remember, Taylor was a Week 1 starter last year. Verdict: Downgrade

1

1