Here are a few quick takeaways from the first roster of the 2020 season:
– There were no surprises at quarterback, running back or tight end, but GM Brian Gutekunst threw a curveball at wide receiver. Instead of keeping Jake Kumerow, the Packers went with Malik Taylor, who spent all of last year on the practice squad. He was considered a long shot by most entering training camp. Taylor overcame those odds, beating out Kumerow, Darrius Shepherd, Malik Turner and Reggie Begelton for the final receiver spot.
– The Packers didn’t have an undrafted free agent make the roster, another sign of the times. It snapped a long streak. They’ve kept at least one undrafted rookie each year since hiring Ted Thompson in 2005.
– The only 2020 draft pick to get released was center Jake Hanson, a sixth-round pick. The Packers kept nine offensive linemen and have more than enough depth on the interior of the offensive line, but Hanson could return on the practice squad. Simon Stepaniak, also a sixth-round pick, ended up on the reserve/non-football injury list, where he’s been all training camp. He’s returning from a knee injury suffered at Indiana.
– Yosh Nijman beat out Alex Light for a spot as a backup offensive tackle. Clearly, the Packers valued upside over experience.
– Montravius Adams made the roster as the fifth defensive linemen, but he’s still hurt, so it’s possible the Packers will go into Week 1 with just four healthy options up front. A move could be made here in the coming days.
– Five outside linebackers made the roster, but Tim Williams and Tipa Galeai weren’t among them, creating a moderate surprise. Rookie Jonathan Garvin and second-year edge rusher Randy Ramsey will be the two backups behind Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary. It’s possible both Williams and Galeai will return on the practice squad, really fortifying this position group.
– Cornerback Kabion Ento made the 53-man roster despite having surgery to fix a significant foot injury. The Packers likely want to get him on injured reserve, with a chance to return in 2020, meaning he had to be on the initial roster. Expect a corresponding roster move soon.
– Linebacker Kamal Martin may also go on short-term injured reserve. He had knee surgery and could miss a month or more of the regular season.
– Running back Dexter Williams was the only player from the 2019 draft class to not make the roster. He could end up back on the practice squad.
– As always, this roster is subject to potentially immediate change. Teams can start making waiver claims on Sunday. The Packers have injury issues to deal with throughout the roster, so outside additions are possible.