Green Bay Packers Depth Chart: Re-signing Aaron Jones boosts offense for 2021

The past few months have been eventful for the Green Bay Packers, but how does their depth chart currently look heading into the summer? Will we see big changes in 2021, or will it be a similar-looking Green Bay team that lines up this NFL season?

Green Bay Packers Depth Chart

The Packers depth chart has several similar faces near the top, but which players provide depth to the roster?

Offense

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love, Blake Bortles, Kurt Benkert

Running Back: Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon, Dexter Williams, Kylin Hill, Patrick Taylor Jr., Mike Weber

Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Amari Rodgers, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Devin Funchess, Equanimeous St. Brown, Malik Taylor, Juwann Winfree, Reggie Begelton, Chris Blair, Bailey Gaither, DeAndre Thompkins

Tight End: Robert Tonyan, Jace Sternberger, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Isaac Nauta, Dominique Dafney, Bronson Kaufusi

Offensive Tackle: David Bakhtiari, Billy Turner, Royce Newman, Yosh Nijman, Zack Johnson, Coy Cronk

Offensive Guard:  Elgton Jenkins, Jon Runyan, Simon Stepaniak, Lucas Patrick, Cole Van Lanen, Ben Braden, Jon Dietzen, Jacob Capra

Center: Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jake Hanson

Defense

Nose Tackle: Kenny Clark, Tedarrell Slaton, Anthony Rush, Jack Heflin

Defensive End: Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, Delontae Scott, Kingsley Keke, Carlo Kemp, Willington Previlon

Outside Linebacker: Rashan Gary, Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Randy Ramsey, Jonathan Garvin, Tipa Galeai

Inside Linebacker: Krys Barnes, Kamal Martin, Ty Summers, De’Jon Harris, Oren Burks, Isaiah McDuffie

Cornerback: Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Eric Stokes, Chandon Sullivan, Josh Jackson, Shemar Jean-Charles, Stanford Samuels III, Ka’dar Hollman, KeiVarae Russell, Kabion Ento

Safety: Darnell Savage, Adrian Amos, Vernon Scott, Will Redmond, Christian Uphoff, Henry Black, Innis Gaines, Ray Wilborn

Special Teams

Kicker: Mason Crosby

Punter: J.K. Scott

Long Snapper: Hunter Bradley

Green Bay Packers Depth Chart Analysis | Offense

What could the Green Bay offense look like potentially without Aaron Rodgers?

Quarterbacks

Things are getting spicy when it comes to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers appears set on playing for another franchise in 2021, but the Packers appear unwilling to accept that. Right now, Rodgers is No. 1 on the Packers’ QB depth chart. If he is willing to play, that will remain the case for the reigning MVP. However, this part of the depth chart will look very different if Rodgers forces his way out of Green Bay.

Is Jordan Love’s time coming? While the answer might be yes, it won’t happen so long as Rodgers is on the team. The most controversial pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Jordan Love, is being groomed as the heir apparent. Yet to see any action on the field, his upcoming preseason performance will surely be overly scrutinized. 

The Packers recently added veteran QBs Blake Bortles and Kurt Benkert. If Rodgers leaves, one, or both, of them could yet jump Love on the depth chart for that starting role.

Running Backs

In a surprising move, the Green Bay Packers re-signed Aaron Jones to a four-year, $48 million deal. The Packers were in a cap crunch, but they made it work, bringing back one of the most efficient rushers in the NFL. Jones’ 37 rushing touchdowns are the fourth-most among NFL running backs since 2017, and he’s coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

The return of Jones cooled off all the hype surrounding A.J. Dillon, but with no Jamaal Williams, he ascends the Packers’ depth chart as the RB2.

Dillon played 97 offensive snaps last season over 11 games. He rushed 46 times for 252 yards (5.3 per carry) and 2 touchdowns. On 11 of his rushes, he converted for a first down or scored a touchdown. He also caught both of his targets for 21 yards. Dillon is a tackle-breaking machine with tree trunks for legs.

The addition of Kylin Hill is intriguing from a depth perspective. Initially, he will be competing for nothing more than an RB3 role, but he could earn playing time if Jones or Dillon gets injured. In camp, he will battle with Dexter Williams for that RB3 role.

Wide Receivers

It is Davante Adams’ world, and we’re all just living in it. Adams caught 115 passes (second in the NFL) for 1,374 yards (fourth) and scored 18 touchdowns (first) last year. As the unquestioned WR1 on the Packers’ depth chart, expect to see a similar workload in 2021.

Allen Lazard appears to be the WR2 for the Packers heading into 2021. He missed six games due to a core muscle injury last season. While Lazard will likely be the starter opposite Adams in three-receiver sets, Amari Rodgers could be the second most targeted receiver for the Packers. Rodgers looks set to be lined up in the slot and could play that Randall Cobb-type role.

Inconsistencies are the issue with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and his status on the Packers. Valdes-Scantling had seven drops, according to Pro Football Reference, including several on deep passes. His 11.1% drop rate was third in the NFL amongst wide receivers. 

The forgotten man on the Packers’ WR depth chart is Devin Funchess. After sitting out the 2020 season due to health concerns surrounding the pandemic, Funchess is ready to make his Packers’ debut in 2021. Funchess is only 26 years old, but he has not appeared in a game since Week 1 of 2019. 

Tight Ends

Robert Tonyan was a revelation for the Packers last season, especially in the red zone. In his third season in the NFL, Tonyan tied Chiefs TE Travis Kelce for a league-leading 11 touchdowns at the position. In fact, Tonyan’s total touchdowns were more than the incomplete targets (7) thrown his way.

In his first two seasons with the Packers, Jace Sternberger has just 12 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in 18 games. Operating as an inline tight end, the Packers re-signed TE Marcedes Lewis at age 37 to a two-year deal during free agency. Josiah Deguara, a third-round draft pick in 2020, will look to bounce back after suffering a torn ACL while blocking on the punt team in Week 4.

Offensive Tackle

While the Packers’ depth chart might look familiar in some places, the offensive line lost some critical pieces during free agency. One name who is returning is David Bakhtiari, although not for the start of the season.

During their Week 16 game against the Titans, Bakhtiari suffered a season-ending torn ACL. Given the 8-12 month timeline, it would be hard to expect Bakhtiari to be available before midseason.

While he struggled at right guard, Billy Turner performed much better at right tackle and should be the Week 1 starter for the Packers. The problem for Green Bay is what sits behind Turner in terms of depth.

Yosh Nijman was active for all 16 games a year ago but played just 14 snaps. New addition Royce Newman could have a shot to earn a starting role at tackle but is viewed as a potentially better fit at guard long term. The offensive tackle position is a serious question mark for Green Bay, especially if Bakhtiari suffers any kind of setback.

Offensive Guard

While he sits as a guard on the depth chart, we could see Elgton Jenkins step in and cover at tackle for Bakhtiari. A very versatile player, Jenkins has taken snaps across the offensive line and earned Pro Bowl honors for what that is worth in the current era of the NFL. He realistically could start at guard, center, or tackle for the Packers in 2021.

Simon Stepaniak, the 209th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, didn’t play in a regular-season game — he was recovering from a knee injury suffered during his final season at Indiana University while preparing for their bowl game. He could start, however, in 2021 if he impresses in camp.

Lucas Patrick played in all 16 games this season, missing only one start. The 939 snaps he played in 2020 were more than the last three seasons combined. In two playoff games, Patrick allowed 5 pressures and zero sacks. Patrick is a candidate to take over as the starting center now that Corey Linsley is with another team.

Playing in all 16 games but never a starter, Jon Runyan Jr. was a favorite of the team last year and someone Aaron Rodgers dubbed “Mr. Reliable.” With the Packers’ OL depth chart a mess, Runyan Jr. could be called on for a more substantial role.

Cole Van Lanen, or fellow rookie Newman, could also start at guard this season. The most likely combination seems to be Jenkins with Patrick, Stepaniak, or Runyan. If Jenkins kicks outside or starts at center, then a combination of Patrick, Stepaniak, and Runyan appears most likely. There are a lot of moving parts for the Packers at guard in the coming months.

Center

We are back to talking about Jenkins again here as a potential starter. The telling part may very well be how 2021 NFL Draft second-round selection Josh Myers performs in camp. If Myers proves he can be reliable for Rodgers in Week 1, the Packers can shift Jenkins to guard or center. However, if Myers struggles, Jenkins may be required at center, sending a domino chain down the line.

Jake Hanson, a 2020 rookie out of Oregon, spent most of the season on either the practice squad or IR. A 49-game starter in college, Hanson will compete for the team’s opening roster.

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