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 Post subject: The veteran should help ease in a fellow starting middle lin
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2019, 08:46 
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season." />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesAcme Packing Company homepageHorizontal - WhiteAcme Packing Companya Green Bay Packers communityFollow Acme Packing Company online:Follow Acme Packing Company on TwitterFollow Acme Packing Company on FacebookFollow Acme Packing Company on InstagramLog in or sign upLog InSign UpSite searchSearchSearchAcme Packing Company main menuFanpostsFanshotsSectionsPackersOddsAboutMastheadCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 321 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections The APC PodcastPackers Film RoomFantasy Football AdviceCDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:Packers 2019 Roster Predictions: Blake Martinez provides a steady hand at one ILB spotTwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhoto by Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesIn 2019 Green Bay Packers Customized Jerseys , the Green Bay Packers’ roster looks very different from how it appeared at the end of the 2018 season. A large group of free agents, draft picks, and undrafted rookies will come to training camp to challenge for roster spots and a role on the team’s regular season 53-man roster. Over the next two weeks, Acme Packing Company will break down the roster position-by-position and reveal our compiled predictions for the 53-man roster.As alluded to in the roster preview earlier today, the Packers’ inside linebacker unit has been in flux the past couple of seasons with injuries, late additions, and undrafted players influencing the position. While a last-minute acquisition could be in play again this summer, Green Bay’s current group of middle linebackers makes up one of the most inexperienced positions of any on the roster.One thing the Packers have going for them, however, is the return of Blake Martinez, a model of stability since the 2017 season. His veteran leadership should provide a steady hand to the youth on the roster, including a young player seeking a starting role. As APC’s roster predictions continue, the inside linebacker position keeps four potential contributors.Starters: Blake Martinez, Oren BurksNo surprises here. Martinez returns for his fourth season in a green and gold uniform as one of the better defenders on the roster. His work in the weight room this offseason should help him only improve against the run after compiling 144 total tackles a year ago. A 32-game starter the past two seasons, Martinez has been a solid, steady player in the middle of a defense that added notable players both behind and to the sides of him via free agency and the draft. Is Burks ready for a starting job? On paper, he is the most likely inside linebacker ready to emerge into that role and the Packers could sure stand to benefit from an ascension into even a dependable depth role. The former third-round pick has the athletic traits to become a playmaker in time, and reliability from Burks in coverage and reading the field could help free Martinez to blitz the passer more routinely. If Green Bay cannot re-sign Martinez after this season, the 2019 season becomes even more valuable in Burks’ development.Backups: James Crawford, Ty SummersAPC writers are banking on growth from year one to year two for Crawford to maintain his spot on the active roster. A core special teamer in 2018, Crawford’s time in the offseason should help prepare him for a larger role on the defensive side of the ball. While fans can count on safeties assisting in the box on passing downs, Crawford should also help provide depth inside.As a recent draft selection, Summers seems destined for a similar role as Crawford a season ago. The TCU standout fits the mold of former picks Martinez and Jake Ryan, but adds a higher level of speed and athleticism. His ability to help the special teams units while improving his knowledge of the defensive system will be imperative to earning a final roster spot. This site’s writers feel he will be able to do just that.<hr class="p-entry-hr" id="KP6uBA">Released: Curtis BoltonAs of now, APC writers believe Bolton will be the odd man out in the final cutdown. However Green Bay Packers T-Shirts , Bolton is seemingly a prime candidate for the practice squad as a potential special teams contributor while he grows into a defensive asset. But if Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine is looking for a potential pass-rush specialist from his inside linebacker group, Bolton, a player who flourished in that role at Oklahoma last season, could win a spot with an opportunistic preseason. As in any year, training camp injuries and setbacks could also open a door for an undrafted player like Bolton to find a way on to the 53-man roster. It hasn’t been such a beautiful week in Aaron Rodgers’ neighborhood, as the Green Bay Packers have made not just one but two coaching changes since last Sunday’s loss to Arizona.In such a week that has left many fans feeling like the organization is spiraling out of control, Green Bay also lost another key player to injured reserve as the season nears a welcome finish. Rather than diving into the endless abyss of coaching rumors, I felt inclined to review three non-staff thoughts for the week, including a final more optimistic one.Have the Packers missed Aaron Ripkowski?Count me as one who thought the Packers could benefit from straying away from keeping a fullback during the final cuts of preseason. However, a part of me is beginning to re-think that notion.I’m not saying that he would have entirely solved the Packers’ special teams woes this season, but Ripkowski appeared in over 46% of Green Bay’s special teams plays in 2017. That level of experience, along with the fact that Ripkowski never logged a special teams penalty in a Packer uniform, may be something the Packers have missed in a year of errors.Offensively, Ripkowski committed just one penalty in three seasons with Green Bay as well and was instrumental as a pass blocker on third downs. Although the Packers have lined up Lance Kendricks in the backfield this season in the H-back role without Ripkowski and have also used Jamaal Williams in pass protection, there’s a possibility that Aaron Rodgers has lacked the comfort in the pocket that players like John Kuhn and Ripkowski have provided over the years. Rodgers and the Packers have had far too many struggles on third down to list Ripkowski as a savior of the offense, but there stands a chance that his role in both the running and passing games on that down has been missed in 2018. For what it is worth, fullback Danny Vitale, who was a promising special teams player in his first two years with Cleveland, was recently promoted to the active roster and had eight special teams snaps last Sunday, as well as three offensively. Under Joe Philbin, will the Packers return to using a fullback more prominently?Not being able to see the full depth of the Packers’ cornerback group has been a disappointmentJaire Alexander is a stud at cornerback and a real bright spot for the Packers moving forward. Josh Jackson has been picked on, but there is still plenty of optimism that he will overcome rookie mistakes and learn from opponent tendencies as he grows. Jackson’s relative inexperience after bursting on to the scene as a junior at Iowa is often forgotten, as is the fact that he was a wide receiver just three years ago as a freshman. These last four games of the season are great opportunities for Jackson to work on his craft and get meaningful regular season snaps alongside Alexander to grow together.But it sure would have been nice to see Alexander and Jackson growing with Kevin King on the field as well. As the Packers’ first picks of each of the past two drafts, Alexander and King have loads of athleticism and potential to contribute to the defense. That they have only played four games together all season is a disappointment. King closing the season on injured reserve for the second consecutive season is not only disappointing but concerning. The King versus TJ Watt debate will likely be an ongoing one, but there’s no doubting that King was a player the Packers needed at that time and still do. Sadly https://www.thepackersfanshop.com/hats , it’s been a lost season.While Tony Brown looks promising as a cover man after joining the Packers as a former undrafted free agent, the addition of Bashaud Breeland was supposed to be one that gave the Packers extra talent. At the time, Breeland’s signing looked like an absolute steal after signing for one year at just over $740,000 after his three-year, $24 million deal with Carolina was nullified by a failed physical in spring. But by playing just three games for Green Bay since then, Breeland has been a relative non-factor. If the Packers had King and Breeland on the field right now, the Packers’ cornerback crew of the five names listed above might be more of a talking point around the NFL than what it has been.Packers have a chance to beef up their lines with first three picksAs of now, Green Bay is in line for the 10th pick of the first and second rounds in addition to a late-first selection from New Orleans. That provides the Packers with plenty of ammunition to address the outside of both the offensive and defensive lines.On offense, a pair of standout SEC tackles in Greg Little of Ole Miss and Jonah Williams of Alabama could be early first-round targets if they declare for the draft as juniors. Little is no way to describe Greg Little, a 6’6,” 325-pound specimen who is athletic in pass protection and gets to the second level quickly as a run blocker. With NFL coaching on technique, Little could be a quick insert at right tackle with the status of Bryan Bulaga and Jason Spriggs in question. If nothing else, Little would be an insurance option at left tackle while being groomed to eventually take over a starting role.For a team that has lacked impact edge rushing this season, the Packers figure to have options throughout the first and early second rounds if underclassmen declare as expected. Kentucky’s Josh Allen, Florida’s Jachai Polite, Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat, and Florida State’s Brian Burns each would give Green Bay the bendy, speed rushing prospect they have a high demand for. It’s very possible the Packers could grab two defensive linemen/edge rushers with their first two picks and, in that case, don’t count out an interior player like Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons, who has the strength, motor, and versatility to be a dynamic multi-faceted defender.Personally, I find this upcoming draft to be exceptionally intriguing. It is not often the Packers have three picks in the top 45 (at least a decent chance of that happening) and the crop of talent available offers many day one starters.


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