GREEN BAY, Wis. – In a tradition that stretches more than a decade, here is our annual ranking of the 90 players on the Green Bay Packers’ roster ahead of the start of training camp on July 27. This isn’t merely a look at the best players. Rather, it’s a formula that combines talent, salary, importance of the position, depth at the position and, for young players, draft positioning. More than the ranking, we hope you learn a little something about every player on the roster.
No. 78: OLB Delontae Scott (6-5, 246; 24; first year; SMU)
As a senior in 2019, Scott earned second-team all-conference honors after posting 10 sacks, 18 tackles for losses and three forced fumbles. That ran his career totals to 18 sacks, 36 TFLs and five forced fumbles.
After going undrafted, the Packers signed him with a $7,000 bonus and guaranteed $15,000 of his base salary. Then, they moved him to the defensive line. Undersized and without a series of offseason practices to get acclimated, Scott didn’t have a prayer during his rookie training camp. So, he failed to make the 53-man roster and spent his first season on the practice squad.
The Packers brought Scott back for this season and moved him to outside linebacker. The move back to the edge, where he thrived at SMU, would seem a better fit for his skill-set.
Unlike last offseason, when Scott was thrown into the fire during the abbreviated training camp, he had three weeks of OTAs and the minicamp in the spring and will have a full training camp and a preseason this summer. Plus, while there’s been a change at coordinator with Joe Barry replacing Mike Smith, the scheme and terminology are similar.
“It’s nice, because we can really jump into things and continue to grow, situational football, all this stuff, because you don’t have to start too much over with things,” Smith said. “He’s learning and just getting comfortable with doing things that, obviously, you don’t as a 4-3 end or playing D-line inside. Standing up and dropping and rushing, it’s a different feel and it takes a while to get used to it, but I’m excited to have him in my room. He’s another kid that’s tough, he loves the game, he studies. He’s always got questions. I think he’s a good addition to our room.”
Scott and his twin brother, Michael, started their careers at SMU before Michael transferred to a junior college and ultimately ended up at Oklahoma State. “We were used to sharing everything, so we always wanted more in a way,” Delontae Scott told TheTouchdownUK. “I guess that’s what started our competitiveness. We tried to see who could eat the most, who could beat who on video games more, racing, anything.”
No. 79: OLB Carlo Kemp (6-3, 281; 23; rookie; Michigan
Before the NFL Draft, Kemp said he could envision himself playing a role similar to the one his former Wolverines teammate, Rashan Gary, plays with the Packers.
He’s doing more than that. Kemp went undrafted but joined the 12th pick of the 2019 draft in Green Bay. He has worked with the defensive line as well as the outside linebackers.
“At the NFL level, I could see myself going back and forth like I did here at Michigan,” Kemp told MLive before the draft. “Being able to put my hand in the dirt and possibly even standing up, I think, really helps myself going to that next level where you definitely have to be a versatile guy.”
The top-ranked recruit in Colorado as a linebacker at Fairview High School in Boulder, Kemp started 29 games up and down Michigan’s defensive line. He earned some all-conference honors as a junior and was a four-time member of the Big Ten’s all-academic team. He recorded 4.5 sacks for his career.
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With a pick-six and four tackles, he was the defensive MVP of the Hula Bowl all-star game. At pro day, he measured 6-foot-2 1/2 and 281 pounds. He ran his 40 in 5.06 seconds and put up 27 reps on the 225-pound bench press. The Packers signed him with a $5,000 bonus.
Football is in his DNA. He is a nephew of NFL coaches Chuck and John Pagano and the son of Jennifer Pagano. His high school coach was Tom McCartney, a son of legendary Colorado coach Bill McCartney. His agent is another of McCartney’s sons, Mike.
For Scott and Kemp, there is an opening to join Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary on the 53. The depth chart is rounded out by special-teams standout Randy Ramsey, 2020 seventh-round pick Jonathan Garvin and 2020 undrafted free agent Tipa Gailea.
No. 80: TE Bronson Kaufusi (6-6, 270; 29; third year; BYU)
A third-round pick as a defensive lineman by Baltimore Ravens in 2016 after piling up 25.5 sacks and 43.5 tackles for losses at BYU, Kaufusi is getting a shot as a tight end with the Packers.
Kaufusi’s NFL career started poorly and never got back on track. He sustained a broken ankle during his rookie training camp and missed his entire first season. He played in three games with one start in 2017 and failed to make the roster in 2018. He played in three games for the Jets in 2018 and three more games with one start in 2019. With his NFL resume consisting of just eight tackles and a half-sack, the Jets moved Kaufusi to tight end last year.
“He was killing us on the scout team” in 2019, then-Jets coach Adam Gase explained in August.
Kaufusi failed to make the 53-man roster and spent the 2020 season on the practice squad. The Packers signed him to a futures deal in January.
Kaufusi will turn 30 on July 6, making him the fourth-oldest player on the roster.
We’ll have a separate feature on Kaufusi early next week.