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. 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. 40: ILB Ty Summers (6-1, 241, second year, TCU)
Summers, a seventh-round pick last year after recording 319 tackles at TCU, showed his value on special teams as a rookie. Having shown his potential covering kicks, could be in for a much larger role this season.
Summers didn’t play a single snap on defense last season but did play a team-high 311 snaps on special teams. With that, he tied for third on the team with seven tackles on the coverage units. The door is wide open for a much larger role entering training camp. Gone are last year’s starters, Blake Martinez and B.J. Goodson. In his Christian Kirksey. If he can stay healthy, Kirksey presumably will fill Martinez’s role as the every-down linebacker. Who will get the 254 snaps that Goodson played last season? Given the team’s horrendous run defense last year, Summers would seem to be a viable option because of his tremendous combination size (241 pounds), strength (27 reps on the bench at the 2019 Scouting Combine) and athleticism (4.51 in the 40 and 36-inch bench). Among the linebackers who went through testing at that Combine, Summers ranked fifth in the 40, third in the bench, eighth in the vertical and 10th in the 20-yard shuttle.
“I think my biggest strengths are leadership and communication, aside from just the ability to play because I’m a versatile player,” Summers said after being drafted. “Having played quarterback my whole life, I understand football. I kind of understand what offenses are looking for in situational downs because I’ve studied film and all that. So, my knowledge of the game translates to the field and helps make my teammates around me better by communicating what the call is, what we’re expecting based off the formation. ‘Hey, watch stretch, watch play action.’ Just stuff like that. I would say that’s a big thing I bring to the field aside from just the athleticism part.”
Last preseason, Summers showed he could find the football. He led the entire NFL with 29 tackles and added one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.
“More disappointed with the ones that got away from me,” was his mind-set after playing every snap against Kansas City in his preseason debut. “That’s kind of a bad habit of mine, I’m a perfectionist. I want to be perfect but, at the end of the day, I can’t let my last play, last mistake affect my future play. That’s something I’m going to continue to grow on. You can’t let one missed tackle become two.”
Why he’s got a chance: There is a starting position open opposite Kirksey. Before the draft, a scout noted the presence of Kirksey and suggested paying more attention to the bigger linebackers rather than the race cars. Summers fits that mold. If nothing else, a seventh-round pick for a solid special-teams performer is good value.