Ranking the Packers (No. 56): Treyvon Hester
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. 56: DT Treyvon Hester (6-2, 304, fourth season, Toledo)
If the city of Green Bay had been holding a mayoral election on Jan. 7, 2019, Hester might have had a chance to win the job.
For the Packers, the 2018 season was a disaster. Mike McCarthy was fired as the team finished 6-9-1 and failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. To make matters worse, the Chicago Bears won the NFC North. On Jan. 6, 2019, the Bears hosted the Eagles in the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs. The Eagles escaped with a 16-15 win on Bears kicker Cody Parkey’s infamous missed field goal. The kick hit the upright and cross bar, thanks to a few fingers on Hester’s well-placed left hand.
The blocked kick was the crowning achievement of his path to the NFL. He went to the same Pennsylvania high school as indomitable Aaron Donald. There wasn’t a scholarship for him initially at Toledo, so he was a grayshirt – meaning he had to pay his way through school. Not long thereafter, his father died while on the list for a heart transplant.
“That was a brutal year, man,” Hester told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Went through a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff.”
A three-time all-conference selection with the Rockets, Hester was a seventh-round pick by Oakland in 2017. He spent his rookie season with the Raiders, 2018 season with the Eagles and last season with the Redskins. He has appeared in 41 games with two starts during his career and registered 40 tackles (19 solo), two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. A restricted free agent after last season, the Redskins didn’t tender him after he recorded only three tackles. Of his 132 snaps, a mere three came in the game vs. the Packers at Lambeau Field in December.
Why he’s got a chance: It was a weak draft class of defensive linemen, so general manager Brian Gutekunst struck preemptively by claiming Gerald Willis on waivers from Miami and then added Hester a few days after the draft. Those are the “big” additions to a defensive line that, aside from Kenny Clark, failed to play to expectations last season.
“We are excited about the two guys that we brought in as free agents,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said in late May. “Treyvon Hester and Gerald Willis are guys that both have done some good things on tape. It’s a shame we haven’t had them here in spring to see it in person but we’re looking forward to getting those guys here in camp.”