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Ranking the Packers (Nos. 70-72): Three Outside Linebackers

Jamal Davis, Randy Ramsey and Greg Roberts have had a taste of the NFL. Can they take the next step and earn a roster spot?
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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. 72: OLB Jamal Davis (6-3, 243, first year, Akron)

Davis is an intriguing prospect. After starting his career at Pittsburgh but transferring closer to his hometown of Canton, Ohio, in search of playing time, Davis recorded two sacks and 15.5 tackles for losses as a junior and 5.5 sacks and a team-leading 16 tackles for losses as a senior for the Zips. At the 2019 Combine, Davis ran his 40 in 4.60 seconds and posted a 39-inch vertical jump. Nonetheless, Davis went undrafted.

Originally signed by Houston after the 2019 draft, Davis had stints on the practice squads of Indianapolis and Tennessee before Miami grabbed him off the Titans’ practice squad on Dec. 10. He appeared in three games but didn’t record any stats. The Dolphins released him before the draft and the Packers grabbed him off waivers. That made Green Bay his fifth NFL team in the span of a year.

“It’s been a dream since I was little,” he said at the Combine. “My mom always used to tell me, ‘If you don't do anything else, you're good at this. You're good at this. You've got to get your diploma, though. Get your diploma. But football is your calling. I've seen it in you when you were little.’ My mom really just stayed on me. My father, too. If it wasn't for my dad, I wouldn't even be in this position. I'm the second, Jamal Davis II. My dad's an amazing dad. He did all the extra stuff when I was little. He made me run hills. He made me do calf lifts. He was the perfect football dad, and I love every bit of it. I was one of those kids who was ready to go and do it. I wasn't one of those little boys who wanted to stay in the house and not do it when he wanted me to do it. He saw it in me, too, and it was a blessing.”

The bus ride on the road to making his NFL debut was an emotional moment. “I started crying. It all came out. I tried to hide it, but I felt it under my chin.”

Why he’s got a chance: The Packers lost Kyler Fackrell in free agency, meaning there’s a void on the roster for Davis or the other players in this story. Davis’ Combine results were excellent. The potential is obvious, which is why he keeps getting chances.

No. 71: OLB Randy Ramsey (6-3, 238, first season, Arkansas)

After being dismissed from the team and not playing in 2015 due to academic issues, Ramsey recorded 7.5 sacks and 16 tackles for losses in four seasons. That includes career highs of three sacks and six TFLs as a senior in 2018. "He's on task, on point," then-Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said at the time. “He's a very focused young man who I think has found a path that if he stays on it, we could have ourselves a really good situation there. I don't know if I've ever in my coaching career had a guy leave the program for a semester and come back and do as well as he's done.”

Ramsey went undrafted and was signed by the Packers, who had hosted him on a predraft visit. He had a solid preseason, with one sack, two tackles for losses and a team-leading three tackles on special teams, but failed to make the roster. He spent the entire year on the practice squad impersonating the opponents’ top pass rusher.

He goes by the nickname “Rambo.”

Why he’s got a chance: While his 4.69 time in the 40 wasn’t anything special, Ramsey’s first-step quickness was evident during training camp. That could give him a role in pass-rushing situations.

No. 70: OLB Greg Roberts (6-5, 258, second season, Baylor)

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How much did the Packers like Roberts last year? After the former Baylor standout went undrafted, the Packers took the unusual step of guaranteeing $70,000 of his base salary. Unfortunately for Roberts, he had core-muscle surgery in the spring and spent the season on the physically unable to perform list before finally hitting the practice field for the first time before the Week 16 game against Minnesota.

Roberts started 26 games at Baylor. As a senior, he had three sacks and eight tackles for losses to earn an honorable mention on the all-Big 12 team. In four seasons, he had those three sacks along with 15.5 tackles for losses, nine passes defensed and two blocked kicks.

Football is in his DNA. His father, Greg Roberts Sr., played on the offensive line for Barry Switzer’s old wishbone powerhouses. In 1978, he won the Outland Trophy as the best lineman in the nation. A second-round pick by Tampa bay in 1979, he started 42 games at guard in four seasons.

“He was smaller than I thought he would be, but he was really fast,” Roberts told the Waco Tribune. “I think he was a natural and he worked really hard. I watched some film of them playing in the Orange Bowl and he was really getting after it. I told him I’d whoop him now.”

He appreciated his dad’s hands-off approach to parenting.

“The best thing about Pops is, with all the accomplishments that he had, he never pressed football on me,” Roberts told the Tulsa World. “He said, ‘I don’t want you to do it because I did it. Whatever you do, I want you to do it for yourself.’ I think that’s the biggest positive as far as having him as a football dad. He never pressed anything on me. This is all my choice. If I ask him for help, he would give it to me. He was very hands off.”

Why he’s got a chance: Roberts is right out of Central Casting. He has a big, imposing frame and decent athleticism (4.73 in the 40).

90 TO 1 ROSTER COUNTDOWN

Part 1 (87 to 90): FB Elijah Wellman, FB Jordan Jones, G Zack Johnson, S Henry Black

Part 2 (83 to 86): CBs DaShaun Amos, Will Sunderland, Stanford Samuels, Marc-Antoine Dequoy

Part 3 (80 to 82): DT Willington Previlon, RB Damarea Crockett, S Frankie Griffin

Part 4 (77 to 79): G Simon Stepaniak, G Cole Madison, T Cody Conway

Part 5 (76): QB Jalen Morton can throw a football 100 yards

Part 6 (73-75) TE James Looney, TE Evan Baylis, RB Patrick Taylor