With ‘Tremendous Upside,’ Packers Have Top-10 Roster

The 33rd Team unveiled its top-10 rosters entering the 2024 NFL season. The Green Bay Packers will be a “scary opponent” with all their young talent.
Jordan Love goes through warmups with teammates at Packers minicamp.
Jordan Love goes through warmups with teammates at Packers minicamp. / Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – With “tremendous upside,” the Green Bay Packers have the ninth-best roster in the NFL, according to The 33rd Team.

The Web site created by former NFL executives Mike Tannenbaum and Joe Banner posted its top 10 rosters. The Packers are one of four NFC teams in Ian Valentino’s rankings, thanks to their end-of-season “hot streak” and “impressive playoff performances” against the Cowboys and 49ers.

The key for the Packers will be new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley lifting that side of the ball past mediocrity.

“Despite finishing 12th in offensive scoring and 10th in defensive scoring, there's still a lot of meat on the bone for the Packers to improve,” Valentino wrote. “Their defensive DVOA was only 27th, so the opportunity to become a truly top-tier team is huge. Adding star safety Xavier McKinney, LB Edgerrin Cooper, versatile DB Javon Bullard, and getting a healthy season from Eric Stokes totally changes how the secondary will play.”

There’s quite a bit of projection there, though. Bullard and Cooper are rookie second-round picks. They had an impressive set of offseason practices, but they’ll need to show they can play when it matters most.

“He’s got to keep building on the foundation that he’s laid,” coach Matt LaFleur said of Cooper at the end of minicamp, “and we expect him to come back even better and have a better knowledge base on what is required of him.

“There was one play in particular today that I thought for sure we were going to get him on and he did a heck of a job with it. And I was kind of teasing the coaches, did you preview him for that play? And they did not. So, that’s a credit to him and just how engaged he’s been and how locked in he’s been throughout the course of the offseason.”

Stokes has to show he can regain his rookie-year form after significant injury setbacks the past two years. If he can’t, Carrington Valentine has to take a significant step forward in terms of consistency after a promising rookie year.

“We’ll let them compete,” LaFleur said. “There’s going to be some unforeseen things that happen, but luckily, we’ve got a lot of depth, in particular, at that position.”

There’s also projection with Hafley, whose defenses at Boston College were a long way from even being mediocre. The returning players love his scheme, but they might have said the same thing about anyone who replaced Joe Barry.

Does Hafley have the players to make his scheme work? Does he have the ability to adapt on the fly, when opponents get a gauge on his game plan? Sometimes, those adjustments eluded Barry.

The offensive side of the ball requires a lot less projection. Jordan Love was among the best quarterbacks in the NFL during the second half of the season, and he’s got a plethora of young, proven playmakers to target in the passing game. The passing game could be borderline unstoppable if Christian Watson really is past his hamstring problems.

Concluded Valentino: “There might not be a team with a deeper core of young receivers, and the additions of Josh Jacobs and MarShawn Lloyd will supercharge the running game. Youth doesn't always develop in a linear fashion, but the Packers have the trajectory of a scary opponent with tremendous upside.”

The Packers are behind only the Detroit Lions (fifth) in the NFC North. The San Francisco 49ers, who ended the Packers’ 2023 season, are first. The Philadelphia Eagles, who will kick off the Packers’ 2024 season, are second.

The Eagles will be in the mix for the Super Bowl if new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio can maximize the talent on both sides of the ball.

Of the Lions, Valentino wrote: “A full season of Jameson Williams and Jahmyr Gibbs might unlock a slightly higher ceiling, but even a repeat of 2023 is more than enough offense for the Lions to win a championship.” 

More Green Bay Packers News

Packers Minicamp: Christian Watson healthy, hopeful | Minicamp ends day early | Preston Smith on scheme, sacks | Four INTs for Sean Clifford | Carrington Valentine adds muscle | MarShawn Lloyd triple threatZayne Anderson stars at minicamp | Injury updates | Jordan Love ready for season | Eric Stokes has a lot to prove

Latest news: Keisean Nixon on Jeff Hafley | Power rankings | Five to watch at training camp | PFF’s reason for optimism | Rich Eisen’s Top 10 | One of worst backup QBs | Breakout starToo many INTs to Christian Watson | X-factor and rookie to watch



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Bill Huber

BILL HUBER

Bill Huber, who has covered the Green Bay Packers since 2008, is the publisher of Packer Central, a Sports Illustrated channel. E-mail: packwriter2002@yahoo.com History: Huber took over Packer Central in August 2019. Twitter: https://twitter.com/BillHuberNFL Background: Huber graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he played on the football team, in 1995. He worked in newspapers in Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and Shawano before working at The Green Bay News-Chronicle and Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1998 through 2008. With The News-Chronicle, he won several awards for his commentaries and page design. In 2008, he took over as editor of Packer Report Magazine, which was founded by Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke, and PackerReport.com. In 2019, he took over the new Sports Illustrated site Packer Central, which he has grown into one of the largest sites in the Sports Illustrated Media Group.