Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is officially back on the field for the team in 2021. Aaron Rodgers wants more input on the roster and the future, getting his first wish granted with the trade to bring back WR Randall Cobb.
The Packers will have to change their plans for the season after Jordan Love has been groomed to be the starter all through the offseason. That said, this roster has the potential to make it to the NFC Championship game and here’s what the starting lineup could look like for the Green Bay Packers in that quest.
Green Bay Packers starting lineup: With Aaron Rodgers back, is the roster built for a Super Bowl run?
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is the Green Bay Packers’ best shot at another run at a Super Bowl. His future past 2021 is still murky, but Rodgers could happily retire with one more Super Bowl.
Running back: Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones had a career-high 1,104 rushing yards in 2020 and an unreal 16 TDs in 2019. He will remain the lead RB with AJ Dillon serving a bigger role in Year 2 for the Green Bay Packers. He had just 212 yards as a rookie, but can be a brute runner in short-yardage situations.
Wide receivers: Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Davante Adams will be the main WR for the Green Bay Packers as long as Aaron Rodgers hangs around. He’s PFF’s #1 WR entering the season and had 1,374 yards and 18 TDs in 2020.
Allen Lazard had 451 yards with three TDs as a decent #2 for the Green Bay Packers. MVS had a career-high 690 yards and six TDs and could emerge as the true #2 on the depth chart.
Aaron Rodgers wanted a familiar target back in Cobb, but he’s going to be 31 this year. Cobb could serve as an under-the-radar big-play receiver in a limited role.
Amari Rodgers had 966 yards and seven TDs with Clemson last year and could knock Lazard out of his starting role at some point. The Green Bay Packers have a better WR group than they did last year, though.
Tight end: Robert Tonyan
Robert Tonyan is PFF’s 15th-best TE entering 2021 with his solid hands, but he lacks in yards-after-catch. There is little competition behind him and he will still be a favorite target for Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers have rarely really relied on a top-tier TE in their system.
Offensive line: T David Bakhtiari, G Elgton Jenkins, C Josh Meyers, G Lucas Patrick, T Billy Turner
The Green Bay Packers enter 2021 with PFF’s 16th-best OL. Bakhtiari is the best pass-blocking tackle in the NFL and serves as the anchor of the unit. Billy Turner takes over as a starter after a pretty good 2020. Rookie Josh Meyers will start at center, but could have some struggles. Elgton Jenkins can start at guard or center if needed.
Defensive ends: Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke
Dean Lowry is entering his sixth year with the Green Bay Packers and had three sacks last year. Kingsley Keke starts opposite Lowry after four sacks in nine starts in 2020. The Green Bay Packers will only carry three DEs total with so many injuries in the secondary, so these two won’t have much help if they falter.
Defensive tackle: Kenny Clark
Kenny Clark had six sacks in 2018 and 2019, racking up just two in 2020. He’s still one of the more promising DTs in the league and a beast up front for the Green Bay Packers.
Linebackers: Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith, De’Vondre Campbell, Krys Barnes
Za’Darius Smith is PFF’s 13th-best edge-rusher and has found a new lease of life as part of the Green Bay Packers. He had 13.5 sacks in 2019 and 12.5 last year. Preston Smith is in a similar situation, racking up 12 sacks in 2019.
ILB is a weak spot on the roster. Campbell had just two sacks and 99 tackles last season while Barnes had 80 tackles as a rookie.
Cornerbacks: Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, Chandon Sullivan
PFF has Jaire Alexander as their best CB despite having flaws last year against the top WRs in the league. He has since been very consistent against top talent in the league and is a shutdown CB who isn’t thrown towards much.
King is on the NFI and should have his starting job stolen by rookie Eric Stokes. Chandon Sullivan is the Green Bay Packers’ best option at nickel cornerback.
Safeties: Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage
Adrian Amos is an underrated stud with the best PFF grade in coverage by a safety last year. Savage had four INTs in 2020 but also had 16 missed tackles. Will Redmond is currently out but could take over for Savage if his struggles continue and the Green Bay Packers see the need to bench him.
Special teams: K Mason Crosby, P J Molson, LS Joe Fortunato
Mason Crosby will be 37 and attempted just 16 FGs last year. He made all 16, though, and was 4/4 from 50 yards or more. JJ Molson beats out JK Scott at punter and Hunter Bradley gets replaced at LS for a fresh change on special teams.