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How many receivers make final roster?

An important part when it comes to roster construction for the Green Bay Packers — or any team for that matter — is the math, specifically, striking a balance with how many players they keep at each position to maintain the max capacity of 53 on the roster. When it comes to wide receiver for the Packers, realistically, they could have anywhere from five to seven on the initial roster.

In the Matt LaFleur era in Green Bay, the Packers have kept seven receivers just once, and that was last season. They kept six in 2019 and 2021, along with just five in 2020.

If the Packers end up keeping only five this season, then there is little mystery to this question. Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, Jayden Reed, and Dontayvion Wicks are all roster locks. With Green Bay’s heavy usage of 11 and 12 personnel, along with how active the running backs and tight ends are in the passing game, there will be few snaps available for a sixth wide receiver, and the Packers could choose to use that roster spot at more heavily rotated positions, such as edge rusher or interior defensive lineman, or crowded position groups like offensive lineman, linebacker, or safety, rather than on a developmental receiver.

I would still consider Grant DuBose the favorite to be the team’s sixth wide receiver, given that he is a recent draft pick, and we know that when it comes to determining the final roster spots, the Packers do prefer to keep their own draft picks. A prime example of this is Green Bay keeping Jonathan Ford last summer after many believed both Chris Slayton and Jack Heflin outplayed him during the preseason. Ford would stay on the roster all season but was inactive on gamedays.

However, DuBose is yet to practice in any capacity, which, as LaFleur said during OTAs, will force him to play catch up. We’ve also seen the emergence of undrafted rookie Malik Heath, who seemingly made a play during each of the open practices and during 7-on-7 drills was working with the offensive group that featured many of the starters. Bo Melton is another name to keep your eyes on, as he could have a defined role by filling the motion man and gadget role in the offense with his 4.34 speed. I expect there to be more pre-snap motion with Jordan Love at quarterback, and having that element helps LaFleur achieve the ‘illusion of complexity’ we’ve heard him refer to, which in short, keeps defenses guessing, thus opening up running and passing lanes.

Either Heath or Melton could potentially push DuBose for that sixth roster spot with a strong showing this summer.

I do think that keeping seven receivers is the most unlikely option of the three, given that there are other position groups — specifically the ones mentioned previously — where keeping an additional player would be more valuable than a seventh receiver with likely no role on offense. But with that said, if the Packers do go that route, it will be DuBose and likely either Melton or Heath unless someone else comes out of nowhere this summer.

As of now, keeping six receivers is what I expect the Packers to do, with those six spots going to the receivers they’ve drafted over the last two years. But this is also a position group where the number of players kept feels like it will be greatly impacted by what takes place elsewhere. Again, the role of the sixth receiver is likely going to be small or even non-existent, so if there is more value in keeping a sixth interior defensive lineman or a sixth edge rusher, that could swing how many receivers the Packers keep on their initial 53-man roster.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire

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